"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious" ~ Albert Einstein

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mexican Chocolate Maca Bark

Mexican food has always been my favorite.  Enchiladas, chimichangas, burritos, soft tacos, you name it.  I typically can't get enough!  But, until recently, I have never tried any Mexican style desserts.  My new superfood hobby has had me making quite a few delicious treats lately.  While looking for some new ones to make on Navitas Naturals, the Mexican Chocolate Maca Bark caught my eye.  I knew I liked some of the ingredients: cacao and maca.  Who couldn't like those?  But, the combination of Cinnamon and Cayenne pepper had me intrigued.  It wasn't hard to make either.  The only tricky part, which was only tricky because it was my first time, was using a double boil method to melt the cacao paste shavings.  Basically, you've got one smaller pot floating within a larger pot of boiling water.  You've got to constantly stir the cacao shavings as they melt, while simultaneously not spill boiling water on yourself. Thankfully, no trips to the emergency room were needed and we ended up with this spicy, exotic desert.

Ingredient Highlight:  Maca!
Maca is a radish-like root that is indigenous to the Peruvian Andes.  It has been used medicinally for thousands of years.  The Quechua people, descendents of the Incans, continue to grow this food at it's natural altitude of around 10,000 feet, but Maca has been known to grow as high as 14,000 feet, making it one of the highest altitude crops on Earth and a sturdy survivor, given the harsh environment.  Maca is one of a rare class of plants called adaptogens.  Adaptogens helps the body 'adapt' and adjust to stress and helps stabilize the endocrine, nervous and cardiovascular systems.  It's a great stamina booster, while being "calming" at the same time. This is probably why Incan warriors consumed large amounts of Maca before battle.  However, since Maca is also known to boost the sex drive, they were prohibited from eating it when they got back home, so the village women could have some peace!  Maca also contains around 60 phytonutrients and, although not a complete protein source, it is 10% protein by weight and contains twenty amino acids, including 7 essential amino acids.  It is also abundant in minerals, like calcium and magnesium, as well as many others, and rich in vitamins B1, B2, C and E. **

Here's the recipe, which is a Julie Morris original:

½ tsp ground Cinnamon Powder
¼ tsp ground Cayenne
⅔ Cup Navitas Naturals Cacao Liquor/Paste
2 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Maca Gelatinized Powder
4 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Coconut Palm Sugar

Instructions for preparation can be found here:


** Superfood Cuisine by Julie Morris; Superfoods by David Wolfe