RSS

Category Archives: Uncategorized

An interesting take on Chocolate and Science, and why each isn’t always what you think.

1281238327048066082

A fairly recent “scandal” to hit both chocolate lovers and “scientific intellectuals”. (Jump at the end of this post.) The basic gist of the piece boils down into how a daring author John Bohannon, and some friends came up with and executed a plan to trick the media into spreading less than 100% factual benefits of consumption of chocolate leading to weight loss. Correlation doesn’t always mean causation and the media at large jumps on what ever current sensation is sweeping the nation with out much fact checking and will readily point to pseudoscience to back up their claims.

Its a fascinating read and not terrible long, and reminds you to take everything with a grain of salt… or grains of sea salt on chocolate. *Goes in search of chocolate fix*.

Remember my friends everything in moderation! Chocolate and media!

I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here’s How.

http://io9.com/i-fooled-millions-into-thinking-chocolate-helps-weight-1707251800

Top image: Art by Jim Cooke, taken from the aforementioned piece. 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

This is why Fair Trade Cocoa is important. Great short video

This short 5-6 minute video is an informal interview of a group/village of Cocoa farmers on the Ivory Coast of Africa. The video is equally parts funny and heart breaking. I’d love to get you, the readers take on this short video. What did you think was funny and what parts made you stop and really think?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Mystery Milk Chocolate from: ABC Vegan

Mystery Milk Chocolate from: ABC Vegan

PhotoGrid_1424801359783 (1)

So another interaction with my friend Esther over at http://www.abcvegan.com/ brought me a fun milk chocolate bar.  If you can’t tell I’m a dark chocolate kind of person, but I try to keep an open mind.  Along the same open minded lines, she let me be a taste-tester for the first version of a work-in-progress and given this positive start I can’t wait to see how she perfects it.

Color/Appearance~7/10

This bar is brown, like milk chocolate brown, shocking, shocking I know. However its not the flat uniform brown of your hohum Hersey’s milk chocolate classic. Its a lighter brown with varied “earth tones” and some flecks of white.The glossy shine and a classic chocolate bar mold pattern, simple and straight forward.

Texture~8/10

The texture of the bar dose a good job of contrasting the overall smooth/creaminess found in most milk chocolate and is vaguely reminiscent of a Crunch bar.  I enjoy chia, flax, and hemp seeds in many of my dishes so a bit of a “gritty” texture is right at home on my pallet. However, “gritty” is a poor and frankly unappetizing description when applied to most any food, and earthy feels like a much better description. The texture of the bar does a good job of contrasting the overall smooth/creaminess found in most milk chocolate and is vaguely reminiscent of a Crunch bar.

Taste~7/10

Decent, really quite decent. It tastes creamy without being overly rich or sweet. The earthy theme spills over from texture into taste. It reminds me of crisp rice and seeds, pretty close to my previously reviewed Super Seeds Crunch Bar.

Fun factor~11/10

Ok, here I’m going to be completely biased. I’ve been friends with Esther over at abcvegan for quite some time now and I’ve found nary a reason to turn my nose up at any of her vegan culinary works of art. I was privileged to be a taste tester for a first draft vegan chocolate bar and the experience was wonderful. There’s some room for improvement but frankly I don’t care for most milk chocolate but this one was a winner.

Summary: A great start to something wonderful in the world of milk chocolate. (I hope the home made packaging is here to stay) I’m looking forward to version 2.0 with great anticipation.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Say hello to ALOHA! Superfood Chocolate from: ALOHA

Say hello to ALOHA!  Superfood Chocolate from: ALOHA

Oh man I’m excited, chocolate by mail? What would be better, aside from having it hand delivered to your mouth.
Enter ALOHA chocolate company’s Superfood Chocolate bar.

aloha grid

Now superfood gets tossed around as a catch-all phrase for nearly everything these days that vaguely resembles a fruit, seed, or vegetable., can it really apply to chocolate? Why yes it can! Directly from their site here are some of the ingredients in their Superfood Chocolate bar. “Organic Spirulina, Organic Spinach, Organic Peas, Organic Moringa, Organic Wheatgrass Juice, Organic Young Coconut Water, Organic White Button Mushrooms (Fruiting Body), Hawaiian Red Alaea Salt, Organic Cacao, Organic Maple Sugar, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Beet”

aloha ingredients

Click the picture to zoom in and read the whole ingredients panel.

Aloha bar

Color/Appearance~9/10

A nice mellow brown, the color of chocolate in fact! No frilly prints or intricate patterns here. This bar features 5 simple words: Love, Shine, Bliss, Happy, Amaze. It reminds you of the phrases you’re taught as a mantra in the leadership course you took that one summer in high school, remember? It’s also reminiscent of a mindfulness (Read: Meditation) mantra, which actually I find endearing. More on mindful eating here if you’re interested. As always scoring for portion size is appreciated but may prove fruitless as you’ll probably want to eat the bar in a single sitting. Also just to screw with you its divided into 5 pieces but the serving size is half a bar, thanks ALOHA now I have a complex to go with my chocolate. 

Texture~10/10

If you’ve never had raw chocolate you’re in for a treat! This isn’t creamy, it isn’t gritty, its just right, its a texture that distinct to raw chocolate. (I can’t seem to verify from the website that this is a truly raw product, and their customer relations line isn’t open on week ends. However this bar is distinctly the texture of raw chocolates)

Taste~10!!/10

Golly is it good, so good! When I tell friends about this bar I find my self gushing in the manner of a 90’s tween discussing the latest frosted tipped hair, white jeans sporting, indoor sunglasses wearing, boy band sensation. Its dark and dry with a fine red wine paired with an in-you-face unapologetic crunch.

Fun factor~9/10

It is chocolate by mail, what is more fun than that?! But CBTW you can order lots of chocolate by mail. Hush, hush I know. Being that this is the first chocolate I’ve ordered by mail its something special. From the packaging, to their well done website, to the incredibly fun part of eating it, it has earned its 9/10.

Summary

Aloha bite

Visual pun totally intended.

It doesn’t seem that you can purchase this item in store, but you can order it directly to your front door by mail. Available in parcels of 1,3, and 6 you simply go to their site and set up a subscription to auto deliver. You may also click here (disclaimer: Its a referral link) if you’d like me to earn more free delicious chocolate while you grab your own. Over all conclusion, love at first bite!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Vegan Aztec Hot (Dark) Chocolate Recipe: A mess for your pleasure

So yesterday morning I made 10+ cups of hot chocolate (for myself) in an effort to perfect vegan hot chocolate.

unnamed

Recipe:
Ingredients:                                                                                                Turbinado or Raw sugar 3 Tablespoons per serving                                         Raw/Whole cocoa powder 2 Tablespoons per serving                                     Vanilla unsweetened soy milk (I like WestSoy brand, but use which ever you’d like) Instead of using vanilla soy    milk  you can use pain and add 3 drops of vanilla to your soy milk while heating. 8oz. per serving
Red Chili Powder 1/16 Teaspoon per serving                                                   Cinnamon 1/8 Teaspoon per serving

Directions: 1. In a sauce pain heat soy milk to 170 degrees Fahrenheit             2. Reduce temp to low and immediately add sugar and stir until dissolved.       3. Add remaining ingredients to pan while on low and mix/froth for approximately 2 minutes with an immersion or stick blender. Alternatively you can pour the heated Soy milk sugar mixture and the remaining ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 2 minutes. Remember hot liquids have a tendency to steam/splash in a running blender so use caution. Addationally if you have a glass blender vessel like myself pre-heat it with hot water (possibly poured out of your preheated mugs.                                                              4. Pour into mugs, sip, and enjoy!!

I’ve come to the following conclusions in my quest:

1. Making 10+ cups of hot chocolate with no one else to drink them but you leaves your housemates thinking you’ve finally lost it.

2. There’s a lot of debate out there about just how hot you can heat soy milk, 170 degrees Fahrenheit was the winner for me.

3. Always preheat your hot chocolate mugs, this can be done by putting your mug (microwave safe of course) in the microwave full of room temp water for approx 2 min (dump out the water and you have a nice preheated mug). Alternatively you can fill you mug with boiling water from another source and let sit approx 1 minute. (dump out the water and you have a nice preheated mug). This will ensure your liquidy chocolaty goodness will stay hotter longer and its a cozy pick me up for cold hands.

4. Vegan hot chocolate made with soy milk and raw cocoa will always leave a minuscule amount of gritty taste in your mouth. Sorry folks unprocessed whole foods tend to taste a bit more earthy… nonetheless this stuff is absolutely delicious. I’ll try experimenting with Almond, Coconut, and Rice milk in the future to see if this increases silkiness.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Extreme from: Nib Mor

This one, this one, this one! This is the one that’s going to come the closest to getting 10’s across the board. A wonderful harmony of bitter sweet dark chocolate and crunchy goodness.

20140816_145835 (1) 20140816_145935 (1)

Extreme from: Nib Mor

This week’s posting comes from a a complete hole in the wall organic market in the middle of nowhere. I can’t even remember the name, but thank goodness Nib Mor’s site provides a store locator. http://www.nibmor.com/store-locator/

Color/Appearance~9.5/10

Deep dark beautiful brown with a flat sheen (flat is a sheen at least according to paint scales). The cast or stamped logo is a wonderfully fun font and includes a leaf for the dot over the i to remind you of the natural origins of the bar. Much like other bars the scoring is a wonderful forethought; it’s great for promoting the thought that snapping off individual rectangles will keep you from devouring the entire bar in one sitting. (It probably won’t)

Texture~10/10

Keeping in mind some bars are supposed to be smooth and some bars are meant to be textured out of the wazoo, this bar falls smack in the latter category. This chocolate provides a satisfying and dare I say aggressive crunch in every single bite. It’s unlikely you’ve experienced this kind of crunch in any other chocolate bar. Sure some bars contain nuts, puffed rice, or even potato chips but their crunch is found wanting in the presence of this glorious work of culinary genius.

Taste~10!!/10

Golly is it good, so good! When I tell friends about this bar I find my self gushing in the manner of a 90’s tween discussing the latest frosted tipped hair, white jeans sporting, indoor sunglasses wearing, boy band sensation. Its dark and dry with a fine red wine paired with an in-you-face unapologetic crunch.

Fun factor~10/10

From the graphic art of a mountain biker catching mad air (so much air) to the crunch, crunch, crunch (did I mention the crunch yet?) Its great all around. The taste is the strong dark but not overly bitter taste one would come to expect from an 80% cocoa and the unexpected crunch from the inclusion of raw cocoa nibs.

From the manufacture ” A dark chocolate experience to the extreme.
This bar combines added antioxidant power with the crunch of cacao nibs.
Satisfying the ultimate dark chocolate enthusiast.”

Ingredients: INGREDIENTS Organic Cacao, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Cacao Butter, Organic Cacao Nibs, Organic Non-GMO Soy Lecithin (an emulsifier), Organic Vanilla, , Nutrition Facts: , , *Allergen Statement: Created in a facility that handles milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and wheat. Allergen Information: Gluten free. Dairy free. Vegan. Warning Information: Created in a facility that handles milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and wheat.

Summary: … cases of 12 are available. http://www.abesmarket.com/natural-products/food-and-drink/chocolate/natural-organic-chocolate-bars/extreme-80-dark-chocolate-bar-with-cocoa-nibs-12-pack-2-2-oz-ea.html and my half birthday is coming up. P.S. Yes I know they’ve changed their package design and I’m slightly disappointing but not enough to write a strongly worded letter or to stop eating these delicious chocolates.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Chocolate by the week’s quick (Aztec) extra-hot chocolate pick me up.

So it snowed here in Maryland on Valentines day. The perfect weather for a romantic cup of good ol’ hot chocolate, with a twist. I’ll type up more on what Aztec hot chocolate is, exatly, later on. For now just experience it. As with all the best foods, this one is best made from scratch. You’ll need the following:

1. Raw Cocoa powder

coco 3

2. Turbinado type sugar (think Sugar in the Raw)

3. Vanilla extract

4. Red Pepper, powder not flake (thats right, good old red pepper… trust me)

5. Cinnamon

6. Milk, whole milk will give you the creamiest texture, but its still great if you’re a skim milk kinda person. If you want to make this vegan I recommend West Soy Unsweetened Vanilla Soy milk (skip the vanilla extract when making your hot chocolate)

coco 1

Bringing it all together:
In a sauce heat your milk or soy milk, be careful not to scorch your milk!  8oz. of milk per serving. Once milk is heated turn the burner to low, or off if you’re using tri-ply copper pans or other high end type pan. Combine the following in your hot milk. 3 Tbs. Cocoa powder, 2 Tbs. Sugar, 3 drops vanilla extract, 1 tbs. Cinnamon, and a pinch of Red Pepper. Now whisk until frothy or if you’re lucky enough to own an immersion or stick blender, run it until you get nice bubbly froth. Transfer to a preheated mug (try putting it in the microwave filled with water for 2ish minutes. Preheating your mug will keep your hot chocolate hot longer. Neat trick!
Sip and Enjoy!

coco 2

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 16, 2015 in Uncategorized