Lucuma – The Gold of the Incas
Lucuma is known as one of the most important Incan superfoods. Even before Incas, the Moche culture represented its art to the lucuma, as part of its fascination with agricultural products. This superfood is considered to be an exotic fruit for its bright yellow colour, its unique taste and aroma. It is also known as ‘the gold of the Incas’, and has been cherished for centuries, both as a staple food source, and a religious offering associated with fertility. It is a gourmet product.
Some people compare it to mango or apricot while others say it tastes like a cross between maple syrup and caramel. What is certain is that it is very sweet and often used as an ingredient in tasty deserts; in fact lucuma flavoured ice cream is the most popular flavour in Peru. The Peruvians have traditionally viewed lucuma as a gourmet product.
Full of antioxidants
Vitamins & Minerals
This magnificent fruit contains high quality minerals such as iron, calcium and zinc, niacins like vitamin A and B3, antioxidants, and it also helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides. In ancient records, lucuma fruit was said to be used to aid skin health.
1.- Natural Low GI Sweetener
Given its fruity flavour, lucuma can be used as a natural low GI sweetener. This makes it safe for diabetics, and great for the rest of us to help stabilise blood sugar (critical for all bodily cell function), and even out energy levels. It can be substituted for regular sugar in a 2:1 ratio (2 Tablespoons lucuma for every 1 Tablespoon sugar).
2.- Rich in Antioxidants
Lucuma’s rich antioxidant content means it helps to fight and prevent heart disease, and slow the aging process. The fruit is used as a natural healing medicine in South America, due to its antibiotic, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Lucuma is rich in antioxidants, such as carotenoids and polyphenols.
3.- Full Of Healthy Carbohydrates
As a fruit, lucuma is full of healthy carbohydrates. Whole food carbohydrates, along with healthy fats, are wonderful source of fuel for the body, particularly the brain. Have you ever felt lacking in energy after you’ve tried to restrict carbohydrates or fats that day? Your brain may be seeking additional energy to function at its best, particularly if you’re slim and don’t have much body fat to burn as energy. Lucuma is a wonderful way to increase the healthy unrefined whole food sources of carbohydrate in your diet.
4.- Packed With Vitamins And Minerals
Lucuma has the same amount of calcium as a glass of cow’s milk, as well as plentiful amounts of beta-carotene (an anti-carcinogen), zinc, iron, vitamin C, niacin (B3), and fibre. It also contains 14 essential trace minerals.
How to Use
Lucuma powder can be added to your morning smoothies or juices to boost your day and can also be added to your dessert recipes as a natural flavour that will give a special taste. You can prepare delicious ice-creams and cookies. It can also be mixed with your preferred plant based milk.
This organic lucuma is cultivated by Ecoandino small farmer associates in Huanta – Ayacucho and Oxapampa – Pasco, Peru. Farmers harvest the crop under the organic production system. The weather of this region makes it the best place to harvest lucuma.