Cacao Love

Cacao Love

15 September, 2016
So much chocolate so little time
5 organic brands we love
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We at Ecozine love our chocolate. But, as with many products in the supermarket these days, unfortunately there are so many possible issues that cross our mind when buying a bar. Does this choc contain palm oil? Was there child slavery involved in its making? What about pesticides ? And is there any chance that anything in this thing is good for me?

Never fear, Ecozine is here to help you navigate the chocolate maze so you can indulge with a clear conscience. There are numerous deliciously responsible, thoughtful choccie brands out there to satisfy your cravings. These five brands are great examples.

The Aussie Winner
Founded in Melbourne Australia, smooth and velvety Pana Chocolate is made from vegan organic ingredients and packed with antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. The choc is raw, organic and handmade, and doesn’t contain refines sugar but does contain that sweet, satisfying chocolate flavour. They also give back to local communities by supporting a number of terrific organisations working to protect the unique Australian eco system. The ever-growing range includes unique flavours like Coconut and Goji, Hemp and Nib, and Raw Cacao, which includes 60% raw cacao solids. We particularly love Sour Cherry & Vanilla. For a full selection, visit Food for Life at one of their six stores or online.

Raising The (Chocolate) Bar
If you are looking for seriously good chocolate without the carbon footprint, then look no further than Raiz The Bar, Hong Kong's local chocolate makers extraordinaire. Chef Priscilla Soligo was first inspired to create a healthier alternative to commercial chocolate for her children and nieces, and the result is delicious. They’ve got the full package going on: their organic, raw, vegan, paleo, low GI, bean-to-bar chocolate is handmade in small batches and free from refined sugar or palm oil. It’s also Fair Trade. To verify the quality of ingredients and ethical practices of her supplier, Soligo flew all the way to the source, an Indonesian co-op farm, and got to know her producers personally. And this personal touch follows all the way through, from the beautiful packaging to the pitch-perfect flavours she’s developed, such as Balance Me (fleur de sel and cacao nib), Passionate Me (Raspberry Rose Acai) and Youthful Me (Orange White Mulberry). Luckily, you don’t have to travel as far as she did – Raiz The Bar is now available in lots of locations including MANA! Fast Slow Food.

Raw Passion
Processing chocolate at a low temperature keeps the goodness in, and that’s exactly the concept behind Ombar does; their entire premium chocolate range is raw. Beans sourced from Ecuadorian cocoa farms and processed at low temperatures insures that Ombar has six times more flavanols than comparable chocolate brands! They also look at chocolate differently, as a health food (yes, seriously, hallelujah!), so Ombar is packed with only the healthiest ingredients, such as real fruit and live culture, and sweetened with unrefined coconut sugar. The extensive website includes a fantastic blog with recipe ideas such as raw chocolate bark, healthy 'Mars' bars and coco fudge and chai flapjacks. Some of their range includes Raspberry and Coconut and Coconut and Vanilla. We love the ‘Centers’ selection – delicious dark chocolate with a creamy soft centre! Ombars are available at all JustGreen stores.

Fair Trade Flavours
Wanting to pick up some Fairtrade chocolate, and a new shirt for work? It may surprise you that many of staple brand Marks & Spencer’s products, including cotton, tea, wine and chocolate, are Fairtrade certified . Marks & Spencer’s Plan A initiative, launched in 2007, set out to achieve 100 commitments in 5 years, with the goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer. Fairtrade label guarantees that the farmers who produce the raw ingredients receive a fair wage and working conditions, so they can provide for themselves and their families. Some of our favorite M&S chocolates include the Dark Chocolate with Stem Ginger, and the Dark Chocolate with Italian Orange; the difficult thing now is to decide which to have first! For more information check out the Marks & Spencer website.

Organic Chocolate For All
Founded in 1991, Green and Blacks are one of the original organic chocolate makers on the mass market. The name was derived from two concepts core to their business: "Green" highlighting the environmental mindset of the founders, and "Black" for the high cocoa solids used for the chocolate. The company’s first commercial chocolate bar was awarded the UK’s first Fairtrade Mark for any chocolate product! In 1994 Green and Blacks were awarded the Worldaware Business Award for good business practice. Keeping close to the source of the rich cocoa, the company has a small office in Punta Gorda, Belize. And did we mention the chocolate is out-of-this world yummy? Our fave flavour is the award-winning Maya Gold, with a twist of orange, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla, but purists will love the 70% Dark. Available at most supermarkets across Hong Kong, Green and Blacks have a massive range of chocolate products including chocolate bars and chocolate powder used for baking and drinking. Market Place by Jasons holds a large stock of Green and Blacks.

By: Ecozine Staff
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