July 30, 2012

Navitas Naturals Review & Giveaway

Last week, I celebrated my first blogiversary, and today I have another exciting event - my very first giveaway!

I was contacted a little while ago to try out some samples from a company that produces a range of healthy, organic, natural products: Navitas Naturals. If you've been a follower of my blog for a while, you've probably noticed that I rarely promote products that I've tried, and I've never done a product review because I like to keep this space about my own recipes.

But this time, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try these products and be able to share them with you - How could I not support a company whose mission is to provide the finest organic superfoods that increase energy and enhance health?

Navitas Naturals offers everything from powders to seeds, nuts, and dried fruit, and everything is organic and produced using methods that ensure maximum nutrition benefits. Check out all of their products on their website, and you can order them online too!

The package that was sent to me to try included three products: a trail mix, one of their power snacks, and dried mulberries:



The first product that I sampled was the Blueberry Hemp Superfood Power Snack.  This was designed to be a grab-and-go bite-sized snack, and that's exactly how I've been enjoying them! I divided up the bag so that I could have a supply in my office and a small ziplock bag in my purse - that way I always have a healthy, energizing snack on hand when hunger strikes!



The bites were soft and chewy overall, with bits of crunchiness from the seeds (chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds).  The dominant taste was the dried blueberries, with just enough extra sweetness from date paste.

These would be perfect to bring along the next time I travel, and I'd love to try the other two flavours of power snacks: cacao goji and citrus chia.

The next snack that I was excited to rip open was my 3-Berry Cacao Nib Cashew Trail Mix -  a mix of goji berries, mulberries, goldenberries, raw cashews and cacao nibs.


This superfood snack can be eaten on its own, but I preferred adding it to my breakfasts and lunches for a healthy boost of antioxidants and vitamins. Here are two examples of ways that I used the trail mix in breakfasts: overnight oats and a smoothie. 


For the oats, I followed my usual method of mixing equal amounts of rolled oats and almond milk with a bit of liquid sweetener. Then I added half of a banana, along with a couple tablespoons of trail mix to the oats and let it sit overnight in the fridge.

By morning, the dried berries had soaked up some of the moisture and became nice and plump and soft. The cashews and cacao nibs still retained their crunch, but if you want them to be extra crunchy, you could stir in the trail mix in the morning instead of leaving it in overnight.

This was a fun way to change up my oats, and I loved the combination of the dried fruits and nuts with the banana!


To make the smoothie, I blended a frozen banana with some almond milk and a touch of agave nectar. Then I added a handful of trail mix to the blender and processed on high until most of the trail mix had broken down. I also added another handful of trail mix to the top of the smoothie afterwards so that I had a mix of pureed and chunky trail mix.

I love the pretty specks of red that the goji berries gave the smoothie, and it had a unique flavour that I loved too!  This was another great way to get a boost of raw superfoods to start my day!

Other than smoothies and oats, you can also add the trail mix to leafy salads as a crunchy and chewy topping, or mix it into a grain-based salad.  I had a five-grain mix in my cupboard that I had been wanting to use, so I decided to try adding the trail mix to an apple & five-grain salad.


For two servings, I cooked 1/2 cup of dry grains, let it cool, then stirred in 1 small diced apple, 1/2 tbsp minced ginger, and 1/4 cup trail mix.  I also made a quick dressing out of 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1 tsp honey mustard, 1/4 tsp agave, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper.

I loved the combination of textures in this salad, from the crispy apples to the chewy grains and dried berries, with a bit of crunch from the cashews and creaminess from the dressing. Overall, it was a light and healthy lunch that was also super easy to make!



Finally, the third snack that I was able to sample was the raw mulberries, which are sun-dried to preserve their natural flavour. Mulberries are one of the few fruits considered a protein source, and they're called "nature's candy" because of their natural sweetness, which reminded me of dates or raisins. I love their unique frilly shape and their crunchy yet chewy texture.

I liked snacking on the mulberries on their own, but I also wanted to try using them in a couple of recipes. First, I went to Navitas Naturals website, which has a lot of recipe ideas featuring many of the products.

I decided to make these mulberry balls, which combine mulberries, cashews, coconut, a bit of coconut oil and some other flavourings.  Everything gets broken down in a food processor to form a sticky mixture that you can then form into energy balls.


I made a small batch of these and the only change to the recipe that I made was to use lemon zest instead of orange zest. I also skipped the last step of rolling the balls in crushed cashews. The mulberries gave these balls a nice sweetness and a unique flavour that I think I prefer to dates.

They were an awesome little snack to store in the fridge for a quick energy boost, and I loved the way the mulberries became extra crispy when I ate them straight from the cold fridge!

The second recipe that I made with my mulberries were these oatmeal raisin breakfast cookies from Chocolate Covered Katie, except I replaced the raisins with mulberries to make oatmeal mulberry cookies instead!


I had to cook mine a bit longer than the original recipe, but they ended up being really tasty! The cookies were soft with bits of chewy mulberries throughout, and the cinnamon and almond butter gave them a subtle but warm flavour.  I shared these with my family, and even though they were a 'healthy cookie', everyone still loved them!


Giveaway

*UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  The winner is Ericka Hachmeister - Congrats!

Now that I've talked so much about these products and given you some ideas on ways that you can use them in recipes, I couldn't end this post without offering you the chance to try them yourselves!

Navitas Naturals was kind enough to offer one reader a prize package of two of the products featured in this post: The power snack and the trail mix. (Note that even though the mulberries are not included in this giveaway, they are still part of the 3-berry cacao-cashew trail mix, so the winner will get a chance to try them that way!)

This giveaway is open to both US and Canadian addresses. Here's how to enter:


Mandatory Entry:
1.  Leave a comment on this post telling me which Navitas Naturals product you would most like to try.


Bonus Entries (leave an extra comment for each one telling me you've done it):
1. Like Navitas Naturals on Facebook
2. Like Vanilla & Spice on Facebook


The giveaway is open from now until Thursday, August 2nd at midnight (Eastern time). I will then randomly choose a winner and post the winner on Friday, August 3rd.

And since my commenting system doesn't show me anyone's email addresses, be sure to check back on Friday to find out if you've won!  The winner will need to contact me with their address info, so if I don't hear from you by Monday August 6th, I will have to choose a new winner.

Good luck :)

48 comments:

  1. I've never tried mulberries, but they sound like they'd be great!

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  2. I have yet to try mulberries, so I would love to try those!

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  3. Amanda Costella30 July 2012 at 12:09

    I would love to try the power snacks. I am constantly looking for new healthy snacks to grab during the work day and these sound fantastic.

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  4. Cool! I'd like to try all of them, but I think I'd most like to try the Mulberry berries bc I've never had them and they are most different from other things I've already had. I love the snack balls you made with them!

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  5. deb (sdnmarinucci@juno.com)30 July 2012 at 12:58

    I'd like to try the power snacks!

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  6. deb (sdnmarinucci@juno.com)30 July 2012 at 13:00

    I live you on fb.

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  7. deb (sdnmarinucci@juno.com)30 July 2012 at 13:00

    I like navitas naturals on FB

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  8. The blueberry hemp snack sounds interesting.

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  9. The power snacks look yummy! Awesome job on your first product review! :)

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  10. THe trail mix looks awesome, I'm about to head out to do the west coast trail in a couple weeks, and this looks like the perfect snack to bring along.

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  11. I like vanilla and spice on FB !!

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  12. I'm a trail mix fiend, so I'd love to try theirs!

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  13. I love Navitas Naturals! I just finished a bag of the mulberries, and still have a bag of cacao nibs and goji berries. I've been wanting to try golden berries, as well as maca and lucuma powders!

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  14. I would like to try the mulberries.

    shankyouverymuch11 at yahoo dot com

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  15. I like Navtias on FB

    shankyouverymuch11 at yahoo dot com

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  16. The mulberries sound interesting. I'd love to try cacao nibs, too! All of Navitas Naturals' products sounds so delicious :)

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  17. I liked Navitas Naturals on facebook!

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  18. I like you on facebook, too :)

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  19. Everyone always talks about how delicious goji berries are, so I'd like to try those!

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  21. Hi Gevevieve - I found your blog through finidingvegan.com and love it! Given the chance, I'd try the dried mulberries. I grew up with a mulberry tree in my back yard until a storm took it down over10 years ago. I haven't had one since!

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  22. I like Vanilla & Spice on Facebook.

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  23. I also like Navitas Naturals on Facebook.

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  24. I Love NN - I have SO MANU of their products but surprisngly have never heard of the ones you featured, I am so excited to have learned about a few new products! The Hemp Blueberry sounds amazing!

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  25. 3-Berry Cacao Nib Cashew Trail Mix

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  26. Definitely the Blueberry Hemp! I just recently got a steal of a deal on a 5lb bag of hemp seed from Nutiva, so I'd love to see how Navitas' hemp compares - plus obviously the blueberries. I think I was won over first by just seeing 'blueberry.'

    However, I had no idea mulberries naturally contain resveratrol - the only way I ever see the antioxidant is in expensive pill forms, but now that I can find it in this Turkish superfood I'm curiouser and curiouser about it...

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  27. I would love to try the sprouted chia powder!

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  28. I Like Navitas Naturals on Facebook.

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  29. I Like Vanilla & Spice on Facebook.

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  30. hmmm.. i think mulberries. i havent tasted a mulberry fresh or dried in years!

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  31. I'd like to try their Antioxidant Twister Smoothie Mix!

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  32. Would love to try out the Trail Mix. Looks yummy and nutritious

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  33. I like Navitas on FB

    tjbugnet AT gmail DOT com

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  34. I like Vanilla & Spice on FB

    tjbugnet AT gmail DOT com

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  35. i'd love to try the blueberry snacks! (ps- i dont know how i missed this post on monday!)

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  36. would most like to try the mulberries
    gkuroda(at)gmail(dot)com

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  37. liked you on fb
    gkuroda(at)gmail(dot)com

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  38. liked navitas on fb
    gkuroda(at)gmail(dot)com

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  39. Definitely the Blueberry Hemp! I just recently got a steal of a deal on a 5lb bag of hemp seed from Nutiva, so I'd love to see how Navitas' hemp compares - plus obviously the blueberries.Nicoumalone I think I was won over first by just seeing 'blueberry.'

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  40. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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