Easter is almost upon us, much to the delight of chocolate lovers the world over. Connoisseurs of the candy number in the thousands and with new recipes promising to evolve the taste and texture of this popular pallet pleaser how does one decide which chocolate to choose?
The cacao bean which gives chocolate it’s flavor and natural health benefits is the key ingredient to keep an eye out for. Other priority properties to keep in mind include:
Origin and quality- High Altitudes and rich soils harvest beans full of flavor and flavonoids (a group of chemical compounds with antioxidant properties, shown to promote several beneficial effects in the cardiovascular system).
Natural or Raw Chocolates- Early on chocolate was popularized as a candy and sugar was added to dull the bitter notes of the bean. But, these days a shift towards a more health conscious society has lead to the rediscovery of raw chocolates made without sugar or dairy. The advent of which allows vegans or anyone allergic to dairy the pleasure of enjoying a bite of bliss. Inspired by this return to simplicity a whole new variety of creative confectionary has surfaced providing consumers with a healthier selection to choose from.
The following List of Ingredients are choice when it comes to chocolate, not only do their health benefits justify any indulgence but they invite new sensations of exotic delight!
Agave Syrup- a natural low GI sweetener and far better alternative to sugar.
Camu camu- a small berry from the peruvian amazon that is very high in vitamin C, one of the highest natural sources of vitamin C available. The addition of camu camu adds a tangy flavor to the chocolate.
Goji Berries- another antioxidant powerhouse, goji berries will add a sweet slightly tart flavor.
Lucuma fruit/powder- is one of the sapote family and has a creamy citrusy flavour. It is high in vitamins.
Maca root/powder- has a slightly bitter, nutty caramelly flavour and is high in protein and minerals.
Purple corn- is an iconic heirloom variety of maize from Peru naturally high in anthocyanin antioxidants. It has a slightly bitter malty whisky flavour that blends beautifully with chocolate.
Nuts- unless you are allergic to nuts the additional protein and healthy fats they provide will help stave off hunger and stabilize insulin levels.
Did you know? chocolate may help wash away sugar from teeth as the extract thiobromide a bitter constitute of a number of plants including the beans used to make chocolate acts as an alkaloid to neutralize acids that erode tooth enamel.
For a great selection of Natural/Raw Chocolates using many of the ingredients above checkout Loving Earth.
Chocolate Parties are a great way to learn and experience the tastes and rich culture of chocolate.