Organic Raw Chocolate UK
This is the first food product review that I am doing, and I am quite excited. I am always looking for new, healthier packaged food products and I thought it would be a good idea to share my favourite foods with you and help you make healthier daily choices. It has been only since the past year or so that I have taken the effort to read the nutrition labels and tables of packaged products and understand what I am eating. This has helped me avoid a huge amount of foods with hidden sugars & additives. It has also helped me choose those products with a higher protein & fibre content and a lower sugar content. Now let’s get on with today’s review.
Today I am going to be reviewing some of the best and most popular raw food chocolates made with superfoods in the UK. These brands of chocolate are quite the game changer, because they are made refined sugar free, gluten free, additive free, dairy free and have the addition of an interesting superfood. These are hence also vegan raw chocolate Personally for me this comes as a big relief, because there are days that you crave for chocolate and don’t have the time to make it at home and these thus become a wonderful alternative!
Healthy Chocolate Bar Brands
Today I have reviewed 4 brands of chocolate which are Om Bar, IQ Superfood Chocolate, Conscious Chocolate and Doisy & Dam. I bought all of these at the Whole Foods Market at Piccadilly.
I bought the OmBar raw chocolate Goji Berry. The Om bar is a 100% raw, organic chocolate and perfect for those rawterians out there! They use coconut sugar as the sweetner and cacao butter and coconut butter as the fats. 60% cocoa solids. It had 8.1g of Protein per 100g, they have not mentioned the fibre quantity on the label. A 35 gm bar of chocolate costs £1.69.
The Taste: At first bite I found it quite sweet. It does not have a very deep, intense chocolate flavour and this might be preferred to those who prefer milk chocolate. I really loved the look, texture and taste of the goji berries. It feels authentic and great to actually see the superfood in the bar. Overall I found it delicious, light, crisp and yum!
The Good: I am quite happy with the percentage of goji berry fruit (5%) and powder (7%) content in this bar. It really makes you feel that you have made a better choice for yourself by eating this bar. It is also a good source of Magnesium at 158mg per 100g. It is also very tasty though I prefer a darker, more intense flavour in my chocolate.
The Not so Great: I found this to be quite sweet. In fact the sugar content for 100gms is 25gms which is high. As per the UK guidelines on high sugars, any sugar amount higher than 22.5gms per 100gms is high. I think they can easily reduce the sweetness and end up with quite an amazing chocolate. Coconut sugar is considered a healthier alternate to refined sugar because it has a low GI. It however still has high fructose levels, though not as high as agave or rice syrup. sweetener because though it has a low GI it still has decently high level of fructose, hence consider it as a less unhealthy sweetener than a healthy sweetener.
I bought the IQ raw chocolate bar with the Cocoa Nib crunch. This bar is raw and organic as well. The sweetener is Coconut Blossom Sugar and they use only cocoa butter as its fat. It has 72% cocoa solids. Protein of 9.3 g and fibre of 8.7 g per 100 gms. A 35 gm bar of chocolate costed me £2.49.
The Taste: My first bite and my mind went Wow! A smooth chocolate with a strong, intense cocoa flavour with a tinge of bitterness. Lovely texture and flavour and a wonderful mild crunch from the cocoa nibs. A bar of chocolate with full, rounded flavours!
The Good: Firstly the packaging is really adorable. I like the details and it helps me understand that I have a quality product in my hand. The overall flavour was really amazing. Simple ingredients with a powerful flavour and intensity of chocolate. The sugar content is just perfect, especially since this is quite a dark chocolate and is 19.9 gms per 100g of chocolate. It has a higher magnesium content of 198mg per 100gms and a good source of fibre.
The not so Great: The price! For a 35 gm bar I think it is quite pricey especially in comparison with the Om Bar but the quality of chocolate is really good. Again coconut sugar as a sweetener is to be considered as a less unhealthy option rather than a healthy option. Sugars on their own are rarely considered as a healthy option.
I bought the Conscious raw chocolate bar in the Nutty One flavour. It has a combination of brazils, cashews, hazelnuts and walnuts. It is a raw, organic chocolate. The sweetener is Agave nectar and the fat is from cocoa butter and coconut butter. It has 8.7 g of Protein and Fibre per 100 g of chocolate bar. It has 70% cacao solids. A 50gm bar of chocolate cost me £3.39.
The Taste: Ok, I have to say that I was blown away by the taste. I was expecting something more crisp and familiar to other commercial chocolate products but the Conscious Bar has a completely different texture. It is lush, soft and thick and almost fudge like. The nuts give a wonderful flavour and the whole bar just melts in your mouth. Its high fat content means a little is all you need to satisfy your chocolate craving. This truly felt like a hand made, small batch production of chocolate and it made all the difference to me. It did have a coconut flavour from the coconut butter but I like it.
The Good: The buttery soft, moist fudgy home made texture was amazing. The intensity of the cocoa and sweetness was in perfect harmony. I also liked the neat packaging and the thickness of the bar. It felt like it was of good quality. It has a variety of good-for-you ingredients such as Himalayan pink salt, cinammon and nuts. I also liked how a little went a long way due to its filling nature.
The Not so Great: The sweetener is the controversial Agave which has a high Fructose content. It is within the high sugar range of 19 g per 100g, so that aspect is fine but the high fructose content in agave is not the most ideal sweetener. Another thing is that it does have a coconut flavour. For me this was perfectly fine and gave it an added dimension flavour wise but I can understand that some people would nit like this flavour in their chocolate. It is a little pricey as well but looking at the slew of ingredients I can understand why.
I bought the Doisy & Dom Bar in Maca, Vanilla & Cacao Nibs Flavour. It is however not a raw chocolate but it is marketed a healthier chocolate option and has interesting superfood flavours. They use cane sugar as the sweetner and cocoa butter for the fat content. It has a fibre content of 11.7 g and protein of 9 g. It has 74% cocoa solids. A 100 g bar cost me £ 2.99. ￼
The Taste: It had a good crunch and crisp, intense chocolate flavour. It also had a nice crunch from the cacao nibs. It was not very sweet and had a mild Vanilla flavour.
The Good: The various Superfood combinations available was fun and I felt spoilt for choice. I also liked the packaging and brand colours. I feel the price matched the quantity and quality of product.
The Not so Great. They use sugar! This truly annoyed me. Organic sugar is no different in chemical composition than regular sugar and the body cannot differentiate between the two when digesting either. It might be slightly less processed but for me this is a big no. It could be one reason why this chocolate bar tasted most similar to a commercial variety bar of chocolate. It also has 26.83 g of sugar per 100 g which is a high sugar content. Further I do not think that adding a small percentage of super foods to this Bar can truly make it a less unhealthy version due to the sweetener chosen as well as the sugar content. I feel this Bar has been marketed as healthier brand with projection on Organic and superfoods but feel it really cannot stand in the same league as the other three chocolates that I have reviewed.
The Final Verdict: The Best Raw Chocolate Bar?
Personally for me the best sugar free raw chocolate would be the IQ Superfood Chocolate. It was closest in flavour and texture to a premium Swiss brand of chocolate but without any of the nasties! It is a little pricey but the intensity of the chocolate is fantastic. I am happy with the sugar content and the look and feel of the packaging and brand is really good.
Close second would be both the Om Bar and the Conscious Bar. The Om Bar for the lovely Goji berries and the Conscious Bar for its variety of ingredients and fudgy texture. The sugar content and sweetener used is my main apprehension.
I will not be opting for the Doisy & Dom bar though till they review their sweetener of choice!
Finally words from me are that even if you do want to buy raw chocolate or a sugar free chocolate as a healthy option do remember however healthy a chocolate portrays itself to be it is still a treat and should be eaten in small portions and occasionally! The purest form is something without any sweetener or perhaps with pure stevia.
PS: To have a quick understanding of all the white sugar alternatives out there and if they are truly a healthy option or just a less unhealthy option, take a look at this article.
P.P.S: These views are my own. I have not been paid to endorse any of these products!