Whether you're hitting the trails or the beach, or are off on another kind of summertime adventure, staying energized is a key component for enjoying your journey. That's why we're so excited to share our Navitas Naturals superfood Trail Mixes and Power Snacks with you this week at a 20 percent savings! Offers not valid with any other offers and do not apply to bulk items or previously placed orders.
Our two organic Trail Mixes are high-energy trail blends that feature three of our dried superberries. One is a blend of free radical-fighting and nutrient-dense goji berries, goldenberries, and mulberries. The other is a nutty-chocolatey blend that combines raw organic cacao nibs and raw cashews with gojis, goldenberries and mulberries. Navitas Trail Mixes keep you feeling full, provide loads of energy and have a wonderful flavor. These aren't your Grandma's nuts 'n raisins!
Post some fun images of you and your friends enjoying Navitas snacks and tag us on Facebook!
The new Navitas Naturals Power Snacks take the power of superfood snacking to another level. Like our Trail Mixes, we combine some of our favorite nuts, seeds and fruits along with high energy superfoods like vitamin C-abundant Camu Powder, balancing Maca Powder, and protein-rich Hemp and Chia Seeds into yummy, never-melt chunks of supergoodness.
Offered in 3 chewy varieties in resealable packaging, Cacao Goji, Blueberry Hemp and Citrus Chia, Navitas Power Snacks are perfect for grab-and-go summer activities. Unlike energy bars with isolated proteins, added sugars and vitamin extracts, Navitas Power Snacks rely on a synergistic blend of whole foods and their natural sweetness and nutrition benefits. You get a well-rounded and flavorful dose of optimal nutrition in every bite including protein, good fats, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Post some fun images of you and your friends enjoying Navitas snacks to our Facebook page!
Navitas Naturals founder Zach Adelman's uncle had an import-export business when Zach was growing up in Toronto, and he would take part in the family business as a kid. That experience was one of the inspirations for him to start an international organic food company. Zach encountered the wonders of a nutritious root from the Andes Mountains called maca, which has been cherished by the indigenous culture in Peru for thousands of years. He began importing maca powder in 2003 as Navitas Naturals' original product. Now, almost a decade later, Zach's maca roots have 'grown deeper' and it is still our company's top seller. Superfood News interviewed him after his return from a business trip to Peru.
Navitas Naturals (NN): What part of Peru did you visit, and what was the focus of the trip?
Zach Adelman (ZA): We import several organic superfoods from Peru, but the focus of this trip was primarily maca. We also spent some quality time scouting out new superfoods, in particular organic quinoa. One of our managers, Mike Schwering, and I spent most of our time in the central highlands of Peru in the provincial capital of Huancayo and in the small, nearby town of Concepcion. Founded in 1572, Huancayo is the cultural and commercial center of the whole central Peruvian Andes region and it is known as the most important agricultural city in Peru. We also visited our maca partner in Lima, an enormous modern city that is the nation's capital.
It is maca harvest season in the Andes, so it is an important time for us to visit with farmers to examine the crops and to meet with our supply partners to observe their processing preparations and review shipping logistics.
NN: How long have you been working with your Peruvian maca partners?
ZA: We have two excellent maca partners in Peru. We have worked with Carlos in Concepcion since 2003 when I started the company, and we have another partner in Lima that we have worked with for more than four years. Both of our partners are completing the construction of new production facilities.
Our partner Carlos was in need of financial support to complete the new state-of-the-art facility his company is building in Concepcion, so we stepped in to help them finish the job by the end of the year. The expansion project will help us keep up with growing demand and allow us to maintain even better quality control, and it will create room for future growth. Our growing sales, new financial investment and noticeable economic impact that Carlos's business has had in the local community are an even bigger deal than I had first realized.
While we were in Concepcion, the mayor held a ceremony at his office honoring us for supporting local jobs and economic development. There were many people in attendance as he presented us with medals, and essentially the "key to the city." We cherish our relationships with Carlos and his team, and knowing that we make a positive difference in their community is what makes my job and these trips so special.
NN: What is your favorite thing about maca?
ZA: I love how maca thrives in conditions where virtually nothing else can. Every time I visit maca farmers in the Andes, I am struck by the stark beauty of the highlands and the hardiness of the plant and the native people. To get where our maca is grown, we leave the coast and go up steep roads through dangerous narrow passes and up into the Andes to an elevation of more than 15,000 feet. Maca grows in a very harsh, high-altitude climate where it is rocky and there are no trees.
It is a unique and beautiful ecosystem, where maca is virtually the only crop growing at that altitude. There are some sheep herders and other livestock roaming about, but that is about it, so it's obvious that maca commerce is critical to the economy and maintaining the way of life for the people there.
NN: Have you noticed any changes in the maca culture there over the past decade?
ZA: One noteworthy change over the years is that the harvest season has been getting later and later into the winter (June and July in the southern hemisphere). I suspect that the change is due to global warming. It's alarming that environmental problems generated so far away in industrialized nations could be impacting the Andes ecosystem and the native people inhabiting this remote place.
NN: What is the most interesting aspect of maca as a food in Peru? Do they add maca to their diet differently than the maca consumption habits of people in North America?
ZA: Maca is a very important and common food in the central highlands of the Andes, and there are even festivals in its honor. Unfortunately, we were there at a busy, pre-harvest time before the celebrations are held. There's nothing more fascinating to me than visiting a remote community in an ancient land and seeing what they eat and how they prepare it, and taking part in their traditions.
In the mountainous region that our maca comes from, it is a regular staple of their diet and is similar to the popularity and utility of potatoes here in North America. The people eat boiled maca roots, slice the fresh roots, and they even cook the slices into snacks that are like potato chips.
The further you travel from the maca epicenter in the central highlands, the less common is the use of maca as a whole food. In Huancayo, a large metro area of about 350,000 people, it is easy to find it at farmers markets in both the root and powder form and you can also locate many packaged products on store shelves featuring maca as an ingredient. In the huge modern city of Lima, it appears to be primarily purchased and enjoyed in the powdered form, like here in North America.
NN: Did you notice any other interesting superfoods while you were in Peru?
ZA: A secondary purpose of the trip was to search for new organic superfood products to offer our customers. Most noteworthy on this trip was Quinoa. We have always respected the nutritional benefits and culinary opportunities presented by quinoa, so we spent some time visiting with farmers and suppliers. We're working with a quinoa grower on achieving organic certification, an absolute requirement to be added to our product line. The farms are essentially organic already, and they grow their crops without chemical inputs, but the paperwork and regulatory system is a challenge for them. Quinoa is a beautiful plant that thrives in the central highlands of Peru near where some of our other superfood products are sourced.
NN: When you are not working in Peru, what is your favorite thing to do or visit?
ZA: I love so many things about Peru, including aspects of the culture that are both ancient and modern. On this trip I enjoyed exploring the amazing foodie culture in Lima, which is known as the Gastronomical Capital of the Americas. Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio is a top chef in South America and he has helped establish Lima as a foodie destination. The capital city cuisine scene has long been influenced by the foods and techniques of many immigrant groups - most notably Asian and Spanish styles mixed with traditional native Andean foods. We were fortunate to dine one evening at Huaca Pucllana, an amazing restaurant near pre-Incan ruins that can be seen from your table. I especially enjoyed the ceviche, a traditional dish that is raw fish prepared in a citric sauce of lime or lemon and spiced with peppers.
Superfood smoothies are efficient meals for staying in shape this summer. Watch this fun 60 Second Smoothie video highlighting belly-filling chia seeds, and learn delicious superfood smoothie tips from Chef Julie Morris.
Slimming smoothie tips include: using superfoods with plentiful fiber and protein for lasting satiation; adding ingredients proven to boost metabolism such as green tea; subbing in low sugar (and low calorie) fruits and low glycemic sweeteners; and avoiding the use of too many nuts and seeds. The top weight management superfood featured in the Blueberry Peach Skinny Smoothie is chia seed gel.
Blueberry Peach Skinny Smoothie
2½ Cups frozen Blueberries
2 Peaches, sliced
1 Cup Green Tea (unsweetened)
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
½ Cup Navitas Naturals Chia Gel
Stevia, to taste
When soaked in water, chia seeds soak up the fluid and bulk up to 9 times their weight. This expansion creates a fibrous (and virtually flavorless) gel that not only creates a fun, creamy texture in smoothies, but also keeps the stomach full - all at a very low calorie cost. The water-retention provided by the chia seed gel also helps the body maintain proper hydration which is important on hot summer days.
The chia seed provides a unique blend of protein, fiber, essential fats, antioxidants, complex carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals (including calcium, B vitamins, zinc, boron, potassium, copper and phosphorus). Perhaps most notable, it's an abundant source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fats in an ideal ratio (3:2) recommended by nutrition experts. Chia is also cherished as a robust source of protein (more than 20%) that contains all essential amino acids.
Fresh yacon roots from Peru, which look like sweet potatoes, are the source of our organic yacon syrup.
Other top superfoods and alternative sweeteners for weight management are hemp seed and yacon syrup. With a fraction of the calories of fruits or other syrups such as agave, yacon syrup serves as a healthy alternative to sweeten foods. Plus, it's sugars are primarily comprised of inulin, which passes through the body undigested without spiking blood sugar. High in complete protein and fiber, hemp protein powder rebuilds the body and makes smoothies more satisfying. Additional slimming foods to add to smoothies include green tea, peaches, grapefruits, lemons, stevia, blueberries, strawberries, spinach, coconut oil and cayenne pepper.
Smoothies are an ideal tool to reach a higher level of nutrition and diversity in your diet. That's why we created the Smoothment – an interactive program that features easy, delicious smoothie recipes. The Smoothment inspires people to add a superfood smoothie into their daily routine in place of a meal or snack. Sign up for the next Smoothment which begins on September 8 here to receive daily video recipes with up to 30% off on select superfoods!
Providing good-paying jobs in the local community is a key part of our mission. Thanks to our customers, Navitas sales are growing and we are hiring more people in the San Francisco Bay area. This month, the North Bay Business Journal discussed our expansion in Novato, California.
Hemp is creating a buzz in the media lately. Delicious Living Magazine printed a quick and informative feature on this healthy seed in their last edition. Hemp is a key ingredient in our new Blueberry Hemp Power Snacks, which have been gaining accolades from leading nutrition experts like Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN.