A Super Giveaway

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Have you heard of Julie Morris? If you haven’t yet, you should make a point of getting to know her. She’s one of the most talented, innovative, and charming personalities in the business, and by “business,” I mean the world of men and women who love to talk about—and to prepare—whole, plant-based, semi-raw food. Julie’s recipes epitomize everything I love about food: they’re healthy, flavorful, and simple. The flavors are vibrant, but light and bright. And they combine an intense interest in health science with an epicurean’s love of the sensual pleasures of eating.

I got to know Julie about a year ago, all via email, and we quickly established that, if we weren’t separated by the US mainland (she’s LA-based) we’d probably be spending a lot of our time together. As it is, she’s one of my funniest and most effusive penpals. When I learned that Julie was at work on a book about superfoods, I was both excited and conflicted. On the one hand, I’d read anything this woman wrote. On the other, I spend a lot of time debunking the idea of an elite and magical class of food labeled as “super.” (See this post for a summary of my thoughts on the idea of a “superfood.”)

Additionally, it’s hard to spend any time in raw circles without growing weary of the obsession with exotic South American berries and mysterious powdered blends of…stuff. Because the term “superfood” is unregulated, it’s hard to know which claims are bogus and which aren’t, how subjective the criteria of food manufacturers are, and whether these foods are really “super” at all. To me, it’s always seemed as though most superfoods are simply food that are on the healthier side, dressed up and priced as if they’re poised to perform miracles.

Julie Morris has singlehandedly changed my mind. Her new book, Superfood Cuisine, is probably the single best resource out there for anyone who’s curious about superfoods, but also allergic, as I am, to unscrupulous scientific claims. She’s researched the benefits of superfoods meticulously, and she writes about them with the enthusiasm of a nutrition nerd (which I’m guessing all of us here at CR are) and the rationality of an educated consumer. Her approach to superfoods, in the end, isn’t the typical raw foodist extremist’s position that, if we reduce our food intake to these foods and these foods only, we’ll live to be 219, but rather that adding superfoods in small quantities to our everyday cooking can only enhance the health benefits of what we make. That’s Superfood Cuisine in a nutshell: use superfoods not as a replacement for regular food, but rather as supplementary parts of an already sumptuous and flavorful diet.

To help you along, Julie has teamed up with Navitas Naturals—my own personal favorite source of cacao nibs, chia seeds, hemp seeds, lucuma, and cacao powder—to make an entire book’s worth of delicious soups, spreads, grain bowls, salads, desserts, and mouth-watering photos to match. And I’m giving a copy away to one of my readers.

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Along with a bag of my favorite Navitas trail mix: goji berries, cacao, and raw cashews:

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I’ll go ahead and call this an essential giveaway for anyone who’s curious about the health properties of such things as maca, mesquite, or mulberries, all of which I tried for the first time (and loved!) thanks to Julie:

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Am I a little biased here? Sure. I helped to edit the book. But I wouldn’t have helped out with it had not read it and loved it. I don’t change my mind easily about things, and it says a lot about the power of Julie’s voice (and food!) that I have totally reconsidered how I feel about superfood.

In her acknowledgments, Julie says: “To Gena Hamshaw, for all the articulate feedback and premium supply of sass.”

Sass? Moi? Anytime, Julie. Anytime.

To win 1 free copy of Superfood Cuisine by Julie Morris, you can:

1) Comment on this post, telling me how you feel about the idea of “superfoods,” and why!

2) Tweet the following: @choosingraw is giving away a free snack & superfood cookbook by @greenjules! Enter to win: https://bit.ly/qbPyvT

3) Like Superfood Cuisine on Facebook.

4) Like Navitas Naturals on Facebook

5) Follow me on Twitter

Please leave a comment for each entry (so if you tweet, comment back to say you did; each of these four entries counts separately).

I’ll announce the winner on Friday, August 12th!

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In light of this super giveaway, I’ll be posting my first ever self-entitled “superfood recipe” tomorrow!


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  1. I’m into the idea of “superfoods,” but feel it has turned into more of a buzz word for marketing purposes. I don’t like how it turns into an obsession for people- or a word that becomes meaning less. Yet on the positive side, any cause for healthy eats, is a cause I can support. I just feel that the less bizarre foods, like kale, avocado, sunflower sprouts, etc., should also be considered “superfoods.” Don’t get me wrong, because I love goji berries, goldenberries, mulberries, lucuma, and all the other expensive goodies!

  2. I don’t think “superfoods” can hurt, so as long as they are in one’s budget, go for it!

  3. Hi, Gena, I think whatever’s in season is a ‘superfood’–that is, what’s fresh, full of flavor, and at the peak of ripeness. With that said, I’m with you about most self-proclaimed ‘superfoods’.

  4. Liked Navitas Naturals on Facebook, too! πŸ™‚ Thank you for doing this giveaway! So exciting!

  5. I am uberly in love with superfoods – healthy and wholesome, there is nothing better! My current superfood obsessions include chia seeds, hemp powder, and the classic quinoa. They are staples in nearly every meal I eat!

  6. I think there’s so much hype around superfoods simply to try to get people to buy X, Y, or Z product, it’s no different than any other kind of advertising. I’ve used some, and liked them, Shilajit in particular is really awesome, but I’m very skeptical because I know their aim is to convince me to spend my money, not necessarily to help me or my health.

    I’d be willing to try out the book though πŸ™‚ and I love mulberries!

  7. I try to incorporate “superfoods” into my diet as there is definitely some interesting research out there that shows the health benefits. So I would be very interested in learning more about how to include them in recipes so that they could become more of a staple in my diet.

  8. i think superfoods are great because so many foods these days are so processed. the superfoods help those people eat the healthier food

  9. The concept of superfoods is great for educating people about a healthy lifestyle and nutrition, but we have to realize that each “next big thing” in healthy eating has been around for years and years. We are just rediscovering the food and its benefits in a scientific way.

  10. Superfoods have always intrigued me. I think they are are great thing but pretty pricey. Wish I could afford to use more of them.

  11. I fall for the hype of new superfood de jour all the time! I’m kind of a sucker that way; but it’s fun and I love experimenting on myself with new healthy crazes πŸ™‚

  12. By labeling these superfoods as superfoods, it rhetorically pushes people to WANT to put these foods into their bodies. And as they should! These superfoods–maca, goji, marine phytoplankton, etc.–are foods that we all should be including in our diets because they make us feel good. So if it takes calling them superfoods (and they are, aren’t they?) to awaken people who might not be as enthusiastic or knowledgeable about food as CR-ists are, then so be it!

    Thanks for this chance to win some wonderful items, Gena!

  13. I have been getting into superfoods more and more since discovering your site Gena. Love researching them and try to incorporate the ones I find most beneficial (and financial) into my diet. Right now I add maca powder into my green smoothies, snack on chia puddings, and try and add hemp seeds whenever I can. I would love to win a copy of Superfood Cuisine to learn more about superfoods and to start making more superfood recipes (tried the ones on Julie’s site this weekend and loved them).

    I “liked” Superfood Cuisine and Navitas Naturals on FB too! (as well as and Choosing Raw πŸ™‚

  14. Superfoods make me feel like I am getting added benefits from my food and that I am nurishing my body with the best possible foods. I never underestimate the simplicity of fresh nutrient-rich greens, fruits and veggies though! I guess you could say I’m an equal opportunist πŸ˜‰

  15. I am so grateful to have discovered superfoods! I admit I have been and still am sometimes a bit skeptical when certain superfoods are acclaimed to be a panacea for all ills, but there are a few that I’ve with relief added to my life so far and more that I’d love to try! Hooray for the energy and alkalinity from spirulina and chlorella and maca for adrenal stress! I’m much more open to adding whole food sources of vitamins and nutrients to my diet, than I am to pop a multi. Eager to learn more!

  16. My husband age 70 & I age 60 have been using super foods this last 3 yrs. I can say both of us have a clear mind and more energy with incorporating super foods in our diet.

    Gena I have absolutely LOVED your website. I am so grateful I came across this and I have been following you the last 3 yrs. You have amazing stories and pictures. I highly recommend others that are trying to leave the SAD diet.



  17. I think superfoods are ontrovercial, like on your previous post about superfoods… they can really be anything you want them to be (within reason) if they have a lot of nutrients (Michael Pollan). ALthough, as for my own perspective, I love the general idea of superfoods and I consume them regularly.

  18. I definitely believe that certain foods have the power to do amazing things for our bodies…so “superfoods” seems fitting! Plus, if a label helps make “our” foods more mainstream, I’m all for that. πŸ™‚

  19. I just tweeted, too! Side note: I can’t stop laughing at the young pic of George Michael I am now using for my Avatar. Love it!

  20. When I first found out about superfoods, I was in heaven! I was new to high-raw eating and the idea that we could heal our bodies and increase our health with these plant-based foods spoke to my soul! I went overboard at first and spent a ton of money, but now I am taking a more moderate approach to them. Two years and a few trial and errors later, I can say that I have experienced a difference from making superfoods a part of my daily diet. I can’t wait to check out this book for new recipe ideas! Thanks, Gena and Julie!

  21. Not sure how I feel about superfoods- they are so expensive! I like that they can have lots of nutrients and minerals and are tasty. I would love to read the book you mentioned, though- thank you for posting about it.

  22. I like to experiment with new kinds of foods and superfoods are intriguing to me. I don’t know that much about them, but am ready to learn. I think they can be really helpful in adding nutrients to our diet,

  23. Luckily, most “superfoods” fall into my personal catalog of delicious. So, I’d eat them regardless of health benefits. Now, with the added label, they make me feel extra good about my decisions.

  24. I love superfoods but try not to buy too many at once because they’re expensive. I use them in smoothies and on cereal.

    So now I’ve commented…

  25. Always trying to incorporate more superfoods into my diet. However, I agree with you that adding superfoods in small quantities to our everyday cooking can only enhance the health benefits of what we make. I will look into her book – hopefully win it though. Thanks!

  26. Oh, I’ve seen the book online and it looks wonderful. I don’t really know what I think about superfoods; I mean, obviously they’re good for something, but often they’re just so damn expensive that I tend to go for “normal” whole foods instead. I do splurge on goji berries and raw chocolate from time to time, though.

  27. The term “superfood” always makes me think it’s a fad…but I do incorporate many of these items into my diet because they have some properties that I believe are healthy.

    However…I do not believe I’ll become smarter, faster or funnier just because I’ve sprinkled some goji berries and cacao nibs on my breakfast smoothie. Delicious and nutritious? Yes. SUPERfoods? Um…no.

  28. Superfoods make me feel… well, super!

    I just too my first raw foods class last week and really enjoyed the experience. Looking forward to future experimenting with this style!

  29. Superfoods are just healthy foods. The name is silly. Proper use of the word super? Superman. I mean, he can fly for crying out loud.

  30. Superfoods are the best fuel! They give me the energy I need with my busy schedule of full time grad student, mom, and yoga teacher!

  31. I am intimidated by superfoods. I can’t even say how many time I’ve had maca powder in my hand, only to set it down because I don’t know how I’d use the whole bag. And goji berries scare the jeepers out of me! So I would love the guidance this book could provide. πŸ™‚

  32. What good timing – I literally just blogged about this! By the sounds of it, I feel very similarly to you about it – I hate the way that the media jumps on the superfood bandwagon, and how none of it is actually regulated in any way. But what I hate even MORE is how it seems to have made people sceptical of healthy foods in general. As people lose faith in the superfood myth (because new ones keep popping up every 5 seconds, only to get shot down again by the medical experts), they start seeing it all as ridiculous, and toss all of their healthy choices out of the basket in favour of convenience foods again. It’s confusing for people, so they end up going for what feels easier, rather than doing the research on what’s really important.

    Or they go in the complete opposite direction, basing all of their food choices purely around superfoods; stressing out if they don’t manage to include them all. I don’t think that’s good for the body OR the soul. Obviously some foods are more nutritionally rich than others, but I feel like the superfood thing has gone too far now.

    But I’m aaaalways interested in learning more, so I’d love the book! Especially if it’s got your sceptical stamp of approval on it πŸ˜›

  33. While the bulk of my diet is comprised of stuff I can find at a farmer’s market, or in the produce section at Whole Foods, I do round it out with a variety of “superfoods.” I consume Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer (which contains maca and chlorella and a bunch of other stuff I probably wouldn’t bother to buy individually), raw honey and bee pollen, and Crystal Manna blue green algae pretty regularly year round. I’ll eat other stuff – lucuma, raw cacao, chia seeds, mulberries, reishi mushrooms, etc. – when the mood strikes. I am a fan of super foods, and would not shell out the money I do for the Vega, for instance, if I didn’t believe they made a huge difference. That said, I’ve been at this a long time. I wouldn’t try and sell a beginner to this lifestyle on superfoods. I think they will see a bigger difference in health and vitality through elimination of processed foods, conventional meat and dairy, etc., than through addition of goji berries.
    PS: I’d love a copy of this book.

  34. I think there may be certain food retailers who are overly enthusiastic to sell a product; however, I believe there are a few good superfood retailers out there selling really high quality products. I consume a handful of different superfoods and have seen positive results since incorporating them into my diet. It is very refreshing to see someone like Julie dive into this topic and research whether or not all of the claims we hear are true. Thank you and keep shining!

  35. I agree with the author of the giveaway book. “superfoods” should be added to an otherwise clean, healthful, as organic as possible, creatively and lovingly prepared diet.


  36. I would love to learn more about incorporating superfoods into my family’s diet. So far we snack on goji berries, raw nuts, etc. I also make green smoothies and juices. But I would love to know how to make more cooked meals as well.

  37. I’m skeptical about superfoods because not a lot of scientific research has been done to support all the marketing and hype surrounding them. It feels like many companies take advantage of the people who are insecure about never eating healthy enough or the ones who are desperate to find instant health benefits with one food. I do, however, know that variety is key if you want to get all the nutrients your body needs and with that said, adding superfoods to your diet can do no harm. The possibilities they bring in the kitchen are what really catch my interest though, not their properties.

  38. I’m not thrilled with the way superfoods are generally promoted as it seems dishonest to me, but I like what you’ve said about Julie’s approach. I do like it that a wider variety of foods are becoming available.

  39. I feel so many companies label certain foods as Superfoods as a marketing tactic to appeal to people. I think each food has their own nutritional benefits. I would love to win this giveaway as I love Navita Naturals products!

  40. Superfoods are superheroes. Embracing them into my life freed me from the chains of restricted eating habits and neurotic calorie counting. Raw foods have opened my eyes to the world! It’s a delicious place and I WANT TO EAT it. =)

  41. I am excited about this giveaway – I am always looking to add more nutrient dense to mine & my boyfriend’s diet!

  42. Always trying to work more superfoods into my diet! This book sounds awesome!

  43. Hope its not too late to enter! Was away on vacation and catching up on emails now…As for suoer foods, i think they can be useful in some circumstances but I don’t think someone can eat junk sprinkled with some super foods and then turn out super…lol.

  44. To sum up how I feel about superfoods: In theory I think they’re great, but then I have to throw out entire packages of things like yacon powder because I’ve forgotten about it and it’s so hard there’s nothing super left! I wish I could figure out how to use them more. This book looks so beautiful, I shall be checking it out whether I win or not.

  45. Ahh giveaway!! I love the idea of superfoods because when people grapple with the ideas of the ANDI, glycemic index, and general knowledge on each food item and the benefits it can bring you, I feel that working with super tasty healthy food that is the (vegan!) cream of the crop makes gastronomic efforts/palettes/creativity so much easier!

  46. Thank you for your website and information!
    I use different superfoods in periods. Often goji as my husband love them. But also the more regional superfoods like rosehips – the fruit, cloudberry, Swedish cranberry, and a lot of others. For the moment mostly rosehips fruits because it is very good against inflammations special in the joints.

  47. I also:

    Liked Superfood Cuisine on Facebook.

    Liked Navitas Naturals on Facebook

  48. I like the idea of superfoods but right now most of them seem out of my budget. I’m definitely willing to try it out though!

  49. i’m taking teeny-tiny steps towards using more superfoods in my diet. mostly because i trust my sources (brendan brazier, you, others).

    so since reading about it in june i’ve been having a chia pudding for breakfast daily. i also bought cacao nibs. i LOVE the taste of chia puddings, so i think i’m sold for life. expensive, yes, but i love it so 2-3 TB a day (i mix it with a bit of oatmeal) are a nice splurge.

    i think i might experiment with adding just one more superfood at a time (although trying all superfoods is not my goal) and trying it for a month or two before adding others.