WHy Maca // Maca Mocha to Fuel Holiday Festivities

we don’t want you feeling like the Grinch on this magical morning, so we’ve concocted a Maca Mocha — a morning superfood kicker to start your Christmas off on the whole food foot

Do you wake up Christmas morning feeling refreshed & well rested? … We didn’t think so. In our homes, it’s more like the walking dead. Christmas Eve is the day when you tie up loose ends, get last minute stocking stuffers, all the ingredients for the holiday feast & perhaps squeeze in time for a few adult libations (if you know what we mean).

It doesn’t stop there… are we the only ones who feel like Santa’s little helpers? Sitting in the living room spending hours wrapping and re-wrapping gifts (if only we could wrap like they do at Sacs). We’re lucky if we get to bed before midnight. But we’re not complaining. All the effort is well worth it when those smiling faces wake up Christmas morning & are elated with what’s before their eyes (right around 5 am, yikes).

Ok, so we promised you a tip on how NOT to wake up like the grinch. Our little secret: Maca (never heard of it? Read on & it’ll no longer be our little secret).

WHy maca  //  the facts

  • Maca root, often simply referred to as Maca, is used as a medicinal herb.
  • It’s a plant native to Peru that’s been cultivated for more than 2000 years.
  • Maca is a relative of the potato & radish.
  • It has an odor similar to butterscotch.
  • Maca roots contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc & phytosterols.
  • Some of the reported medicinal uses include:
    • treat anemia¹
    • treat chronic fatigue syndrome¹
    • enhance energy, stamina, athletic performance, memory, arousal & fertility4
    • treat female hormone imbalance, menstrual problems & symptoms of menopause4
    • boost the immune system2,4
    • Maca has shown potential as an adaptogen³ (adaptogens are herbal ingredients used to improve the health of the adrenal system, which is in charge of managing the body’s hormonal response to stress)

prepare it  //Vega Maca

  • Maca root can be cooked by baking, roasting, boiling, or mashing to eat as a soup or porridge.
  • It can be used to make a fermented beverage called Maca Chichi.
  • Gelatinized & taken in powder form (usually purchased from a health foods store). An example is Canada’s own Vega brand, which you can order online or purchase from health food stores & fitness studios.

recipe  //  maca mocha

Pssst… Still there? Sweet, ‘cuz it’s Maca Mocha making time!

Ingredients  //  1 serving

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar or agave nectar, or 1 pkg stevia
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1 marshmallow* for garnish


  • Heat the milk (in a pot, microwave, milk frother, etc.).
  • Put the sweetener, maca powder & cocoa powder in a mug with the milk. We like to use a battery-powered ‘Aerolatte’ hand frother to mix the milk, powders & sweetener, as well as introduce lots of bubbles into the drink, resulting in a lovely frothy head. If you don’t have one, you can use a food processor or blender or mini hand whisk on high speed for a few seconds.
  • Add hot coffee to the mix.
  • Garnish with a marshmallow.

*NOTE  //  For the homemade marshmallow, nobody does it better than Ina Garten (a Food Network fave of ours). To top off your maca mocha with a beautiful & delicious marshmallow, click here. If that’s a bit overboard, locally-owned Fiasco makes a mean marshmallow, find out how to get them here!

Health Disclaimer  //  Consult with a physician before taking any dietary supplement/natural health product. If pregnant or nursing, consult your doctor, obstetrician or midwife prior to taking Maca—or any dietary supplement/natural health product. Consult your pediatrician before giving Maca to your child.
¹not all scientifically proven, but rather, reported uses in cultures worldwide: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-555-maca.aspx?activeingredientid=555&activeingredientname=maca
²Sandoval, M. Et al., Antioxidant activity of the cruciferous vegetable Maca (Lepdidium meyenii). Food Chemistry 79 (2002) 207–213.
³G. Gonzales, Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2012.
4Health Canada. (2012). Natural Health Products Database: Maca. Accessed 5/3/13 from http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=1903&lang=eng