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Navitas Organics Blog

New to Smoothies? Here’s How to Make Your Blend a Balanced Meal

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Feb 20, 2019 7:41:04 AM

Smoothies are used for all kinds of reasons: as a way to eat more healthy foods, as support for an athletic endeavor, as an answer to “I literally have only five minutes for breakfast” and so much more. But, if you’re not in the routine of making your own blends, making a balanced smoothie may seem a little ambiguous. After all, we’re saturated with photos of smoothies in every color, featuring every flavor and full of all kinds of healthy (and sometimes not-so-healthy) add-ins. So, what makes a good smoothie so “good?”

The easiest way to create healthy and delicious equilibrium in your blender is to keep a simplified nutrient checklist. Here are the general ingredient guidelines to make sure you’re getting the most out of every blend:

Checklist Item 1: Fruits
Packed with vitamins and dietary fiber, alluring fruits make an ideal base for smoothies. While bananas are a tried-and-true favorite due to their sweet neutral flavor and creamy texture, almost every fruit under the sun can be a part of your smoothie lineup, including mangoes, berries, pears, pineapple and melons, among others. You can use fresh or frozen fruit, just aim to keep the overall quantity in check. One to two servings of fruit (like a banana plus a handful of blueberries, for example) is usually an ideal amount for most people.

Checklist Item 2: Vegetables
We all know we should eat more vegetables and smoothies are the ultimate “sneaky” way to up your daily quota without even tasting a difference! Not all vegetables work well in the context of your blend, but some, like cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers and leafy greens like spinach and kale can be added seamlessly. If “adding a salad” seems too inconvenient, you can also lean on vegetable powders – a concentrated and usually more mildly flavored version of fresh veggies. A few particularly versatile varieties include beet powder, Wheatgrass Powder and kale powder. What’s more, these powders are not nearly as perishable as fresh produce (lasting months in the pantry), while containing all the same nutrition.

Checklist Item 3: Protein
Protein is the satiating macro-nutrient you crave in a balanced meal and smoothies are no stranger to the benefits of its contribution. Adding protein to smoothies ensures you obtain the valuable amino acids your body needs, while keeping you fuller, longer. As you can imagine, many sources of protein you might enjoy on a plate won’t work in a smoothie, which is why most smoothies rely on protein powders (and occasionally nuts and seeds, too). You can choose multi-functional superfood varieties of protein powders like Navitas Organics Essential Superfood Blends, which cover several items on your checklist with every uber-healthy scoop.

Checklist Item 4: Fat
The one element most people forget while making a smoothie is fat. Adding a little bit of healthy, plant-based fat such as Chia Seeds, Cashews or avocado helps to balance both the flavor and texture of your smoothie, while also providing long-term satiation. You don’t need much – just a spoonful or two of your favorite fat-rich ingredients will do the trick.

Checklist Item 5: Functional Boost
Let’s face it: smoothies are the perfect opportunity for you to fine-tune your health via nutrition. Looking to boost your immune system? Aiming for glowing skin? Seeking faster recovery after a workout? Superfoods are at your service! If you’re unsure of how to use certain superfoods, smoothies are the perfect place to start. If you’re still trying to wrap your head around the benefits of individual superfood ingredients, try a superfood powder containing multiple superfoods like the Navitas Organics Daily Superfood Boosts. You don’t have to add every superfood under the sun to every blend you make, but adding one or even a few of your favorites is a carpe diem move every time.

Checklist Item 6: Hydration
If you’re struggling to meet the eight-glasses-of-water-a-day hydration demands of your body, let smoothies assist you! You’ll need to add some kind of liquid to help the blender mix all your ingredients together, so make it a healthy choice with a plant-based milk, coconut water, a small splash of juice or even just plain water.

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Topics: hacks, blog, recipes, superfoods, tips, smoothies

5 Superfood Valentines to Make Anyone’s Heart Melt

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Feb 11, 2019 8:10:35 AM

Thanks to the conveniences of modern life, many of us have our Valentine’s Day routine down to a science (i.e. flower delivery, a box of chocolate, a card, etc.), but that’s not necessarily a good thing. While any gift is always appreciated, romantic gestures are really at their best when they’re unique – which is why a surprising number of people are returning to the power of handmade.

The rich expression of time spent and personal touch go far beyond anything money can buy – and few things are simpler to create and more appreciated than home-crafted edible treats. Plus, by adding functional superfoods, you can even specifically formulate your giftable goodies to support feelings of love and attraction. Talk about a win-win!

Here are five superfood-infused treats to create at home, all in the name of love.

1. Truffles

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Topics: hacks, blog, recipes, superfoods, tips, SuperSwaps, clean eating

The Magic of Maqui

Posted by Jules Aron on Sep 13, 2018 10:19:16 AM

To celebrate Navitas Organics' 15-year anniversary, I've teamed up to share some insight into one of my favorite superfoods, the Maqui Berry and celebrate with a delicious superfood Maqui Cheesecake recipe below.

The Maqui Berry is an intensely purple berry that grows wild throughout southern Chile. Like many dark fruits and berries, such as Pomegranate, Acai, elderberries, blueberries and blackberries, Maqui Berries are very rich in anthocyanins, which give them their purple pigments and high antioxidant levels.

The Maqui Berry, in particular, contains high levels of anthocyanins called delphinidins, which is also found in violas, delphiniums, and Concord grapes. But these compounds are found in very high amounts in the humble Maqui Berry. The delphinidins are especially conducive at protecting cells from oxidative stress, supporting healthy immune function and reducing the risk of degenerative diseases that involve inflammation. They are also helpful in reducing blood sugar levels and decreasing glucose absorption.

These tart little berries are hardly ever found fresh outside South America, so we are extremely lucky to have Navitas carry them in an organic freeze-dried powder form. Tastewise, they resemble a mix of blackberries, blueberries and watermelon, and blend well with fresh juices and smoothies or mixed into desserts, yogurts and porridge.

And without further ado, I'd like to raise a spoonful of this gluten-free, dairy-free, superfood Maqui Cheesecake to a brand I can proudly stand behind, another 15 years!


BLUEBERRY MAQUI CHEESECAKE
You’ll love this completely raw recipe for the creamiest, berry cashew cheese filling with a dense, chewy, chocolatey crust made of walnuts, coconuts, dates and raw Cacao.

CRUST
1 cup Dates, pitted
1/2 cup Shredded Coconut
1 cup Raw Walnuts
1 Tbsp Navitas Organics Cacao
Sea Salt

FILLING
2 cups Navitas Organics Cashews, soaked overnight
½ cup Lemon Juice
½ cup Coconut Oil
½ cup Maple Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla

BLUEBERRY MAQUI LAYER
1/2 the Filling Mix
1/4 cup Blueberries
2 tsp Navitas Organics Maqui Powder

Add the nuts, salt, Cacao, dates and coconut to your food processor or blender and process to a coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a spring form pan or individual tart shells and press down to form the crust. Place in the freezer to chill.

Add the filling ingredients into your high-speed blender and process. Add as little water as necessary to facilitate blending. Pour half the mixture on top of your crust and place in the freezer for one hour.

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Topics: blog, health, recipes, tips, plant based, healthy living, food blogger, healthy choices, maqui

6 Ways to Upgrade Your Hot Chocolate

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Jan 31, 2018 2:17:42 AM

 

Hot Chocolate is a winter tradition for a reason: it makes the house smell great, it's warming to hold in your hands, and yes, it tastes amazing. In fact, our enamored relationship with the cozy beverage is nothing new: hot chocolate was the very first way chocolate was consumed…sort of. More than a millennium ago, far before a chocolate bar even existed, the Mayans and the Aztec cultures would create hot chocolate drinks made from ground Cacao beans, spices and water. With no marshmallows in sight, these drinks were unsweetened and quite potent, but were decidedly valued and even deemed sacred.

These days, while the commercial blends of hot chocolate may taste better than the drink's ancient formulations, the ingredients are significantly worse. High amounts of sugar, artificial flavors and extremely processed ingredients make up the bulk of the ready-to-drink blends – certainly a far cry from hot chocolate's healthy roots. Luckily, hot chocolate is exceptionally easy to make at home: Gently heat a little milk, powdered chocolate and sweetener (more on these ingredients in a moment), and you've got an incredible drink that's not only light years healthier, but also more flavorful. Here are the secrets to making the best-ever hot chocolate:

The Magic Starts with the Milk
Although many people are accustomed to using cow's milk in hot chocolate recipes, the truth is that many plant-based milks taste strikingly better. That's because each of these “alternative” milk varieties offer slightly different flavor nuances – many of which are shoe-in flavor combinations for chocolate. Some favorites to try are almond milk, hazelnut milk, cashew milk and due to its ultra-creamy viscosity, even pea milk, surprisingly.

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Topics: wellness, blog, cacao, chocolate, cocoa, food, health, healthy, recipes, superfoods

5 Pie-Meets-Superfood Combinations to Upgrade Your Classic Recipes

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Jan 23, 2018 2:33:03 AM

By Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef

When it comes to entertaining, you may feel like you have 99 problems, but pie should never be one. Pie is a classic dish of the wintry season for many reasons: it's easy to make, it's a one-dish kind of dessert and it's the epitome of a crowd pleaser. Even a messy pie is still deemed a delicious success, so there's no need to worry about perfection! And, when made with a little forethought, pie can actually be…dare I say…borderline healthy. (At least for a dessert!)

The trick to a healthier pie is utilizing the concept of ingredient upgrades, such as pureed Cashews instead of dairy cream, Coconut Palm Sugar instead of cane sugar, and allowing your pie filling to err on the side of more fruits or nuts as opposed to processed sweeteners and fats. But pies are also surprisingly conducive to superfood additions, too, which can often add an extra layer of flavor, and certainly a bonus round of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Here's a rundown of some of my favorite pie-meets-superfood combinations:

Apple Pie – Apple pie is pretty much the archetype of all pies, but that doesn't mean you must follow the classic cookbook recipe. In fact, adding in a little bit of dried fruit is a delicious addition to the filling, as the dried fruit will plump up with sweet apple juices as the pie bakes. Try mixing in heart-healthy Mulberries for a raisin-like addition or chopped Goldenberries for a bit of zesty flavor.

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Topics: wellness, blog, food, health, healthy, recipes, superfoods

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