This subtropical fruit (it grows in high altitude around 1370-3000 m) it is native to Andean Valleys of Peru and is often referred as “Gold of the Incas”. It is also found on artifacts at burial sides of Peru, which indicates its importance in Incas lives.
Lucuma looks similar to avocado, only smoother, but when you open it you see beautiful orange flesh. It has very playful taste, resembling the flavor of caramel and maple, which is making it perfect for deserts. Lucuma is naturally sweet and can be safely used by diabetics and anyone who is having troubles with metabolizing sugars and fermentation which presents in the sclera as dark grey dots. It is a natural sweetener that can be used safely by anyone who wants to avoid sugar, which strips body of vital nutrients and can spike glucose levels in the blood and unlike sugar it is not causing inflammation in the body (details on that subject are in acid vs. alkaline balance page). Lucuma is also rich in antioxidants (carotene, which gives lacuma its lovely orange color), that helps to protect your cells from free radical damage, making it also potent anti-aging. It provides healthy carbohydrates that we require for energy and brain function. It is chock full of nutrients like iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin B3, which is great for soothing nervous system.
It is considered to be a superfood as it provides a number of important nutrients, lucuma is rich in fiber, carbohydrates, again contains calcium plus decent amounts of B3 and is also high in antioxidant carotene.
- natural sweetener (no spike in blood glucose levels)
- high in carotene (anti-aging, eye protective)
- high in iron (delivers oxygen to your blood)
- high in B3 (ideal for vegans and vegetarians as B3 is mostly found in meat)
- boosts antioxidants in the body
- prevents sun damaged skin
- promotes healthy and radiant skin (due to its carotene levels)
- unlike sugar it does not creates inflammation in the body
- easy to digest (in Peru it is one of the first foods introduced to babies)
The powdered Lucuma can be used in many different ways, you can add it to your smoothies, raw energy balls, deserts, ice cream or even to your breakfast cereals, look for it in your local organic grocer, health food stores or also online. There are few different brands available, I personally like “Loving heart Lucuma Powder” as it is certified organic and comes from Oxapampa, Peru. I believe as soon as you try it you will be hooked on it, just like we are. We got used to and enjoy adding lucuma to our banana smoothies with, cinnamon, dates and coconut, yum! The Conversion is 1:2, replace one teaspoon of sugar with two teaspoons of lucuma.