I mean, who doesn’t want to talk about chocolate, right?! By now, many of us have read about some of the horrors of chocolate that isn’t fair trade and we know why organic farming is important in general, including for cacao. We know some of the downsides of sugar for our bodies and the planet and we know we need to take care of our adrenals and stay balanced in our relationship with food. But no matter what, through thick and thin, we still LOVE chocolate (if you’re an exception to this statement, skip to another of my blog posts)! Did you know that in some places chocolate is a ritual, sacred food?
When I had to stop eating cane sugar a few years ago, chocolate was one of the first food items I needed to navigate. I researched and found some delicious raw organic cacao – as nibs, as whole beans, as powder. Every kind of raw cacao available. I learned to use it in snacks, smoothies, baking, and even in a couple of main dishes. Perhaps in future posts I will share some of those recipes. As delicious as the raw cacao is, however, I occasionally missed chocolate bars!
For that reason, I was thrilled to find these two brands: Cocopolo and Not Your Sugar Mamas (how fun is that name?). There are some other wonderful ones, but these are absolutely my two favorite cane-free chocolate bar companies. Cocopolo is stevia-sweetened (but you’d never know it) and NYSM uses Maple syrup. Their chocolates are good as stand-alones, as part of a mix of desserts/snacks, as well as in cooking and baking. Sometimes I crumble up a bar and put the chunks in no-bake vegan peanut butter balls. My favorite Cocopolo bars are 70% Elderberry (for dark) and Milk Hazlenut (when I am eating dairy, which is some of the time). As for NYSM, I honestly cannot decide between the Lavender Sea Salt (what?! Yeah, it’s for real) and the Rose Maca.
Have you tried these chocolate companies? Who are your favorite chocolates and why?
Disclosure and transparency statement: this is NOT a sponsored post. The chocolates pictured above were part of a previous product-styling exchange I did with Cocopolo. I first encountered NYSM at Life Alive restaurant in Salem, MA, and later found out the company was created and is owned by Ky Keenan, a friend of mine from high school. Neither company knew ahead of time that I was making this post today.