Happy Saturday my dears! Hope you are all enjoying your weekends and that you’re enjoying this week’s Healthy Vegan Friday!
I am very late with this post. The lovely people at Navitas Naturals sent me some products to review and I have to admit I was stumped by one of the products. Thus the lateness and the procrastination with this review. However on Thursday I was struck with inspiration so here we are!
I’m sure most of you are fairly familiar with this company. I know I was and I was already in love with their maca powder. So when I was contacted to test some more out I was ecstatic! I think what I really love about the company the most is their philosophy. Here’s a little blurb from their website:
Our food philosophy is simple: Nutrient rich whole foods are best produced using organic agricultural methods with minimal processing. Focusing on both food safety and nutrition, we handle our premium superfoods with care. This includes third party testing for all our products. Our facility is Organic, Kosher and GMP/HACCP Certified. In addition, we utilize methods such as freeze-drying and low temperature processing to ensure maximum nutrition and safety.
They offer an extremely wide range of high quality superfoods and they just launched a new line of snacks and trail mixes. I love that this company makes superfoods accessible and you know you are getting quality products from them. Plus the people over there are simply lovely to talk to and will answer any questions about their products you might have. Not sure how to use an ingredient? They have you covered there too! Their website has many fabulous recipes to get you started.
Now onto the products and a couple recipes for you all!
The first product I tried was the Blueberry Hemp Super Food Power Snack
These little bites made great snacks for on-the-go superfood munching. They are packed with fibre, healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamin C thanks to superfood ingredients: date paste, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, dried blueberries, sesame seeds, hemp powder, maca powder, lucuma powder, maqui powder, natural blueberry flavor and camu camu powder. They are also gluten-free and refined sugar-free sweetened only with dates, dried blueberries and various superfood powders.
And how do they taste? They aren’t super sweet and they had a slightly bitter finish which I expect came from the hemp seeds and powder, but I still really enjoyed them, especially since I knew I wasn’t taking in loads of sugar while still enjoying something sweet!
If you are interested in learning more about these awesome ingredients definitely check out their website!
The next product I tried was the Maqui Powder.
Maqui berries are native to Patagonia and are extremely high in antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium.
The taste of the maqui powder isn’t quite as sweet as you’d expect but it blends really well into smoothies! I loved the flavour it added and love how just 2 teaspoons completely makes for an antioxidant packed drink! Here’s the recipe I concocted and trust me, it’s delicious!
Maqui Berry Smoothie (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Raw)
Ingredients (1 smoothie)
- 1 banana, sliced and frozen
- 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup coconut water, or regular water
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tsp maqui powder
- 1/2 scoop raw protein powder (optional)
- 2 large handfuls of spinach (optional)
Pop all ingredients into a blender and blend. Sip and enjoy!
Next up were the lovely Cacao Powder and Cacao Sweet Nibs. Both raw, these are fantastic for creating raw chocolate treats. The nibs are sweetened with organic can juice, making them much less bitter than their normal cacao nib counterparts. They taste a lot more like dark chocolate. While I have tried this company’s regular cacao nibs before, these sweet ones were a nice change and were lovely sprinkled on cereals, yogurt, smoothies or just eaten straight from the bag. The Cacao Powder itself was fantastic. I used it to make many recipes including my Raw Vegan Chocolate (see variation below!), Omega-3 and Fiber-Rich Chocolate Milkshake and most notably my Raw Chocolate-Coated Key Lime Pie! See the Sweet Cacao nibs sprinkled on top?
Finally, it was the stumper ingredient. The Golden Berries.
Golden Berries are extremely high in flavonoids and bioflavonoids, and unlike most fruits they contain a high amount of protein and phosphorus.
These were actually a big surprise to me. I had always wanted to try them despite knowing very little about them. So when I reached into the bag an popped a couple into my mouth I was surprised by the tartness! They aren’t super sweet and I didn’t immediately love them as I was expecting. As a result, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to incorporate them all into a recipe for you. I tried them in a smoothie, and while delicious, it masked the flavour of the berries themselves. In case you’re curious though, soak some of the dried berries so they are soft and blend up with banana, orange juice, and even some mango for a delicious drink.
Over time, their tartness actually grew on me! I started eating them straight from the bag and knew I could finally create a recipe that would showcase their flavour while still being delicious. I used raisins to help sweeten them up, without taking away from their unique flavour. These Superfood Chocolate Cups aren’t too sweet, but are rich, chocolatey and tart. Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants you can feel really good about eating them!
I also used the Cacao Powder in these and, of course, it worked wonderfully!
Please excuse the terribly chipped nail polish!
Superfood Chocolate Cups (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Raw)
Ingredients (8 cups)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2/3 cup cacao powder
- 1 tbsp mesquite powder
- 6 drops chocolate stevia, or to taste
- OR use any variation of Raw Vegan Chocolate you'd like!
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp golden berries
- 3 tbsp raisins
- water to soak
- 16 raw cashew halves
Soak the golden berries and raisins in water for about 1 hour, until softened.
Make the chocolate by melting the coconut oil over low heat, then stirring in the cacao powder, mesquite powder and stevia. Using a whisk works well! Spoon 1/3-1/2 of this melted chocolate into the bottom of 8 muffin liners. You want to make sure the entire bottom of the cups are coated as well as moving some of the chocolate up the sides. See this post for more details. Move to the fridge to harden and set aside the rest of the chocolate for later.
Drain the golden berries and raisins, reserving the soaking water. Pulse the soaked golden berries, raisins and 2 tbsp of the soaking water in a food processor until a paste forms. Spoon about 1 tsp of this mixture into each of the cups. Then press 2 cashew halves into each cup on top of the golden berry paste. You want to try and flatten the centers as much as possible so it's easier to coat the tops in chocolate.
Take the chocolate you set aside before and spoon it on top of the golden berry mixture and cashews. You want to make sure each top is completely covered, making sure you get right to the edges. Otherwise when it hardens there will be gaps in the chocolate.
Put them back in the fridge for about 30 minutes to harden. Wen done, remove from the wrappers and munch!
These get melty, so be sure to store in the fridge until right before you eat them.
Overall I obviously loved the products and would definitely recommend them.
Hope you all have lovely weekends! I start my new job today and have lots of other adventures planned including a trip to a raw restaurant with a fellow Torontonian blogger and meeting up with an old friend. Can’t wait!