Welcome to day 1 of round 2 of my product review and giveaway event. I will be reviewing products from Navitas Naturals today. Stay tuned for a product review and GIVEAWAY tomorrow.
Being in the field I am, I come across a lot of ‘unique’ foods. I have known about cacao nibs and goji berries for quite some time but I have never had the pleasure of trying them as they are a little pricey. So I was really excited when a company called Navitas naturals (website here: http://navitasnaturals.com/) offered to send me the products above in exchange for a product review. The company also has a bunch of other interesting products like chia seeds, acai powder, camu powder, maca, etc.
I was sent Goji berries, Cacao nibs, and dragon fruit to try out; all of which are raw, vegan, and USDA organic. The Dragon fruit and goji berries are also non-GMO certified.
Nutritionally, each product offers its own benefits:
1 oz offers 100 calories, 0g fat, 3g fiber, 312mg potassium, 75mg sodium, 13g sugar, and 4g protein. They also provide 20% DV vitamin C and 140% DV vitamin A so they offer some great antioxidant properties.
1 oz offers 110 calories, 1g total fat, 54mg magnesium, 3g fiber, 15g sugar, and 2g protein. They also provide 10% DV iron. They are known for their omega 3’s, protein, fiber, andiron content.
1 oz offers 130 calories, 12g total fat (7g saturated), 9g fiber, 0g sugar, and 4g protein. They also contain flavanols, polyphenols,and magnseium.
One thing I thought was nice was that each came with its own ‘suggested uses’ right on the bag:
Goji berries: smoothies, tea, granola, oatmeal, yogurt, salad
Dragon fruit: trail mix, salad, desserts
Cacao nibs: cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream, cookies, smoothies, shakes, coffee
Flavor-wise, these also offer their own unique flavors:
I was warned ahead of time that these have a unique flavor so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I actually really liked them. They remind me of….raisins? It’s hard to put my finger on what they remind me of but I did like them. They were chewy and sweet and, in my opinion, they would make good additions to granola, trail mix, or yogurt/smoothies.
I wasn’t expecting this particular product so I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t really familiar with dragon fruit prior to this encounter. However, this was my favorite of everything I received. These were dried and disc shaped and reminded me of fruit leather. It was sweet and crunchy and the flavor has been compared to a cross between a kiwi and a pear. Whatever it is, I liked it and I may or may not have eaten half of the bag immediately after opening them.
I was most excited to try this one. I follow a lot of health/nutrition gurus on instagram and just about all of them use cacao nibs in their oatmeal or smoothies or what have you. Unfortunately, my excitement was short lived. I took one whiff and nearly gagged. I then tried a small handful which was an even bigger mistake. Cacao nibs are basically pure cacao. They have no added sugar like the regular chocolate I am accustomed to. Having said that, they are very bitter in comparison. However, they have some great nutritional properties so I turned to my instagram family for suggestions and boy did they deliver. I ended up incorporating cacao nibs into oatmeal (as seen in the chocolate chip/cacao nib banana bread protein overnight oatmeal recipe I posted not long ago – found here). See first picture below. I also incorporated the cacao nibs, as well as the other superfoods I received, into a post workout shake (second picture below). So overall the cacao nibs are fine when added into foods. They are not pleasant on their own.
Overall, I enjoyed everything I was sent. The goji berries made excellent additions to my morning oats as well as to my post workout protein smoothies. The dragon fruit made a great anytime snack that I pretty much devoured in one day. The cacao nibs I ended up liking once I figured out what to do with them.
* Navitas Naturals was generous enough to send me these samples for free. I received these samples for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*
Question of the day:
Have you ever heard of or used these ‘superfoods’? If you have used them, what’s your favorite way to incorporate them into your foods?