Eggfruits from Vietnam
Food - Drink
The South American Staple Sweetener You Might Find In Nut Milks
What Is It?
Lucuma powder is an ingredient often used to sweeten nut milks in South America, made from the fruit of the lucuma tree, which is native to the Andes mountains. Lucuma fruit is two to three inches in diameter and looks like a bit like an avocado outside, but the flesh inside resembles that of a gold mango.
How Is It Made?
Lucuma powder is made by dehydrating the fruit at low temperatures, which keeps its nutrients intact. After the flesh is dried out, it can be ground into a powder, and it may also undergo a sterilization process to curtail bacterial growth, depending on the producer.
Fresh Vs. Powdered
While lucuma powder is the most popular way to consume lucuma fruit, it is possible to eat it fresh by peeling it, throwing away the seed, and eating the flesh. However, the inside of the fruit resembles the yolk of a hard-boiled egg in both appearance and texture, so many find it unappealing.
Lucuma powder is sweeter than the fruit itself and has a complex flavor profile with notes of sweet potato, butterscotch, and maple syrup. However, the powder isn’t as sweet as sugar or honey, and you'll need to use twice as much lucuma powder to replace something like brown sugar in a recipe.
How To Use It
Besides sweetening nut milks, you can also use lucuma powder in smoothies, juices, yogurt, and tea, so long as you thoroughly whisk it into the liquid. It holds up well in desserts and baked goods, and lucuma ice cream is even more popular than chocolate or vanilla in South America.