Have you noticed recently the bazillion chocolate bars available with almonds and salt? Me, too. Here's the thing, though: not all are worthy. EYES OVER HERE. Pay attention to eatingEVOLVED and this Almond & Sea Salt bar. This the by far the best, most amazing, stupendous, decadent, sustainable, ineffable, droolable, wondrous bar of them all. All it takes is salt, almonds, coconut sugar, and fair trade cacao for one bar to rule them all!
So what if the percentage of cacao is "only" 72% within this ethically produced and delicious bar studded with roasty almonds and flaky salt? That means 72% fair trade cacao and 28% of the other things that make the bar so wondrous. A little bit of coconut sugar, a little bit of almonds, and the teeniest bit of salt. If these ingredients were any better suited to each other they'd be holding hands and singing. Actually, they kind of are. Nevermind. THIS is the Almond & Sea Salt Chocolate Bar by the delightful company called eatingEVOLVED.
Open the cute as heck box with the monkey face, and get right down to business with the bar. Take the high road and break off the first piece, handing it directly to someone near you. See them swoon with the recognition that they are receiving chocolate. Watch them marvel at the flavors until you can't stand it any more and have a bite yourself. Now, you'll get to crunch down on the slivers of almond, so thin they are almost like chips and crunchy, too.
The well-tempered bar has a perfect sheen and clean snap when breaking off a piece. Some primally-friendly chocolate bars (often raw) have a bit more of a grainy texture or a softer feel, but eatingEVOLVED has perfected what any high-end chocolatier strives for with each batch: shine and snap.
Now look back at your friend's smile. See how much better sharing chocolate can be? Well, at least that's how the story goes in my head, most of the time. Sometimes it is hard to share; when confronted with great chocolate we can become a bit childlike in our glee and possessiveness. But the great thing about being an adult is you can always buy more. Neat trick, huh?
How about a bar for your mom, the one who is "just fine" with that upscale grocery store brand of "dark" chocolate? How about for the budding foodie in your circle who finally stopped putting sugar in their coffee? All of these people are great ways to bring eatingEVOLVED and chocolate worthy of cheer to the rest of your world.
When you hold the bar in your hand, 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 bars with stabilizers and low amounts of cacao. Keep them at a nice cool temperature—not too cold, but definitely not warm—and you'll be rewarded with texture as intended. By only using fair trade chocolate and coconut sugar, these amazing folks have created something previously missing in the paleo snacking world. All this fun and deliciousness comes from eatingEVOLVED, a wonderful company who makes nothing but Paleo/Primal chocolates from bars to spreads. Just two ingredients: cacao, coconut sugar. Period.
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!"
Sugar has gotten a bad rap over the years for its effect on our blood sugar, hormonal system, and the overall inflammatory effects it can have within the body. EatingEVOLVED uses only coconut sugar to sweeten their products. This sweetener is made from crystalized coconut nectar harvested directly from the coconut blossom. Mildly sweet, very low glycemic, and caramel-like in flavor, these sugar crystals fuse perfectly with raw cacao nibs in the stone grinders, producing an ultra-silky texture.
The glycemic index of foods can play a huge role in your overall health. Here are 6 amazing benefits of stabilizing blood sugar levels through a low glycemic diet: a lower risk of heart disease, less overall inflammation, a lower risk of diabetes, less yeast or microbial imbalances within the body, easier weight management, and a more stable mental/emotional state.
Coconut sugar is also one of the healthiest and most sustainable sweeteners available. Tropical coconut palms require little water to thrive and can actually restore damaged soils and regenerate ecosystems which help support wildlife.
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 is a real food, and as with real foods, best if eaten within six months. We recommend storing in a cool, dry place. All of our flavors may be frozen to extend shelf life.
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.