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    Ask the Chef - The Power of Nuts and Seeds

    By Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef | March 18, 2014

    Why are nuts and seeds considered so healthy?

    Talk about a primal food choice - nuts and seeds have been a staple energy source for humans in every culture since … well … since the beginning of humans! Our instincts to eat these foods are positively justified: both raw nuts and seeds are tiny embryos - little capsules that contain a highly nutritional “recipe†to make a baby plant. With a nature-approved “just add water and sunlight†instruction, these embryos contain everything needed to sustain the beginning of life: highly concentrated protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. In other words, they are among the most nutritionally-charged foods we can consume. Though nuts and seeds have long been respected as a strong part of a healthy diet, a 30-year Harvard study recently confirmed the suspected relationship of nuts to longevity: people who eat nuts every day reduced the risk of dying from heart disease by 29%, the risk of cancer by 11%, and were even slimmer overall, to boot.

    The world of edible nuts and seeds is a vast one, and though some are more nutritionally dense than others, each one has its benefits. Pepitas (pumpkin seeds), for example, are one of the highest sources of magnesium. Chia seeds offer an incredible amount of calcium. Brazil nuts are one of the very best selenium-rich foods. And hemp seeds are especially high in protein and skin-boosting vitamin E. The list of nutritional motivation, literally, goes on and on.

    When it comes to using nuts and seeds in recipes, these ingredients continue to shine. Their protein and fat make recipes satiating, and they are versatile enough to be combined with fruits, in sweet desserts, with vegetables, and with other forms of savory protein. They can be used whole or chopped and enjoyed as a crunchy element, blended into a dairy-like cream, masticated into a nut/seed “butter, or enjoyed as-is as an energy-sustaining snack.

    For an absolutely delicious spin on healthy nuts and seeds, try any one of the new Superfood+ line at Navitas - there's exceptional flavor combinations like Chia Rosemary Pepitas, Goji Basil Cashews, Goldenberry Ginger Almonds, and Maca Maple Cashews. Whatever way you choose to enjoy them, both your body and your taste-buds will confirm: nuts and seeds are a win-win!