Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Game Changers…

Not sure why but 2011 feels particularly auspicious to me. I woke up feeling inspired to share some of the rewarding insights that years of yoga and work in the natural foods industry have revealed. If you’re looking to make some positive lifestyle changes, I can personally testify to the benefits of the following:

1. Make Sambazon Breakfast Bowls… My favorite recipe includes 2 packs of Pure or Pure Fuzion Sambazon Açaí Smoothie Packs (both are unsweetened), a couple scoops of organic rice/hemp protein powder (whole food powders/no isolates), a scoop of Amazing Grass brand Chocolate Superfood, Eden Blend organic rice/soy milk and any other organic berries you enjoy. Top with Ezekiel sprouted cereal and some honey.

2. Get Your Juice On… I highly recommend investing in a low RPM, twin gear juicer such as the Green Star juicer. Juicing organic fruits & veggies is a complete game changer. Pickup some Green Bags and use them instead of the standard plastic bags from the produce section; in this way, your veggies will last in your fridge for a good 5-7 days. Go easy on the apple and carrot and be sure to incorporate things like fresh turmeric and ginger root, cilantro, parsley, kale, broccoli, celery and a whole lemon (peel included).

3. Sprouting… Sprouting is downright awesome. Just get a seed sprouting jar or two so you can keep a good rotation going. Avoid making this complicated because it couldn’t be easier or more fun! Just rinse your sprouts before you leave for work and then again at some point in the evening. You’ll have more delicious sprouts than you can eat; and so, if you have a surplus, just juice ‘em!

4. Composting… I can’t tell you how inspiring it is to utilize the pulp left over from my daily juicing to produce gorgeous organic soil for my house plants and garden. Just get a small compost unit for your countertop and make a larger one out of an old storage bin for your back stock. You’ll also need composting worms commonly referred to as ‘red wigglers’. Learn more from The Ecology Center and How to Compost.

5. Learn how to breathe… properly : ) Pranayama can be referred to as the scientific art of mastering the breath. Of course, most of us are born knowing how to breathe properly. However, stress and traumatic events in our lives can cause us to sub-optimize the manner in which we breathe. All breathing patterns have a corresponding affect on the mind; and so, mastery of the breath brings about a profoundly calm and serene state in the mind. You can learn simple techniques from your local Yoga, Tai Chi or Qugong teacher or contact me directly if you’d like to learn a particularly elegant system of breathing techniques called Kriya Kundalini Pranayama.

6. Letting go… The foundation for all successful meditations, i.e., pro-actively letting go of all of that which robs you of your peace. Most of us don’t think twice about our daily hygiene rituals, e.g., brushing our teeth, bathing etc. One can think of meditation as good mental hygiene. Consistent, intense practice of meditation promises profound improvement in our own lives as well as those we interact with.

7. Sunlight: Be sure to get at least 20minutes of direct sunlight each day. In this stage in our evolution, we spend a lot of time indoors inundated with electromagnetic radiation. Sunlight not only yields Vitamin D but will also help you look and feel your best.

Helpful keys to the successful implementation of positive lifestyle changes:

1. The things that will work best for you are those you’ll do. It’s always best to start with something that fascinates you.

2. Be sure to give it an honest try before moving on to the next thing. In yoga, we work first towards 44 days of consistent intense practice for a new habit to begin to take hold and a 144 day milestone for it to become part of your character. Remember, if you don’t give up, you’re bound to succeed!

Lastly: When it comes to discouragement and frustration, remember, if it’s not one thing in life, it will always be another. So, when you encounter negative emotions relax, smile and cultivate the opposite quality of whatever negative emotion you’re encountering, e.g., cultivate courage and contentment when you experience fear or frustration.

* Skanda gives regular weekend seminars into classical yoga all over the globe. Please contact him directly if you’d like to learn more.


direct: 949 244 5651

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Every Brand Needs a Logo...

We returned from our first trip to the Amazon full of inspiration and low on cash. Knowing that our new company was in need of a logo, a dear friend of ours introduced us to two of his talented buddies one a DJ, the other a DJ and graffiti artist; both, self-taught graphic designers.

We spent some time with the dynamic duo recounting stories of our journey through Brazil and did our best to convey the ephemeral aspects of the Amazon and newfound obsession with açaí.

We explained that while on a tour through the Amazon forest we learned that sales of açaí fruit were more profitable to its inhabitants than selling less sustainable forest goods and that we’d decided to name the company SAMBAZON to memorialize our intention, i.e., the Sustainable Management of the Brazilian Amazon via market driven conservation.

Although we’d decided on a name (albeit long and somewhat tricky to pronounce), we offered the guys little more than the two adjectives: mystery & power. After several iterations, the Sambazon logo was born.

We’ve come to view the warrior in our logo as the protector of the forest. His stoic expression reminds us to remain steadfast through challenges and the beams of light emanating from around him represent the light that shines within each of us.

With Love & Devotion,


Friday, May 27, 2011

BBQ Açaí Tempeh Burger

Warm nights, fresh produce, and a long weekend ahead of us. Grilling season. Like usual, I had to add the superfoods and turn the classic burger into ultimate vegan tastiness - and I think you'll like where it ended up. So here's to friends and BBQs and a great summer ahead of us all.

Açaí BBQ Sauce
(Enough for 2, size up as needed)

1/2 Sweet yellow onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Sweet piquanté peppers (they are from South Africa and sometimes called Peppadews or peri peri peppadrops)
1/3 ketchup
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp chili powder (just use your favorite)
1/2 Sambazon Açaí Pure Smoothie Pack

Saute onion in oil till translucent, then add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for a couple minutes. Pour into a blender, and blend till smooth.

The Burger

Yellow crooked-neck squash
Romaine lettuce

Douse tempeh with BBQ sauce and rub squash with olive oil and add to a hot grill. Let cook till brown lines appear, flip and do the same. Add extra sauce to your tempeh each time you flip it. After about 10 minutes, or until desired doneness, add your buns to the grill to toast them briefly. Then pull everything off and assemble as you please.

Great with sweet potato fries (make them yourself of buy them frozen) and Açaí Sangria!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

B Corp: Certified Sustainable

We founded Sambazon (Sustainable Management of the Brazilian Amazon) eleven years ago with a desire to create positive social change through a “sustainable” business. Our philosophy was, and continues to be, based on a triple bottom line, which aims to achieve social, economic, and environmental success in all that we do. During this period, that very word, sustainable, has started to loose meaning as companies big and small adopt “sustainable” practices that have any range of positive influence from vast to none.

We’re not a fan of greenwashing any more than you are, so in a quest to seek out credible measures that would both demonstrate our transparency and keep Sambazon at the forefront of this movement, we continue to work hard to push the envelope with respected third parties to grow our certified USDA organic and Ecocert Fair Trade supply chain. And today, I’m happy to announce that Sambazon is honored to call itself a B(enefit) Corporation.

A certified B Corporation is a mission-driven organization that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems – and that mission is built into its legal DNA. Not only can companies become certified after passing a rigorous review process that looks at how a corporation treats its employees, consumers, community and environment, but B Corp is also working state by state to pass Benefit Corporation legislation – they are working on our home state of California right now.

You can see how Sambazon stacks up in the ranks of B Corporations in our public profile. If you see something we should work on, let us know. We appreciate your insights and know that the ultimate success of our society is dependent on all of us working together to create the future we want.

Ryan Black, Co-Founder + CEO

Recipe: The Kale + Pineapple Bowl


Spring means tons of fresh leafy greens... at your local supermarket, in your CSA basket, or from your garden. I'm a big fan of kale, chard and collards (my new found favorite). So, with all this goodness floating around, I decided to make a fresh greens bowl this morning for breakfast with a handful of kale from my garden, although this would taste great with any leafy green you have around.


The Kale + Pineapple Bowl

2 Sambazon Original Açaí Smoothie Packs
1 Banana (half for blending, half for topping)
4-5 Leaves of kale
1/4 Cup pineapple (frozen or fresh)
A splash of apple juice (a little goes a long way)


Chop up your smoothie packs. The easiest way is to slice them in the middle then bend in half and squeeze them out. Then make sure you recycle them!



Blend everything up, top with half of the banana and Manitoba Harvest hemp seeds. Cheers to being a greenie!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Purple Hearts


Salted chocolate, caramel, açaí tarts... more purple in spirit than in look. This stuff is rich. I mean really rich. So make sure you have someone (or a few someones) to share it with. This also will take you a bit of time, about 3-4 hours. But in the end, you'll get to eat it, and its worth it.

Chocolate Tart Dough

8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 Cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 Large egg yolk
1 Tsp pure vanilla extract (pls don't use vanilla flavoring, it's just never as good)
1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1/4 Cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

I use an electric mixer because I just got one, and am obsessed with it, but you could easy hand mix this with a wooden spoon, it will just take a bit longer. Either way, mix butter and confectioners' sugar till smooth. Then add egg yolk and vanilla and mix till smooth.


sift flour and cocoa powder (this makes sure you don't have those evil clumps in your dough) and add to your bowl then mix until just combined; form dough into a disk, seal in plastic wrap, and chill for an hour.


Preheat oven to 325° F. Flour a large surface and roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and press into a tart pan. You can either use a 10-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom or smaller individual tart pans - I used heart shaped small tart pans. Chill for about 30 minutes.


To bake, line with parchment paper and beans or weights - I didn't have parchment paper, and used garbanzo beans, which works, they just make small indents in the bottom of your tart - not a big deal. Bake with beans for 15 minutes, then pour the beans out and bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until crust is dry. Move to cooling rack.

Caramel Filling

1/2 Cup water
2 Cups granulated sugar
1/4 Cup light corn syrup
1/2 Cup heavy cream
8 Tbsp(1 stick) unsalted butter
2 Tbsp crème fraîche

Put water, sugar and corn syrup into a large saucepan and simmer and stir occasionally till it begins to turn golden. Turn off heat, and add cream (it will bubble ferociously once you begin to stir, but don't worry, it mellows out quickly). Add butter and crème fraîche and stir till smooth. If your caramel doesn't mix completely at first or you have some harder bits, you can put the pan on very low heat as you stir. Once mixed, let cool but stir occasionally so as not to form a crust on top. Pour into your tart and let it set.


Chocolate Ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Scoops Sambazon Freeze-Dried Açaí Powder


Chop chocolate finely and put into a heatproof bowl. Heat cream to a slight boil and pour over chocolate. Let it sit for a moment, and then stir until smooth. Add in açaí powder and mix. While warm, pour into the tarts as the top layer and place tarts in the fridge to set.


To serve, remove tarts from the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour to warm up to room temperature, and sprinkle with salt - I used large sea salt.

Adapted from LOTTIE + DOOF, who adapted a recipe from Marlow&Sons.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sambazon's New Warrior of Change!

Congrats to Joe Chisholm of Waves of Action, you are our newest Warrior of Change. And with that comes $10,000 and the responsibility to make the world a better place - a happier, more sustainable, and more knowledgeable one.

Through Waves of Action, Joe will help to bring awareness and catalyze action among the youth for environmental issues affecting our oceanic environment and cetaceans (whales, porpoises and dolphins). Waves of Action will engage students around the world to make their own films about environmental issues of their choice. Joe, we look forward to seeing the film tour the world and watching your movement grow.

To everyone else, thanks for participating, voting, submitting, listening. And stay tuned to this blog, we’ll have updates from Joe as he goes on his voyage of oceanic welfare.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Game Changer Smoothie

I’ve always been into starting the day with a good breakfast and I used to think a smoothie made with some orange juice, a banana, maybe some frozen berries and some cheap whey protein got the job done. But then we discovered açaí in Brazil and I started learning about all these other organic superfood ingredients I could throw into my Vitamix blender - it was a complete game changer. We live in a day and age where we have access to so many amazing foods, so as we start a new year I encourage you to find some smoothie recipes that make you feel amazing. Here’s one of my favorites that packs some serious nutrition.


I start with half a banana and some organic chocolate hemp milk from my friends at Manitoba Harvest (hemp is rich in Omega 3s and it tastes better, especially the chocolate, and is nutritionally superior to soy). Then I throw in a pack of our Pure Fuzion Açaí, it’s just pure açaí and acerola (which has 10x the vitamin C of OJ), and add another Original Açaí Smoothie Pack, because I’m a 2 pack-a-day kinda guy. Lastly the extras: Amazing Grass Organic Supergreens, Organic maca powder (some say it makes you “strong like bull”), Manitoba Hemp Protein Powder (I like to have about 10g vegan based protein in the morning). Top it all off with some organic honey I get at my local farmers market (sweeten to taste).


1/2 Banana
1 Sambazon Pure Fuzion Smoothie Pack
1 Sambazon Original Smoothie Pack
1 Cup of Chocolate Hemp Bliss
1 Tbsp Amazing Grass Superfood powder
2 Tbsp Manitoba Hemp Protein Powder
1 Tsp Maca powder
A drizzle of honey (to taste)

Enjoy and we’d love to hear what’s in your morning smoothie, so share your favorite recipes with us on our Facebook page.

Purple Smiles,
Jeremy Black, Chief Brand Officer

Glycemic Index vs Load? What is Low Glycemic?

The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates foods (on a scale from 0 to 100) based on their effect on blood glucose levels after ingestion; low-GI foods are foods with a lesser glycemic effect meaning that they don’t raise blood sugar levels as high following consumption; high-GI foods are those with a greater glycemic effect (1). Foods with a high GI are those whose sugar is rapidly digested and absorbed resulting in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Because low-GI foods produce more gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels they are perceived to be healthier for routine consumption. (2,3)

One issue that arose with the GI originally was that it did not account for proper portions. As a result, researchers refined the GI to develop the Glycemic Load which is a ranking system for carbohydrate content in food portions based on their glycemic index. A food's glycemic load is determined by multiplying its glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrate it contains. Glycemic load combines both the quality and quantity of carbohydrate in one ‘number’. It’s the best way to predict blood glucose values of different types and amounts of food.

There are several factors that affect how quickly sugar will enter the bloodstream:

1) the food form
2) the presence and quantity of fiber
3) the presence of added sugar or sweetener, and
4) the presence of fat.

In the case of organic fruit juice, the presence of fiber and healthy fat, as is in the acai berry, will help to reduce the glycemic index of the juice compared to a fruit that doesn’t contain either of these, such as most apple or orange juices.

Written by Ashley Koff RD,

Learn why Sambazon's Original Juice is low glycemic here.

1. DeBruyne, L. K., Pinna, K., Whitney, E. (2008). Nutrition and Diet Therapy: Principles and Practice (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
2. Brown, Judith E. Nutrition Through the Life Cycle. Third Edition. New York: Thomson 2008.