Saturday, June 28, 2008

Equal Exchange & Fair Trade

More Free Samples, from Equal Exchange!

We love Equal Exchange's Dark Chocolate with Mint, and fortunately got the honor to receive some free goodies from the company. Thank you Rodney, we are truly grateful!

What is most inspiring about this company is their commitment to Fair Trade and Organics. They use quality ingredients, local when possible, and ingredients made with love. According to Equal Exchange, Fair Trade helps small farmers maintain a living and helps the communities they live in. Fair trade makes the consumer aware of where their food comes from and how their food was grown; a way to get more "intimate" with each individual farmer by purchasing food that was made with personal care. Equal Exchange also is devoted to ecologically sustainable practices and organic farming methods.

Kudos to Equal Exchange! We should all strive to support organic, fair trade, and small businesses, instead of relying on corporations that mass-produce food and that don't care about the farmers' or consumers' needs.
The first thing that we shouted for joy in our box of goodies was Equal Exchange Spicy Hot Chocolate Mix. We love all things spicy, and this mix sounded so interesting and good. Since it is summer, we plan to make spicy chocolate milk soon! We also graciously received a huge container of cocoa powder. This is some quality cocoa we are motivated to make some great chocolate desserts!

Equal Exchange has a new line of Domestic Fair Trade Snacks, which includes Dried Cranberries, Tamari Roasted Almonds, and Roasted Pecans. Here's a link to information about domestic fair trade. We are very impressed - we just tried the almonds, and they are very good with a subtle, salty soy sauce bite. Every almond was smooth and high quality. We usually get roasted unsalted almonds in the bulk section of our grocery store, so some of the skin can come off because they've been hassled around with. These Equal Exchange Almonds were better than expected with a salty surprise on the tongue. Yummy!

We have some recipe ideas in the works, but the first thing we made in the kitchen with our cocoa powder was vegan maple walnut fudge. It's healthy, with the base from almond butter instead of powdered sugar/condensed milks, and could be easily made into a raw fudge treat, if you didn't melt the almond butter with the agave nectar. Most importantly, it is the best fudge we've ever had, and is so gooey, chocolaty, and nutty!
Vegan Nutty Fudge:
1/2 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup no-salt added nut butter (we used almond butter)
3/8 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (can use other nuts)
1/2 tsp flavoring extract (Vanilla extract usually. Also try mint, maple, coconut, etc. We used maple extract)

In a small stove pan, heat agave and nut butter for a few minutes just until creamy and mixed together. Turn off heat and add cocoa, walnuts, and extract. Mix thoroughly and quickly before starts to thicken, and then pour into a small square pan sprayed with cooking spray. Spread eveny, then place in fridge to harden. Once chilled, cut into squares. We enjoyed these in the freezer - they were firmer yet gooey. Enjoy!

Makes a good amount, but small enough for two people to enjoy over the week. We had halved the original recipe adapted from Gluten Free Vegan Cookbook.

On another note, we recently discovered, which is a great recipe database! We don't have a dehydrator, but it makes us want one, with delicious looking "breads" and desserts. We are planning to make 1-2 raw meals a week - this week it will be raw walnut tacos and raw zucchini lasagna rolls.

July 4th is coming up so fast - that means it's time for watermelon, ice cream, and extravagant cooking! We are behind in our food pics, but will try to catch up soon. Our Physics final is Monday and then we only have a 1 credit Organic Chemistry Lab (yucky) left before we graduate in August. Pray for us so that we stay focused & motivated and don't get too antsy about graduation!

Thanks Equal Exchange for your devotion to fair trade, organics, and quality food! We love Equal Exchange and are blessed to have received such great products.


Paulina said...

Your recipe for fudge looks and sounds delicious! You guys are so lucky to have received all those wonderful free samples - enjoy them!

Anonymous said...

Wow that fudge looks amazing =] and free chocolate...what could be better?
I have been recently getting recipes from too! They are so creative and delicious =]

Deb Schiff said...

Wow! Your fudge looks really good.

Allison said...

That's awesome you both go to Texas A&M!! I haven't run into too many vegans at TCU yet, but I'm on the lookout :0) I can't get over how amazing it is that you both have created so many recipes!...I can't wait to try them!!

Theresa said...

Wow, you are pretty lucky to get such great sounding chocolate products! And that fudge looks amazing. I love the word fudge... say it out loud a few times, it's a funny word.

equanimity said...

Yum! Looks good :)

aTxVegn said...

That is a really nice gift box of goodies. And the fudge you made looks so decadent!

Enjoy your holiday!