Thursday, May 14, 2015

Viva Labs Can Help You Eat Lighter and Healthier This Summer!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received these products, free of charge,from Viva Labs, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

Since we're talking about clean eating today, I wanted to share 2 very healthy products, from one of our favorite companies, that can help you make your meals healthier!

via labs organic goji berries pack

Viva Labs Organic Goji Berries are a premier brand of Goji berries! Goji berries, also known as "wolfberries", have been used for thousands of years in ancient Asian medicine for their wide array of health benefits including, enhancing longevity, defending cells against the effects of oxidation and improving mental clarity. With over 20 trace minerals and 18 amino acids, these small, yet powerful sweet red berries can make the simplest recipe bold and vibrant. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of selected foods, goji berries received an ORAC score of 3,290- surpassing the antioxidant potential of blueberries, grapes and grapefruit. Plus they also contain vitamins A and C!

As you can see the Viva Labs Organic Goji Berries are HUGE compare to the ones you might have seen at your local supermarket! They have NO added sugar and can be eaten straight from the bag! They are chewy, reminiscent of a well dried cherry (sweet and tart at same time), and have an unique taste that might need to be acquired by some. I added them to our water bottle diffusers and made some very quenching fruited water. When added to lemonade they made a downright tasty cooling beverage that seemed to give you energy! I also have baked with them (after cutting into smaller pieces)- they work in any recipe where you have dried blueberries, apricots or raspeberries! 

Viva Labs Organic Goji Berries really are supreme- they are handpicked from the Tibetan Plateau in the most prestigious regions of the Himalayas. The berries are shade-dried instead of the traditional method of sun-drying them to help better preserve their essential nutrients and lending an incredible mouth feel to them. The "plateau berries" are rated as top grade berries according to their remarkable plumpness, vibrant red color and delectable sweetness. Viva Labs Organic Goji Berries are sustainably grown and sourced in accordance with fair trade practices. So you can feel really great about buying them! Once you try them you may seem them as your new Summer fruit! 

Viva Labs QuinoaQuinoa is an ancient South American staple cultivated from the pristine Andean mountains. It is revered as "the mother grain" and known to be "the gold of the Incas". Aesthetically it is similar to rice, but carries its own unique nutritional profile and texture. Quinoa does not belong to the same family as wheat, barley, oats or rye, making it suitable for anyone following a gluten-free diet. similarly to rice, this hearty grain can be prepared in advance and stored for days. Cook quinoa as a side dish or as a satisfying, protein-rich meal any day of the week.  

Viva Labs' quinoa seeds are harvested in the high altitude mountainous regions of Bolivia. Quinoa is threshed from fully matured plants, releasing nutritionally-rich seeds of exquisite taste. Naturally covered by bitter saponins, Viva Labs' quinoa is de-saponized removing unwanted bitter qualities and offering exceptional flavor. Viva Labs' organic whole grain quinoa is sustainably grown and sourced directly from farmers in accordance with fair trade practices.Viva Labs Quinoa is de-saponized and pre-washed in order to remove bitter saponins naturally present on quinoa seeds. Our quinoa is certified USDA organic, gluten-free and non-GMO.

Quinoa is relatively low on the glycemic index compared to traditional grains such as white rice, wheat, millet or couscous, offering a delicious, gluten-free and high-protein alternative to starchy grains. Iin addition to being high in dietary fiber and protein, quinoa is a rich source of minerals such as manganese, iron and calcium, making it the ideal complement for a well-balanced diet.

Complete Vegetarian Protein - rich in all of the essential amino acids, quinoa is a healthy source of complete protein making it perfectly suitable for those following a plant-based diet.In addition to iron, quinoa contains other essential minerals such as, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and is a high source of manganese

Sample recipe from Viva Labs for using quinoa as a Side Dish:

1. Prepare quinoa by rinsing it prior to boiling for about 10 seconds.
2. For every one cup of quinoa add two cups of water (2:1 ratio no matter how much you are making)  We substituted 1 cup water for 1 cup of a pork/chicken broth soup base that we had leftover from the day before.
3. Add broth, water and quinoa to a  medium-sized saucepan, and simmer on medium heat, covered, for 15 minutes or until water/broth has completely evaporated. 
4. Remove from heat and allow quinoa to cool for five minutes, fluff with fork and serve. 

Note: One cup of dry quinoa yields three cups of cooked quinoa. Viva Labs has more sample recipes on their Amazon listing! 

I love that you do NOT have to soak the Viva Labs quinoa for hours before you can use it, as they have already pre-soaked it to remove the nasty tasting saponins for you! So you can use it just as quickly as you would pasta or rice, making it much more viable as a pantry staple for parents without a lot of time to prepare and cook meals!  And I have to admit this is some of the best tasting quinoa I've tasted, it might actually convert you over to ancient grains! So I highly recommend it!

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