Super Food Feature: Lucuma

By Amy Crawford

Today on the blog we share a superfood that is not as well known as some of its superfood 'counterparts', but one deserving of a little more attention than it gets, because it's tasty! It's the most popular ice cream flavour in Peru, but we westerners may not have heard of this super nutritious (and delicious) fruit at all. Have you heard of lucuma?

What is it?
Lucuma (pronounced loo-koo-ma) is a uniquely egg shaped Peruvian fruit, referred to in Peru as the "gold of the Incas". This fruit has been consumed for thousands of years, loved for its sweet maple and pumpkin flavour with undertones of nutty cashew. It is only recently however, that healthy foodies and raw foodists alike have discovered this super fruit. So why do we love it so?

Why it’s good for you:
Lucuma provides an excellent source of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fibre. What's more, despite its delicious sweetness, it has a relatively low glycemic index, meaning it won't lead to spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Diabetics favour this sweetener for this reason.

Of note, lucuma is high in anti-oxidant beta carotene (indicated by the fruits bright yellow flesh), which assists in cancer prevention, has anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as being beneficial in healing wounds. Numerous studies have reported that lucuma has significantly improved tissue regeneration and wound closure in the injured. High levels of iron and vitamin B3 (known for its positive effects on depression) are also significant.

How to eat it:
Finding whole lucumas in store can prove tricky if you don't live in Peru, so here we like to consume it in powdered form. The powder can be used to flavour all sorts of dishes where a maple undertone would suit. Think porridge, smoothies, desserts and gluten free cakes. Lucuma is also a suitable addition to baby food. Perhaps you'd like to try recreating lucuma ice cream as the Peruvians do? Refined sugar free ice cream of course ;-)

Recently we made a delicious Dairy Free Mandarin and Lucuma Chia Parfait, why not try this to start!

Your local health food store will stock lucuma alongside the other superfood powders, or you will be able to find it online. Just be sure to purchase organic.

Now I turn the question to those regular lucuma consumers amongst you: what's your favourite way to include lucuma in your diet? 


*Image via Pinterest.

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Published:

July 09 2014

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