It’s no news that sugar is bad for you. The white sugar that you traditionally put into your cake and your tea, has been criticised and declared as a bad sugar.
It’s bad for you, for your teeth, body and overall health. Don’t eat it, causes diabetes and all that, you’ve heard it all before.
In this day and age we have the means to create alternatives, like stevia, coconut sugar, xylitol and to name just a few. Which is great! It means we can still enjoy things the way we like them and remain healthy. Awesome!
How natural are these sugars though? Now we’re not bursting your bubble here, but it’s worth asking the question before you try it. As we love all things natural, (as you may have gathered from rummaging around our website), we wanted to find a sugar that is indeed natural.
Naturally, fruit sugars are better for you than processed sugars.
We came across lucuma powder, completely by accident really. You know when you’re searching around a shop for something specific and then you get sidetracked and lured into the other corners of the shop, browsing and stumbling on some right gems.
Well, this is how we found lucuma powder.
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An Alternative to Refined Sugar
If you’re looking for a new natural sweetener and aren’t so keen on stevia or honey or other natural sugars, maybe lucuma powder could just hit the spot for you! It’s quite caramel-y and maple syrup-like in flavour, so it could be the replacement you need for sugar.
What is Lucuma Powder?
Lucuma powder is a powder that comes from a dried lucuma fruit. Lucuma contains vitamins and nutrients, although these are not in high amounts, include potassium, sodium, calcium and iron.
Lucuma powder is relatively high in fibre, which helps with food digestion, unlike the regular table sugar which has no nutritional value. In fact, a 100g of lucuma powder, has as much as 25g of fibre and 4g of protein. It is a sweetener low in Gi and high in antioxidants.
If you’d like to try it, you can buy sample, small portions of it here to try it first before you commit to buying a bigger bag of it!
What is Lucuma Fruit?
The lucuma fruit looks a little bit like a cross between an avocado and a mango. It’s green on the outside, yellow on the inside, with a big shiny brown seed in the middle.
Despite what news and the guidelines are on intake of sugar, it is natural. There are many studies that look into sugars, fruit sugars, diabetes, dental problems caused by sugars etc – we’re not going to get into those.
This isn’t medical or professional advice you guys! We just say it how we see it.
That doesn’t mean there’s no truth in it, we simply think that anything that comes from our planet and is grown and harvested naturally, is good for you. Apart from of course the poisonous mushrooms and certain bush berries, don’t eat those of course.
The point is that fruits aren’t stuffed with processed sugar. They are naturally high in sugar and sweet, because of their natural sugars.
Fruits are also very high in various vitamins and nutrients so you can eat as many as your soul desires!
What Does Lucuma Powder Look Like?
It’s a dusky pink, almost beige and the hint is in the name kids, it is a powder. Almost like cocoa powder in consistency or a bit like protein powder.
What Is Lucuma Powder Like In Tea?
Well, half a teaspoon is okay. It doesn’t make it very sweet and is less sweet in strength than white sugar, but it takes that bitter edge off a black tea. I tried putting a whole teaspoon in, and I have to say, I won’t be doing that again. It felt like there was sand and powder in my tea, and it changed the texture of my tea slightly – it made it a little bit thicker.
It wasn’t great – and I am not a fussy eater (as Ben can tell you), so I know it was a bad combination. However, half a teaspoon was perfectly fine! It’s all down to personal preference though, you’d have to try it for yourself to know how you best like your lucuma powder in your tea or coffee!
The same goes for coffee, half a teaspoon will do.
Lucuma Hot Chocolate
If you’re a big fan of cocoa or hot chocolate (whatever you like to call it), here’s a great recipe on how to make hot chocolate using lucuma powder to sweeten this drink.
If you are not a fan of bitter hot chocolate and don’t like to use table sugar as the sweetener, then you should try this hot chocolate recipe we prepared here – lucuma pairs lovely with cocoa powder and makes for a great hot chocolate with oat, soy or almond milk.
Is Lucuma Powder Good For Baking?
Well, I tried making some pancakes, because I thought the thick consistency of the lucuma powder could be a good substitute for the eggs.
I tried and I failed, it was an attempt worth making but perhaps more trial was required. In baking however, it was a good substitute for sugar.
I made banana bread with it too, and as I don’t like things too sweet, the lucuma gave it that nice sweet touch without the overpowering sweetness. Bananas are quite sweet anyway so you don’t need that much in it either! Super healthy if you’re watching those calories.
If you are making banana bread and want to replace the sugar with lucuma for a less sweet taste, use the same amount of lucuma powder as you would sugar.
Can You Freeze Lucuma Powder?
Yes, you can freeze lucuma powder. If you decide to buy a big bag of lucuma powder, although it has a long shelf life, you can freeze it too. So not to worry if you buy lucuma powder that has a short expiry date or you don’t think you’ll use it before the recommended expiry date.
All you need to do it put it in an airtight container – a box, Tupperware or a sealed bag, and put it in your freezer.
Other Natural Alternatives to Refined Sugar
Apart from lucuma powder and the standard table sugar, there are of course other alternatives. These include:
- Mink fruit sweetener
- Yacon syrup
- Coconut sugar (although it’s as bad as table sugar so we would not recommend coconut sugar if you are opting in for something more natural)
- Honey (not suitable for vegans)
- Maple syrup
You’re likely to have heard of most of these, with Stevia being the most popular and widely available alternative to sugar. Yacon syrup has quite a few benefits for your gut health, as well as helping with weight loss and colon cancer.
In Our Humble Conclusion
Lucuma is widely available nowadays, from Amazon, Vitalife, Etsy and most health food stores. With its sweet taste and rather thick consistency, it can be used in baking, cooking, and your favourite beverages.
Although not extremely high in nutrients, lucuma powder is more nutritious than refined sugar and should be chosen over refined sugar, if your choice was between the 2.
If you think any of your friends or family would benefit from learning about lucuma powder or need an alternative to sugar, go ahead and share this post with them ?