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Navitas Organics Blog

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

6 Healthy Hacks to Try This Thanksgiving

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Nov 22, 2017 1:50:27 AM

If you love food, chances are you're a big fan of Thanksgiving as well. With its copious seasonal dishes (aka stuffing AND bread rolls), crowd-pleasing culinary methods (the more butter, the better) and emphasis on leaving with a fully belly (going for seconds is greatly encouraged!), it might seem that health has no place in this holiday so famous for its traditional feast. Yet, even cooks bent on following customs may be surprised at how much of an enhancement a few healthy tweaks can create – both in flavor and salubrious benefits. Here are some new simple ways to make this year's spread a little more healthful, or in other words, a little something extra to be thankful for.

Shift the Sugar: When it comes to Thanksgiving, sugar…well…sugar happens. But there's no need to reach for the white stuff. Instead, you can make a 1:1 swap of Coconut Palm Sugar in place of cane sugar, which instantly slashes the glycemic index in half (and is especially good in pies, I might add!). You can also use other natural sweeteners like maple syrup and molasses to add flavor and trace minerals.

Spoon in the Superfoods: There may be no easier way to amp up the nutrition of your fancy feast than adding superfoods to your dishes. While we have plenty of recipes on our website to inspire you, the truth is that you can actually just adapt recipes you currently use and fold in extra nutrition. Making yams? Sprinkle Chia Seeds on top. Have a great vegetable side dish? Fold in some fresh pomegranate seeds and Hemp Seeds. Even things like cranberry sauce can be enhanced with a spoonful of Acai Powder or a Daily Superfood Boost to sneak in an array of extra antioxidants.

Add a New Vegetable: Not everything on the Thanksgiving buffet has to be traditional. Instead of looking to take away something from your spread, why not add something hyper-healthy instead? Introduce a new, additional vegetable side – it doesn't need to be complex, just something along the lines of some roasted cauliflower or steamed broccoli with sesame seeds. Give guests the opportunity to fill an inch or two of their plates with something healthy instead of something unhealthy – it's a small effort that genuinely makes a big difference.

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Topics: blog, hacks, health, healthy, superfoods, Thanksgiving, wellness

5 Steps to Creating a Sustainably Healthy Thanksgiving

Posted by Megan Faletra on Nov 10, 2017 2:13:17 AM

 

Who doesn't love the holiday season? It's such a fun and exciting time of year filled with food, friends and family, and is a great time to reflect and be thankful. But how often have you thought about whether or not your Thanksgiving meal is positively affecting the environment or the lives of the farmers who grew the food on your table? How often do you think about where your food comes from at all? Well, this year, we want to help you think a little bit more about your Thanksgiving meal and inspire you to create a sustainably healthy Thanksgiving with a few simple steps that will make you feel proud of the meal you create – from start to finish.

Shop at Your Local Farmers Market
Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays for sourcing locally grown items for your holiday meal. When you choose to shop local, you are choosing to support your local farmers, but you are also doing your part to encourage a healthier agricultural system in your region.

So, skip the crowded grocery store and head to your local farmers market or co-op...and make it a family experience! The process of choosing your vegetables yourself and connecting with the farmers who grew your food will be so much more rewarding than any trip to the supermarket.

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Topics: blog, health, healthy, holiday, livelifepositive, superfoods, Thanksgiving, wellness

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