Fair Trade Organic Chocolate – All Wrapped Up!

Posted by on February 12, 2015

“I’d Give Up Chocolate But I’m No Quitter!”

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Fair Trade, Organic, Raw, Handmade, Low GI, No Dairy, No Soy, Gluten Free, No Refined Sugar, Natural, Made In Australia, Vegan, No Soy or Gluten, GMO-Free, No Artificial Flavours, No Emulsifiers, Sustainable, Healthy. Wrapped up in Post Consumer Recycled Packaging, Printed with Plant and Soy Based Inks, Compostable, Recyclable – Delicious!

Ahh Organic Chocolate…

You have seen it on the shelves, heard the rumours it is good for you and still you hesitate at trying some. Well today is your lucky day my friends as your friendly chocolate connoisseur (me) has researched, purchased and taste tested for those thinking of going to the ‘Dark Side’ – feel free to share this post with the person responsible for spoiling you this Valentines Day (or anyday). Conscientious Shopping for this year’s season of love is all wrapped up!

Firstly (Oh. Man. Formalities. Let me at the chocolate!) I am not a health professional or an expert on food. However, due to a small list of food intolerances, our household is on a #pantryoverhaul journey and I’m passionate about sharing these discoveries with you. This food overhaul began to prevent living with the symptom of violent coughing fits occurring between the hours of 11pm and 3am. It initiated a journey through various detox programs, blood tests and experimentation in the expert hands of our Family’s Balanced Naturopath Sandi. This is giving me broader knowledge of how important it is to understand your body and the consequences of food choices. Sugar is on the out and soy had to go; both found in my favourite treat food – chocolate!

Sandi is the qualified Naturopath behind Balanced Naturopathics where she shares her professional advice gathered from 15 years of experience. Here is her advice, instinctively assessing underlying issues and always offering a practical and balanced perspective…

There’s no doubt chocolate is an enticing compound for many of us, myself included at times. The problem lies in the quality, quantity and the reasons behind our desire for it. If you can enjoy a little good quality dark chocolate on occasion and be done with it, then I’d say chocolate is okay for you.

However if you need it daily, or have intense cravings for it then we may have a little problem. A problem that’s exacerbated when you chose poor quality commercial products with low cocoa content, plenty of highly processed sugar, heat treated milk solids and soy lecithin to name a few less than desirable ingredients.

Sweet cravings can be exacerbated by magnesium or chromium deficiency, blood sugar irregularities, hormonal imbalances (low progesterone) serotonin deficiency (a neurotransmitter that’s low when we’re sad but stimulated by sweet flavours) or an emotional/comfort response. To help distinguish the difference if you took genuine hunger out of the equation, could your craving be satisfied by a massage or warm relaxing bath or another experience equally enjoyable to you?

When you do choose to eat a little chocolate, do so mindfully. Sit down, relax and savor it. No guilt. Eat it slowly, taste each bite. You may be surprised how little it takes to feel satisfied when it’s of a good quality and enjoyed with purpose.

Now you know why Sandi is our ‘go to’ lady for advice…

On that note let the taste testing experience begin – 

conversationswithmysister_Organic Chocolate

 

LOVING EARTH – Healthy. Sustainable. Fair

The Loving Earth website lists two varieties of Raw Agave Chocolate and six with Raw Coconut Sugar. The Organic Raw Coconut Mylk (not a typo) Chocolate is listed as having ‘twice as many antioxidants as conventional chocolate’. It was exciting to find an Organic, Raw and Dairy Free ‘Mylk Chocolate’. Bite sized pieces which have the perfect balance of sweetness without over powering the raw Cacao flavour.

Happily adding ‘chocolate’ to the list of Loving Earth products which our family use.

ALTER ECO – Nourishing Foodie, Farmer and Field

The first thing you will notice when you bite into this chocolate is the delicious roasted almonds which are nice and crunchy. This Dark Almond Chocolate is made from Cocoa so isn’t as full tasting as the other two listed which are made from Cacao – what’s the difference?

Read the thoughts from Sarah Wilson from ‘I Quit Sugar’ here or a different perspective from Georgia at ‘Stirring Change’ here.

The fact that this chocolate is also sold at Oxfam is testament to the amazing life changing and inspirational work they are doing with their sustainable practices. With ten flavours in total listed on the Alter Eco website  you are bound to find your new favourite ‘go to’ block of chocolate.

PANA CHOCOLATE – Raw. Organic. Handmade

There is one negative with this chocolate bar. Due to involving my ever supportive Husband (twist his arm) with the taste testing portion of this article, it looks like future purchases are now going to have to be shared. His words when describing this Mint Flavour were “Oh this is awesome” which were exclaimed before it even hit the taste buds – after that there weren’t many words, just affectionate little moans.

Don’t let the small size of the box fool you as one or two pieces of this handmade treat is more than enough per sitting to quench those sweet cravings. Each piece is moist in texture and rich in taste. There are ten flavours available and if you keep an eye on my Facebook and Instagram pages you will see I am working my way through the lot! There are also some very tempting Valentines packages available on their website.

*** UAE Chapter Update – We have found Pana Chocolate @ jones the grocer  🙌 ***

After a second opinion?

Here are two more perspectives. One from an expert who accesses nutrition and treats for her clients everyday and another from a Diabetic whose ability to make educated decisions in regards to health and treats is essential to remain Strong and Healthy…

Anna Campbell is an Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist and the Founder of Healthe Co; an Innovative and Contemporary Health and Wellness Consultancy. Anna is passionate about helping people live a more authentic, healthy life.

Lots of my clients are serious chocoholics… who isn’t – I mean, it tastes like heaven.  So my advice is to choose your chocolate wisely and eat quality not quantity.
Generally dark chocolate reaps more health benefits than milk chocolate due to the higher quantities of cacao. But more important is how the chocolate has been processed that determines its ‘quality’. The less processing that occurs in the manufacturing of the chocolate, the more polyphenolic compounds such as flavenoids (fancy name for things that are good for us) are available. Aim to purchase your chocolate with 65% cacoa or more to reap the most positive health effects.

All three are similar in calorie content and have few artificial ingredients, however, for the purpose of choosing a winner in this case, I would probably lean toward Pana chocolate. It’s Australian made, higher cacao content, and minimal artificial ingredients.

Katie, the founder of The Strong Healthy Diabetic, has been living with Type 1 Diabetes for over 28 years, is a mum of two boys and is passionate about fuelling our bodies to keep us strong and healthy.

When I was asked about my thoughts on these three different chocolates my first thought was that I have been told diabetics, theoretically, can eat whatever they like as long as they are honest with their insulin pump. Whether or not it is an appropriate health choice is a different matter. If they want to take care of themselves, to be strong and healthy, they need to look at the ingredient and nutritional panel to determine which was the best option.

I immediately culled the one with cane sugar as the second ingredient. The Pana chocolate has agave nectar as the sweetener and I have read a number of articles saying that agave is a well-marketed sweetener but has no nutritional value. Yes – It is low GI, which is good for diabetics, but so is a Snickers! Agave is usually so processed that any nutrients it had as a plant form, has been stripped away and only the fructose is left.

So from a healthy diabetics point of view Loving Earth would be my sweet treat of choice with all raw ingredients and coconut nectar as the sweetener.

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So there you have it, the results of all my research into Raw Organic Chocolate. I hope you have learnt something new (I know I have) and this information has helped you make educated decisions on your future chocolate habits.

Now it is your turn – what is your chocolate of choice?

Please feel free to continue the conversation with any of the three inspiring women who were included in this post, via their websites. You will be directed to their page by clicking on the link attached to their Company Name. The links are also connected to the individual Chocolate Companies featured for anyone after more detailed information on, or, the ‘where to buy’ details for each product.

Regular readers will know CWMS is proudly affiliated with and supports an Australian Eco Business called Biome. You will be pleased to know they, along with their full range of Eco Friendly Products and Green Living Essentials, also stock the chocolate featured in this post.

Happy ‘guilt free’ chocolate shopping everyone and we hope you have an awesome Valentines Day surrounded with Love and Happiness.

– Shea

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2 Responses to Fair Trade Organic Chocolate – All Wrapped Up!

  1. Oma

    Great post Prec xx

    • Shea

      Thanks very much O’ma. I really enjoyed putting this one together with the girls and hearing their perspective. I even learnt something along the way which is what it’s all about. Really appreciate your support! Ox

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