The 9 best substitutes for powdered maca for your recipes
Maca is a native tuber from Peru that has become very popular in recent years. Maca powder is obtained from the roots of the plant after drying and It is added to various recipes to enhance its flavor and increase its nutritional value.
With a earthy and nutty flavor, Maca powder is a key ingredient in various savory and sweet dishes. But it’s not always the easiest ingredient to find, and some people don’t like the taste of it.
We have put together this list to help you find the best substitutes for maca powder that you can experiment with the next time you prepare a dish that calls for powdered maca.
The best substitutes for maca powder
Powdered maca pairs well with sweet flavors like cocoa and caramel. That’s why it’s one of the best ingredients to use in baby food, cookies, pancakes, homemade granola, no-bake treats, and smoothies.
Its mild, nutty flavor complements other stronger sweet ingredients, such as honey and maple syrup. It can be used in a batter mix or sprinkled on top of your finished dessert to add a subtle nutty aroma without being too overpowering.
Powdered maca also pairs well with fruity flavors and strong spices. Mixing it with cinnamon and ginger helps to bring out its characteristic flavor and aroma. You can also add it to smoothies and desserts that contain fruits like ripe bananas and berries.
At the same time, its subtle sweetness can enhance the flavor of your soup, savory pasta, or sauce, because it gives the other flavors in your recipe a chance to infuse and deepen.
Maca tubers are not as easy to find outside of the Andean region of South America, as they are used as an herbal remedy to treat stress and improve sexual health. However, the powder is available in nutrient-packed supplement form.
Some people may not like the taste of maca powder as much or run out of it suddenly. However, you can continue with your recipe by adding a different ingredient that works as a substitute for maca powder in sweet and savory dishes.
1. Yacon powder
Yacon powder is slightly lighter in color than maca, but has a sweet, molasses-like flavor with a fruity undertone. Like maca powder, yacon powder is packed with nutrients, so it works if you’re trying to substitute another healthy ingredient for your maca powder.
You can use yacon powder in your smoothies and desserts. The root is not as easy to find, but the powder is available as a supplement. It can also be incorporated into some savory dishes to add a subtle hint of sweetness.
2. Ground caramel
One of the best substitutes for powdered maca is ground caramel. It has the same nutty, caramel flavor that adds sweetness to your drinks and no-bake dishes.
Caramel is made from a mixture of browned butter, caramelized sugar and molasses, and grinding this confection will add a crunch to your recipes. Mix ground caramel into your latte, or sprinkle it over your pancakes, yogurt, or oatmeal for an earthy sweetness.
Ground caramel can also be cooked, but it loses its crunchiness when melted. You can add butterscotch to your pancake mix for a kick.
3. Ground chia seeds
Ground chia seeds are a substitute for powdered maca that you can use in multiple recipes. Chia seeds have a very subtle flavor that blends well with other flavors and aromas in savory and sweet dishes.
They have a mild nutty flavor, so they can be eaten raw or mixed with other ingredients. Instead of cooking with powdered maca, you can use ground chia seeds to thicken your stew or soup, while adding a delicious flavor.
You can sprinkle chia seeds on your salad or mix them into any recipe to boost their nutrients. They also add a crunch to your homemade granola bar. Chia seeds can be eaten raw, soaked before adding to a recipe, or toasted.
4. Almond flour
Almond flour provides a different flavor than powdered maca, so it will be a great substitute if you don’t like the taste of it. The flour is made from ground almonds and has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor with a hint of bitterness.
You can use almond flour in most baked dishes, whether sweet or savory. Thanks to its fine texture, it can also be mixed into stews and smoothies.
Even in no-bake desserts, almond flour has a pleasant flavor because the almonds used to make it are not 100% raw, as they are roasted or heat pasteurized.
5. Coconut flour
Coconut flour is another ingredient that you can use to replace maca powder in sweet and savory dishes. It adds a distinctive, slightly sweet, tropical flavor and blends well with other spices and stronger flavors such as cinnamon and coffee.
It works in no-bake recipes because it’s made from heat-pasteurized, dried coconut meat. Coconut flour can be used in green smoothies, pancake batter, muffins, cookies, and as a coating on savory fried dishes.
Coconut flour is rather fluffy and not as smooth as maca powder, so if you use it to replace maca powder in sauces, it can make your recipe a bit crumbly.
6. Instant coffee
Instant coffee can substitute for maca powder in porridge or pudding. Just a small amount of instant coffee can add a new flavor to your sweet dishes, but too much can be overkill.
The flavor of coffee is very different from powdered maca, so this option will work for you if you don’t like earthy and nutty flavors. For savory dishes, there are other options that work better.
7. Raw cocoa powder
Raw cocoa powder has a nutty, earthy flavor with some fruity notes and a slightly bitter aftertaste. It can substitute for powdered maca in no-bake desserts or sprinkled over your oatmeal or granola when used in small amounts.
It’s an alternative to powdered maca that works for those who don’t like the taste of it. It also alters the flavor a bit due to its fruity aroma. Also, cocoa powder is a good option to add to your morning smoothie.
Spirulina has an interesting flavor that some describe as that of fresh lake water. It has an earthy, herbaceous flavor with a hint of it, so it can be an interesting addition to smoothies and nutritious recipes when mixed with other ingredients.
For most people, Spirulina has an acquired flavor that may not be liked by everyone. However, it can be mixed into your soup or stew to thicken it up and add a unique flavor, or sprinkled over your salad.
Even in baked recipes, spirulina can add a new flavor and texture. Mixing it with vibrantly flavored fruits like cherries, berries, and pineapples can be a great choice. However, some people may not like its smell.
9. Matcha powder
Matcha powder is made from the dried and ground leaves of matcha green tea. The powder has a vegetable, earthy and slightly bitter flavor, with some hints of sweetness and umami.
Despite having a different flavor than maca powder, matcha powder is a great alternative to consider if you run out of maca powder because it is so versatile.
It can be mixed with any spice to make your own special spice mix, added to a smoothie, sprinkled on your salad, added to a batter mix for baking, or incorporated into your soup, stew, or sauce.
Thanks to its subtle flavor, matcha powder blends well with other flavors and aromas in your recipe. However, it does add a bright green color to your dough and other recipes. It can be an interesting way to encourage them to try a dish they don’t like so much.
How to choose a substitute for maca powder
All of the alternatives that we have discussed can be used as a substitute for powdered maca depending on the recipe you follow. You should also take into account the distinctive flavor that each alternative adds to your recipe.
There are several substitutes for powdered maca that provide a similar flavor and even texture. However, if you don’t like the taste of powdered maca, you can experiment with other alternatives that can make your recipes delicious.
Yacon powder has a similar flavor and taste to powdered maca and can be incorporated into various dishes. Chia seeds can also substitute for maca powder, either by sprinkling the seeds over your dishes or using ground chia seeds in your dishes and smoothies.
Crushed caramel offers a surprisingly similar flavor to powdered maca, but you have to be careful how much you add to your recipe. It is a good option to prepare a tasty smoothie or enhance the flavor of your yogurt or oatmeal.
You can substitute the maca powder for almond or coconut flour. Each of them has a unique flavor, but they provide a texture that resembles that of powdered maca and can be used in drinks and different recipes.
Instant coffee and raw cocoa powder can substitute for maca powder in no-bake recipes and desserts when added in small amounts. You can also add cocoa powder to your drinks.
Spirulina is a good substitute for maca powder because it provides incredible health benefits, despite offering a different flavor and taste.
If you don’t like the taste of maca powder, you can add matcha powder instead. It’s a versatile option that works in sweet and savory dishes, as well as smoothies. It also changes the color of your plate, making it an interesting addition to your kitchen.