The lucuma fruit is dried and ground into lucuma powder. The fresh fruit is grown in the Andes region of South America. It is full of nutrients and is often used in the food of Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. The light brown powder is now used worldwide as an alternative sweetener. The plant-based sweetener with a maple-like flavor has been called a “superfood.” It can be added to drinks, smoothies, desserts, and soups.
Lucuma fruit grows on trees called lucuma, which are only found in the lowlands of the Andes in Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. To make lucuma powder (or flour), the fruit is dried at low temperatures to keep its essential nutrients intact. The dried fruit is then ground into a fine powder that can be used in many ways. Lucuma powder is a healthier alternative to sugar and other ordinary sweeteners because it tastes sweet and may be suitable for your health.
What is Lucuma Powder?
The lucumo tree, which grows in South America, is where the lucuma fruit grows. This fruit is also called lucmo or eggfruit. The fruit is grown in Chile, Ecuador, and Peru and is known as the “gold of the Incas.” It looks like a cross between an avocado and a mango, and it has soft yellow pulp, a dry texture, and a tough green shell.
Even though lucuma fruit is common in South America, you can also find fresh, frozen, or pulp in Latin food markets. Lucuma powder or flour is often sold at health food stores in other places, but it can be pricey. The powder is made by drying out the fruit and then grinding it into a fine powder in a way that keeps the high nutritional value of the fruit. It can be used right out of the package or mixed into food and drinks.
Lucuma powder is a natural sweetener with low amounts of sugar. It is made from dried, ground lucuma, a fruit that grows on lucuma trees in the Andean valleys of Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. Fresh lucuma fruit is hard to find outside of South America, but you can find lucuma powder in many health food stores and Latin grocery stores worldwide.
Because lucuma powder tastes sweet and is thought to be good for your health, it has become a popular natural alternative to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. Lucuma is naturally gluten-free and vegan; you can even buy lucuma powder certified organic.
Lucuma Powder vs. Stevia
One of the best-known alternatives to sugar is the herb stevia, which comes in liquid and powder forms. Unlike lucuma powder, stevia does not affect blood sugar and doesn’t have any calories or carbs. Some people don’t like the taste of stevia because, even though it’s sweet, some types leave a bitter or metallic taste in their mouths. Usually, lucuma powder doesn’t taste that bitter. Even though it’s not as sweet, some people might like it because it tastes like maple.
How to Use Lucuma Powder?
Lucuma powder can be used in place of sugar because it has less sugar than sugar, and it goes well with caramel, chocolate, and most kinds of fruit. It can be used to make desserts and other baked goods, and lucuma is Chile’s most popular ice cream flavor.
Lucuma powder is often used as a sweetener in drinks, and it is often used as a sweetener in commercial nut milk. It can also make smoothies sweeter, adding two tablespoons to green or fruit smoothies recipes. It also works well in hot drinks like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Use it to top yogurt or cereal, or mix it into oatmeal or chia pudding that you leave out overnight.
Use about 1/4 cup of lucuma powder to replace 1 cup of lucuma pulp or purée when using lucuma powder instead of the fresh fruit.
Using lucuma powder instead of sugar in baked goods can be challenging. The consistency is like white granulated sugar, but the taste is more like brown sugar (use a 2:1 ratio to substitute for brown sugar). Use it in a recipe that already calls for it if you can. To keep the consistency the recipe calls for, replace a few tablespoons of the flour with lucuma powder and cut the sugar by the same amount.
Lucuma powder doesn’t hold water like sugar. For some recipes, if the batter seems dry, add more of a liquid ingredient, one tablespoon at a time, until it’s the right consistency.
Lucuma Powder Recipes
Most lucuma powder recipes are for smoothies, puddings, and other sweets. If you can’t find a recipe that specifically calls for it, you can use it in place of honey, sugar, or other sweeteners.
- Lucuma Ice Cream
- Cinnamon and Date Chia Pudding (use 1 to 2 tablespoons of lucuma powder to replace the honey)
What does it Taste Like?
Lucuma is naturally creamy and sweet, but it is not as sweet as sugar. People often say the taste is like maple, butterscotch, or brown sugar, and some brands taste nutty. Lucuma is sweet and tasty, whether as a fruit or a powder. People usually say it tastes like apricot, caramel, maple, or a mix of pumpkin, sweet potato, and butterscotch. The raw lucuma fruit’s pulp has a slightly sweet taste and a dry, mealy texture. In powder form, lucuma tastes like butterscotch and sweet potatoes, with hints of maple syrup or caramel.
Lucuma tastes creamy and citrusy, with a hint of caramel or maple. It can be hard to determine the exact taste of fruits like these, so the next best thing is to compare them to other fruits or foods you know. Some people have said that lucuma tastes like a sweet potato. Lucuma’s pleasant smell has become Peru’s most popular ice cream flavor.
Where to Buy Lucuma Powder?
Latin food stores may sell fresh, frozen lucuma or in powder form. The powder is easy to find online, and many health and natural food stores sell it. It is usually sold in bags of 1/2 pound or 1 pound. It is not cheap, but about the same price as other health food supplements. You can also find organic lucuma powder quite often. You can easily buy lucuma powder online or at Latin food markets. You can also find organic lucuma powder in most health food stores that sell supplements. When kept in an airtight container and out of direct sunlight, lucuma powder can last up to two years.
Lucuma powder does not require refrigeration. After the product has been opened, store it in a cool, dry, dark place with a zip-top bag or an airtight container. A lot of brands put the date they go wrong on the package. Most lucuma powder can be used for two to three years when kept at or below room temperature.
What are the Health Benefits of Lucuma Powder?
Most of lucuma powder’s health benefits come from its antioxidants. Antioxidants protect cells in the body from free radicals, which are made when food is broken down, and free radicals can damage cells and cause damage that can lead to diseases like cancer. Lucuma is also known for having a lot of fiber, and fiber makes sure that your digestive system works well.
It also has small amounts of a few vitamins and minerals, but not enough to be a good source of these nutrients.
Lucuma powder is good for your health in some ways, such as:
It’s a Relatively Good Source of Fiber
One tablespoon of lucuma powder (7.5 grams) has 2 grams fiber. Compared to table sugar or other common sweeteners, this makes it a moderately good source of fiber. Eating fiber regularly may help improve your gut’s health, protect against inflammation, and help you go to the bathroom. Also, the fiber in lucuma is thought to make insulin work better and keep blood sugar from rising after a meal.
It’s a Healthier Sweetener Alternative
The Powder is Rich in Antioxidants
It May Support Heart Health
Polyphenols are thought to be why lucuma might be good for your heart. Polyphenols and other micronutrients in lucuma fruit are supposed to support and improve heart health because they protect against heart disease and high blood pressure.
It May Support Gut Health
Is Lucuma Fruit a Good Sugar Substitute?
Sugar, honey, and stevia are all sweeter than lucuma powder. As a seasoning, lucuma powder gives food a hint of sweetness and a strong maple flavor. It’s a sugar substitute in many baked goods and is popular in smoothies, ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, chia pudding, nut milk, and Peruvian lucuma ice cream.
Lucuma fruit has more vitamins and minerals than sugar substitutes made in a lab. Lucuma powder contains vitamins, antioxidants, carbs, and fiber from the plant itself, and it includes vitamin C, B3 (niacin), beta-carotene, calcium, iron, and potassium. But one tablespoon of lucuma powder only has about 1% of the daily recommended value of these vitamins and minerals, so you probably won’t get enough to boost your immune system or get other health benefits.
3 Ways to Use Lucuma Fruit Powder
Lucuma powder doesn’t need to be made specially. You can take it out of the package and mix it into regular foods or drinks.
1. As a Sugar Substitute in Baking:
Since it tastes like brown sugar, lucuma powder works best as a replacement. As a general rule, you can use double the amount of lucuma powder to replace the same amount of brown sugar (e.g., one cup of lucuma powder equals half a cup of brown sugar). Since lucuma powder doesn’t absorb water as well as sugar, your batter or dough may end up drier than you wanted. If this is the case, add a little more water or milk at a time until the level of moisture is right.
2. In Beverages
Mix lucuma powder into your drink the same way you would sugar. The slightly sweet flavor of lucuma goes well with herbal teas or coffee that are more bitter. Use one to two tablespoons of powder to add sweetness to a smoothie that serves one person.
3. As a Flavoring
Mix as much lucuma powder as you want into oatmeal or yogurt, and then top with cacao nibs, coconut shreds, almonds, or cashews. Lucuma powder is also a unique way to flavor ice creams and sorbets you make at home.
Keep lucuma powder in a bag or container that keeps air out and out of direct sunlight. Lucuma powder doesn’t need to be held in the fridge. It will usually last about two years if it’s kept at room temperature.
The lucuma fruit doesn’t have gluten and is vegan. It has a dry, grainy texture and looks like an avocado and a pear had a baby. Taste-wise, lucuma powder has a sweet potato-caramel taste with a hint of maple, which makes it a popular food flavoring and baking ingredient (think lucuma ice cream or lucuma-infused chia pudding). Fresh lucuma fruit is hard to find outside of South America, but its flour, pulp, and puréed versions are easy to find in health food stores and Latin American supermarkets.