BE IN THE KNOW: CHOCOLATE KNOWLEDGE IS SWEET POWER

September 6, 2018

Dark, white or milk chocolate; organic vegan chocolate or vegetarian chocolate; nut loaded with hazelnut, peanuts, almonds, pecans or walnuts; fruited with orange, raspberry, apricot or strawberry; spiced with chilli, pepper or clove; herbed with mint, thyme, or basil; filled with caramel or honey, paired with peanut butter or some out of this world elements like cheese and salt, chocolate is more than food for the soul.

Ok, that was a long one. You bet there is some truth if not all truth in it though.

I took to a challenge. Now that information is power, how much chocolate power am I equipped vis-à-vis the knowledge I have on chocolate brands, varieties and the like?

Simply put, how much do you know about the chocolate you eat?

Let’s delve into the organic.

The organic wave has swept the world now more than ever. More people are joining the bandwagon and for all the right reasons. And yes it is quite possible to relish your choco bar in all its organic purity right from the growing of cocoa beans to processing and packaging. Don’t we just love our planet!

Organic chocolate should be certified as organic by The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), be as minimally processed as possible and be processed with ingredients sourced from fair trade cocoa farms. This sounds simple enough. Then, how do you distinguish a purely organic chocolate bar from other conventional ones?

Here is how;

  1. Look out for the USDA Certified Organic label on its package.
  2. Any preservatives, GMO’s and artificial colors in its list of ingredients disqualify it from being organic.
  3. Minimal processing
  4. Fair-trade label which is to mean that cocoa-beans production strictly observed sustainability without being exploited or child-labor.
  5. Finally although not necessarily, 100% organic chocolates will bite into your wallet as they are not exactly cheap.

Is organic chocolate good for health?

More than you can imagine.

The term organic in itself means that your chocolate ingredients, in this case cocoa beans, have been grown organically without harmful fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. Beyond the farming practices, its processing also includes organic ingredients (nuts, sugar, fruit, milk, herbs, and spices).

If you are asking, “What has this got to do with my health?” organic chocolate is in essence rich in nutrients and taste too!  You deserve to reap the full benefits of the minerals and vitamins present in cocoa beans natural state. After all, you have everything to benefit from stopping toxic substances and GMO from going into your system.

To be on a safe organic side, check that your label indicates a range of 70 to 99% organic percentage.

Is organic chocolate vegan/vegetarian-friendly?

All organic chocolates are vegan before any additive is incorporated into it. However, the end product is not necessarily vegan or vegetarian as some will include animal products and by-products like milk, whey, and eggs making them non-vegan/vegetarian.

Dark chocolate in its purest form is vegan and this makes it vegetarian too. The best organic dark chocolate has a high cocoa percentage as 90, tends to be bitter and comes as the healthiest. On the other hand, milk chocolate could be vegetarian yet not vegan for the obvious reason that it contains milk which is an animal by-product. A great dairy milk alternative is rice milk which has often been used, is healthy and tastes really heavenly.

Where can I buy vegan chocolate?

People like the convenience of an online purchase from reliable vendors. Check out Chocolak.com for a selection of the finest gourmet organic and vegan chocolate.

About the author

June, a creative being who loves to express herself. When it is not about chocolate, it has to be something about food. Trends are fast changing. The chocolate industry is dynamic, and you need to be informed about it. So, being cheese & desert savvy, she takes it upon her to bring it all to you.

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