Saturday, April 23, 2016

Alli and Rose - Dark Chocolate Acai and Blueberry with Chia - Apr. 23, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

Alli and Rose
Dark Chocolate Acai and Blueberry with Chia
Weight: 1.20 oz. (34 g.) / 6 oz. (170 g.) in total package
Calories: 170 calories in 1 serving (1/5 package, or about 10 pieces)
Cost: $3.49 for 1 package
Purchased from: Ross, Mountain View, CA

Welcome to Day #9 of Chocolate and Seeds Theme Week.

It's another chia day...Today's Dark Chocolate Acai and Blueberry with Chia pieces—distributed by Alli and Rose Inc. (Lincolnton, NC)—were, according to the packaging, "fruity bite size bliss."

Glossy, chocolate coated spheres were filled with a sweet and chewy berry fruit-flavored center. I did pick up a slight chia seed crunch, but it was very subtle. If you prefer chocolates or confections that are more sweet and smooth, and less "seedy" or textural, these might be for you.

Two Degrees - Chocolate Peanut bar - Apr. 22, 2016

Chocolate of the Day:

Two Degrees, Inc.
Chocolate Peanut All Natural Snack Bar with Quinoa, Millet and Chia
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.66 oz. (44 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 190 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $2.19 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

The next time I have a craving for chocolate and peanut butter, I'll have one of these Chocolate Peanut bars from Two Degrees, Inc. (San Francisco, CA) instead.

This chewy, almost crunchy, complex and interesting Chocolate Peanut bar did contain, as expected, both chocolate and peanuts (and peanut butter).

However, the chocolate and peanuts were were incorporated into a satisfying and filling mix of seeds: sunflower, sesame, quinoa*, millet and chia seeds, and other ingredients (rice crisps, raisins, plum puree). The bar was sweet, but without being overly so.

This bar was Vegan and GMO-free Certified. (It was not labeled as Gluten Free, although it contained no gluten ingredients that I could see on the label.)

*Yes, quinoa is a seed too. The plant is related to spinach and beets (rather than grains); and the part we eat is considered a seed.

Kutoa - Chocolate Banana bar - Apr. 21, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

Kutoa Health Company, LLC
Chocolate Banana bar
Weight: 1.7 oz. (48 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 174 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $1.89 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Seeds Theme Week.

Today's Chocolate Banana bar (whole fruits and chocolate) with chia and flax seeds was produced by Kutoa Health Company, LLC (Austin, TX).

The company, a Certified B Corporation*, developed a "Buy a bar, feed a child" initiative as part of their mission. If you buy one bar, part of the proceeds go toward feeding a hungry child in need.

This vegan, gluten and soy free, Non-GMO Project Certified bar had an intriguing green forest, banana, date and chocolate aroma and flavor, and soft, mildly chewy texture. It tasted naturally sweet without being too sweet. Gluten free oats and pea protein helped to mellow the acidic tang that some fruit and date bars have, but without the odd starchy quality that bars with these ingredients sometimes have.

Plant and Seed Identity Issues
So, below are some fun facts about chocolate, seeds and "nuts" concerning posts this past month:
  • Chocolate is made from cacao beans—and these "beans" are really seeds.
  • Banana is technically an herb and fruit-bearing plant. And the edible fruits are, botanically speaking, giant berries.
  • Dates are fruits, but the pits or seeds are sometimes used to feed livestock.
  • Peanuts are not nuts or seeds; they are legumes.
  • Cashew nuts, pine nuts, almonds are seeds. (Almonds are considered "stone-like seeds.")
  • And, bonus points for those of you that remember this one: Unlike Brazil nuts, cashews really do come from Brazil. And, Brazil nuts are large seeds and not nuts.

*B Corporations are for-profit companies that are certified by a nonprofit (B Lab). Companies are evaluated on their social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. 

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