Typical values per 100g
Energy kj 1290
Fat 1.4g of which saturates 0.7g
Carbohydrates 66.7g of which sugars 17.1g
The fruit is picked by hand, dried and then milled into a fine powder to retain the natural beta-carotene and B-Vitamins making it an excellent natural sweetener. The natives of South America have put their trust in the natural healing properties of this fruit for generations.
Naturally sweet with a maple syrup flavour adding a rich creaminess to foods and drinks. A perfect alternative to processed and refined sugars in cooking.
Grown on small, family run plantations, native to the highlands of costal Peru, this delicately flavoured tropical fruit is often referred to as the 'Gold of the Incas'.
Used for centuries as a natural sweetener, it has seen a huge revival in the last few years as health food lovers have fallen for its delicious, butterscotch-like charms.
As with all our brand-new Lucy Bee ingredients, we like to think that you’ll fall for lucuma too. But if you’re wondering why you should be reaching for this versatile, nutritious powder, then here’s our guide to everything you need to know.
Like our delicious Maca Powder, Lucy Bee Lucuma is found in South America’s Peru. Native to the Andean valleys of this luscious country, lucuma grows at around 1,000 to 2,400 metres high.
The lucuma fruit has bright yellow flesh, which has an incredible caramel flavour and can be used to sweeten all manner of desserts, cakes and bakes. In fact, it’s been used as an ingredient in Incan food for centuries and even makes up one of Peru’s most beloved puddingss – Lucuma Ice Cream. This ice cream flavour may seem a little bizarre but it’s even more popular than chocolate or vanilla in many South American countries.
This luscious fruit has a rich history in Peru, where it’s also known as “Gold of the Incas”. So important is lucuma that it was even found carved on ceramics discovered in archeological excavations of ancient burial sites in coastal Peru and around 26 villages in Peru are named after the sweet, delicious fruit.
Now it has finally hit our shores, lucuma is most often found in powdered form.
As a low-glycaemic food, lucuma is becoming more and more popular as a natural sweetener. Its sweet, aromatic taste can be similar to maple, caramel or even butterscotch, meaning it can work in a whole range of dishes.
Here at Lucy Bee, we like to add our Lucuma Powder to hot drinks, smoothies, yoghurt and even cereal. We also love to mix it into desserts and baked goods to add both sweetness and a whole host of nutritional goodness. If you really want to have a play, then lucuma can also be used to make fudge, brownies and even savoury soups. So, how much should you use? Well, since lucuma isn’t as sweet as table sugars, we’d recommend using a ratio of roughly 2:1 – for every tablespoon of sugar, substitute around two tablespoons of lucuma. Even though you’ll be using more, the low glycaemic index means you’ll still be creating a far healthier dish.
Lucuma is something of a nutritional powerhouse and contains antioxidants, beta-carotene, B vitamins and fibre. It's naturally high in potassium and is a good source of iron, plus it has a wonderfully low GI and includes trace minerals, too.
As with all of our ingedients, we always want to offer you the best quality and our lucuma is no different! We searched across Peru for the best quality lucuma, eventually finding Argentinian-born Miguel and his two brothers, Sandro and Mario.
These brothers felt inspired by the energy and the longevity of the Peruvian people, and fell in love with the country’s famous health products. Happily, that now means that we’re able to bring you such natural goodness to your kitchen cupboards!
Lucuma powder starts its life as a subtropical fruit on the Pouteria lucuma tree, which is a weather and drought-resistant tree that grows up to 50 feet tall. Happily, the lush green soils in the Peruvian valleys infuse this fruit with nutrition and sweetness.
Our Lucy Bee Organic Lucuma Powder comes from a region of Peru where the peace and quiet and friendly locals have started to attract tourists.
It’s also a place of incredible natural beauty and is surrounded by lush green mountains, rivers, waterfalls and exotic animals. However, as well as its stunning landscapes, the area is also famous for its lucuma – it is known to be far superior to all others because of its delicious, intense flavour.
Here, it’s traditional to grow lucuma alongside a complimentary crop such as passionflower, which works as a natural pest control and boosts the nutrients in the soil.
The fruit itself is green with a vibrant yellow flesh and inner core, which often leads it to be nicknamed the egg fruit. Once the fruit is ready and matured, the swollen fruits then fall to the ground, where they’re left for a few days to naturally dehydrate and reach maximum deliciousness.
Next, it will be cleaned and peeled by hand, then pitted, sliced and placed on racks. The fruits will then be placed in a dryer at a temperature of up to 45C (this keeps the vitamins in tact) for 14 - 16 hours, before being ground into a fine powder.
We care passionately about using ingredients that are certified Fair Trade – this way, everyone benefits. The producers of our lucuma went through Fair Trade certification, with Fair TSA, in order for us to work with them.
With this development, our producers plan to use the Fair Trade premiums to transform their communities by equipping them with solar energy and supporting education projects for their children.
As you now know, our Lucuma Powder comes all the way from Peru – and here’s our own guide to teach you all that there is to know.
Where is Peru?
Peru is a country based on the western side of South America and is home to some stunning landscapes – think the beautiful Amazon rainforest, as well as the world-famous Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan city set high in the Andes.
Bordered by Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and the Pacific Ocean, the country itself has a massive biodiversity. Here, you can expect everything from arid landscapes, sweeping mountain peaks and the lush rainforest, nestled alongside the Amazon river.
Peru itself is famous across the world for the Incas, one of the most ancient cultures known to man. At one point, the Incas controlled more than a third of South America and were renowned for their strong warriors, sun Gods and pioneering medicinal treatments.
However, years later – and after much political unrest - Peru (officially known as the Republic of Peru) is now split into 25 regions, with the capital of Peru, Lima.
It’s safe to say that Peru has enjoyed its fair share of conflict and unrest. Back in the 16th century, the last ever Sapa Inca (the term Incas used for their Kings, meaning “child of the sun”) came into power when he executed his half-brother during civil war.
This same Inca, Emperor Atahualpa, was then captured and defeated by a band of conquistadors. The Spanish conquest was a huge moment in the Spanish colonisation of South America, although much of the indigenous population fell apart as a result, thanks partly to exploitation, socioeconomic change and diseases introduced by the Spanish. Churches also came to replace Inca temples, with the Spanish Inquisition ensuring that newly-converted Catholics didn’t jump ship.
The Spanish empire eventually collapsed during the wars of independence in the 19th century. Following a huge power struggle, a viceroy (a ruler representing a monarch) by the name of San Martin eventually occupied the capital of Lima, declaring Peruvian independence on 28 July 1821. San Martin even created the first Peruvian flag and he was declared as Protector of Peru.
However, after an initial period of stability, by the 1870s, political in-fighting was again on the rise, thanks in part to the country’s poor finances. Peru then went to war with Chile in 1879, seeing many provinces lost in battle. In the following years, Peru eventually signed a Peace Treaty with Chile, although there was also an authoritarian regime, political turmoil, and wars with Colombia and Ecuador to contend with.
In the late 20th century, economic problems caused social tension and led to the rise of violent rebel movements, particularly from terrorist groups such as Sendero Luminoso and MRTA.
Eventually, the government who caused years of problems stood down, somehow avoiding prosecution for human rights violations and corruption charges. Ever since, the new Peruvian government has worked to fight corruption and boost the economy. The current President, Ollanta Humala, has ruled since 2011, with the country now a representative democratic republic.
Impressively, the Peruvian economy is the world’s 39th largest, and one of the fastest-growing on the planet, despite many years of turbulence. The country relies on exports (and, in particular, copper, gold, zinc, textiles and fish meal) to the United States, China, Brazil and Chile to make its money, although much of this is used to fund debt payments.
The unemployment rate has plummeted in recent years, standing at 3.6% in 2012. However, back in 2010, figures showed that a massive 31.3% of the population were classed as “poor”, with almost 10% living in extreme poverty.
Thanks to its rich history, Peru is considered to be a multi-ethnic nation – the Spanish, African, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and even Chinese and Japanese have all had a major impact on Peruvian society.
However, according to DNA testing earlier this year, the average Peruvian (close to 80%) is considered to be native American, with the rest largely European and just 1.1% Sub-Saharan African.
Thanks to its 30 million inhabitants, Peru is the fifth most populated country in South America, with the population expected to reach an astonishing 42 million by 2050.
The majority of people - 75.9% - live in urban areas, with the rest in rural surroundings. Meanwhile, Peru’s official languages are Spanish, Quechua and Aymara, with Spanish the most commonly-used language and the official voice of government. Thanks to its Spanish influences, more than 80% of the population are considered to be Catholic.
As you might expect, much of Peruvian culture is influenced by its Spanish history. However, there’s also plenty of other influences, from Asian, African and other European groups.
The mouth-watering food of this country also takes on these influences, with blends of Spanish, Amerindian, Chinese, African, Arab, Italian, and Japanese cooking. Popular dishes include Anticuchos (a popular, stew-cut meat sold on street food stalls), Ceviche (fresh raw fish) and Pachamanca, a dish of lamb, mutton, pork, chicken or even guinea pig, marinated in spices.
Although education in Peru is, supposedly, free for children from the age of 7 to 16, it’s often inaccessible to those living in rural, harder-to-reach communities.
There’s also a huge gulf between education in cities and education in those more mountainous areas - schools in rural areas are associated with less average knowledge of pupils, while there’s also a correlation between malnutrition and low achievement at school.
However, there are high levels of literacy in the country. UNICEF stats show that 98% of men aged 15-24 are literate and 96.7% of women, although just 92% of the total population is literate. More than 17% of the population also make it to college or further education, such as university.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes plus 1 hour to soak the dates
Cooking Time: none - refrigerate from 3 hours to overnight