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Review: Raw Shakti Chocolate

14 Feb

Raw Shakti Chocolate from North Carolina

from left to right: Single Origin Ecuador, Loco for Coco and Himalayan High

Want to give a gift of  Raw Vegan Chocolates?  But no time or want to make your own?  Or do you just miss Milk Chocolate? 

There’s RAW hope for you yet! 

Check out Raw Shakti Chocolate from Asheville, North Carolina!  Their chocolate bars are Raw, Stoneground, Handcrafted and Sustainable!

Raw, Stoneground, Handcrafted and Sustainable

There are only 2 Raw Stoneground Handcrafted Chocolate companies in the U.S. that I know of.  One on the West Coast called Sacred Chocolate, and one on the East Coast, Raw Shakti ChocolateThere is a clear difference between the two companies: the sweeteners they use.

  • Sacred Chocolate, founded in part by David Wolfe, uses sweeteners like Maple Sugar, Inulin from Jerusalem Artichoke, Erythritol, Agave and Stevia.  If you are like my son, you are probably allergic to almost all of these.
  • Raw Shakti Chocolate, on the other hand, founded by Raw Foodie Don Rowe, uses only one sweetener: coconut palm sugar, one of the lowest glycemic sweeteners… to which my son is not allergic!  Note: coconut palm sugar (like maple sugar and agave) is not raw as it is heated during the evaporation process but Raw Shakti Chocolate believes that it is the healthiest chocolate sweetener available.  Check out their ingredient list too.

Taste Testing

I e-mailed Raw Shakti Chocolate if I could sample 3 of their chocolate bars in time for Valentine’s Day and they gladly obliged!  Today my family and I enjoyed our Valentine’s Eve chocolate tasting of:

  • Loco for Coco (dark chocolate with Hawaiian Black Lava Salt and Coconut)
  • Himalayan High (dark chocolate with goji berries and Ashwangandha root)

I liked the simplicity of Single Origin Ecuador.  My son was Loco for Coco.  My husband was on an Himalayan High.  We found the flavor, taste and texture of Raw Shakti Chocolate distinct and unique – unlike other raw chocolate bars we have tried before.  The stone ground cacao and the addition of coconut palm sugar create a very smooth chocolate.  The coconut palm sugar also creates a flavor reminiscent of malt, so these bars taste like milk chocolate!

If you do contact them, please let them know you heard about them from Mama in the Kitchen!

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Easy Raw Dark Chocolate Bars for Every Season

25 Dec

Easy Raw Dark Chocolate Bar

After trying to get rid of his allergies for almost 3 months, my son told me the other morning that he only wanted to eat processed candy on his birthday and on Christmas Day because he didn’t want to get sick anymore. Well, he has been obsessing about Peppermint Candy Canes and Peppermint Chocolate Bars even before this holiday season came around. Hmmm, sound familiar?

Well, believe it or not, where we live, all the ‘pretty healthy’ candy canes were all sold out by December! Lucky for my son, a dear friend whose child also has allergies, bought an extra box of TruSweets for him. He decorated our tree with nine of them and ate only one today. As for Peppermint Chocolate Bars, my son was happy to discover that his Mama can make pretty healthy Raw Dark Chocolate Bars for him in less than half an hour! Here’s how:

I use my weighing machine quite a bit. I prefer to weigh ingredients instead of use measuring cups because I have less to wash up afterwards! Notice: my weighing machine is permanently in a ziplock bag to ease clean up!

Melt by placing a bowl of cacao butter in another bowl full of hot water and stir occasionally:

4 oz raw cacao butter (before melting, I first use my fork to break the cacao butter into small pieces… so melting takes only a few minutes)

When melted, add to the cacao butter:

pinch of sea salt

1 drop of doTerra peppermint essential oil (optional, or other flavours to suit your taste)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 oz raw agave syrup/raw honey/maple syrup

2 – 3  oz raw cacao powder, depending on how dark you want your chocolate

Mix well. Pour into molds and place in fridge or freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from fridge or freezer, pop out of molds and enjoy!

I use metal moulds (above) and silicon mini-muffin moulds. For the latter, I only fill them halfway. After they solidify in the fridge/freezer, I pop my thin chocolate

Chocolate Hearts are for every season!!!

Pastillas de Coco: Raw Pastillas de Leche

22 Dec
I recently read an e-mail from someone who visited the Philippines.  He wrote: “I now know why so few tourists visit the Philippines.  I will never go there again.”  It saddened me because I have so many fond memories of the Philippines: the kind happy people, the beautiful islands and its unique fusion of food with Malay, Chinese and Spanish influences.  
As I think about these negative comments during this holiday season, I have began to yearn for one of my favourite candies from the Philippines called Pastillas de Leche, a candy traditionally made from reduced carabao’s (water buffalo) milk and sugar.  So, I have created my own raw candy that I call Pastillas de Coco, because its main ingredient is coconut.  These taste very similar to the carabao milk version .  The recipe is so easy and quick – not to mention dairy free, unprocessed and healthier.
Place in a Vitamix or other high speed blender and blend just until it becomes buttery.  The shredded coconut will first become powdery, then it will become a paste.  The paste is what you want.  Do not over blend as the ‘butter’ may separate:
6 oz dry shredded coconut
Place in a bowl and mix with:
a pinch of sea salt
3 oz raw honey or agave syrup
Roll into small cylinders and cover with dry shredded coconut or powdered coconut (place dry shredded coconut in Vitamix and process until you have a powder), or even raw cacao powder.  Wrap with wax paper and cellophane, if desired.  You can also just roll them into balls to make Coconut Truffles.  Keep refrigerated.