Saturday, August 13, 2022

Unreal - Dark Chocolate Coconut Bar - Aug. 13, 2022

Chocolate(s) of the Day

Unreal Chocolate
Dark Chocolate Coconut Bar
Good +
Weight: 1.3 oz. (37 g.) in total bar
Calories: 180 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $2.69 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Country Sun Natural Foods, Palo Alto, CA

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

Today's Dark Chocolate Coconut Bar was from Unreal Brands Inc. (Boston, MA). 

The company offers updated/healthier versions of chocolate covered candy bars, generally with a much shorter list of ingredients. (Today's certified gluten free and vegan bar listed three ingredients: organic coconut, organic cassava syrup and dark chocolate (later spelled out as dark chocolate liquor, cane sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla).)

Aroma notes from this filled bar included: chocolate (dark chocolate ganache (truffle filling)) and sweet coconut. 

The dark chocolate provided a smooth, velvety coating, that contrasted with the chewy, lightly moistened, sweet shredded coconut. These coconut shreds continued to supply an authentic, textural chew that lasted into the finish after the chocolate had melted away.

As expected, the flavor was a blend of dark chocolate and coconut, with one complementing the other. Yes, it was sweet, but not quite as sugary or syrupy sweet as candy bars from the late 1900s. The flavors were balanced and uniform, with very faint, fleeting tropical fruit and nut notes, and a warm blanket of vanilla.

Adults wanting a healthier confection for their families, or wanting to take a trip down candy bar memory lane themselves--without all the preservatives, additives, or "natural flavors"--will appreciate this bar. The fact that some of the ingredients were fair trade was an added plus.

Ingredients: Organic coconut, organic cassava syrup, dark chocolate liquor, cane sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla

Allergen-related information: "Contains coconut. Made in a facility that handles peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, wheat and milk. Made on equipment that processes milk chocolate. Please visit to read our allergen information." (Certified vegan, Certified gluten free; no soy ingredients.) 

Rau - Mind Fuel - Cacao + Coconut MCT Superfood Drink Mix - Aug. 12, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Mind Fuel - Cacao + Coconut MCT Superfood Drink Mix
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: .74 oz. (21 g.) / 7.4 oz. (210 g.) in total box of 10 packets 
Calories: 90 calories in 1 packet/serving
Cost: $2.99 for 1 package/box of 10 packets/servings 
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA 

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Coconut Theme Week.

Today's Mind Fuel - Cacao + Coconut MCT Superfood Drink Mix was from RAU (San Diego, CA). The company offers three flavors of plant-based cacao drink mixes (Cacao +; today's Cacao + Coconut MCT; and Cacao + Espresso).

The two founders (Daren and Brian) were some of the first to explore cognitive energy cacao blend beverages. They use organically farmed cacao, and eschew cane sugar or preservatives.

"Our beans are single origin, organic, fair trade, ethically farmed and hand picked to deliver a bold flavor for seekers of epic nutrition."

The Rau team also chose to include the amounts of theobromine* in each serving (80 mg.) and antioxidants (from polyphenols) (120 mg.)--information I appreciated and that's very rarely provided on any other cacao-related product packaging. (Thank you.)

The aroma was attractive with fruit (mango) and subtle chocolate; after adding warm water, the scent was more cocoa forward, with a trace of the tropical fruit/mango and very faint floral (vanilla).

The texture was smooth (once fully stirred in with warm water), almost creamy.

The flavor was very consistent with the aroma with faint fruit (mango and very light, fresh coconut) and rich, smooth cacao--that was relatively low in bitterness or acidity. The sweetness (coconut palm sugar) was tempered by a judicious dash of Himalayan pink salt.  

Overall, I would rank this a superior offering in the increasingly popular, much-hyped category of drinking cacao beverage mixes. I also found the individual packets convenient and portable and the sizes were the perfect portion for me.

Note: Monk fruit extract also supplied sweetness. This small, round fruit from China (aka Luo Han Guo) has the property of minimizing bitter and sour flavors, making it an interesting pairing with cacao. The sweetener (mogrisides) in monk fruit also is thought to have a mild anti-inflammatory effect.

Ingredients: Organic, fair trade cacao powder; organic, fair trade coconut palm sugar; organic mct oil powder; organic coconut oil powder; organic vanilla powder; himalayan pink salt, organic monk fruit extract.

Allergen-related information: Contains coconut. Certified Organic, gluten free; keto friendly. 

*Theobromine is a plant alkaloid found in cacao (and to a lesser extent in teas, kola nuts, guarana and other plants) that acts as a stimulant. It is a close cousin to caffeine, another stimulant found in plants--most notably coffee (and to a lesser extent cacao, kola nuts, yerba mate, guarana and other plants). (Coffee contains trace amounts of theophylline but no theobromine.)

Although I've found theobromine to be much less jarring than caffeine, people's individual reactions may vary. Some people are sensitive to cacao (which does contain a very small amount of caffeine as well as theobromine); but they can drink all the coffee they want with seemingly no ill effects. I'm the opposite. I love coffee, but it doesn't love me. (I can't seem to process the caffeine and acids.)


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