Review / BonPom Maca & Lucuma Powder & Cacao Nibs

Sunday, 18 September 2016

BonPom Lucuma Powder, Cacao Nibs & Maca Powder

 On my quest to eat healthy and to make sure my diet is as varied and nutritious as possible, I’m naturally intrigued by a lot of superfoods. I find it can be a bit of a mixed bag; for example, blueberries contain much of the same wonderful vitamins and antioxidants as acai berries but only the expensive latter is considered a ‘superfood’. Still, every now and then I discover something special that I’m excited to incorporate into my meals and I stumbled upon a few of those when I was lucky enough to receive a few items from BonPom.

Based in Kingston, BonPom is a brand that strives to provide foods and ingredients that aren’t just healthy, but delicious too, and it stocks a number of things that I’d honestly never even heard of before I discovered the brand. Some things I was already aware of, like the ever popular cacao and cacao nibs that I’d still never tried, but they also sell things like maca, lucuma, baobab powder and more – all of which were totally foreign to me! I believe most of their products are raw and organic (the ones I tried and browsed are all certified organic by the Soil Association) and they also sell selections of culinary and bath salts that sound equally as interesting. BonPom packages their products in very simple resealable bags, each with a pretty design on the front and the nutritional details, serving and recipe suggestions etc. on the back.

I got to try three different items that peaked my interest – cacao nibs, lucuma powder and maca powder*. I’ve seen cacao nibs doing the rounds for ages now but had never actually decided to try them – they seemed awfully expensive whenever I’d seen them in shops. Lucuma and maca powder I had never even heard of however, but on Googling them I was surprised to find that they were apparently a pretty common health food that had just totally passed me by.

BonPom Lucuma Powder, Cacao Nibs & Maca Powder

The lucuma powder was the first thing that I tried. Lucuma is a yellow-fleshed fruit from South America, and is full of vitamin B, anti-oxidants and fibre and also has a low GI making it a great, mild sweetner. It’s also apparently good at helping to curb cravings and appetite (not that anything can ever hold back my appetite) and is a good immune booster. That all sounds great and all, but how does it taste? When I first tried it, it was kind of a confusing flavour! I’d seen some people describe it as faintly caramel-like, and others say that it tasted like sweet potato. I personally agree with the description that BonPom provide of the flavour – an odd combination of sweet potato and maple syrup. Lucuma is most popularly used in smoothies, lattes, raw cakes and puddings and can also be used to sweeten and flavour banana nice cream. I opted to try this out as a topping for a nice cream that I shared in my previous post and turned it into a kind of caramel sauce using coconut oil and almond butter, and it was absolutely delicious! BonPom Lucuma Powder is £8.99 for 200g, which is pretty expensive if you’re on a tight food budget so I wouldn’t really recommend it if you’re trying to live cheaply, but I’ve found it’s a handy ingredient to have on hand for healthier sauces and flavourings.

Similarly to lucuma, maca is found in South America but is a root rather than a fruit. It’s part of the same family as radishes, but surprisingly has a taste very similar to butterscotch. Maca also contains lots of vitamins, and is also supposedly a great near-instant energy booster but without excess calories or caffeine. I’ve been enjoying both the lucuma and maca powders, but I think the flavour of maca powder is only just my favourite of the two. This particular powder is recommended for use in smoothies and hot drinks too, but also in baking. I’ve so far tried it as a flavour in nice cream (subtle, but yummy) and in hot chocolate, which was lovely. I’m also planning to share a recipe for some amazing vegan maca energy bites soon, so keep an eye out for that in the next few weeks if you’re interested. Also like the lucuma powder, the maca powder is £8.99 for 200g.

BonPom Cacao Nibs

Finally, I tried the famous cacao nibs. I wasn’t really sure what to expect; I knew that they were the purest form of chocolate and were, of course, much more bitter, but I still wasn’t certain of whether or not I would like them or just how bitter they’d be. The very first thing that I noticed was when opening the bag – they smell incredible. They smell like a rich, decadent, pure dark chocolate. When I first tasted them though, I wasn’t too sure about them. The texture is almost a cross between chocolate and a coffee bean, and the taste is bitter. I’d read on the bag that they were good to eat straight out of the pouch but wasn’t convinced until I’d had a few more tastes over the next few days. Once I was used to the flavour (honestly, that chocolate smell kind of makes you expect a sweeter, chocolatey taste and texture) I actually decided that I really love them. I enjoy these mainly in my morning fruit and muesli and on top of nice creams and, yep, I actually just munch on them on their own now too. I am officially a cacao convert. These are a little cheaper than the aforementioned powders at only £6.99 for 200g, and from cacao nib prices I’ve seen in other stores that’s actually a pretty reasonable price for them.

Overall, I’m very impressed with these interesting superfoods from BonPom! I can’t decide whether or not I’ll buy the maca and lucuma powder again – I’m leaning towards getting another bag of maca powder at the moment – but I’ll definitely be ordering some more cacao nibs once I run out. I can’t imagine not having them on hand for my breakfasts and desserts anymore, and I’m excited to try them out in some other recipes too. Ingredients like these are always great fun for me because I love trying out new things and experimenting with recipes I might never have thought to try before, so if nothing else I’d recommend checking out BonPom if you want to try some exciting new ingredients that are also nourishing and good for you.

Have you tried anything from BonPom before, and was it just me who’d never heard of lucuma and maca powder?!

* This review is not sponsored and has not been paid for, however the products were sent to me free of charge. All views and opinions expressed are my own.

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