I love chocolate it’s my guilty pleasure, there is nothing more comforting than the creamy soft taste melting in my mouth and the feel good factor that comes with this. Eating chocolate actually stimulates the release of endorphins, natural hormones produced by the brain, which generate feelings of pleasure. The happy high we get from eating chocolate is the reason many of us continue to reach for it. Chocolate also contains magnesium, an essential mineral and one that we are often lacking. Some experts argue that women craving chocolate before their period is a sign of magnesium deficiency and the bodies way of getting in more magnesium.
But sadly not all chocolate is created equal, the bulk of chocolate we consume and are likely to consume over the Easter period contains palm oil, sugar, milk, additives and so on and relatively few of the good ingredients that make chocolate healthy. Nice but nasty.
As a chocoholic and a Nutritionist I am always on the lookout then for chocolate of the virtuous kind. I love dark chocolate and there are several good quality bars out there but again even those containing 70 percent plus cocoa contain refined sugar and are processed which depletes the natural goodness in the cacao. Without a doubt the healthiest chocolate is raw chocolate. Raw chocolate is simply chocolate that hasn’t been cooked so the goodness in the cacao is retained and it really is a nutritional powerhouse, raw cacao has 20 more times the antioxidant content than blueberries and is brimming with minerals such as magnesium, zinc and calcium. It really is a super food.
I have sampled most of the ready to buy raw chocolate that is available and must admit I was disappointed, most raw chocolate bars are not able to recreate the creamy sensation of regular bars.
And then as luck would have it I chanced upon Ombar.
Ombar is a raw chocolate bar made with creamed coconut, raw cacao, coconut sugar and a few other fruits or cultures depending on your flavour. Maybe its the creamed coconut that works the magic but it certainly does manage to recreate the silky smooth texture that we all associate with chocolate. They also do a really nice range from regular and strawberry mylk, (milk chocolate equivalents, the whole range is vegan and dairy free) through to soft centres, rich dark chocolate and even chocolate buttons, as approved here by my chief taste tester Isla! This is the first raw chocolate brand that my children have fought over as its so good, so a thumbs up there for all us mums looking for a healthier option for the kids.
The good thing too about raw chocolate is that you don’t need a lot, its rich and high fat content makes it more satisfying so a little goes a long way. My personal favourite is the coconut and vanilla centres which is so rich and dreamy a must if you love your creamy milk chocolate.
If you would like to indulge in a good way this Easter and sample an Ombar or two then please email me, the kind folks form Ombar have given me some samples to give away to my readers and,the first 5 people that email in will get a sample of this yummy range, other wise you can find this in Ocado and most health food shops.