Maca is a superfood grown in South America that's been used medicinally and for nourishment for thousands of years. Also known as Peruvian ginseng, maca is actually a member of the mustard family and is one of just two crops that will grow in the harsh shrublands of the Andes—the other being the potato.

This prized tuber is rich in vitamins and minerals, and may help support feelings of well-being, soothe stress, increase energy, provide relief from menopause symptoms, and boost libido. Maca is traditionally often eaten in soups and empanadas, but it's also very versatile. Here are some ideas to help get you started on incorporating maca into your diet.

Maca & Cashew Energy Bites

These energy bites are great for an on-the-go snack and are rich in healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.

Ready in: 40 minutes
Servings: 10

Boost Energy Naturally With These Simple Maca RecipesIngredients:
3 tablespoons maca powder
1 cup cashews (preferably raw)
8 Medjool dates (pitted)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
2 pinches sea salt

1. Use a food processor to finely chop the cashews.
2. Add the maca powder, dates, cardamom, salt and olive oil. Blend until evenly combined.
3. Shape the mixture into 10 balls.
4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Raw Peruvian Pie

Nuts, tropical fruits and maca powder combine to make a delicious South American-themed pie, perfect for a summer party.

Ready in: 45 minutes
Servings: 8

1 tablespoon maca powder
2 cups pecans
1 cup dry figs
2 pinches sea salt
1 teaspoon honey or other sweetener
1 cup cashews
2 ripe mangos
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 pinch sea salt
Zest from 1 lime
6 kiwis

1. Soak the dry figs in warm water for 15 minutes.
2. In the meantime, use a food processor to grind the pecans into a powder. Set this aside.
3. Use the food processor to blend the figs into a paste.
4. Mix together the fig paste, pecan powder, maca powder, sea salt and honey.
5. Press this dough into a pie pan to form a crust. Put this in the fridge.
6. In the food processor, grind the cashews into a powder.
7. Add the mango, lime zest, salt and coconut oil. (Use a blender for this if your food processor isn't large enough.) Blend until smooth.
8. Pour the filling into the pie crust.
9. Slice the kiwis and arrange them on top of the pie.
10. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve.

Superfood Hot Chocolate

This warm treat is deceptively nutritious. Unflavored gelatin adds an extra three grams of protein per cup, and maca powder adds vitamins and minerals.

Ready in: 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Boost Energy Naturally With These Simple Maca Recipes 1
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon maca powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Heat up the milk on the stove in a small saucepan.
2. Add the cacao powder, sugar, gelatin, maca and vanilla. Use a whisk to blend thoroughly.
3. Serve with marshmallows or whipped cream.

Maca Biscuits

These nutritious and tasty biscuits are great with savory soups.

Ready in: 20 minutes
Servings: 20

1/4 cup of maca flour
1/4 cup of buckwheat flour
1 cup of rice flour
400 grams of soft tofu
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup almond paste
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 pinches of sea salt
1/4 cup currants (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Blend together the maca flour, buckwheat flour, rice flower, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and sea salt.
3. In a separate bowl, blend together the tofu, olive oil, almond paste and vanilla extract.
4. Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend well. Then, stir in the currants, if you're using them.
5. Form the mixture into small balls and place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. Bake for 12 minutes, or until they're golden brown.
7. Let cool, then serve.

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