Here at TGBK we just love when foods have almost magical qualities. Of course, all whole foods provide vital nutrients to our bodies but some, more than others, have additional benefits above and beyond what is expected. And maca powder is just one of those super (or magical!) foods for us. Even an ancient civilization utilized maca in a variety of ways. So let's learn why before we get to our magical granola recipe.
Maca powder comes from a root native to central Peru which grows at a high altitudes in the Andes mountains. Maca has been harvested and consumed for over 3,000 years and was known to be sacred to the Incas as food and medicine. Even to this day, maca is considered a super food for its superior nutritional profile. Maca powder contains primarily fatty acids, amino acids, fiber, electrolytes, and minerals. As mentioned, maca has been used historically for medicinal purposes and continues to be used today in efforts to balance hormones and aid in menstrual problems, symptoms of menopause, and fertility issues. This magical root has also been used to enhance energy and memory (yes please!). But please remember that like any other medicinal herb, maca may help with these problems/symptoms but is not a cure. The most common form of maca powder is ivory in color though it can be found more rarely in a variety of colors including red, purple, and black. In terms of flavor, maca has a slightly sweet and roasted butterscotch flavor and works well in baked goods, smoothies, ice cream, and of course granola!
Magical Maca Maple Granola
PREP TIME: 15 mins
TOTAL TIME: 45 mins
Servings: 18-24 quarter cup servings
*Note that granola is quite rich and best eaten in small portions or as a crunchy topping
2 cups thick rolled oats
1 cup rolled barley
1 cup rolled rye
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup maca powder
1/4 cup ground flax meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/8 cup white sesame seed
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup pure dark maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 vanilla bean pod (scrape the inside) or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, barley, rye, oat bran, maca, flax, salt, cashews, hemp, and sesame seeds.
In a sauce pan, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and vanilla. Turn burner on to medium heat and stir until the oil has melted and sugar has dissolved. Pour warm oil and sugar mixture over dry ingredients and stir until evenly covered. Add 1/4 cup water over the granola and stir to combine.
Evenly spread mixture onto parchment lined pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until granola is golden brown. Let sit until cooled. Using a large spoon, break granola into large chunks. Place granola back into the oven and continue cooking for an additional 7-10 minutes. Make sure to stir granola at least once while it is cooking. Again, allow granola to completely cool before storing in air tight container. Adding granola to the container before it has completely cooled will add moisture and soften the granola.
*Note that you can use 4 cups of rolled oats and omit rolled barley and rye which may be more difficult to find. Hemp hearts and sesame seeds can also be used interchangeably, just keep the total amount the same (~2/3 cup).
After a snack of this granola we hope you are satisfied, energized, and hormonally balanced. And even if you're not in it for maca's magical qualities, this granola is just plain delicious! So savory, sweet, crunchy, and with a full maca flavor that can't quite be explained - so you'll just have to try it.
Enjoy the magic,
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.