“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chocolate Bliss - Part 2

As promised in Chocolate Bliss Part 1, this post is entirely devoted to three chocolatiers who work either with 100% raw cacao beans or a combination of raw and roasted chocolate.

As a budding holistic health coach, I was very excited to discover this world at the NYC Chocolate Show. Why? The chocolate is organic and minimally processed, ensuring that the abundant profile of nutrients is preserved. They use minimal amounts of unrefined, all natural sweeteners, so that the chocolate is not too sweet. In addition, the products feature health-promoting herbs, fruits, nuts, and other superfoods that not only taste fantastic with chocolate, they turn it into something medicinal!

As a side note, I’ve come to the conclusion that chocolate goes with just about everything, because there wasn’t a combination that I didn’t like at the show or anywhere else for that matter!

Who doesn’t love a piece of dark chocolate at the end of a nice meal or when they’re feeling blue? Now just imagine how much more that bite of deliciousness can accomplish when it’s surrounded by more health-promoting goodness!!

In the video above, you will meet Jennifer Love, a co-founder of NibMor Chocolate and a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), where I am currently studying. Their bars are raw, organic, gluten- and dairy-free.

They also have a line of hot-chocolate mixes, including one that is sweetened with maple, a personal favorite of mine, and another blend that combines several beneficial spices, including cloves, cinnamon, and fennel. If you like your salsa medium, you’ll enjoy this cup of chocolate!

Antidote Chocolate, founded by Red Thalhammer, combines 50% raw with 50% mildly-roasted cacao beans in their 84% organic, vegan and gluten, dairy- and soy-free bars. They are also infused with moringa, a superfood I was originally introduced to in Rwanda, which is actually given to patients with HIV and has also been cultivated and used medicinally in India for thousands of years to treat over 300 ailments!

The bars are designed to empower the inner goddess in us all (!) and combines flavors like ginger and goldenberry, red hibiscus and berry, almond and pepper, and one of my favorites: lavender and sea salt.

The third super chocolate I discovered at the show was Gnosis Chocolate. The company was founded by Vanessa Barg, also an IIN graduate. It features cholesterol, gluten, dairy, and soy-free products that are also made without the use of refined sugars.

In addition, Vanessa takes her passion for superfoods to the extreme in her products. The company produces a raw, organic, hot chocolate mix that’s sweetened with palm nectar from coconut trees and includes a potent mixture of foods/herbs, and spices, including maca root, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and dong quai.

Gnosis chocolate bars are hand-made and laced with blue-green algae, which is actually a source of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid important for healthy brain function. They have several delicious varieties, including Coconut Almond, Fleur de Sel, Cool Peppermint, and Superchoc, which is blended with a powerful mix of raspberries, goji berries, reishi mushrooms, maca root, and acai.

If you’re interested in exploring the world of raw cacao and getting a dose of “healthy!”, I encourage you to try the delicious creations of NibMor, Antidote, and Gnosis Chocolate.

Here’s to our Health!!

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