Easter Thoughts On Carob, Brands & Chocolate Tasting

Easter Thoughts On Carob, Brands & Chocolate Tasting
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

My last post on chocolate brought up some questions, so I thought I’d film another video to answer them.

First one was – what about carob? Well, I love carob, but it’s a totally different flavor from cocoa. Not everyone likes it, and it’s hard to find carob treats to buy so if you can’t make your own it’s a bit tricky.

I also find that most carob treats are made with hydrogenated palm oils, which aren’t the greatest. Personally, I’d rather eat dark chocolate made with cocoa butter.

Check out my post on carob vs. chocolate for more details. They both have benefits, and so I just enjoy both in their own way.

I also got questions about cocoa nibs, which I also love. They’re the chopped up raw or roasted cocoa bean, and are fairly bitter so not everyone loves them.

They are a great way to get the antioxidants and nutrients of cocoa in a totally unrefined package, but they definitely aren’t as sweet as dark chocolate.

I also got a question about theobromine, which is in cocoa and has a similar effect as caffeine. Some people have negative reactions to it (jittery, anxious, etc), but most people don’t. If you don’t have a reaction, there’s no reason to avoid theobromine.

I love making my own whole food chocolate treats, and I posted links to lots of recipes in my last post. I also just added one of my all-time favorite healthy chocolate recipes, which is a squash-based custard created by the lovely Allyson Kramer.

Sometimes I can find whole food chocolate treats in stores, too, like Lara bars, Luna bars, and hand-made treats based on dates, seeds and cocoa powder.

Lots of people wanted to know what brands of chocolate I like, and what ingredients I look for. I like lots of different chocolate, but my favorites are the darkest ones. I like about 80-85% cocoa content, which is a bit too dark for some palates.

Alter Eco, Endangered Species and Cocoa Camino are the ones I pick up most often, but I’m open to trying any brand as long as there aren’t any milk or animal ingredients in there.

There are tons of smaller vegan chocolate companies, lots of them are new, some of them make raw chocolate, some of them make chocolate with superfoods in them, and I look forward to trying their stuff when I get the chance!

The most common ingredient I see that I avoid is milk fat. Some brands, like Lindt, do most of their dark chocolate without any milk ingredients. Other brands, like Ghiradelli and Godiva, use milkfat in most of their dark chocolate.

Ghiradelli’s 72% dark doesn’t have any milk fat, but their 70% and 85% both do – I have no idea why that is.

I sometimes do chocolate tastings with my dad where we put out a small piece of a bunch of different chocolates to taste and compare – like a wine tasting. We even take notes, it’s pretty fun 🙂

When I take the time to savor and enjoy the flavor and texture of chocolate, I don’t need much to be totally fulfilled.

I also then learn which chocolates are my absolute favorites, so if I’m going to have some chocolate I choose them rather than one that’s not quite as delicious.

What do you have planned for an Easter treat? I’m probably going to enjoy some of my Alter Eco chocolate with cocoa nibs 🙂 And feel free to ask me questions here, on facebook, on twitter, on instagram – I always see your comments, and try to reply as soon as I can 🙂

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