What do you get when you combine dates with maca…? Caramel. Not the sickly kind though. No, I'm talking the earthy, malty, bear-hug kind, that feels like you’ve just put on a big woollen jumper. These delicious warming mugs of goodness are my new favourite beverage, and now that we’re nearing mid-winter here in NZ, they’re totally in need too. It’s getting dark so early, I almost feel like I’m in Denmark again.
Yes, these marvellously magical Caramel Maca Lattes are…
These luscious lattes also contain maca, one of my favourite functional foods. Grown in Peru, it’s great for hormonal balance, whether that be for regulating your cycle, enhancing fertility (and libido), re-establishing your periods, or managing menopausal symptoms. Sound like you? Read on, get cosy, and let's make these magical lattes together...
The marvellous menstrual/menopausal manager that is maca
I’ve spoken about maca before, in this delicious raw Mini Banoffee Pies recipe here. But as a quick recap, maca is a root vegetable that grows wild in Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina. It looks a little like a caramel coloured radish, and smells like butterscotch crossed with sweet potato (our beloved Maori kumara, for my fellow kiwis).
Maca is commonly known as the Peruvian Ginseng which, if you know anything about Ginseng, gives you a hint as to some of its properties. Ginsengs are generally adaptogenic substances, meaning they help us cope in times of stress – increasing the body’s resistance or “adaptation” to physical, emotional or biological stressors. Let’s just say most people in our modern western world would likely do well to be taking some sort of adaptogenic substance (myself included)!
In addition to being used to enhance the body’s stress response, maca has also traditionally been used for anaemia (low red blood cell count), chronic fatigue syndrome, and to enhance energy, stamina, athletic performance, and memory. In the hormonal arena, it has been used for female hormonal imbalance, menstrual irregularities, male and female fertility, impotence, and as an aphrodisiac. Yep.
I often have ladies ask me whether it’s safe to take maca, given its ability to alter hormonal balance. There is actually very limited clinical research on maca (as with most natural substances), and as a result, the official word is to avoid using in pregnancy, lactation, and endocrine cancers (breast/uterine/ovarian/endometriosis) given its potential hormonal and estrogenic effects. My personal recommendation is that for estrogen-influenced cancers and during the first two trimesters of pregnancy, it is probably best to avoid. However, if you are breastfeeding, and your milk is flowing well after a number of weeks, there is no reason to not include it in small amounts in your diet.
Meanwhile, if you are trying to get pregnant, or just wanting balance your hormones (either menstrual or menopausal), maca is an excellent nutritional addition. There are numerous case studies reporting positive experiences with fertility, menstrual management, and the subduing of any less-than-desirable menopausal symptom (hot flushes, low libido, etc). In addition to these case studies, preliminary clinical research is showing that maca can indeed improve sexual dysfunction and libido in women and men, as well improving the volume, count and motility of our favourite male swimmers (sperm).
I use this maca here from BioBalance, as it has a lovely smooth flavour and, most importantly, is certified organic. Not only does this ensure there have been no pesticides used getting it from farm to table, but importantly, that the workers who cultivate it in South America have been paid a fair and honest wage. The lack of pesticides has a double whammy benefit too – not only do we lucky consumers not have to ingest them, but those wonderful hard-working growers and their families aren’t exposed to them either. Winning.
Back to our luscious lattes. These delicious beverages are so quick and easy to make, they’re guaranteed to become a family/flat favourite. They’re only lightly sweetened with the natural dates, just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, and making them healthy enough as an every day hot drink option (or to give your kiddies!). I hope you’ll try them out and fall in love too.
If you make these creamy Caramel Maca Lattes, I’d love to see your versions on Instagram! Share your shots tagging @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics in the caption and @begoodorganics in the image, so I don’t miss you from my feed. You can also share your pics over on my Facebook page under my latest post here, or leave a comment below.
Stay warm with these lovely lattes this weekend, get a fire going, and only a few more days til we’re past the shortest (coldest) day of the year! After that, spring is on its way…
Til next week, stay happy and well.
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Please note - if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements above, please read my notes below the recipe.
Makes 2 lattes
Want to make this recipe but missing an ingredient? Simply click on the ingredient link to go to our store and order it online. We deliver to NZ, Australia and internationally daily.
Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon
PS - the plates, linen and tableware I’ve used are from Citta Design.
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