It may be the most popular ice cream flavor in Peru, but we Northern Americans have most likely never heard of this super delicious, super nutritious superfruit before, at all. Lucuma (LOO-KU-MA) has been enjoyed for thousands of years for its rich, sweet, maple-like flavor that's said to taste a bit of cashews. And now, raw foodists are loving their lucuma... but why?
Despite lucuma's dynamic sweetness, it is still amazingly low on the glycemic index which makes it a great treat without any downsides. It also contains healthy doses of fiber, vitamins and minerals and is especially high in beta carotene, iron and niacin (vitamin B3). Beta carotene, responsible for the beautiful orange hue of the fruit's flesh, helps aid your DNA in keeping cancer at bay while the B3 is known to help depression, among many other health benefits!
Superfoodists are generally using their lucuma in powdered form. It can be tricky to find in stores, but easy to order online from superfood companies like Navitas and Sunfood. The powder can be used as a flavoring for all types of dessert recipes, from smoothies to pies to ice cream. Give this recipe from Sunfood a try for a bit of Peruvian culture right in your very own kitchen.
Raw Lucuma Ice Cream
½ cup lucuma powder
1 cup cashews
bean or 1 Tablespoon vanilla powder
¼ cup yacon syrup or agave nectar
1 cup pure water
Pinch of Kalahari salt (optional)
Blend all ingredients until smooth (Vita-Mix is recommended). Pour into container and place in freezer overnight. Scoop into a bowl and enjoy!
image: El Aderezo