Saturday, August 2, 2014

Kuli Kuli Moringa Superfood bar - Aug. 2, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

Kuli Kuli, Inc.
Moringa Superfood - Dark Chocolate bar
Weight: 1.6 oz. (45 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 190 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $3.79 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Country Sun Natural Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #1 of Chocolate and Health Theme Week, with a focus on superfoods, and nutrient-dense inclusions.

What Are Superfoods?
Superfoods are nutrient-dense edible plants, fruits and vegetables that can contribute to human health. Cacao is often on the superfood list. It's high in antioxidants, and contains magnesium, iron and other nutrients and active substances. Berries (e.g. blueberries, goji berries) also appear on top 5 superfoods lists. Admittedly, "superfood" is also a word or phrase used to sell products -- a short-hand term in a complex world that says, you should eat this. It's good for you.

Most people in the U.S. could benefit from inclusion of more fresh fruit and vegetable items into a balanced diet. But, I'm not an expert in these matters, and individual health conditions need to be considered. (Bananas full of potassium may be great for some athletes, but not for others on restricted diets, or failing kidneys.)

Every few years, a new exotic item will appear on this growing list of superfoods.

What is Moringa?
A few years ago, I started hearing about moringa, from the Moringa Oleifera, a tree that grows in hot climates (e.g. Africa, Southern California, or Florida). Often available as a green powder, moringa is relatively high in calcium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C (see graphic from Kuli Kuli at right). (Note: Cacao contains oxalic acid, which can inhibit calcium absorption so, I'm thinking, the calcium in moringa might be beneficial in a chocolate bar. I don't know if cacao would neutralize this calcium or not.)

I first read about today's Moringa Superfood bar from Kuli Kuli Inc. (Oakland, CA) in this article-post by Courtney Rubin on the "Details" website. Moringa comes from the leaves of a tree that grows in hot climates (e.g. Africa, Southern California, or Florida).

Kuli Kuli and Moringa
Kuli Kuli imports moringa from womens co-ops in West Africa, to make their line of gluten-free, vegan bars. Today's Dark Chocolate Moringa bar was made with a short list of ingredients -- all of which could be illustrated with picture icons: dates, almonds, cherries, dark chocolate, agave and moringa. (No pictures of test tubes or fillers here. So far, so good.)

How did the bar taste? Earthy, moist and chewy, slightly crunchy and sweet, with occasional bursts of chocolate (chips/chunks), and a green powder (the moringa) I could only identify as a plant of some sort, that looked and tasted a bit like a matcha green tea salad. Not bad. (I like matcha, and salads.)

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