vegansaurus!

01/15/2013

Product Review: Williams Sonoma and Navitas Naturals smoothie mix belongs in your porridge!  »

I rarely make it to big-chain malls these days (I mean, who has the time!) but I do remember visiting the Williams Sonoma at the mall as a tweenager—and that it didn’t have too many veg options. When I heard the exciting news that Vedge Restaurant co-owners Kate Jacoby and Rich Landau are doing a deal with them for all-vegan sauces and they’ve now teamed up with beloved raw vegan company Navitas Naturals to make superfood smoothie mixes, I got so excited! Looks like Williams Sonoma has totally decided to make vegan deliciousness happen on a large scale (they have more than 250 stores nationwide).

I haven’t tired the Vedge Sauces, but Navitas Naturals and Williams-Sonoma did send me a complimentary bag of one of their three new organic superfood smoothie blends—the Protein Smoothie Mixer! It’s high quality (As you’d expect from Navitas) and made with the nutrient-densest superfoods, including hemp powder, maca, and cacao powder. You can definitely taste the hemp, but the low-glycemic sweetener lucuma (grown in Peru) helps offset that a bit. This certified organic powder blend is super simple to use, making smoothie-making a no-brainer: Just toss it in a blender with ripe fruit and and any other nut milk or fresh ingredients you like. No guessing, no measuring. It’s superfood smoothie-making for the average bear! Get it at Williams Sonoma stores and online.

While smoothies are great, sometimes you’re living with five people in a two-bedroom apartment in the Mission and your roommates left for Burning Man and forgot to pay the electric bill, and the Vitamix just won’t run that day. Or maybe you just don’t feel like slurping your breakfast all the time—chewing is nice, too. Regardless of your motives for going blender-free, this superfood smoothie mix chia porridge will satisfy your palate and keep you going for hours!
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Superfood smoothie mix chia porridge
Serves 2 to 3

Ingredients
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup Navitas Naturals-Williams Sonoma Protein smoothie mix
1/4 cup raisons or goji berries (or both!)
1/4 cup blueberries (optional)
7 drops liquid Stevia
2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup water

Optional toppings
Buckwheat groats
Chocolate chips
Granola (pictured)

Instructions
Mix all ingredients in a bowl or container. Let sit for 20 minutes or overnight in the fridge. Enjoy!

09/07/2012

Get crazy with smoothies for Nativas Natural’s “Smoothment!” Plus: smoothie recipes!   »

On Saturday (that’s tomorrow!), Nativas Naturals is launching the Back-to-Basics Smoothment—a smoothie movement! From what I gather on social media, a bunch of you hippies are into this kind of “healthy milkshake” thing. You’re in luck—Nativas has got your back. Just head on over to the website, and sign on up! It’s all free of charge, and you’ll gain access to instructional videos, receive free recipes and even get discounts on featured raw, organic products. Just the incentive you needed to plug in that blender, isn’t it?

When it comes to smoothies, I like to think of my friend Caroline as the professional between the two of us. I prefer my blended drinks at a tiki bar, but Caroline actually drinks smoothies for breakfast. I thought that’s what coffee was for? Silly me, I have so much to learn! For all of our sakes (mine especially), I recruited Caroline as Vegansaurus’ own Miss Smoothment! Armed with products and a blessing sent to us from Navitas, Caroline agreed to share a couple of her own recipes with us, to kick off the occasion. Take it away, girlfriend!

Anyone who follows me on Instagram is well aware that I’ve been obsessed with smoothies lately (I mean, why eat your food, when you can drink it?), so I wasn’t totally surprised when Jenny asked me to help review some of the Navitas superfood products.


You may have seen the colorful Navitas packaging in your local health food stores—I’ve definitely used some of them before (namely the chia seeds and cacao powder—great for raw desserts). Needless to say, I was STOKED when I had a whole box of their goodies to play with.

I usually start my day with a protein smoothie of some sort (using a vegan protein mix and my kitchen staple, the immersion blender), so I did what any excessive American girl would do — I mixed all the powders together for the mother of all breakfast smoothies. I wanted to see how this stood up to my “rigorous” morning workout (hello, I’ve got to be at my best when working out beside the retirees in the San Francisco Presidio Y). I also wanted to see how it compared to the more “performance”-oriented mixtures that I’ve been using. The verdict? I felt totally energized (as much as I can at 8 a.m.), and wasn’t hungry afterward. Not to mention, it was super delicious! (Bonus that all their products are organic—I’m not a fan of drinking chemicals and pesticides in my smoothies—raw, and gluten-free.)

Here’s what my typical morning smoothie looks like:
Serves 1 (6-foot girl)
2 Tbsp raw Hemp Protein powder

1 Tbsp sprouted Flax Seed powder
1 Tbsp Freeze-Dried Acai powder
1 tsp raw Maca powder
1 Tbsp raw Cacao powder
12 oz almond milk (or a mixture of half-almond, half-rice)
1 banana
Handful of blueberries
Handful of ice


Lately I’ve been having a smoothie for lunch—again, why go through the hassle of chewing your food? Below is the recipe for one of my favorite combinations. I added a few of the Navitas superfoods to the mix, and felt extra pumped. (My boss has a Vitamix, which I try to put to use as much as possible.)

Lunchtime smoothie, serves 2:
3 Tbsp raw Hemp Protein Powder
2 tsp raw Maca Powder
12 oz almond milk
Handful of baby spinach (kale is good, too)
1/2 of an avocado
Handful of raspberries
Handful of strawberries
3 Tbsp organic peanut butter
Handful of ice


I shared this with a friend of my boss and she said it was the best thing she had ever tasted. Not bad for a testimonial, eh? I totally agree—why else would I drink this almost every day?

Since I’m already armed with so many of Nativas amazing products, I have no choice but to participate in their Smoothment. I also can’t stand not joining things (only child syndrome). Perhaps you’ll give it a whirl, too (Get it? Bad smoothie puns!).”

As usual, please share your personal recipes with us!  Don’t forget to follow my girl Caroline on Twitter and Instagram (@wakeupcaroline)—I can’t wait to see all the smoothie talk that will ensue, while wondering if rum is also a suitable ingredient in your icy beverages.

03/29/2012

Product review: Navitas Naturals blueberry hemp bars!  »

Back in December, when I posted about making your own nog, I recommended you use Navitas Naturals brand for the lucuma! Well, Navitas saw it, and sent me a very generous box of samples as a thank you—Christmas came early for me! Included was a bag of their blueberry hemp bars, which hadn’t hit the market yet. That makes me feel very special, like a VIV (very important vegan)!

I haven’t been feeling all that great lately. Being everywhere at once and the life of the party is tiresome. To compensate, I’ve been eating much more raw food. It helps keep my energy up, it’s delicious, and it’s healthy! The downside of raw foods is that they can be expensive, especially the prepackaged stuff, and time-consuming to prep at home. So if you have to pick and choose, I definitely recommend these blueberry hemp bars. They are similar to Lara Bars, but a little drier. That’s not a bad thing! The dates in Lara Bars keep them very moist.

These would be great as a snack while traveling, for a healthy breakfast on the go, or a snack to keep you going until dinner. This bag has lasted me since December, because they are so good, I want to make them last! They are dense and filling, so I don’t crave very many at once. That’s what I like about raw foods—they are so flavorful, I eat less, because my tastebuds are satisfied quickly.

Now let’s talk nutrition! This power snacks contain hemp, blueberries, date paste, chia seeds, cashews, plus the superfood powders lucuma, maqui, camu and maca. They are gluten-free, soy-free and contain NO refined sugar. All of these ingredients are very good for you.

These tasty little snacks are now available in stores all over the U.S., including Whole Foods, Wegmans, and HEB, or you can buy them online at NativasNaturals and Amazon!


One morning my roommate Dan made us spinach, almond milk, and banana smoothies. I suggested we add a little Maqui powder for added nutrients, and it was delicious! I honestly believe raw food is the best food!

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