Thursday, July 19, 2018

barkThins - Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt - July 19, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

barkThins
(manufactured by Ripple Brand Collective, LLC)
Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt
Good +
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) / 4.7 oz. (133 g.) in total bar
Calories: 230 calories in 1 serving 
Cost: $2.99 (estimate) for 1 package
Purchased from: missing information

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Seeds Theme Week. Most of the seed items in this year's seed week seem to contain pumpkin seeds. More pumpkin seeds are being used with chocolate and energy bar items; however,  this finding was also linked to what was available in local shops that I hadn't tried before.

Pumpkins originated in the Americas; however most pumpkin seeds are now from pumpkins grown in China.*

Today's Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt from barkThins were manufactured for Ripple Brand Collective, LLC (New York, NY). The brand was acquired by Hershey in 2016.

A generous helping of dry roasted and salted pumpkin seeds were embedded in slim sheets of dark chocolate. The seeds gave this bark a satisfying crunch and contributed a seed flavor and aftertaste.

*Pumpkins are now grown on every continent but Antarctica. While China is likely the top producer of pumpkin seeds; Ukraine, India, the U.S. and Mexico are also significant producers.








Wednesday, July 18, 2018

R.e.d.d. - Chocolate Superfood Energy Bar - July 18, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

R.e.d.d.
Chocolate Superfood Energy Bar
Good
Weight: 2.2 oz. (62 g.) in total package
Calories: 220 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $3.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: REI, Mountain View, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Seed Theme Week.

Today's Chocolate Superfood Energy Bar was from R.e.d.d.* (Portland, ME). This protein + energy + vitamin + mineral bar contained a long list of ingredients, including plant/mostly fruit extracts and powders, and yerba mate extract that contained caffeine.

Busy people presumably have a more difficult to find time to cook a healthy meal from scratch. Enter the legion of protein and energy bars on the market, including this one.

This gluten free bar claimed to be 3 products in 1: protein bar + energy shot (1/3 cup coffee) + multi-vitamin. It contained "10 grams of protein, 19 vitamins + minerals, and 35+ grams of natural caffeine," and seeds.

The number one ingredient listed was a Redd vegan protein blend (pumpkin seed protein powder and pea powder) ...followed by agave syrup and oats. The bar also contained organic chia seeds.

The chocolate came in the form of dark chocolate and cocoa powder.

* R.e.d.d. stands for Research Enhanced Design + Development.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Off The Farm - Chocolate Fudge - July 17, 2018

Chocolate of the Day:

Off the Farm
Dark Chocolate Fudge
Good
Weight: 2.5 oz. (71 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 290 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $3.35 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Market, Pebble Beach, CA

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate and Seeds Theme Week.

Today's Chocolate Fudge bar was from Off the Farm (Palo Cedro, CA), a company created by a group of family and friends interested in producing a line of healthy bars and offerings that would be good for the planet.

This nutrition bar was packed with fruit (dates and apples), nuts (almonds and cashews), and four different kinds of seeds: sesame, pumpkin, sunflower and chia.

The dark chocolate in this gluten free, vegan and Non-GMO bar came from chocolate chunks and cocoa powder; and slightly chewy fudge bar contained 7 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.













Monday, July 16, 2018

Flax 4 Life - Chocolate Brownie + bourbon ice cream, whiskey nibs - July 16, 2018

Chocolate of the Day:

Flax 4 Life
Chocolate Brownie (muffin)
Good ++
Weight: 1.16 oz. (33 g.) / 14 oz. (396 g.) in total container
Calories: 140 calories in 1 muffin
Cost: $4.99 for 1 container
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey Theme Week; and Day #1 of Chocolate and Seeds Theme Week.

Today's mini-muffin shaped Chocolate Brownie from Flax 4 Life (Bellingham, WA) was part dessert and part health-food. (The number one dry ingredient was ground flax seeds.)

Sadly, we may have neutralized some of the health benefits by pairing this cute and delicious muffin with a shot of Bourbon Maple Blondie ice cream sprinkled with whiskey-soaked cacao nibs. The nibs helped add flavor depth and texture and helped balance the creamy, caramel sweetness of the ice cream. Cheers.



Sunday, July 15, 2018

Timothy Adams - Bourbon, Scotch and Cognac chocolates - July 15, 2018

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Timothy Adams Chocolates
Bourbon, Scotch and Cognac chocolates
Good ++, Good ++ and Good +++
Weight: .39 (11 g.) (estimate) x 3 = 1.17 oz. (33 g.) in 3 pieces
Calories: 175.5 calories (estimate) in 3 pieces
Cost: $7.50 (estimate) for 3 pieces
Purchased from: Timothy Adams, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey Theme Week.

Today's trio of dark chocolate truffles (Bourbon, Scotch and Cognac) were created by Timothy Adams Chocolates (Palo Alto, CA).

Each had a 58% creamy filling infused with the spirit of choice, and was covered in a 72% dark chocolate shell.

All three flavors were worth sampling. And a side-by-side, blind tasting was enjoyable and informative.




Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ben and Jerry's - Urban Bourbon Ice Cream - July 14, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream
Urban Bourbon Ice Cream
Good - Good+
Weight: 1/2 cup (109 g.) / 1 Pint (473 mL) in total container
Calories: 300 calories in 1/2 cup serving
Cost: $2.50 (sale) for 1 container
Purchased from: Safeway, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey Theme Week.

There was a lot going in today's Ben and Jerry's Urban Bourbon Ice Cream. Imagine alternating flashes of toasted caramel, coconut, almonds, chocolate (fudge flakes) and bourbon—all packed into a cold, rich ice cream breakfast.

This ice cream contained enough sugar and spirits to fuel a trip into the urban San Francisco and—at 300 calories for a single (1/2 cup) serving—keep hunger at bay until lunchtime.

Note to gluten free eaters, this Urban Bourbon ice cream is probably not gluten free. In between the cocoa powder and the guar gum in the ingredients list was dry malt extract (barley).


Friday, July 13, 2018

Chocolate Tree - Whisky Nibs 70% bar - July 13, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolate Tree
Whisky Nibs 70% bar
Good+
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) / 2.8 oz. (80 g.) in total bar
Calories: 196 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $11.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey* Theme Week.

Today's Whisky Nibs 70% bar was from Chocolate Tree (Dunbar, Scotland). The presence of spirits was unmistakable in this five-ingredient dark bar (cacao beans, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, cacao nibs (10%), whisky (6%)). 

The makers selected cacao nibs from the Maranon Canyon in Peru; and these nibs were soaked in single malt Scotch whisky from Islay, an island known for whisky with peaty flavor notes. These nibs were then blended with cacao from the same origin (Peru) to make 70% cacao dark chocolate—two individually-wrapped bars in today's package.

The nibs provided some texture as well as boozy, authentic whisky flavor and aroma.

*You say whisky, I say whiskey...Which spelling is correct? The spelling differences are largely regional; but they are also tied to pride of origin and specific product classifications as well. E.g., the Scots use "whisky" without an "e" and Scotch whisky (usually made with malted barley) is made in Scotland, whereas the Irish refer to Irish "whiskey" with an "e." You may find both spellings in the U.S. However, Bourbon Whiskey (with an "e") refers to a specific whiskey made in the U.S., generally in Kentucky (from corn).




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