Areas of South America and Africa are well-known for some of their exotic, highly antioxidant fruits and vegetables. The climates in these regions can vary from tropical to subtropical, and offer a variety of extraordinarily unique and extremely healthy fruits which most of us have rarely ever dreamed of! Among one of the fruits of South America whose use has been well documented for thousands of years is the Lucuma. This uniquely shaped fruit has been depicted in Incan art in both sculpture and drawing as a common focal point. It has been touted for its health benefits for centuries among the native people.
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Aside from being an object d'art for many Incan artists, this fibrous fruit has been cultivated and harvested for thousands of years. The growing season is quite long for Lucuma, making it a staple in many subtropical regions, much like the apple is to North Americans. It is also known as egg fruit, as the outer layer resembles the color and consistency of cooked egg yolks-a little dry and chalky. The texture and flavor of the fruit inside has been said to resemble a cross between the sweet potato and maple, and is high in beta carotene and other B vitamins.
The unique fruit is often eaten raw in its native countries where it grows. It can also be cooked and consumed to make the texture softer and smoother-much like the texture of a cooked squash or sweet potato. Perhaps one of the best purposes of lucuma is as a sweetener, however. Often referred to as Incan Gold, the dried powder of the lucuma is a perfect way to add a unique sweet flavor to your favorite foods and beverages while maintaining a low glycemic index. This means it will be lower in calories than traditional sweeteners, and it will not cause major spikes and crashes of blood sugar to those who consume it. The process of drying the lucuma fruit involves a low temperature heating process which helps to retain the integrity of the healthy benefits of the fruit. The dried fruit is then milled into a fine powder which retains all of the natural beta carotene and B-vitamins of the whole, raw fruit, making it an excellent, healthy choice of sweetener! The sweet, maple flavor is a quickly growing favorite flavor of ice cream, and with the added vitamins, protein, and zinc, it is perhaps the healthiest choice for flavoring and sweetening a variety of different dishes.
You can find lucuma powder at health food stores, and also online - CLICK HERE .
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Using lacuma powder is an excellent way to get a boost of rich antioxidants and B vitamins. The powder ultra-concentrates the antioxidant powers of lucuma powder, as well as the boost of vitamins. This means that just a little of this powder used as a sweetener will go a very long way. Also containing protein and trace minerals, this all-natural sweetening powder can not only help stabilize blood sugar, but also curb cravings, curb appetite, and the fruit has long been said to aid in fertility, as it has been a Peruvian symbol of fertility for several millennia. Aside from these benefits, lacuma powder is a safe sweetening alternative to sugar for diabetics. Because of the rich antioxidant content of lucuma powder, this all natural organic sweetener has immune system boosting potential, as well as the ability to fight and prevent certain diseases and illnesses including cancer. Lucuma has also long been said to aid in healing and speed up wound closure, making it a powerful natural healer. Also showing natural antibiotic, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, the flesh of the lucuma fruit is a common source of natural healing and medicines among the native South American people where the fruit grows.
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, bananas and sweet potatoes are common first foods which are fed to babies. They are soft and easy to digest, making them a great choice as a first food. In Peru where lucuma is abundantly available, this fruit is often the first solid food of babies. Just like our bananas and sweet potatoes, lucuma is soft, sweet, and extremely easy to digest. Aside from the ease in digestion, the high fiber content, as well as trace minerals and vitamins make it an excellent source of nutrition for not just babies, but people of all ages.
All natural, organic, and with a light maple flavor, lucuma powder can be used to flavor a variety of dishes in place of regular sugar. The texture is similar to granulated sugar, but the taste is more reminiscent of brown sugar. It can be easily substituted for brown sugar in a 2:1 ratio. For every 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, substitute 2 tablespoons of lucuma powder for optimal results. Even though you are using more lucuma powder than you would sugar, the glycemic index number is still so low, it makes lucuma a far healthier substitute. As mentioned previously, lucuma powder is an excellent flavoring for ice cream, but it can also be used in smoothies, oatmeal, and yogurt. It can even be used in recipes for fudge, brownies, and sweet and savory soups.
Lucuma has long been used by the Peruvian people in South America. The fruit has been celebrated in Incan art, pottery, and textiles as being a sign and symbol of fertility. It has also long been recognized for its health benefits such as being an immune booster and to speed up the healing process. More recently the fruit has been recognized as a good source of antioxidants as well as other trace minerals and vitamins. Because of its highly nutritious makeup, this unique fruit is an excellent natural organic sweetener. The low glycemic index of lucuma makes it a safe alternative for diabetics, and the ability to stabilize blood sugar has been an attractive asset to all users.
DISCLAIMER: The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments. None of the statements made on this website have been reviewed by the FDA. Any product mentioned is not meant to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or taking any medication, ask your doctor first before taking these or any other herbal remedies.
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