A few days ago I received a box from Navitas Naturals, a company that specializes in superfoods. I wasn't sure how a food qualifies as a superfood, so I did a little "research" on the wikipedia. I learned that superfoods offer health benefits due to their high phytonutrient content. Phytonutrients are the nutrients naturally occuring in plants, which are believed to be beneficial to the body, but aren't recognized as essential nutrients (that is, there is no recommended daily allowance for them.) Antioxidents, beta-carotene, lycopene -- all phytonutrients. Chia seeds, cashews, acai, wheatgrass -- these are all superfoods you may have tried.
I also learned that there's some controversy over which foods are superfoods, and over the term "superfood" itself. This is because there is no legal definition of the term, so it can currently be used to describe pretty much any food.
My feeling about this is that I might as well err on the side of consuming foods that are more healthy, rather than less healthy, whether they have the superfood label or not. I know eating cashews isn't going to give me super powers, or even insure that I never get sick. But, cashews do contain healthy fats, and they're undoubtedly better for me than, say, pork rinds. (Cashews also come with a higher price tag, it's true. But that's a whole other discussion...)
I like the fact that Navitas practices fair trade, and that all their products are organic. They sent me samples of several different superfoods: cashews, goji berries, mulberries, and cacao nibs. They also included a fun little chocolate-making kit and a cacao butter lip balm. The lip balm is amazing. It keeps my lips super soft and smells like pure chocolate.
The chocolate making kit melted a little bit during its voyage on the UPS truck, but was still usable. It only took a few minutes to make the chocolates. First we melted the cacao butter...
Then we stirred in the powdered cocoa and the dried goldenberries. We poured the mixture into an ice cube tray and 30 minutes later we had these cute little chocolates.
I'd never heard of goldenberries before. They're really tart, so when you bite into one, you get a nice contrast with the sweet chocolate.
I really like the mulberries. They're very sweet. They taste like dates, but they're small, so you can easily scatter a handful on top of your oatmeal.
The goji berries taste like raisins, but they are bright pink in color, and they are tougher and chewier than raisins. These are good in oatmeal too, or you could make goji berry muffins.
I'm not 100% sure what to do with the cacao nibs. They have a strong, raw chocolate flavor that's slightly bitter. I saw a recipe somewhere for cacao nib scones? I guess you can use them like chocolate chips in baking, just expect the finished product to be less sweet overall.
Finally, I used the cashews to make this Raw Cashew Dreamcake. I've been wanting to make it for awhile because it's so gorgeous! And I love cheesecake.
Mine didn't turn out quite as pretty as Sarah's because my springform pan is 9 inches, rather than 7 inches. So all of my layers were spread out thinly.
You can still see the layers, though.
It tastes so good -- creamy and sweet, with strong raspberry and coconut flavors. And it's filling, too, thanks to the cashews and almonds.
Thanks so much to Navitas for the samples! I've been using their chia seeds for awhile and I really enjoyed branching out with these other superfoods!