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December 22, 2008

Product Review: Navitas Naturals

The health foodies at Navitas Naturals—a California-based sustainable biz—have a mission: to bring you tasty, traditional curatives while building the indigenous communities that grow them. Since 2003, founder Zach Adelman has combed the globe for these medicinal staples and transformed them into modern super snacks that are both healthy and palatable. Sure you’ve heard of Cacao, but how about Maca, Yacon or Camu?

But Navitas Naturals is about sustainability and responsibility, not just exotic names.  All ingredients are organically grown, sourced directly from farmers, fairly traded and responsibly packaged. Plus, they are minimally processed for maximum vita-value!

These awesome snacks make the perfect stocking stuffer for the adventurous culinaire in your life, or the co-op junkie who thinks they’ve tasted it all. Check it out: http://www.navitasnaturals.com/

Here are some of my faves:

Cacao Power—Sweet Raw Cacao Nibs

These partly ground cacao nuts rolled in raw cacao liquor and dusted with sugar, yield a chocolate-y, earthy, satisfying crunch.  They’re packed with antioxidants, iron, polyphenols, magnesium, fiber and flavanols, and not overly sweet. Navitas Naturals uses cacao that’s been organically-grown and hand-picked in Peru.  These delectable treats are truly different, I’ve never tasted anything like them! The 4 oz. for $6.99 is steep, but totally worth it.

Coconut Power—Palm sugar  

 

Palm sugar, harvested from the tops of coconut palm trees, adds a rich yet subtle, caramel-y sweetness to your morning coffee or tea. It’s low in glycemic index—good news for diabetics—and boasts vitamins B (1,2,6) and C, amino acids and minerals.  Traditionally used in many South Asian dishes, palm sugar lends a sweet, unique character to everything from candy to curry. The white stuff just doesn’t compare.  

Plus, palm sugar is a planet-friendly sugar substitute that requires less land, water and resources to grow.  The only downside is it tends to leave a little sediment in the bottom of your cup, so stir for uniform sweetness!

Goji Power—Goji berries

 

Goji berries have long been used as a medicinal herb in Chinese Medicine to stave off aging and disease. These berries are vine-ripened in Ningxia Province, China, and dehydrated at a low temperature. Easily rehydrated with a little water. They are naturally sweet, and great with yogurt, smoothies or oatmeal. 

Yacon Power—Yacon syrup

Yacon syrup is a natural sweetener from pressed Yacon root gathered in the Oxampampa region of the Peruvian Andes. It has a delicious, molasses-like flavor and contains inulin, which promotes healthy intestinal flora.

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