A couple of weeks ago I bought a jar of Yacon syrup from Be Super Natural (raw, vegan, gluten free, organic & non-GMO) at a fabulous farmer’s market here in Dubai. I was excited to try out this caramel-like syrup which comes from the roots of Yacon plants (potato-like vegetable) that are found high up in South American Andes. From what I knew, it was going to fit right into the natural sweetener section of my pantry.
Incase you’re not familiar with Yacon syrup, let me give you its benefits in a nutshell.
- It acts as a prebiotic, which helps to regulate the bacteria in your intestines
- It’s super low in calories
- It provides a generous amount of fiber
- It’s Glycemics Index is extremely low so it does not cause blood sugars and insulin spikes
- It has a naturally sweet flavour similar to raisins and prunes
- It’s raw, gluten-free and vegan-friendly
So yes, this Ancient Incan delight is an ideal natural low calorie sweetener for coffees & teas. But not just that! After experimenting, I came up with 3 deliciously easy recipes using this yummy Yacon.
Yacon Candied Mixed Nuts (Serving 1 cup of nuts)
Ingredients: 1/4 cup raw Pecans, 1/4 cup raw Almonds, 1/4 cup raw Walnuts, 1/4 cup raw Cashews, 2 tsp Coconut oil (cold pressed & organic), 1 tbsp pure Water, 2 tbsp Yacon syrup, 1 tsp ground Cinnamon, a pinch of Sea Salt
Method: Add all liquid ingredients, cinnamon and salt to a non-stick frying pan and bring to boil on high heat. Add nuts and toss to coat evenly. Reduce heat to medium/high and cook for about 5 minutes till the nuts absorb most of the liquid- stirring constantly and keep a watchful eye to not let them burn. Once done, pour the nuts onto a lightly greased aluminium foil, separate them with a fork and leave to cool. Once cooled, get munching and store left overs in an air tight container!
Vanilla Chai Latte (Serving 1)
Ingredients: Pure Water (1/3 of your serving mug), Almond milk (1/2 of your serving mug), 1-2 tsp Yacon syrup (or according to your taste), 1/2 tsp organic Masala chai tea leaves, 2-3 dollops of pure Vanilla paste, ground Cinnamon (for sprinkle)
Method: Boil water in a saucepan and just before it starts to bubble, add tea leaves, vanilla paste and Yacon syrup. Stir till well combined, cover your sauce pan with a lid and leave to seep for a few minutes. Mean while, place almond milk in a milk frother and froth till it’s done (if you don’t own a milk frother, click here. Remember to remember to use Almond milk). Strain your tea content into a serving mug and pour your almond milk on top using a spoon to hold back the foam. Then scoop the foam on top, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve immediately.
Yacon Caramel Popcorn (Serving 2-3)
Ingredients: 1/4 cup Popcorn Kernels, 1/4 cup Yacon syrup, 3/4 tbsp + 1/2 tbsp Coconut oil (cold pressed & organic), a pinch of Sea Salt, 1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon, white Sesame seeds (for sprinkle)
Method: Heat 3/4 tbsp of coconut oil in a heavy pan. Drop one kernel of corn in the hot oil and cover the pan. When the kernel pops,pour the rest of the popcorn in so that it overs the bottom of the pan no more than one kernel deep. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pan with a lid and regularly shake (allowing steam to escape) until popping stops. Transfer to a big mixing bowl and let cool for a few minutes. Mean while, heat the rest of the coconut oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. When hot, add Yacon syrup, salt, cinnamon and stir till mixed well. Pour the Yacon mixture over the cooled popcorn and stir through till they are evenly coated. Sprinkle some sesame seeds, transfer to serving bowl and press play on your DVD machine!
Yacon syrup can be found in specialised health/organic stores. If you’re in Dubai, head right to the awesome Be Super Natural store located at Galeries Lafayette on Level 2 (Gourmet section) inside The Dubai Mall.