Maca is a welcomed gift of nature from high up the Andean Mountains of Peru. It has adapted to endure harsh conditions itself (harsh winds and cold temperatures) and so it’s not surprising that it imparts some of those medicinal qualities to us amidst our own challenges of life.
Maca is essentially an adaptogenic plant-food, meaning that from a therapeutic perspective it helps us to adapt to (or cope with) stressful situations.
I love making granola bars in this way. It’s a special way! The only sweetener I am using is dates, which I soak ahead of time (if they aren’t soft already). I blend them to a puree with the coconut oil. This date/coconut oil combination also serves as the perfect binder, to bring everything together.
It’s pretty exciting to see it all hold together. This recipes uses gluten-free oats (read about gluten-free oats and what that actually means here: The Joys of GF Oats). If you aren’t gluten intollerant then any oats will do.
An important key to get the whole mixture to hold together is to jam-pack the it all down very firmly in your parchment paper lined tin; like in this photo here…
This is an excellent recipe for anyone looking for ways to bring more maca into their life.
I tend to have a heaped teaspoon of maca daily in smoothies, but there are occasions when I just don’t feel like having a smoothie. I also have a delicious maca chocolate recipe (yes please) – but this granola bar is a fabulous alternative option.
The maca has a wonderful malty taste. It’s balanced with the sweetness of the dates and the gentle infusion of almond essence. I like the sweetness at this level, however, if you want a sweeter bar then simply try swapping out some of the coconut oil for maple syrup (or rice syrup) instead.
Where to get your Maca Root Powder from?
Your health is important, so be sure to buy
- Certified organic
- GMO free
- Peruvian Maca
It might be tempting to cut corners and go for inferior products for convenience, but it’s not worth it. I only recommend products that I have used, tried and tested myself. The following two companies both have excellent ethical standards and I’ve been in touch with them personally. Here are my suggestions…
North America (scroll down for UK & Europe)
My favourite brand the USA is now Terrasoul. I was looking for an alternative to the Sevenhills one that I use, for my mother who lives out there. They grow it with small family-owned, organic farms high in the Peruvian Andes and selectively harvest their roots. I’ve used this when I visit the USA and love it. Check it out here:
Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Gelatinised Maca Powder
UK and Europe
My favourite company in the UK is Sevenhills Wholefoods. They sell the maca that I use the vast majority of the time. Sevenhills are very much in contact with their farmers, and are proud of the direct-supply line they have established, with ethics, fairtrade, organic and sustainability as priorities. Whilst it isn’t cheap, considering the quality of their product, their price is very good value. Check it out here:
Sevenhills Wholefoods Organic Gelatinised Maca Powder 500g
OK I think its time to make these maca bars!
- 100g pitted dates (approximately 12 dates)
- 100ml coconut oil
- 1 to 2 teaspoons almond essence
- 150g oats (1½ cups)
- 3 tablespoons maca powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Soak the dates in water ahead of time for an hour or so - if they are not already soft (by soft I mean blendable or able to squish them a little between your fingers).
- Blend the soft dates with the coconut oil and almond essence (use 2 teaspoons of almond essence if you want more of an almond-tasting infusion).
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until evenly combined.
- Press down into a tin lined with parchment paper. I use a small loaf tin that would be ideal for 1kg or 2lb loaf of bread (20cmx8cm or 3½ in x 7 in bottom dimensions). Use what you have available to bake in, but something with similar dimensions.
- Pop in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 6 (200C / 400F) for about 20 minutes.
- Take out of the oven.
- Allow to fully cool and then slice into 6 or 7 bars.
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