Up until a few weeks ago I had never heard of lucuma so when Iswari sent me some lucuma powder to try out I was really intrigued as to what it could be used for. Lucuma is a fruit native to South American countries such as Peru, Ecuador and Chile and is only grown at 1000-2400m above sea level. It’s known as being one of the last crops of the Incans, who were responsible for many of the superfoods we eat today.
Fresh lucuma fruit looks similar to an avocado, with green skin, bright yellow flesh and a large stone in the middle. The flesh is dry with a maple/sweet potato flavour. In powdered form it is used as a sweetener, with lucuma ice-cream being a hugely popular flavour in South America.
Lucuma powder is renowned for its potential health benefits due to its high levels of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B3, calcium , iron, phosphorous and beta-carotene. It is also a source of fibre, contains slow releasing carbohydrates and has a low glycaemic index, which, combined with its sweet flavour make it a perfect sweetener.
I used it in a previous recipe for my Pineapple and Blueberry Crumble but here I have added it to a summery juice for an extra health boost.
Pineapple, Strawberry and Lucuma Smoothie
Ingredients (makes 2 small glasses or one big one):
125g fresh pineapple
2 mint leaves
2 tsp shredded coconut
1 tsp lucuma powder
4 small ice cubes
just under 1/2 cup water
50g banana (about half a banana)
Just blend all the ingredients in a blender or Nutribullet. If you want it thicken then add more banana and if you want it thinner then you can add more water. Top with a sprinkle of shredded coconut and some fruit slices.
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