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Yummy Yacon Powder

Botanically known as Smallanthus Sonchifolius, Yacon is a sweet root vegetable indigenous to the Andes Mountains. It was once used by the Incas and now widely used throughout Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, as well as many other places around the world for its nutritional properties on top of its low levels of sugar and calories. This has made it a popular medicinal food for diabetics and pre-diabetics around the world. [3]

While popular in many parts of the world, it's likely that you’ve probably never been asked if you’d like yacon powder as a sugar alternative at the coffee shop, or in your ginger spice cookies at the bakery [4], but this low glycemic sugar substitute deserves some attention in the western world.  

You see, the thing that makes this sweetener so special is that, while sweet tasting, the complex sugars it contains aren’t very digestible. Well, wait…doesn’t that sound like a bad thing? Not really - and that’s because the main type of sugar in yacon passes through the body safely, possibly leaving our digestive tacts a healthier place than it found it.

Called the “apple of the earth,” this root is a tuber, whose powder (and syrup) contains large quantities of fuctooligosaccharides, or FOS, which is a prebiotic and promotes the production of probiotics in the body. [1]
This sweet potato look-alike may also reduce appetite. While studies are limited, they have been promising. In one study, obese women who were given yacon root and did not track their calories reported feeling satiated. [1] 

In a study performed on obese pre-menopausal women, those who consumed yacon sweetener saw a significant drop in body weight as well as waist circumference measurements and body mass index (BMI). [3]  

Sweet, somewhat starchy, in texture, light in flavor, with a yellowish color, the powder is less robust in flavor than yacon syrup. While the prebiotic factor may be lost in the heating process, yacon powder still remains a great low calorie and low glycemic alternative to refined sugar in baked goods. 

Swap it for sugar in your next batch of the beloved classic - chocolate chip cookies. [2] And everyone knows you can’t truly enjoy chocolate chip cookies without having a glass of plant based milk! You shouldn’t resist that urge, because it might just be beneficial to consume your yacon with soy milk. The fructooligosaccharides in yacon may enhance the absorption of the healthy isofavones in soy. [1] Of course you could pair your yacon powder with a different soy product, but we think soy milk and cookies sounds the best…just saying!

Don’t like cookies? Weirdo! Kidding, (but that is kind of strange) you can totally use yacon powder to sweeten up your drinks or smoothies. Try using it in your favorite recipes that call for refined sugar.  

If you love yacon powder, you’ll love yacon syrup just as much! More robust in flavor, it can be used like maple or agave. Try both and let us know what you think! 

Sources:

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