Monday, April 18, 2016

Mamma Chia - Peanut and Dark Chocolate with Chia bar - April 18, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

Mamma Chia
Peanut and Dark Chocolate with Chia bar
Good
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 190 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $1.79 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Safeway, Palo Alto, CA

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

Today's Peanut and Dark Chocolate with Chia bar from Mamma Chia (Carlsbad, CA) had a sweet, chewy, nutty and seedy texture—and a dark chocolate base and icing.

You could say this was a snack bar with a mission—one of a line of Mamma Chia beverages and bars with organic chia seeds. The company promotes the "Magic of Chia," i.e., its Omega-3s, dietary fiber and complete protein.

"BPA-free, Non-GMO, Gluten Free and Kosher," this hearty yet light bar contained a healthy dose of Omega fatty acids: Omega-3: 1,000 mg; Omega-6: 300 mg; Omega-9: 4,800 mg; and protein (6 grams).

The team at Mamma Chia also participates in 1% for the Planet program(s), and the company was a founding member of the Slow Money organization.

Chia origins
Like other seeds highlighted in this Chocolate and Seed week, chia seeds (from Salvia hispanica—a plant in the mint family) originated in the Americas. More specifically, chia is native to Central and Southern Mexico and Guatemala, and was eaten by the Aztecs and Maya people.

Sunflower seeds, pine nuts (seeds), chia seeds, squash and pumpkin seeds, and other seeds, were all eaten by native peoples in the Americas before European settlers arrived.

As I pondered yesterday (with sunflower seeds), might chia seeds have been combined with cacao seeds (beans) or drinking chocolate a thousand years ago? Another research project to be added to the list.

*Pine nuts (or seeds from pine cones) came/come from pine (or pinon/pinyon) trees from at least three continents. Popular source trees include the Italian Stone Pine, the Mexican Pine and Colorado Pine, and Siberian Pine.


Patric Chocolate - Salty Sunflower Seed Bar - April 17, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

Patric Chocolate
Salty Sunflower Seed Bar
Good ++
Weight: 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 345 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $15.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

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

Today we focus on sunflower seeds in combination with chocolate. It's hard not to think of these bold yellow flowers as the spring weather edges toward summer.

I've seen dill pickle flavored sunflower seeds and bacon-flavored sunflower seeds in stores. But, the best use of sunflower seeds (or any seeds) may be when they're shelled, lightly roasted and salted, and then blended with high-quality chocolate.


Today's limited edition Salty Sunflower Seed Bar—from bean-to-bar maker* Patric Chocolate (Columbia, MO)—was a great example of such a bar. Organic sunflower seeds were very lightly salted, added some crunchy texture, and blended nicely with an expertly crafted milk chocolate base.

Sunflower history
The sunflower that yields most of our edible seeds (Helianthus Annuus) originated in North America. There is evidence that American Indians domesticated and ate sunflower seeds as far back as 3,000 B.C. (likely in Arizona and Mexico). So, technically speaking, some of these Indians might have sprinkled some ground sunflower seeds into their drinking chocolate. One never knows.

*Patric Chocolate is winner of 15 Good Food Awards for chocolate bars. Congratulations to Alan "Patric" McClure and team.






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