I’m not a coffee drinker. It’s not that I don’t like coffee, I actually love the taste of it and go bonkers if I find a dairy-free coffee ice cream. But it’s something to do with the caffeine in it. I get a terrible stomach ache if I drink it. I was getting a touch jealous of all those morning coffee drinkers. Yes, I can have tea, but sometimes you just really want a nice rich, creamy, morning drink. And you want one that gives you lots of sustained energy. And something that is healthy. Too much to ask for? Nope.
Enter maca. This superfood is packed with energy and health benefits for the body. It’s also an adaptogen, something that helps the body to adapt to stressors. Sign me up, I can use all the help I can get in that area. This amazing powder has lots of nutrients and is rich in antioxidants. It’s known to help balance hormones and improve libido, energy, mood and memory. Maca helps to give you sustained energy throughout the day without any of those coffee jitters or crashes.
While this sadly doesn’t taste like coffee, it does has a light, malty taste to it that is a bit on the sweet side. It pairs well with things like cacao or turmeric.
Raw vs. Gelatinized Maca
There are two types of maca powder sold – raw and gelatinized. They are both very good for you, but have a few differences. Raw is exactly what it says, raw. It’s not heated or processed in any way that would alter the nutrients and benefits of the maca powder. Raw seems to be the most common version. Then there’s gelatinized maca. This version is heated to removed the fiber from it. Maca can be very difficult to digest, so for people who have sensitive stomachs or digestive issues (like me), gelatinized maca is much better to use. I reason that being able to get a large part of the nutrients and benefits is much better than none at all, so I use a gelatinized maca powder.
Cacao vs. Cocoa
Wait, there’s a difference? Yep, don’t worry I didn’t know either at first. They both come from the cacao tree, but it’s how they’re processed that leaves you with either a nutrient-rich superfood or a nutrient-stripped powder.
Cacao is cold-pressed and not roasted so it retains all the wonderful nutrients of the plant (like it’s loads of antioxidants).
Cocoa is roasted at high temperatures and usually highly-processed, which greatly reduces its nutritional value and removes most of the benefits that cacao has.
Morning Maca Cacao Drink
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 2 tsp cacao
- 3/4 tsp maca
- 1/2 tsp maple syrup or honey (optional)
- Add milk and sweeter (if using) to a small sauce-pan. Turn to medium heat.
- Sift the cacao and maca into the milk and whisk to combine. Sifting helps to make sure you don’t get clumps in your drink. I like to use a small fine-mesh strainer.
- Heat the ingredients on the stove until just before boiling. Boiling can remove some of the nutrients in your foods, so it’s best to not let it get that hot. (And you don’t have to wait as long for it to cool down before drinking.)
- Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy.