Sunday, May 17, 2009

Where would we be without chocolate?

Without chocolate, all pleasure is drained! :)
..............."A little too much chocolate is just about right."
..............."Too much of a good thing is simply wonderful!" - Deborah Fox-Rothschild
..............."All you need is love. But a little bit of chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt."
..............."Chocolate is the Answer, who cares what the Question is?"
..............."Woman have many moods, CHOCOLATE satisfies them all"

Chocolate is nutritious!

..............."Chocolate is a Vegetable: chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. Bean = vegetable. Sugar is derived from either sugar cane or sugar beets. Both are plants, which places them in the vegetable category. Thus, chocolate is a vegetable." (Actually cocoa beans are fruit from the cacao tree)
..............."I do recommend a piece of good-quality dark chocolate as a healthy snack . . . It is a source of polyphenols, the same type of antioxidants found in red wine, and the fat it contains is stearic acid, which doesn't affect cholesterol levels. The latest good news for chocolate lovers comes from a study indicating that flavonoids in chocolate are good for your heart. These compounds reduce the stickiness of platelets, cells that play an important role in blood clotting." - Andrew Weil, M.D.
..............."According to an Italian study, a small square (20 g) of dark (bittersweet) chocolate every three days is the ideal dose for cardiovascular benefits. Eating more does not provide additional benefits." -

What are your favorite dark chocolates?

We love to try different chocolates (different companies and different flavors) and taste-test. Our favorites are the darker chocolates (~70-75% chocolate). In order to get a better sense of the flavors in each chocolate bar, we like to take little bites of one chocolate brand/flavor and make note of its taste, then take a little bite of a different chocolate brand/flavor. This is a great way to see that although they may all be "dark" they hold different flavor profiles. Some may have a heavier, richer, roasted flavor, while others may have a nutty, brighter flavor with hints of fruit, etc.

Here is our list (not in any particular order) of delicious melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolates!

Endangered Species Dark chocolate - Supreme Dark 72% and Deep Forest Mint are both delicious. The mint one is nice, because it isn't too strong in mint. The Dark chocolate with Cacao Nibs we have yet to try, and their new organic line, with unique flavors such as dark chocolate with goji berries.

Green & Black Dark Chocolate - Dark 70% is one of our favorites. An all around good dark chocolate, with a nice decadent flavor.

Equal Exchange Chocolate - 67% Mint Chocolate Crunch, 68% Dark Chocolate with Pure Cocoa Nibs, and 71% Very Dark Chocolate are all melt-in-your-mouth good!

Divine Fair Trade Chocolate - The mint dark chocolate and 70% dark chocolate are divine!Theo Fair Trade Chocolate - Their "origin" bars are awesome to taste-test and pick out different flavors, such as hints of banana and flowers. The mint Theo bar is unique, in that it has a refreshing, summery spearmint taste. Would love to try the vegan dark chocolate truffles that they list online!

Alter Eco Fair Trade Chocolate - another fair trade company with dark chocolate cacao nibs and mint.

Beware, some chocolates that seem to be dairy-free do in fact have milk in them, such as Mint Dark Chocolate Green & Black and New Moon Dagoba chocolate (the website doesn't list milk, but the ingredient list on the bar itself shows milk!). We used to love Dagoba, but hadn't had any in a while. The one bar we get at the store happened to suprisingly have milk in it, so we aren't sure if the rest of Dagoba's "dark" chocolates have milk in them too.

**Update: We can in fact enjoy the New Moon dark chocolate bar! Dagoba's dark chocolate line does not have added milk, they just put milk in their ingredient list ("milk (less than 0.1%)" ) to be safe for those with severe milk allergies. We personally think this is a wrong end on their part, because it might confuse people and prevent vegans or people who avoid dairy to try their dark chocolates. Most companies just state a disclaimer below the nutrition/ingredient label that they manufacture on the same equipment that processes milk, instead of actually putting milk in the ingredient list. Here is an explanation of which bars are vegan: "All of our dark bars, Chocodrops, hot chocolates, cocoa powder, syrup are not made with milk or milk by-products, though our facility does handle products made with milk...While we thoroughly clean between runs, there is the possibility that traces of milk protein may be present in the dark bars."**

These are just a few of the delicious organic and/or fair-trade chocolates we have enjoyed. Please let us know other chocolate brands that you all have discovered; we are always on the lookout for new chocolates to try.

Remember, life is short, so we must sweeten life with some divine-tasting vegan dark chocolate!


Paulina said...

Great quotes! I love dark chocolate but unfortunately can never truly enjoy it because I have acid reflux. But I do occasionally indulge in a few semi-sweet chocolate chips because they don't seem to affect me as much as a bar of extra-dark chocolate would.

Vegan_Noodle said...

I don't know where I would be without chocolate... a very sad place for sure!!

Ruby Red Vegan said...

I am in love with dark chocolate! Get ready to take chocolate to the next level with these suggestions:

- Kallari chocolate
- Taza chocolate
- Vosges chocolate

These are the super-specialty chocolates, and they have their own little section in Whole Foods, apart from the normal chocolate aisle (with Endangered Species chocolate and such things). Endangered Species and Scharffen Berger used to be my faves until I tried Kallari, Vosges, and Taza. SOOO good! You must try!!!

I also like Theo (I have also tried their mint dark chocolate)!