Back to Basics: Blueberry Hemp Shake for Navitas Naturals’ Smoothment

by Gena on September 11, 2012

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“Back to basics” isn’t a term I use a lot with regard to food, because the food I eat is so basic already. Especially lately: pretty much everything I’ve eaten for the last three weeks has been of the snack, salad, smoothie, grain bowl, or sushi roll variety. There’s little time for kitchen experimentation when time is as short as mine will be this semester. Lucky for me, you, dear readers, don’t seem to be tiring of my simple, easy eats: if anything, you show more enthusiasm for “hurry up” recipes than any others!

Smoothies are the epitome of “hurry up” food. They’re an easy and delicious to way to pack unbelievable amounts of nutrition into a convenient, easy-to-digest package. Though I confess that I don’t usually like to “drink my meals” (I really like texture, and I like chewing), big, nutrient dense smoothies were lunchtime staples for me this summer. One of my post-bacc friends said that he could tell how busy I was at any given moment by the rate of smoothie appearances on Choosing Raw.

A lot of my favorite smoothies feature ingredients known as “superfoods”–hemp, chia, spirulina, cacao, or (occasionally) maca. Though I use these costly ingredients very sparingly, I do appreciate their singularity in terms of taste and nutrition. Take maca: once you warm up to the taste of it (which can take a little while), you start to appreciate the unique flavor it lends to a banana smoothie, and you also appreciate the fact that this tuber has been shown to have positive effects on hormone balance and inflammation. Lucuma has a caramel-like flavor that I really can’t compare to anything else. And dried mulberries? Once you’ve tasted one, it’s hard to go back to snacking on raisins. “Superfood” is not a regulated term, and the health benefits proclaimed about this class of foods are sometimes exaggerated, but I do love superfoods from a culinary standpoint, am hopeful about some of the health benefits they offer, and delight in using them when I can.

My go-to source for superfood ingredients is Navitas Naturals. The company’s mission statement about nutrition and health really appeals to me:

Nutrient rich whole foods are best produced using organic agricultural methods with minimal processing. Focusing on both food safety and nutrition, we handle our premium superfoods with care. This includes third party testing for all our products. Our facility is Organic, Kosher and GMP/HACCP Certified. In addition, we utilize methods such as freeze-drying and low temperature processing to ensure maximum nutrition and safety.

I also appreciate their approach as a business:

Our company is committed to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. We source our premium functional foods through direct partnerships with farming communities around the world. An essential part of our mission is to create economic opportunities among indigenous people in developing countries, and our support of native agriculture helps expand development of global organic farming practices.

Navitas has always generously given me the chance to taste their specialty ingredients and put them to use in creative, delicious recipes. This month, they asked me to participate in their “Back to Basics” Smoothment–an initiative to encourage more consumers to experiment with healthful superfood ingredients, and add more nutritious smoothies to their routines. In return for joining the “smoothment,” you get tips, smoothie recipes, chances to win prizes, videos, and product discounts. It’s a great chance to explore blended nutrition and taste.

The folks at Navitas sent me a bunch of new and tried-and-true ingredients with which to concoct delicious, healthful smoothies for the smoothment, which launches this week. I’ll be sharing them periodically in the coming four weeks, but today, I wanted to share a recent highlight: a blueberry hemp shake, made with Navitas hemp seeds, hemp protein, and maca, along with blueberries.

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Thanks to the blueberries, it’s an antioxidant powerhouse, but it’s also a rich source of complete protein and plant-based Omega-3. I can’t think of a better way to support body and brain as school gets underway!

Blueberry Hemp Shake (for Navitas Naturals Back to Basics Smoothment)

Serves 1

1 cup frozen blueberries
3 heaping tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp hemp protein powder
1 cup almond milk
2 pitted dates
1 cup spinach
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp maca

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender. Add more almond milk if the texture is too thick. Enjoy!

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This smoothie is so energizing and nutrient rich. And there’s something magical about the combination of berries and cinnamon.

If you’re interested in joining the smoothment, you can find more details here. And if not, I hope you simply take the time to enjoy some delicious smoothies for back-to-school September. Come November, temperatures may be a bit too chilly for blended breakfasts, so let’s carpe diem and experiment with all sorts of new flavors!

xo

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Averie Cooks September 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm

What a pretty smoothie and Navitas is always a good call…great high quality stuff!

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Melissa George September 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm

This looks delicious! I love hemp! I haven’t tried maca yet, but it’s on my list the next time I’m at Whole Foods. I love mulberries, but I’ve never had them dried. And I’ve never heard of lucuma – I’ll have to look that one up! Thanks for sharing the recipe and all the great info!

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Lauren September 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Oh yes, as a grad student, I absolutely love your “hurry up vegan” recipes and suggestions. Always, always.

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Marissa September 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm

People can become fanatical about the almighty superfoods, forgetting about the power in plant-based foods not lucky enough to be labeled “super”. I’ve always appreciated your sensible approach to superfoods. I’m pretty much the same way. While these foods aren’t cure-alls, they are very nutritious and sure do have some wonderful applications.

I’ve used maca on occasion for energy and hormonal support. It’s malt-like flavor is awesome with carob (or cacao if you use it) in a malted shake. As you mention, lucuma’s flavor is incomparable, and its sweetness eliminates the need for other sweeteners. Dried mulberries are great, but picking them fresh from a tree is like nothing else. Another favorite of mine is mesquite. Most people have only had it in barbecue flavored foods, but it pairs so well with so many fruits. I use all of these superfoods (and more) not only for the taste but for the added nutrition.

I loved the last Navitas Naturals Smoothment because it gave me great ideas for how to use unfamiliar superfood ingredients. I’ll have to check out the new videos!

As for the waning smoothie season, I’m shedding a small tear. I hate to see the beautiful summer fruit disappearing, but I have been known to get my chilled green smoothie fix under a mountain of blankets in the dead of winter. Just turn on the space heater and imagine it’s a tropical paradise, right?!

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Kait @ yogabeautylife September 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm

THat is by far the prettiest smoothie I think I’ve ever seen! Thanks for letting us know about the Smoothment. :)

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Lisa @ The Raw Serenity September 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm

This smoothie sounds yum!
I was having digestion issues that got so bad I begged the doctor to fix me. After so many tests and samples it turns out the maca powder was the cause!
I was so suprised , but I read online that others have had reactions to it aswel.
Just shows how every body is different . Though the benefits sounds great, if you can digest it :)

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Christa @ Edible Balance September 11, 2012 at 11:05 pm

All of my favorites in one smoothie! I had no idea what to make for breakfast tomorrow since I demolished the roasted peach and ginger chia pudding, this might be it!!

It took me a while to get used to maca, but because of its hormone balancing properties I’ve been taking it daily. So amazing! I’m just delving into the world of lucuma as well, so far so good!

I will definitely check out the smoothment, sounds right up my superfood alley… love Navitas Naturals, such a wonderful approach to their products.

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Rachel @ Almonds and Avocados September 11, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Im back in school too, and smoothies are by far the easiest on-the-go meal. Plus, I love knowing that I’m filling up on healthy, whole ingredients and supplying my body with the nutrients I need! Thanks for sharing about the Smoothment!
As far as Navitas Naturals go, I have a cupboard full of their products!! I LOVE the caramel flavor of the Lucuma powder–I didn’t at first, but it’s certainly grown on me :) I also love their raw cacao powder, cacao nibs, and goji berries. I’ll have to try the maca powder, though–it’s already on my grocery list! Thanks for the great post!

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Janae @ Bring-Joy September 12, 2012 at 3:11 am

Good point–in a few months, I don’t think smoothies will be on my radar (at least in WA state), so drink it up while the good weather lasts!

Never heard of Navitas before, good to know. I value your opinion on these things, thanks for sharing.

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Amy September 12, 2012 at 8:45 am

yum looks so good! I’ve never tried maca- anyway to describe the taste at all? And do I spy non-organic blueberries?! hehehe

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Emily September 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Looks good – will have to try the recipe. Smoothies are a sneaky way for me to get healthy stuff into my kids too.

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Janet September 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm

This looks delicious; however, it’s hardly back to basics. Don’t get me wrong, I love Nativas and buy a lot of their products but they are in no way basic and their movement sounds like nothing more than a marketing scheme. Some fruits and almond milk? That might be more basic than bags of stuff shipped half way across the world.

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Rebecca September 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Woohoo! Bring on the “hurry up vegan” recipes, can’t wait for more! This recipe was such a big hemp- I mean help! ;) And good luck with everything you have to do!

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Ana September 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Wow, this smoothie looks amazing, what a beautiful color! I will be trying this week as I have almost all of the ingredients at home. I am only missing the dates, but I can get that easily at the bulk bins at my grocery store.
Yum, can’t wait to try this one!
Ana

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Elizabeth September 13, 2012 at 5:39 am

Funny thing about taste. I happened to adore maca from day 1 (although it took me a while to try it given my morbid fear of potentially off-tasting food). I also love fennel and cilantro and parsnips and countless other “unpopular” veggies. On the other hand, I detest tahini and raisins and sunflower seeds and tofu and other more popular foods. Then there are the foods that taste odd to me, but in a good not bad way. Like blue green algae, chlorella, hemp, etc. i dont love or crave these foods, or abide them in huge quantities, but i do consume them with some frequency.

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Lauren @ The Homeostatic Mindset September 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I have been having a blueberry smoothie everyday for the past fews weeks and I absolutely LOVE it! Just frozen wild blueberries, vanilla brown rice protein powder (no sugar added or anything), and almond milk and water. I make it the consistency of ice cream and eat it with a spoon. Love how you added cinnamon to your’s as well! I do that too and everyone always thinks I’m weird :P

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Emily September 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I’ve made this smoothie 4 times this week. It hasn’t disappointed yet!!! I added some acai berry powder to the last one, and it made it even more purpley and lovely. Great recipe!

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