Friday, September 2, 2022

Russell Stover - Joy Bites Roasted Almonds in Dark Chocolate - Sept. 2, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Russell Stover 
Joy Bites Roasted Almonds in Dark Chocolate
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.16 oz. (33 g.) / 2.8 oz. (79 g.) in total bar
Calories: 140 calories in 5 pieces of bar
Cost: $4.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Safeway, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Nuts Theme Week, featuring "new" and varied nut + chocolate items I've been able to collect.

Today's Joy Bites Roasted Almonds in Dark Chocolate (bar) was from Russell Stover Chocolates, LLC (Kansas City, MO). The Joy Bites no sugar added line (that also includes peanut butter and sea salt caramel flavors) are sweetened with stevia and are made using fair trade* cocoa.

Aroma notes for this bar included soft chocolate and nutty (sweet almond butter), sweet aromatic wood, and very, very faint sweet citrus green (oxalis, wood sorrel). 

This thin (53% cocoa) dark bar had creamy texture accented with crunchy almond bits, and smooth dark chocolate flavor.

The chocolate was sweetened with erythritol and stevia leaf extract.** It was less sweet than other comparable 53% cacao chocolate bars. (Thank you!) Nuts (almonds in this case) do help balance out sugars; but the less sweet flavor was largely due to the choice of sweetener(s).

A nice choice for those on sugar-restricted diets and who may not appreciate the less sweet realms of bolder, ultra-dark (80%+ cacao) chocolates.

Ingredients: Chocolate, Non-GMO erythritol, chicory root fiber, roasted almonds, cocoa butter, milk fat, Organic soy lecithin, natural flavor and stevia extract. 

Allergen-related information: Contains nuts (almonds) and milk. "May contain peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and wheat."

*Fairtrade cocoa and vanilla: mass balance is used to match fairtrade sourcing. Total 50%.  

**The leaves from the Stevia rebaudiana plant provide a less caloric alternative to cane and beet sugars. (Beet sugar is used less often in fine/artisan chocolate.) Native to South America, stevia (in the form of stevia extract) offers more concentrated sweetness than traditional sugars with very few calories.

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