Originally published February 4 2011
Access the energy of the Amazon with Cupuacu Powder
by Alex Malinsky aka RawGuru
(NaturalNews) There is a tall tree scattered throughout the rainforests of Brazil that grows a brownish almond shaped fruit that is about the size of a cantaloupe. This fruit is familiar to all the animals and they rely on its creamy sweet pulp for energy and vitality. Maybe the animals have a name for it; maybe they don`t. But in any language they spoke they would probably just call it good. But you must call it cupuacu. Come on, you can do it. Coo-poo-ah-sue. Cupuacu. Its mashup flavors of chocolate and passion fruit and melon give the fruit pulp a taste that is rich and exotic. It is interesting to note that in 2003 the energizing properties of cupuacu were scientifically documented in the Journal of Natural Products. Though freshly picked food is generally favored, in its raw powdered form cupuacu is more easily attainable for the rest of the world.
The kitchens of those indigenous to the Amazon have long benefited from cupuacu in a myriad of pharmacological and dining uses. Cupuacu pulp has very high antioxidant power or free radical ridding abilities. Theograndins, the word used to describe cupuacu`s high phytonutrient polyphenol count, are principally responsible. In fact, its polyphenol count is so high that the word was invented just to place the cupuacu fruit into a unique nutritional class. Theograndins purportedly aids the user in slowing down the aging process and in strengthening the immune system against cancer. Further, the seeds of the cupuacu are crushed and used as a painkiller. Amazonian women have used it to aid in easing childbirth and labor pains.
Cupuacu is favored by the rainforest inhabitants for its rich taste and creaminess and is used in everyday recipes. The whitish pulp is used to make candies, jams, juices, ice creams, other sweet desserts and liquors. It is said that the cupuacu fruit is prized above all other fruit in the Amazon. It has long been plucked and eaten for its stimulant properties that provide energy and vigor to the user. The cupuacu tree is a relative to the cacao tree, think chocolate, but with a lot less caffeine. A small amount can be used to make a cup of a drink that is compared to hot chocolate or coffee. However, it provides the drinker with alertness without the overstimulating effects. It gives you a boost without the bother.
In recent years cupuacu has been gaining increased popularity outside of the Amazon and some want to call it the newest superfruit. Indeed, with its high level cocktail of ingredients such as selenium, calcium, vitamins A, B, C, high flavonoids, high antioxidants and phytonutrients it is easy to see why it is a contender.
Raw organic cupuacu powder is now sold in health food stores in a freeze-dried form. It can be added to smoothies and cakes and soups to achieve unique flavor. A small amount goes a long way, so perhaps you might want to start out with a 1/4 cup in a smoothie and gauge your taste bud and nutritional needs from there.
Here is a recipe for the eager novice:
Cupuacu and Lemongrass Milkshake
Makes 2 drinks
2 Tbsp. finely chopped lemongrass (center leaves only)
2 cups raw nut milk
2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
1/2 cup organic raw Cupuacu powder
Blend everything in a high speed blender and strain through a nut milk bag. Serve chilled
About the authorAlex Malinsky aka RawGuru is an award winning chef and one of the leading experts in the field of raw food. He started to learn about raw foods at the early at of 15. After 10 years on the raw food diet he continues to be on the cutting edge of nutritional research and product development. Visit Alex's website at: www.RawGuru.com for more information.
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