Sunday, May 20, 2018

Taos Mountain Energy Bar - Pinon Coffee bar - May 20 , 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Taos Mountain Energy Bar
Pinon Coffee bar 
Good
Weight: 2.2 oz. (62 g.) in total bar
Calories: 309 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $2.99 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: REI, Mountain View, CA 

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Coffee Theme Week.
Today's Pinon Coffee Gluten Free Non GMO (bar) was created by Taos Mountain Energy Bar (Cuesta, NM).

This energy bar had a welcoming, natural coffee aroma, a soft seedy chew, and a rich, nutty, mocha flavor.* It was sweetened with coconut sugar and honey instead of sugar (thank you), and was much tastier than most mass-produced energy bars. It would be a great snack for a morning hike in the hills.

The company's bars are described as artisan-crafted and outdoor-inspired. And the packaging around today's bar contained a description of White Sands National Monument area in New Mexico.

*Ingredients: Almonds, honey, coconut sugar, pine nuts, dark chocolate, coffee, coconut oil, chia seeds, pure ground vanilla beans, sea salt.











Mars - Crunchy Espresso M&Ms - May 19, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Mars
Crunchy Espresso MandMs
Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 8 oz. (226.8 g.) in total package
Calories: 140 calories in 1 serving
Cost: $4.99 for 1 package
Purchased from: Safeway, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Coffee Theme Week.

Just when we thought we'd sampled every flavor in the pantheon of MandM's chocolate candies, along came today's Crunchy Espresso MandMs from Mars (Hackettstown, NJ).

As the name implied the fillings, inside the candy-coated exterior shells, were lighter, crispier and crunchier than those of classic MandM chocolate candies with a solid milk chocolate core.

The coffee flavor was very mild. These candies included artificial flavors and colorings and may contain gluten (barley malt extract).




Stone Grindz - Coffee and Coconut Milk 55% bar - May 18, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Stone Grindz Chocolate
Coffee and Coconut Milk 55% bar
Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2 oz. (56.6 g.) in total bar
Calories: 150 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $7.99 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Stone Grindz, online order

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

Coffee and Coconut Milk 55% bar from Stone Grindz Chocolate (Scottsdale, AZ).

A smooth dark coconut "milk" chocolate base (cacao beans, cane sugar*, cacao butter*) was suffused a slight textural and flavor oomph from ground coffee.

The coconut milk alternative appeals to vegans and others who might like a very subtle rich hint of flavor from coconut. (Some who I shared this with did not taste any coconut, so fear not coconut non-likers.)

Stone Grindz is a small batch chocolate maker. (This bar was labeled "Batch #280" along with an "enjoy by" date.)
beans shipped to the makers workshop in Scottsdale, AZ

*An asterisk denotes an organic ingredient here.




Friday, May 18, 2018

Wild Ophelia - Cold Brew Chocolate Coffee Bites 70% - May 17, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Vosges IP LLC
Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Chocolate Coffee Bites
Good +
Weight: 1.39 oz. (39 g.) in total package of 4 pieces
Calories: 190 calories in 4 pieces (1 package)
Cost: $2.99 (estimate) for 1 package
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

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

Today's Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Chocolate Coffee Bites were related to/created by Vosges IP LLC (Chicago, IL).

I needed a pick-me up this morning. And this confectionery blend of 70% dark chocolate and a sweet, ebony-colored, flowing coffee caramel center did the trick. Bzzzzzzz.






Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Perfect Bar - Mocha Chip bar - May 16, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Perfect Bar, LLC
Mocha Chip bar
Good+ - Good ++
Weight: 2.2 oz. (62 g.) in total bar
Calories: 330 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $2.99 in 1 bar
Purchased from: The Market, Palo Alto, CA

Time to wake up. It's Day #1 of Chocolate and Coffee Theme Week.

Today's caffeinated Mocha Chip bar from Perfect Bar, LLC (San Diego, CA) was chock full of organic ingredients, including dark chocolate and coffee.

The line of (refrigerated) bars from this family-inspired company sampled so far have been quite good. Very satisfying.

Normally, a long list of ingredients in a bar is not encouraging. However, the list for this protein bar was all good, and helped explain why this bar was such a satisfying mini-meal. Nut butters and high-nutrient plant-based organic powders helped. Coffee and dark chocolate added rich flavor/depth. Natural-tasting, and not too sweet (thank you!).

Ingredients: 
Organic peanut butter, organic almond butter, organic honey, organic nonfat dry milk, organic, Fair Trade Certified dark chocolate (organic chocolate, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic sunflower lecithin), organic cocoa, organic ground coffee, organic dried whole egg powder, organic rice protein, organic vanilla extract, organic flax seed oil, organic sunflower oil, organic sesame seed oil, organic olive oil, organic pumpkin seed oil, dried whole food powders (organic kale, organic flax seed, organic rose hip, organic orange, organic lemon, organic papaya, organic tomato, organic apple, organic alfalfa, organic celery, organic kelp, organic dulse, organic carrot, organic spinach)





Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Sprouts - Organic Cacao Nibs - May 15, 2018

Chocolate of the Day:

Sprouts Farmers Market
Organic Cacao Nibs 
Good +
Weight: 1 TB (14 g.) / 8 oz. (226 g.) in total bar
Calories: 90 calories in 1 Tablespoon
Cost: $ missing information
Purchased from: Sprouts Farmers Market, Mountain View, CA
Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week.

These Organic Cacao Nibs were manufactured exclusively for Sprouts Farmers Market (Phoenix, AZ). If you really like chocolate, but aren't wild about sugar, give cacao (or cocoa) nibs a try.

Nibs are the essence of (and the raw material for) chocolate—before cacao beans are ground to a paste and before sugar or other ingredients are added. Their exact flavor depends on their origin, harvest year and fermentation process they went through in their country of origin.

Today's crunchy cacao bean bits came from a blend of countries, including Peru (Peru, Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Ecuador). They had rich, uniform, true chocolate flavor (think brownies).

And speaking of brownies, nibs like this would super-charge a batch of your favorite brownies or other chocolate baked goods. They would help balance the sugar level a bit in chocolate, chocolate chip cookies. And they would be great over vanilla ice cream, or just about anything else.


Monday, May 14, 2018

Skout Backcountry LLC - Peruvian Chocolate Organic Energy Bar - May 14, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Skout Backcountry LLC
Peruvian Chocolate Organic Energy Bar
Good
Weight: 1.3 oz. (27 g.) in total bar
Calories: 150 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $2.99 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: REI, Mountain View, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week.

Today's Peruvian Chocolate Organic Energy bar was from Skout Backcountry LLC (Portland, OR). 
It's not often you see energy bars with single origin chocolate. But today's bar boldly announced its Peruvian roots. This Energy Bar contained only five ingredients* and the chocolate came from "ethically sourced, premium organic Peruvian cocoa."

Pressed dates in this energy bar provided chewiness, moistness and ample sweetness (a little date sweetness goes a long way). Cocoa helped make the flavor richer and more full-bodied.

Craft chocolate, and energy bars like this, have helped power local hikes in the East Bay Regional Parks this past month. Wonderful to enjoy green hills this late in spring this past weekend.

*Ingredients: Organic Dates, Organic Almonds, Organic Peruvian Chocolate, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Himalayan Sea Salt 

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