Superfoods are nothing short of super. They must be functional on many levels and packed with nutrients, such as antioxidants and vitamins. In Coconut Bliss, superfoods must also provide a deep flavor impact. Our Mocha Maca Crunch flavor has three superfoods that meet both of these requirements. The maca powder, mesquite, and cacao nibs are standout ingredients in this complex and satisfying flavor of Coconut Bliss.
The amazing maca is a root vegetable that grows high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. The people of this cold, inhospitable region have consumed it as food and medicine for thousands of years. The dried maca root contains 10-14% protein and 8.5% dietary fiber. Its nutritional punch includes minerals such as calcium, and the essential trace elements iron, iodine, copper, manganese, selenium and zinc. It also contains the important fatty acids linolenic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acids, as well as 19 amino acids.
Maca health benefits are manyfold. It increases endurance, stamina and strength, and was reportedly eaten by Incan warriors before battle. (We’re sure they would have loved it in the form of our Mocha Maca Crunch!) A vital component for our lives today is its affect as an adaptogen to regulate the endocrine system. It helps bring the endocrine system, and thus hormone levels, into balance. This is true for both women and men. One of maca’s most well-known effects is increased libido and fertility. A biologist at the University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru isolated 4 alkaloids from the maca root. Tests showed these alkaloids affected the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, explaining how it can sooth menopausal symptoms, as well as increase sperm cell production and improve testosterone levels. It’s a truly an amazing and functional food.
Mesquite powder is another ancestral food. For centuries, it has been made by grinding into flour the leguminous pods of the Mesquite tree. These trees grow in the driest climates from California to Texas, and down to Peru, Chile, and Argentina. Our ancestors made this powder into a meal, which still serves as the primary base for many foods found in American Southwestern cultures today. The unique flavor profile of mesquite powder could have been the only reason to add it to some Coconut Bliss. The delicate, slight sweetness with hints of molasses, caramel, and cinnamon, contribute a lovely depth of flavor. But mesquite also boasts an impressive variety of proteins, heart healthy fiber, immune boosting vitamins and essential minerals, including calcium, magnesium, zinc, and the amino acid lysine. It also contains the phytochemical quercetin, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
The health benefits and distinct flavor profile of Mesquite put it firmly in the superfood category, and is the mysterious background in our Mocha Maca Crunch.
The crunchy bitter notes from cacao nibs accent the creamy sweetness in Mocha Maca Crunch. Nibs are basically raw chocolate, pieces of cacao (cocoa) beans that have been dried slowly (never above 102 degrees) and hulled.
The health benefits of cacao are plentiful. It provides the same amount of antioxidant polyphenols as red wine. It is rich in magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and potassium. It is also a good source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and pantothenic acid.
Reaching for chocolate as a mood lifter is not an accident. In addition to the rich taste and all those nutrients, cacao also contains phenylethylalamine and anandamide, two compounds that elevate the mood and help increase focus.
Nature put all of these elements into one brilliant little package, making cacao the ultimate superfood. Also, making it no accident that we added raw nibs to an amazing flavor of Coconut Bliss.
Try adding superfoods to your smoothie! Andrea shows us how to incorporate maca powder into a frosty treat the whole family will love.