Mayan Inspired Recipes

1 Feb



Recently I took a trip down to Tulum, Mexico. Located on the Gulf coast in the Yucatan peninsula, Tulum is an area with a large population of Mayans.  The Mayan culture is a fascinating one with a long history.  Their influence is seen all around, most notably in the impressive, ancient ruins that are still standing all throughout the peninsula.  Through this we can see their impressive achievements in design and architecture.  However, it is important to take note of what they contributed to the culinary world as well.  After spending time learning about both the ancient and present day Mayans, I was inspired to create recipes that honored this beautiful culture.


Cacao beans have a long history with the Mayans as they were seen as a sacred gift of the gods and used as currency.  The beans were roasted and made into an elixir sometimes used in spiritual ceremonies.  While biking through the Tulum, I came across a permaculture center and cooperative which had all kinds of great locally grown commodities.  A large bag of cacao beans sat on a table and I knew I had to bring some back to experiment with.  I understand that raw cacao beans may be difficult to come by depending on where you live.  However, you could substitute cacao powder which can be found at Whole Foods, your local health food store or bought online.

choc truffles; ingredients

Mayan Cacao Truffles

1/2 cup cacao beans

8-10 dates

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp coconut oil

1/4 tsp cayenne powder

~ First, grind the beans into a powder.  (I did this with my NutriBullet, but if you have a coffee grinder, that would work better)

~  Add in the dates, cinnamon and cayenne

~ Drizzle in the coconut oil and pulse until a dough forms

~ Using a tablespoon, scoop out dough and roll into a ball.  You can roll them in chopped nuts or shredded coconut if you choose

~ Keep refrigerated until ready to eat



The ancient Mayans occupied Guatemala and the Yucatan Peninsula which is where the avocado originates.  Avocados were an important part of their agriculture and were known to be one of their favorite foods.  Packed with good fats and essential nutrients such as fiber and potassium, it’s clear to see where the Mayans got their strength to accomplish incredible feats in architecture.  You too can reap the benefits of the mighty avocado with this simple guacamole recipe.


Zesty Guacamole

1 avocado

1/4 cup cilantro

Juice of 1/2 lime

Sea salt to taste

Pinch cayenne pepper

~ Scoop avocado into a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well


Food photography by: Matt Ordeshook


One Response to “Mayan Inspired Recipes”


  1. Vegan Game Day Recipes | - February 3, 2017

    […] a few more recipe ideas?  Try out my zesty guacamole or sweet potato quinoa […]

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