The Amazon Rainforest is home to thousands of species of truly extraordinary plants, many with potent nutritional benefits and healing properties. One such plant is the
Plukenetia volubilis, a tropical fruit that produces a seed known as sacha inchi or the Inca Nut. Native to South America and the Windward Islands of the Caribbean, this remarkable plant has been cultivated and used as food for thousands of years in the Amazon. These days, it’s considered a superfood due to its abundance of tocopherols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds, as well as healthy fats.
Once the fruit ripens, it is left on the plant to dry and harden into seeds which become edible when roasted, producing a look and flavor similar to roasted nuts.
The light golden oil produced from this nut has a flavor similar to sesame or almond oil, with a bit more zest! It makes delicious salad dressings, dips, and spreads. It’s wonderful when drizzled onto French or sourdough bread, and makes a great homemade, buttery spread when blended with equal amounts of softened butter. You can use it on its own or blended with other oils such as olive, sesame and avocado.
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that must be consumed through diet since our bodies cannot produce them. Essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated; they include both omega-3s and omega-6s. Sacha inchi contains one of the primary forms of omega-3s called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), found in plants. The other two forms are called DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which are mainly found in oily fish and shellfish. Specifically, it is DHA and EFA which are associated with so many health benefits.
Remember that all polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 are very sensitive to light and heat, making them highly unstable and prone to rancidity. They are not recommended for cooking, sautéing or frying and should always be used in their natural, freshly pressed state. After opening, store the oil in the refrigerator.
Sacha Inchi Oil Sourced from: Peru
Sacha Inchi Peanut Sauce
- One 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
- 1 small garlic clove
- 5 TBSP coconut aminos
- 1 TBSP fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp coconut sugar (or cane sugar)
- 1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 4 tbsp sacha inchi oil
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
This recipe is easy! Just put everything in a food processor and blend until smooth. Drizzle on top of a rice bowl with meat, veggies, or fish. Or use as a dipping sauce for spring rolls.
Sacha Inchi Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup Sacha Inchi Oil
- 4 garlic cloves, roasted
- 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
Blend everything together in a food processor or blender. Use tossed in a salad, or drizzled on roasted chicken, roasted potatoes or wilted greens. Another idea is to add a dash of maple syrup and then toss with a salad of chopped Brussels sprouts and diced honeycrisp apple.
Other ways to use Sacha Inchi Oil
- Toss with spaghetti or ravioli in place of olive oil (or use half olive oil, half sacha inchi oil)
- Stir a spoonful into a bowl of oatmeal
- Add to a smoothie or smoothie bowl
- Add to a post-workout recovery shake
- Dress a salad with sacha inchi oil
- Stir a small spoonful into your tea or latte
- In recipes that call for sesame oil, use sacha inchi oil for half the volume.
- Toss a spoonful of sacha inchi oil with your cooked vegetables
- Use as your oil of choice in no-bake cookies.