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Navitas Organics Blog

Here’s How to Win at Hosting Holiday Parties

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Dec 6, 2018 7:47:52 AM

Snacks and parties go hand-in-hand with the all-important munch-while-you-mingle tradition.

Unfortunately, most party snacks are far from healthy due to busy hosts who may not have time to make involved recipes or research all those popular diet-friendly plates. So, when looking to create healthier snacks, consider these simple tricks to keep your to-do list light while benefiting your guests with superfoods.

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Topics: hemp, nutrition, nuts, health, superfoods, tips, plant based, healthy choices, plant protein, Navitas Organics, SuperSwaps, Hemp Seeds, clean eating, cashews, Navitas Organics Cashew Nuts, party

All the Amazing Benefits of Cashews You Never Knew About

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Nov 23, 2018 9:01:18 AM

Nuts are some of the healthiest and most satisfying snacks you’ll find anywhere in the world and there are dozens of different types to choose from. However, one of my absolute favorite nuts is the mighty cashew. You may know cashews as a great-tasting snack or a good way to make a plant-based cream, but here are some of the other many amazing benefits of cashews that you might not be aware of!

Lower Cholesterol Levels
Many people struggle to keep their cholesterol at a healthy level because of dietary habits and genetics. Research shows that cashews help to decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, which ultimately supports a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. Since high cholesterol leads to many other serious conditions, eating a few cashews a day is a great preventative measure for long-term health.

Control and Manage Diabetes
Another huge benefit of cashews is how these nuts help control and manage diabetes when eaten as part of a healthy diet. There is strong evidence to suggest that the bioactive components of these nuts help manage diabetes because of how they affect glucose and insulin responses and reduce inflammation. Better yet, cashews help prevent the onset of diabetes because of their inflammation-reducing properties.

Prevent Various Chronic Diseases
Cashews are also rich in many of the vitamins that keep chronic diseases away, including B-complex vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc and phosphorous. Cashews are also packed with fiber, protein and iron to provide an even more well-rounded nutrient profile to fight chronic disease. Obesity is a major cause of chronic disease and cashews can help prevent obesity by helping you feel fuller longer, while curbing unhealthy food cravings.

Maintain Bone Health
Something that many people don’t realize about cashews is that they also help to maintain good bone health. This is because cashews contain potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin K – all of which support strong bones. By adding more cashews to your diet, you can help reduce your risk of breaks, sprains and osteoporosis later in life.

Promote Brain Functioning
I also love cashews because of their brain-boosting benefits that help you think clearer and feel more positive. Your brain is largely made up of fat, which means that it needs healthy fats, like the ones contained in cashews, to function well. Deficiencies in the minerals of iron, zinc and copper can lead to anxiety and depression, but fortunately, cashews contain these mental health-boosting minerals, too.

Not All Cashews Are Created Equal
Despite the amazing benefits of cashews, it’s important to remember that not all cashews are created equal. Navitas Organics Cashew Nuts are processed with the ultimate care and undergo a low-heat extraction process. This ensures that all the cashews’ incredible nutrients, healthy fats and delicious flavors are preserved for your snacking pleasure. To see just how versatile cashews really are in smoothies, salads, stir-fries, trail mixes and desserts, browse our cashew recipes to find a new way to enjoy this amazing nut!

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Topics: nutrition, nuts, health, superfoods, tips, plant based, healthy choices, plant protein, Navitas Organics, SuperSwaps, clean eating, cashews, Navitas Organics Cashew Nuts

6 Must-Have Superfoods for Your Holiday Table

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Nov 22, 2018 7:53:53 AM

Although it may seem counterintuitive, the holidays are actually a perfect time to enjoy more superfoods. That's because this is the time of year we find ourselves invested a bit more in the kitchen, taking pride in creating home-cooked meals and treats, and sharing these creations with those that we love. That also means we can take ownership of what’s put on the table and look for ways to make this year the healthiest yet!

With a bit of creativity, you can technically incorporate any kind of superfood into your holiday spread, but there are a few varieties that are true must-haves. Easy to include, widely popular and harmonious with other holiday ingredients and flavors, these healthy picks are true staples for the upcoming winter festivities. Here's what to put on your list:

1. Cranberries
One of the few true native American fruits, cranberries are not only a mainstay of many holiday tables, they're also a superfood! Although most people know them for their high vitamin C and fiber content, it's really cranberries' antioxidants that make them such a powerful tool. In particular, their polyphenol antioxidants called proanthocyanidins are highly antibacterial (which is partly why cranberries are famous for their effects on promoting urinary health) and heart-friendly. Cranberries on their own contain remarkably low sugar, so to take advantage of this benefit, try combining them with other fruits in place of refined sugars or use natural sweeteners. They're also great when baked into stuffing and loaves.

2. Goldenberries
Notes of citrus can brighten up the heaviness that often comes with holiday foods and that's precisely the flavor role that zesty Goldenberries can play. With their loud sweet-and-sour taste, Goldenberries provide a “special touch” to almost everything in which they're added. Plus, their incredible content of vitamin A, calcium and anti-inflammatory antioxidants makes them a great tool for bolstering nutrition. Double up on the superfood power by adding them to a cranberry sauce or sprinkle them into a salad.

3. Kale
Leafy greens often get lost in the holiday excitement of breads, cookies and casseroles, which is a shame because all that great green nutrition is missed! Although kale is probably the most popular variety, other “heavier” leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cabbage or collard greens are excellent additions that help to balance out a meal. Bursting with antioxidants that are good for your eyesight, heart, brain and bones, green vegetables should always be kept in mind when you're planning your menu and should be the base of at least one dish.

4. Hemp Seeds
As one of the healthiest, most sustainable forms of protein on the planet, Hemp Seeds are an ideal addition to satisfying comfort dishes that feel as good as they taste. Hemp Seeds offer all the essential amino acids, making them a complete protein, as well as an array of important vitamins and minerals like iron and vitamin E. Incredibly versatile, Hemp Seeds seem to pair well with just about anything: mix them into your salads, stir them up with potatoes or even bake them into muffins and breakfast breads. They'll add a light, nutty flavor to all your favorites.

5. Cacao
If you're planning to have chocolate this holiday season, make sure it's Cacao! Cacao is the simplest upgrade to regular chocolate you can make – this raw form maximizes the antioxidant potential while imparting no sugar, leaving you with full control of the type and amount of sweetener you use. Cacao Powder is a perfect substitute for cocoa powder, while Cacao Nibs make baked goods with (or instead of) chocolate chips even better.

6. Goji Berries
We may have a lot of berries on this list, but every berry offers a different array of benefits and Goji Berries are no exception. With a wide range of micronutrients, Goji Berries are deeply saturated in all kinds of essential vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, vitamin C and vitamin A. They’re also an incredible source of many types of antioxidants, such as xeazanthin, a nutrient well-studied for its protective activity in degenerative eye diseases, amongst other things. Because of their poppy red color, Goji Berries look festive all winter long and are a beautiful addition to roasted vegetable dishes, sweet potatoes and desserts.

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Topics: holiday, nutrition, Goldenberries, health, superfoods, Thanksgiving, tips, healthy choices, Navitas Organics, SuperSwaps, holidays, Hemp Seeds, clean eating, Goji Berries

4 Simple #SuperSwaps for Healthier Holiday Recipes

Posted by Megan Faletra on Nov 13, 2018 7:42:51 AM

The holidays are upon us, and with the cooler weather and celebrations come our favorite traditional holiday recipes. While there are so many ways to put healthier twists on holiday classics, I personally believe that fully embracing the holiday season and all the traditional recipes that comes with it is the best way to celebrate your family’s food culture during this special time of year.

Food has an incredible way to connect us across cultures and generations, and there is something really wonderful about celebrating the holidays with traditional recipes that have been passed down year after year.

And while the recipes we make during the holidays can still be rooted in tradition, the ingredients we use can evolve to better align with both our health and environmental beliefs. Today, we have access to incredible ingredients that are sourced with the highest sustainability and nutritional standards. So, rather than miss out on a favorite family holiday recipe, I encourage you to instead focus on and amplify the ingredients you already use with these easy swaps.

1. Coconut Palm Sugar in Place of White Sugar
Most of the sugar used in holiday recipes is refined white sugar that really isn’t all that good for your or the environment. Instead, simply swap your usual refined white sugar for Coconut Palm Sugar using a 1:1 ratio. This is such a simple swap that can work for most holiday recipes (especially baked goods like breads and muffins). Coconut Palm Sugar has a richer taste, which I prefer in baking, and was recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization as the most sustainable sweetener in the world. Pretty sweet, right?

2. Homemade Coconut Cream Instead of Canned Whipped Cream
Canned whipped cream is a traditional topping for many holiday recipes (especially pies). Unfortunately, it’s usually loaded with preservatives and is not made from high-quality organic dairy sources. Instead, opt for making your own whipped coconut cream to top your pies and holiday beverages.

Here’s a quick way to make it:
Simply refrigerate one can of full-fat coconut milk overnight and then scoop the cream from the top of the can (discard the liquid). Whisk the cream until it is the consistency of whipped cream and serve as a topping for your favorite desserts!

3. Organic Nuts Over Conventional
Nuts and seeds are staples in so many holiday recipes, but unfortunately conventional nuts are typically sprayed with pesticides and known for having poor labor practices. Instead, opt for organic and Fairtrade-certified nuts and seeds for your holiday recipes. You will feel better knowing that they are both healthier for you and better for the farmers and laborers who brought them to you.

4. Fairtrade Cacao Powder as Alternative to Cocoa Powder
Once you start using Fairtrade Cacao Powder, you will never go back to processed cocoa powder. Cacao Powder is incredibly nutrient rich and loaded with antioxidants and minerals that make it my favorite superfood to use in baking recipes. Since the Cacao industry is an incredibly corrupt and labor-intensive industry, I firmly believe in only using organic and Fairtrade Cacao for all my recipes. Simply swap your basic cocoa powder for Navitas Organics Cacao Powder using a 1:1 ratio and enjoy your decadent dessert or holiday beverage knowing you are supporting a more ethical Cacao industry.

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Topics: nutrition, greens, health, protein, superfoods, tips, Live Life Positive, protein powder, healthy living, healthy choices, plant protein, Navitas Organics, Superfood Blends

3 Healthy Hacks for Fall (Using Snack Bars!)

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Nov 12, 2018 7:59:26 AM

They've saved you during a long car ride. They've been there for you at the start of a busy morning that's running late. And they've helped you summit your favorite hike feeling even better than when you started. Yep, the healthy convenience of energy bars is pretty awesome. But, as it turns out, these versatile snacks are even more useful than meets the eye!

When you choose a good energy bar, such as the Superfood+ varieties, which are made with clean ingredients and top-tier superfoods, you're getting an excellent array of nutrition in the form of a very delicious snack. Yet, this snack need not be destined to a lifetime of a la carte enjoyment. Believe it or not, energy bars make an ideal addition to all kinds of recipes – saving you time and boosting your nutrition in the process! Here are three of our favorite recipe hacks using Navitas Organics Superfood+ Snack Bars to create some new-and-improved meals.

Pump Up Parfaits
Everyone loves the layered, scoopable nature of a good breakfast or dessert parfait, but the empty-calorie cereals or high-sugar granolas that are layered into the mix can make quick work of short-changing your healthy efforts. Instead, using crumbled energy bars in their place, helps to compliment the yogurt and fruit often used, and efficiently ensures your creation is more nutritionally balanced: offering protein, good fats and bonus micronutrients. You can use almost any flavor of snack bar to create this effect, simply crumbling it into little bits by hand. One favorite is any chocolate-inclusive variety like Cacao Cranberry, which can give the most wholesome recipes an almost brownie sundae-like effect.

Sprinkle onto Salads
You wouldn't always think of putting something sweet with something savory like vegetables, but these opposite flavors are often used in tandem in fresh combinations like salads. Along the same lines as a sprinkle of dried fruit or candied nuts, breaking down an energy bar into small pieces and using it as a kind of chewy crouton can add loads of flavor, making your vegetables truly irresistible while sneaking in the superfoods, too. This is clearly a case where chocolate doesn't work as well, but all kinds of fruity varieties are particularly welcome! Try a salad of baby greens, quinoa, shaved carrots or beets, mixed in your favorite vinaigrette and finished with a Goji Acai bar sprinkled on top – shockingly good!

Create Cookies
This is one of my favorite hacks around the holidays and I've become accustomed to doing it every year. Instead of holiday cookies (or at least, in addition to an obligatory batch), take several snack bars and just roll them out into a quarter-inch layer with a rolling pin. Use small cookie cutters to stamp them into fun shapes and serve your snack-bar “cookies” alongside any holiday spread – a no-guilt way to get in the festive spirit while keeping your food choices as clean as they can be! With its malty flavor and Cacao-Nib studded texture, the Maca Maple Superfood+ Bar was practically born to become a “cookie.” And the Hemp Peanut variety makes a superior substitute for peanut butter cookie lovers, too!

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Topics: goji, hacks, nutrition, blog, health, Maca, superfoods, healthy snacks, Navitas Organics

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