Maca Powder Uses

Maca powder has become an increasingly popular superfood due to its many purported health benefits.

Maca Powder Uses

Native to the Andes mountains in Peru, maca is a nutritious root vegetable that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries.

What is Maca Powder?

Maca is a turnip-like root vegetable that grows in the mountains of Peru. It comes in colors ranging from yellow and red to black, but most maca powders are made from the yellow variety.

After harvesting, the maca root is dried and ground into a fine powder. Maca powder has an earthy, nutty taste that goes well in many foods and beverages. It can be added to smoothies, baked goods, oatmeal, coffee drinks, and more.

Some of the key nutrients in maca powder include:

  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Vitamin C
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Vitamin B6

In addition to its nutritional value, maca is considered an adaptogenic herb. This means it may help balance hormones and improve your ability to deal with stress.

Smoothies and Protein Shakes

One of the most popular uses for maca powder is in smoothies and shakes. The earthy, malty flavor pairs nicely with chocolate, caramel, coffee, banana, vanilla, and peanut butter.

Some delicious smoothie recipes to try with maca powder include:

  • Mocha Maca Smoothie: Cocoa powder, maca powder, banana, almond milk, maple syrup
  • Vanilla Maca Shake: Vanilla protein powder, almond milk, frozen banana, maca powder
  • Caramel Maca Smoothie: Dates, almond butter, maca powder, almond milk, ice

A good rule of thumb is to use 1-2 tablespoons of maca powder per smoothie. Start with less and add more to suit your tastes. The nutty flavor pairs nicely with the sweetness.

If you don't have a blender, you can also mix maca powder into a shaker bottle with nut milk and protein powder for an easy shake on-the-go!

Key Takeaway: Maca powder is a nutritious addition to smoothies. Its flavor works well with chocolate, coffee, banana, caramel, vanilla, and peanut butter.

Maca Lattes and Hot Drinks

The malty, slightly butterscotch-like taste of maca powder shines when using it in warm drinks. The heat seems to bring out its natural sweetness and aroma.

Delicious hot maca drink ideas include:

  • Maca coffee: Brewed coffee + heated milk/nut milk + 1 tsp maca powder
  • Maca mocha: Hot chocolate made with cacao powder, maca powder, maple syrup
  • Maca chai latte: Chai tea concentrate + heated almond milk + maca powder + sweetener
  • Maca matcha latte: Matcha green tea powder + heated nut milk + maca powder

For a single serving hot drink, use 1 teaspoon of maca powder to start. Add more if desired.

The maca powder may clump when mixing it into cold liquids. Make sure to stir the drinks well and consider using a milk frother to properly incorporate the powder.

Oatmeal and Hot Cereals

The warming flavor of maca powder makes it a fantastic addition to hot cereals like oatmeal, grits, cream of wheat, and more. It brings a lovely butterscotch-caramel note.

Some tasty ideas for maca cereals include:

  • Old fashioned oats cooked in almond milk with maca powder, chopped dates, almond butter swirl
  • Steel cut oatmeal with maca powder, blueberries, flaxseed, maple syrup
  • Congee or rice porridge made with maca powder and coconut milk
  • Quinoa cereal cooked in nut milk with maca powder and chopped nuts on top

Use about 1-2 teaspoons of maca powder per bowl of hot cereal. Sprinkle it in after cooking or mix some into the cereal while it simmers. Avoid boiling the maca powder directly, as this may destroy some of the nutrients.

The maca pairs beautifully with nuts, seeds, nut butters, maple syrup, fruits, and milks. Sweeten to taste and garnish with your favorite toppings!

Energy Bites and Balls

The natural sweetness of dates makes them one of the best binders to use when making healthy no-bake energy bites and balls. Maca powder blends seamlessly into these treats.

Some easy ideas for maca bites include:

Dates, nut butter, oatsShredded coconut, cacao nibs, chia seeds
Almond butter, maca, nut flourVanilla, sea salt, mini chocolate chips
Cashew butter, maca powder, maple syrupCoffee granules, cocoa powder, nuts

Pulse the ingredients in a food processor until a sticky dough forms. Then roll into balls and coat with your choice of toppings.

Aim for 1-3 tablespoons of maca powder per batch of energy balls, depending on size. Store in the fridge or freezer to enjoy on-the-go!

Key Takeaway: Maca powder's subtle sweetness and nutrients make it an ideal addition to no-bake energy balls and bites.

Pancakes and Waffles

Looking to start your morning off with an energizing, gluten-free breakfast? Maca pancakes and waffles are delicious!

The nutty maca powder takes the place of some traditional flour in these recipes. It adds great flavor along with extra nutrition.

Delicious ideas include:

  • Coconut flour pancakes with maca powder, mashed banana, almond milk, vanilla, and blueberries
  • Maca waffles made with oat flour, maca powder, maple syrup, almond milk, and dark chocolate chips
  • Buckwheat flour pancakes with maca powder, chopped nuts, nut butter swirl

Use about 1-3 tablespoons of maca powder per batch of pancake or waffle batter. Mix it with the dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients. Cook as usual and enjoy!

No-Bake Cookies and Bars

You can easily mix maca powder into no-bake cookie and bar doughs with stellar results! The maca brings its signature butterscotch taste and nutrition to treats like:

  • No-bake chocolate maca cookies with dates, almond butter, cacao powder, and maca powder
  • Fig bars made with figs, nuts, oats, maple syrup, cinnamon, and maca powder
  • Peanut butter cookies sweetened with banana and spiced with maca powder

1-4 tablespoons of maca powder tends to work well per batch of no-bake cookie dough. Process all ingredients in a food processor and let the maca work its magic!

Ice Cream and Nice Cream

Here's a delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth and get in those maca benefits - add it to nice cream and dairy-free ice cream!

Nice cream is a healthy dessert made by blending up frozen bananas into a creamy, ice cream-like texture. Simply add 1-2 tablespoons of maca powder when blending the bananas.

You can also mix maca powder into cashew or coconut milk-based ice cream recipes. The maca lends its caramel notes beautifully.

Delicious flavor pairings include:

  • Maca peanut butter nice cream
  • Maca mocha chip ice cream
  • Maca banana ice cream

So simple and so yummy!

Maca Baking: Cookies, Bars and More!

Baked goods like cookies, granola bars, and muffins are a tasty way to add maca powder into your diet. While heat can degrade some of the nutrients in maca, baking won't completely destroy its benefits.

Try adding 1-4 tablespoons of maca powder to recipes like:

  • Healthy oatmeal raisin cookies with maca powder
  • Breakfast granola bars with almonds, oats, cinnamon, almond butter, and maca powder
  • Double chocolate chip muffins made with maca powder
  • Carrot apple muffins with maca powder streusel topping

Mix the maca powder right in with the dry ingredients like flour, baking soda, spices, etc. The subtle nuttiness complements baked treats beautifully!

Savory Dishes and Soups

While maca powder shines in sweet recipes, it can work in some savory dishes too. Its earthy taste complements things like butternut squash and sweet potatoes.

Some savory maca recipe ideas include:

  • Creamy butternut squash soup with maca powder and coconut milk
  • African peanut stew made with sweet potatoes, chickpeas, maca powder, and spices
  • Carrot ginger soup pureed with maca powder and cashews

For savory items, use less maca powder than you would in sweets - around 1 teaspoon per batch is a safe amount. Sprinkle it in after cooking for best results.

The maca pairs well with curry powder, ginger, turmeric, and nutty flavors. Avoid adding it to very acidic or spicy dishes.

DIY Maca Powder Supplements and Boosts

If you want a simple way to get your daily dose of maca, try these easy ideas:

  • Maca milk: Mix 1 teaspoon maca powder into a glass of nut milk or dairy milk
  • Maca honey: Stir 1 teaspoon maca powder into a spoonful of raw honey
  • Maca maple syrup: Blend 1 teaspoon maca powder into maple syrup

You can also fill capsules with maca powder to create your own supplements. Most capsules hold about 500mg, so aim for 1-6 capsules per day depending on your needs.


How much maca powder should you take per day?

For supplement purposes, 1-3 teaspoons (3-9 grams) per day is generally recommended. Start low and work up from there. Pay attention to how you feel.

When is the best time to take maca powder?

Most people take maca powder early in the day, with breakfast or a morning smoothie. This takes advantage of its energizing effects. However, you can consume maca powder anytime.

Does maca powder go bad?

Like other whole food powders, maca powder lasts 6-12 months if properly stored away from heat, light, and moisture. Check for clumping, discoloration, or odor before using expired maca powder.

Can maca powder be cooked or baked?

While heat may destroy some nutrients, you can still bake and cook with maca powder. Limit direct high heat like boiling. Just stir it into batters versus pre-cooking the powder itself.


Maca powder is an incredible superfood that offers a sweet, nutty flavor and impressive nutrition. From lattes to nice cream to pancakes and more, maca powder can level up both sweet and savory recipes.

Try starting with 1 teaspoon per serving and adjust the amount to suit your tastes. Be sure to store your maca powder properly. An air-tight container in a cool, dry place works best.

With so many easy ways to enjoy maca powder, there's no reason not to give this ancient superfood a try! Experiment with maca recipes until you find your perfect match.

Sarah Cortez
Sarah Cortez

My name is Sarah and I'm a baker who loves trying out new recipes and flavor combinations. I decided to challenge myself to use a new spice or ingredient powder in my baking each week for a year. Some successes were the cardamom sugar cookies, vivid turmeric cake, and beetroot chocolate cupcakes. Failures included the bitter neem brownies and overwhelmingly hot ghost pepper snickerdoodles. Through this experience I've discovered amazing additions to spice up desserts while learning how to balance strong flavors. Follow my journey as I push the boundaries of baking with unique powders!

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