This super oatmeal was the perfect start to a sleepy, grey Sunday morning (which was accidentally overslept!). What better way to make oatmeal a super food than with these super food samples the kind folks at Navitas Naturals sent to me to try and review.
I was sent some Raw Cacao Sweet Nibs, Organic Freeze-Dried Acai Powder and Organic Palm Sugar to review, along with a super cool Navitas Naturals water bottle (which is in one of my favorite colors and is something I’ve actually been complimented on numerous times already!).
I started with basic oatmeal on the stove. For both Ross and I (he had about 2/3 of the pot) we used 1 cup old fashioned oats, 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup water, 1 mashed over ripe banana and half a tablespoon of chia seeds (another superfood that you can also find at Navitas Naturals).
Towards the end of the cooking process I added in two teaspoons (two servings) of Acai Powder.
What’s the deal with Acai Powder and what does it taste like? Acai berries (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) are small, dark purple berries that grow on palm trees indigenous to Central and South America. They’ve been prized for quite a while, with ancient Amazonian tribes using it medicinally. Nutritionally, they’re a huge antioxidant powerhouse, loaded with monosaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, full of Vitamin C and many other micronutrients, including polyphenols and falvonoids. This quote below is also on the Navitas Naturals website, pretty cool! (You can read more about the study and findings in this article I just found).
In a recent study by the University of Florida with Professor Stephan Talcott, antioxidant extracts from acai berries were tested on their effect against cancer in a cell-culture model. The result? The acai extracts triggered leukemia cells to self-destruct up to 86%.
For toppings for our oatmeal, we went with juicy, sliced Plant City strawberries (love the Florida strawberry season!) as well as my other two Navitas Naturals samples.
Cacao nibs are full of antioxidants, iron and magnesium and are a Mayan Superfood. For the Organic Raw Sweet Cacao Nibs, Navitas Naturals takes partially ground cacao and rolls them in raw cacao liquor and then lightly mixes them with 100% organic sugar cane juice. While they are sweetened, don’t be tricked into thinking these taste like the traditional chocolate you’re used to! They still have quite a bitter aftertaste, just like unsweetened chocolate. However, the crunch is wonderful and I have found that the bitterness disappears when you add the nibs to things like oatmeal or banana soft serve.
To finish off our oatmeal, we sprinkled a little bit of Organic Palm Sugar on top.
Palm sugar is the crystallized nectar of the coconut palm flowers. Not only is it very sweet but it is also very ecologically friendly and has been ranked by the Food and Agriculture Organization as the single most sustainable sugar in the world (coconut palms produce an average of 50%-75% more sugar per acre than sugar cane, while using only a fifth of the resources). The glycemic index of palm sugar (GI35) is naturally half that of cane sugar, and also has high amounts of potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, Vitamin C and many B Vitamins.
I loved the taste of the palm sugar, and I also loved how it melted over the warm oatmeal. I know this sounds cliché, and I hope you know what I mean, but the sweetness of the palm sugar just tasted more natural than the refined table sugar and other sugars that permeate our society.
I have more baking ideas in mind to use these super food products, but I was so glad I took the time to try them out in my oatmeal this morning!
Time to go get my study on! I have my third Nutrition Exam that I have to take by tomorrow night. It’s been a full couple days of studying, discussion posts, assignments, papers and more! (For those of you new to the blog, I’m taking some prerequisite courses so I can go back to school for a degree in Dietetics so I can be a Registered Dietitian! So excited!)
Question of the day: what superfood most intrigues you? I’ve tried several superfoods lately that intrigued me (chia seeds, cacao nibs, acai powder) but I really want to get my hands on some maca next!