One of my favorite things to do is peruse through grocery stores and markets to see what’s different or new. “Hmm… what haven’t I tried?”
At the Latin grocery store near me I found frozen lucuma. I’ve had lucuma before, but only in powder form… I’ve been curious about the fruit ever since though. So I figure this is the next best thing to the actual thing! After letting it sit in my freezer for far too long (I’m not even going to share how long, note to self: the freezer is not a time capsule) I decided to thaw it out, and make something.
What is lucuma?
Well, I’m not an expert, but I do know that lucuma hails from Peru (the Andean region in general)… where one of my best friends come from! It’s also got this natural sweetness that lends itself well to things like cakes, ice cream, smoothies and ohhh ice cream! Also pairs nicely with chocolate and vanilla. But lately I’ve been gravitating towards the idea of keeping things simple. It helps me get in touch with natural flavors, as well as being gentle on my digestion.
I often search for recipes on the Internet using new-to-me ingredients/foods, and use that as inspiration–a launching pad, if you will. Or sometimes I will remember something off the menu of a restaurant, or a story someone told me (my favorite way). For this one I headed to Google, searched, came up with my own thing, and bookmarked a few for “next time”.
This is obviously not everyone’s lifestyle of choice over there, but imagine living off the land…
- 400 g lucuma (I used the frozen pulp)
- 2 frozen bananas
- Coconut milk, or other milk works fine (optional)
- 2 tbl chia seeds
- 1 cup filtered water
- Put all the ingredients in the blenders, sans coconut milk and turn on 'high' speed.
- If it doesn't puree smoothly, add a bit of coconut milk or whichever milk you have on hand. A splash at a time.
- Mix together chia and water. Let chia stand for 15 to 30 minutes, stirring with a whisk to prevent clumping.
- Gel can be used as a thickener in raw soups, fruit smoothies and fresh jams.
- For the chia gel, the seeds have an incredible ability to absorb up to 9 times its weight in water. For a thicker or thinner gel, adjust the water accordingly.
After I made the recipe I decided that it needed some more texture for my tastes, so I soaked some chia seeds and mixed them in.
Note: it’s important to soak chia seeds beforehand if you’re going to consume them so they don’t soak up your own internal fluids. The idea is that they are carriers of extra hydration by being soaked in water beforehand + supposedly help stimulate peristalsis (the wave-like muscle contraction in your digestive system that aids with resulting bowel movement).