This month’s featured ingredient: Maca

In This RecipEmail:

  • a note from Andrea
  • a recipe for decadent Maca Cacao Tartlets!
  • maca: What is that crazy root and why are you putting it in my chocolate?

A good friend of mine recently attempted to ship some of my sweet candies–appropriately named Nakayummies–across the country. There was question regarding how these mini delicacies would hold up in transit, being that their base is coconut oil. Coconut oil is solid at some temperatures, and liquid at others (a subject we’ll explore much further in the Fat vs. Fiction class next Sunday, along with the myriad health benefits of this tropical oil!). Would the candies make it from west coast to east without morphing into a runny mess?
I’ve been wondering the same thing as I’ve pondered what kind of goody to send my mom for her birthday this coming week. (Shhh. Don’t tell her she’s getting some treats!) My solution was to come up with a candy in a crust. A diminutive confectionery tartlet. If the candy melted somewhat, the crust would hold together. Special Instructions: Stick the entire package in the freezer upon receipt!
Along with the usual goodness of raw chocolate, I decided to add a true superfood to this dessert. I wanted to deliver a subtle message within the ingredients of these morsels I am sending to my mom. I wanted to wish her a happy birthday year filled with sweetness andindulgence, yet I wanted to also add a message of good health, and balance. The love was in the preparation.
Happy Birthday mom! You’re the best!
In other news, Andrea Caplan Livingston of Phytofoods and I had loads of fun leading a dynamic group through Revitalize: A Winter Cleanse. She’s wicked savvy in the kitchen. Sometimes, when I’m lucky, she brings me some of her culinary creations when we meet to talk business, life, and our reactions to eating or not eating certain foods. When she delivers some of her new recipes she also likes to leave some for my boyfriend to try. Unfortunately for him, he’s yet to try anything! Small amounts of incredibly delicious food do not linger here!
And though you might think of a cleanse as deprivation, here’s what one one of our cleansers had to say about the Winter Cleanse:
I feel great! I love how clean I feel, more clear and energetic.
Andrea and I have been busy planning and visualizing more amazing food and nutrition offerings for the spring and beyond. Mark your calendars now for Rejuvenate: A Spring Cleanse which will begin in April (details to come). We have an exciting new class series that we’ll be announcing by the end of this month. And in the meantime, read more about our new project Cleanse Cafe, detailed below, and sign-up now!
note on Andrea and Andrea
Andrea Caplan Livingston = ann dree a
Andrea Nakayama = on dree a

Maca Cacao Tartlets

nut crumb crust:
1-1/2 cups nuts (raw almonds, cashews, or roasted hazelnuts work nicely)
5 Tbspns raw cacao powder
1/2 cup pitted and chopped dates
1/2 tspn cinnamon
1 tspn vanilla extract or 1/2 tspn vanilla powder
1/4 – 1/2 tspn sea salt
maca cacao filling:
1 cup gently melted coconut oil
scant 1/2 cup raw honey
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 C carob powder
1/2 C cacao powder
2 Tbspn raw maca (optional, can be omitted)
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
shredded coconut & pinch nutmeg
alternate toppings = goji berries or cacao nibs

  1. Grease a mini muffin tin with coconut oil.

nut crumb crust

  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until desired consistency is obtained.
  2. Scoop rounded tablespoons into the palm of your hand and form into a ball. Press the ball into the crevice of the muffin tin and, using fingers, press into a crust shape with a good sized impression for the filling.
  3. Place muffin pan in freezer while preparing the filling.

maca cacao filling

  1. Mix all ingredients into melted oil in bowl.
  2. Work the ingredients to be sure they are well integrated and there are no clumps of carob, cacoa, or maca. The consistency will be like a thick frosting.
  3. Spoon rounded teaspoons full into the tartlet shells. You could use a mini ice cream scoop or just spoon it right in and leave the top looking like frosting.
  4. Sprinkle coconut mixture or other topping on top and stick entire pan in freezer for about a half an hour.
  5. Remove tartlets from pan by running a knife around the edge of each crust and popping out. Store the tartlets in the fridge before serving.

Why 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. It’s ability to create life in these conditions is what gives it its adaptogenic qualities. For us, consuming adaptogenic foods & herbs provides the actual ability 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 with anemia, 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. I like it so much that I sell small bags to my clients. I get my maca, cacao, and other goodies from The Raw Matrix.


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