Hormone Happy Horchata
Posted by Andrea Nakayama
Hormones are a HOT topic!
You’ve got ’em.
I’ve got ’em.
But how do we manage them?
Is this thing called “hormone balance” always going to elude us?
Are we doomed to some of the looming side-effects of hormonal disequilibrium no matter our age? (I’m talking…hair loss, night sweats, belly fat, breast tenderness, PMS and more!)
I’m a big fan of bringing our understanding of our bodies and our physiology to a deeper level so that we have the knowledge and know-how to take the best care of ourselves right at our very own fingertips. I love talking about hormones! And I always aim to make the complex chemical web inside infinitely understandable.
Today, I’m sharing how you can hone in on your hormones, starting with a cup of horchata featuring one of my favorite hormone balancing herbs…
strike a balance with maca
Maca is an adaptogenic food.
It’s a root that grows in the Peruvian mountains, 13,000+ feet above sea level, in the Andean plateaus, where no other food can grow.
Its ability to create life in these conditions is what gives it its adaptogenic qualities. For us, consuming adaptogenic foods and herbs actually help us to adapt – to balance our hormones and give us the equanimity to manage our stressful lives.
In Peru maca is highly valued. It’s known to increase energy, endurance, strength, and libido.
Though it’s not a complete protein, it contains more than 10% protein, nearly 20 amino acids, 7 of them being essential. It has plenty of fiber, as it comes from a root. And it contains easy-to-assimilate minerals that the body needs, such as iron, magnesium, and calcium.
Maca has been used to fight depression, help alleviate menopausal symptoms, increase fertility, and improve overall memory and vitality.
Personally, I rely on the lift and balance it gives me. Good quality maca smells like a cross between peanut butter and burdock root – earthy and sweet.
Hormone Happy Horchata
I love a sweet warm drink when there’s still a chill in the air and my fingers and toes hold a little bit of bite. I was thankful to learn that Horchata can be enjoyed either cold or hot. I opted for a warm cup here, but feel free to serve this over ice or pour it into a small saucepan and gently heat it to your desired temperature. This is good stuff!
1 green apple, cored and roughly chopped
½ cup raw Brazil nuts
2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp maca root powder
1 Tbsp coconut butter (try Artisana)
1-2 dropperfuls liquid vanilla stevia
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 scoop protein powder (collagen or fermented brown rice or pea protein)
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp sea salt
Place all the ingredients in a high speed blender (if you don’t have one, don’t be shy; you can make this work too).
Blend on high until you have a smooth and creamy liquid consistency.
Pour the liquid through a nut milk bag or a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or large measuring pitcher. If using a nut milk bag, “milk” the bag with your hand, as you would an udder, to retrieve all the liquid contents into your bowl or pitcher. If using a strainer, press the pulp* against the mesh to allow all the liquid to drip into your bowl or pitcher.
Pour into a mug and sprinkle with extra cinnamon and enjoy!
This recipe makes one large mug or two small mugs of horchata. Don’t waste a drop!
*Feel free to use your pulp to mix into warm grains or eat as a porridge on its own.
Gonzales GF. Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:193496. doi:10.1155/2012/193496
Panossian A, Wikman G. Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress-Protective Activity. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2010;3(1):188-224. Published 2010 Jan 19. doi:10.3390/ph3010188
Ai Z, Cheng AF, Yu YT, Yu LJ, Jin W. Antidepressant-like behavioral, anatomical, and biochemical effects of petroleum ether extract from maca (Lepidium meyenii) in mice exposed to chronic unpredictable mild stress. J Med Food. 2014;17(5):535-542. doi:10.1089/jmf.2013.2950
Stojanovska L, Law C, Lai B, et al. Maca reduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women. Climacteric. 2015;18(1):69-78. doi:10.3109/13697137.2014.929649
Gonzales-Arimborgo C, Yupanqui I, Montero E, et al. Acceptability, Safety, and Efficacy of Oral Administration of Extracts of Black or Red Maca (Lepidium meyenii) in Adult Human Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2016;9(3):49. Published 2016 Aug 18. doi:10.3390/ph9030049
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