Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Windy City Organics - rawmio Superfood Bark - August 4, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

Windy City Organics - Rawmio
Rawmio - Organic Gourmet Active Superfood Raw Chocolate Bark
Good +
Weight: 1.1 oz. (31 g.) / 2.2 oz. (62 g.) in total bar
Calories: 132 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $6.99 for 1 package
Purchased from: Country Sun Natural Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #3 of Chocolate and Health Theme Week. "Health" is a relative, and occasionally rather slippery, term that requires weighing one's individual needs and evokes long and wordy posts this week full of disclaimers. However, I believe one's health is worth exploring when it comes to chocolate as a food.

This Rawmio "Organic Gourmet Active Superfood Raw Chocolate Bark" from Windy City Organics (Northbrook, IL) offers two attributes (and several add-in ingredients) that may contribute to one's health.

First, using "organic" ingredients removes some toxic chemicals. This omission may benefit those who are more sensitive to pesticides, herbicides and GMO ingredients.

Second, the antioxidants and nutrients in this superfood bar: cacao, mulberries, chia seeds, red clover, mushrooms and maca, may be more intact, or "active," with less heat or processing, i.e. when raw.

Raw food items are processed at much lower temperatures, and some believe raw foods are better and healthier than cooked food. Forgoing longer (or any) roasts (of cacao beans) and processing chocolate and lower temperatures may help preserve antioxidants and other nutrients. However, unroasted cacao also creates a different flavor profile; some like it, and some prefer more complex roasted flavors.

The only risk I see in "raw" (anything) is that by eliminating the higher temperatures you also may be eliminating that step which kills undesirable bacteria that can exist in rare cases. But the only time I've run into this issue was in the middle of a Central American jungle with no refrigeration -- i.e. one chocolate out of 2,800+ different chocolates I've eaten since 2006 made me sick. That's a better record than some salads and meats I've eaten, so I'm willing to take that chance.

Rawmio Superfood bar

This Rawmio organic raw chocolate bar (more bar than bark) was thick with a substantial layer of bits on one side of the bar. Coconut sugar-sweetened cacao nibs, chia seeds, berry and clover bits provided some crunchy and slightly chewy texture, and the other ingredients adhered to the dark bar base made you feel you were getting your money's worth of mulberries and mushrooms* (there was no identifiable mushroom taste). A hint of maca provided some additional, natural malty sweetness.

*Mushrooms can be a source of B vitamins, trace minerals and antioxidants, in case you are wondering what they might be doing on this chocolate. (This bar contained a blend of chaga, reishi, cordyceps and lion's mane mushroom bits.) They also can add nutrients without extra fat, sugar, calories or salt.

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