The third sweetener in our ‘exotic natural sweeteners’ series is lucuma powder. Lucuma powder is made from lucuma, a tropical superfood fruit native to the cool highlands of Peru, Chili and Ecuador. Because of its exceptional nutritional value, it has been used by the Inca cultures since ancient times. Nowadays, it is still referred to as “the gold of the Incas”.
Lucuma fruits are green on the outside and bright yellow on the inside. Some say they taste like caramel or maple syrup, while others compare them to mango or even pumpkin. True raw lucuma powder has a brilliant bright yellow color, just like the fruit itself. It is known for its subtle sweet flavor and anti-aging properties. Thanks to its low sugar content and low-glycemic properties, it is a healthy alternative to refined sugar for any health conscious person.
Apart from being an excellent natural sweetener, lucuma powder provides a lot of nutritional benefits to the body. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is especially high in beta-carotene, niacin (vitamin B3), iron, calcium and phosphorus. Therefore, it helps to boost our immune system and balances the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in our blood.
Just like mesquite powder, lucuma powder adds creaminess and richness to raw desserts, shakes and smoothies. It is especially popular as a flavoring in raw ice cream. In Peru, lucuma flavored ice cream has even become more popular than ‘traditional’ flavors like vanilla and chocolate.