You always went for those banana Runts, didn't you? And those striped-wrapper banana taffys at Halloween. Me, too. Anything banana, I'm all over it, like these brand new coconut cream cups from Eating Evolved. They're like little bitty banana pies, two at a time, without the sugar overload nor the long ingredient list. Just organic dark chocolate, coconut butter, and banana. Nothing more on that list, just deliciousness.
Simple, yet decadent and sophisticated. All of those qualities exist in these miraculous coconut butter cups. They combine the cool and sultry filling of lightly sweetened coconut butter touched with real banana with a 72% dark chocolate shell. That's it. Nothing complicated, and yet the taste is like a rocket ship to happyville with banana cream pie along the route. Coconut butter fans will find everything to love. Chocolate fans will appreciate the mild tasting decadence of the creamy interior.
My favorite part of these cups is their hard-to-find flavor: BANANA. Sure, you can also find plain chocolate, or minty versions or caramelly versions out there, but this is for the crazy banana fans out there. The fans of banana Runts and strangely shaped banana taffy, not to mention, um, actual bananas. When you hold the lovely little cup in your hand and take a bite into the chocolate shell, a little bit will melt on your fingertips. That's normal for a great quality chocolate. Your sign of awesome ingredients is their relative fragility, compared to mass market cups. Keep them at a nice cool temperature—not too cold, but definitely not warm—and you'll be rewarded with a ooey gooey bite of sweet heaven.
This is not like the other gourmet nut butter cups out there: eatingEVOLVED has stepped up the game. By only using fair trade chocolate and organic coconut sugar as their sweetener, these amazing folks have created something previously missing in the paleo snacking world. Just five ingredients to fill your voice with song and your mouth with noms: coconut, cacao, coconut butter, coconut sugar, and banana.
The base is the coconut butter, a pretty delicious thing in and of itself. Dried coconut is ground up until it's a thick paste. Then a little bit of coconut oil is added to get it to a spreadable/scoopable texture. For starters, it is insanely rich in healthy fats like lauric acid. Then, eatingEVOLVED gilded the lily: they took their coconut butter and added just a teeny bit of coconut sugar and real banana and wrapped the whole bundle up in 72% Fair Trade chocolate. Each bite of these cups is both bold and delicate, with the banana flavor subtle but contributing to that smile on your face. The chocolate melts easily due to the extremely high cocoa butter content; the filling is soft when cool, gooey when getting a bit warmer. I like to take bites out of the cups after they've been in the fridge for awhile, but you might like them right at room temperature. Just be prepared to lick off a fingertip or two from the smudge of chocolate left behind.
On top of the organic ingredients, the wonderful chocolate and cacao, eatingEVOLVED has happily switched from maple sugar to coconut palm sugar! Read what they have to say about this right from their own folks:
"Coconut palm sugar is fitting with our products, especially our Coconut Butter Cups. We felt that the change would help create a more cohesive product.
One of the core foundations of this company is that we create our chocolate using unrefined sugar. This change allows us to adhere to this principle and continue this tradition. We are extremely excited about this change and can’t wait for you to experience it!"
Coconut has been used by many cultures worldwide for thousands of years, and is well known for its many amazing properties. Coconut is so nutritious, its list of benefits reads like a patent medicine bottle. Many people eat several tablespoons of coconut oil daily, for the incredible host of benefits it confers. It’s full of health-boosting lauric acid and medium-chain triglycerides, and it’s been shown to:
Cacao: chock-full of health-giving and beautifying fatty acids and minerals, as well as antioxidants, and nutrients that support mood and the immune system. Cacao is one of the most powerful known superfoods, and had been used for thousands of years to boost health and energy levels. Cacao is one of the most phytochemically complex foods on Earth. Many of its constituents have yet to even be discovered! We could write a dissertation on the health benefits of cacao, but here are just a few compounds found in cacao beans,: neurotransmitter anandamide (the "bliss" chemical), neurotransmitter phenethylamine (also known as PEA, the "love molecule"), neurotransmitter serotonin (a brain chemical that acts to shield against stress, increasing ones sense of wellbeing) neurotransmitter dopamine (increases ones sense of pleasure and elevates the mood), phytochemical coumarin (suppresses appetite, and also has anti-tumor properties and helps with blood circulation) enzyme asparaginase (a special enzyme with anti-cancer properties) ergosterol (a necessary chemical for Vitamin D assimilation), sitosterol (helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels), and magnesium (helps combat osteoporosis and weak bones/teeth, heart disease, migraines, muscle spasms, painful menstrual periods, and even diabetes.)
"At eatingEVOLVED we have a guiding principle that influences every decision we make: Chocolate: It’s Food, Not Candy.
When chocolate is done right, it’s a delicious, antioxidant-rich, superfood – a far cry from the commoditized, sugar-filled milk chocolate candies that line supermarket shelves.
Our mission is to handcraft dark chocolate done right.
All eatingEVOLVED chocolate is free of gluten, dairy, or soy (that’s right, no soy lecithin!). In fact, we use the fewest ingredients physically possible to create chocolate. No junk, no fillers, just the highest quality, Fair-Trade cacao lightly sweetened with organic coconut sugar. It doesn’t get any cleaner than that!"
Chocolate has an excellent shelf life, but keep in mind that we use no preservatives and the environmental conditions where you store the chocolate has a direct effect on freshness. Dry, cool and out of direct sunlight is always best.
All of our chocolate fits within the Paleo/Primal lifestyle. Our company proudly adheres to the principles of evolutionary nutrition, using natural, organic, and nutrient-dense ingredients.