This post makes me sad, very sad. I really really wanted to give a thumbs up to the samples that Navitas Naturals sent me. If you haven’t noticed by now, I tend to only contact companies whose products I think I’ll like (I know…stating the obvious). And I stick with foods that are all natural, superfood-like, maybe a little “out there.” I especially like to review products from small businesses if possible because the “General Mills” of the world already get plenty of press. Not that my little blog is going to make or break a company, but it’s something.
What’s worse, the two flavors of “Power Snack” nuggets that Navitas provided taste fantastic, shockingly so, but it’s the chia that’s the problem. And there was definitely an ingredient in there that made my body unhappy. Even so, I owe Navitas a thorough review, and I’ll let you decide for yourself if the issues I describe are make/break for you.
First and foremost, I’m grateful to Navitas for sending me samples of the following:
– Cocao Goji Superfood Power Snack
– Blueberry Hemp Superfood Power Snack
– 3 Berry, Cacao Nib, Cashew Trail Mix
Navitas Naturals is based out of California, and its stated mission is to provide premium organic functional foods that increase energy and enhance health. The company prides itself on sourcing sustainably through direct community partnerships with farmers around the world. Its products are not only organic but also raw and vegan.
OK, onto the review. I’m going to mostly focus on the Power Snacks because I found them so tasty.
In addition to some of the standard nuts and seeds, the Power Snacks have a list of other ingredients (all organic) that I’ve never heard of before. The cocao variety is made of:date paste, cocoa powder, chia seed, sesame seed, raisin, sunflower seed, goji powder, maca powder, lucuma powder, camu camu powder, natural chocolate flavor. The blueberry variety is made of: date paste, chia seed, sunflower seed, cashew, blueberry, sesame seeds, hemp powder, maca powder, lucuma powder, maqui powder, camu camu powder, natural blueberry flavor.
Despite being the first ingredient on the list, you wouldn’t think “dates” when biting into them. They’re so heavily chocked full of tiny bits of nuts and seeds that they almost lack for sweetness. The taste really is unbelievable. Biting into these nuggets, the first flavor that hits is a deep cocoa or blueberry, depending on which you’re eating. And then inexplicably there’s a heat that hits the palate for a split second before disappearing again. I almost felt like I was making it up since it passed so quickly. Having Wikipedia-ed all the new-to-me ingredients, I can only guess that maybe it’s the goji, but I’m not sure.
The nuggets are maybe one inch cubes. They’re soft when you bite into them but slightly crunchy from all the seeds and nuts. And, as far as flavor, all the dried fruits and seeds blend really well, making it difficult to distinguish any one from the crowd.
They’re also pretty calorie-dense, which would be good for a hiking diet. The serving size of 28g equates to about 2 nuggets with the following nutrition facts. Calories 130. Total fat 7g. Carbs 14g. Dietary fiber 2.5g. Protein 3g.
Unfortunately, the problems I experienced were two-fold. First, the chia seeds got stuck in my teeth terribly. I’m talking like a dozen chia seeds in the spaces between my teeth. And I have a great set of chompers, so it’s not caused by personal dental issues. It’s easy enough to floss them out, but great googly moogly I found it frustrating.
The second problem was that I had a mild allergic reaction to one of the ingredients. Keep in mind that I have a lot of inflammation issues, and (as was the case here) getting a rash around my mouth is not new to me. It happens sometimes if I eat too much citrus or other acidic food. Having researched the ingredients, my best guess is that the camu camu powder was the cause since it’s described (Wikipedia) as extremely acidic.
Briefly about the trail mix. I’m sorry to say it, but there was absolutely nothing I liked about this product. It’s made of goji berries, mulberries, goldenberries, cacao nibs, and raw cashews. Every single ingredient served to suck all of the moisture out of my mouth, and there was not one hint of sweetness. It was sour and tart and bitter and even at times tasted fermented. I thought maybe I needed to try it in something, so I added it to oatmeal, hoping it would “moisturize” the berries. No such luck. I almost threw away my oatmeal before throwing in some raisins and choking it down (I hate to waste food).
Well, there you have it, folks. I don’t want to end on a bad note, so I’ll focus on the yummy Power Snacks. If you’re not someone who has many allergies/sensitivities and you don’t mind the potential for food stuck in your teeth, I suggest you give these babies a whirl. I know that’s a weak sales pitch. It’s the best I could do.