Have you heard of açaí berry? It’s an amazing Amazonian superfood, cultivated by the indigenous people of Brazil and enjoyed throughout the rainforest as an important staple food. But some intrepid surfers from California have been working for twenty years to bring this awesome fruit to cities across the world, all the while supporting the communities that rely on this magical fruit.
Sambazon has created a line of açaí products that bring flavor and nutrition to health-conscious folks outside of Brazil. Sambazon creates frozen açaí puree, energy and smoothie drinks, açaí powder and cleansing drinks to make healthier eating delicious and easy.
But first, a little bit about the berries: açaí berries, which grow on palm tress but look like blueberries, are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, protein, healthy fats, and they taste like a combination of cherries, blueberries and dark chocolate. Not bad for a superfood, right? According to NutritionFacts.org (my favorite nutrition site), açaí berries have 75,000 antioxidant units and offer a serious amount of nutrition to our bodies. For more information on the health benefits of açaí berries check out this post here and here. These berries grow only in the Brazilian rainforest, which harbors nearly one-third of the planet’s biodiversity. Sambazon was so inspired by this part of the world that their company is actually named after it – Sambazon – Sustainable Management of the Brazilian AmAZON. Cool, right?
But beyond being delicious, Sambazon is working hard to keep things healthy for the planet too. Sambazon created the first organic açaí plantations in 2003 and incorporates fair-trade practices with all their suppliers. All Sambazon products are USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified (click here to learn more about GMOs), Ecocert Fair Trade, vegan, and gluten free. Additionally, Sambazon is focused on the triple bottom line, which not only measures success economically, but also socially and environmentally. For businesses focused on a Triple Bottom Line, every profit is a positive experience for everything and everyone involved. For Sambazon, their profits, “benefit the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest which provides amazing superfoods and botanicals, to the farmers who work the land and earn a healthy living, to our employees who translate this Amazon magic into next level products; and finally, to our customers who ultimately use these delicious powers to help further their own health and wellness missions. We feel that this is an awesome model of how businesses should operate and that with enough of them out there, then capitalism, in fact, can be a positive force for change and a major contributor to a sustainable future.” Even the Sambazon cafes in California feature ecological design and feature recycled and eco-friendly products.
The Sambazon Manifesto is pretty great too:
- Foster a healthy disregard for the impossible.
- Be fiercely committed to Sustainability + all things Organic/Non-GMO.
- Share Superfoods that energize the Body + Soul.
- Live an active lifestyle that’s centered around vibrant Health + Wellness.
- Be honest, upful, playful, open, curious, driven and humble.
- Trust in “One Tribe. One Vibe.” by being earnest, approachable and radically inclusive of all.
- Measure success through a Triple Bottom Line: Social + Environmental + Economic.
And the drinks! Sambazon makes a wide range of products, including frozen açaí puree, sorbet, energy and smoothie drinks, açaí powder and cleansing drinks. I’ve long been a fan of the frozen puree for homemade açaí bowls, so I was super stoked to sample five flavors of the bottled beverages with coupons shared by the company. We tried five flavors from their fairly extensive line (my job is so hard, I know):
The best was the Chocolate, Almond & Coconut Protein, which tasted like fruity chocolate milk; the Blended Breakfast was also super good, though with ingredients like chia and amaranth I expected a thick texture. The drink was creamy, but not enough, so I added a few Tablespoons of chia seeds (check out this post to learn why chia seeds are so awesome!). And despite my deep love of things green, the Kale & Ginger didn’t really impress my tastebuds. Overall, all the drinks are really tasty, but they are pretty high in sugar, so enjoy them in moderation. I contacted the company to inquire about unsweetened or fruit-sweetened options, and unfortunately they don’t have any in the works; the only exception is the Supergreens, which is sweetened only with fruit juices. Açaí berries are actually quite bitter, so a little bit of sugar goes a long way to making the flavor pop. If you want the benefits of açaí but don’t want any sugar, melt a frozen açaí pack and then mix with water or blend into a smoothie. All the nutrition and none of the sugar!
And for the ambitious among us, you can use the frozen Açaí packs to make your own açaí creations at home:
If you think Sambazon is pretty cool too, check them out in the world of social media. If you ‘like’ them on Facebook you can get a coupon for $1.5o off one of their delicious products!
Vibrant Wellness Journal wishes to thank Sambazon for providing five coupons for free bottled beverages for us to review. But they really are a cool company, right? aloha, adb