Raw chocolate, or raw cacao as it is often called, is not processed like cocoa. Raw chocolate is in it’s most natural state, allowing it to retain its nutrients. Raw chocolate is thought to reduce cataracts, reduce the risk of cancer as high levels of antioxidants help to reduce free radicals in the body, and helps to alleviate stress and reduce depression. The chocolate you see at your local deli or candy store is likely to be made of processed cocoa. Raw cacao is more expensive and also the packaging will definitely state “raw” if it is indeed raw chocolate.
I first heard about Gnosis raw chocolates when I was researching my nutrition school. The founder, Vanessa Barg, graduated from my school. In addition to Briohny Smyth, she is another woman I see as an inspirational role model.
She worked as a health coach and started making her own chocolates at home to serve her clients’ need for sugar. But Vanessa wanted to give them something that was not only satisfying but also healthy. Cooking raw cacao at home under 118 degrees (to preserve the ingredients nutrients and minerals) her chocolates became quite popular. Word-of-mouth demand for her chocolates led to the creation of her business.
Now she works solely as a “chocolatier” and sells chocolate EVERYTHING! Raw cacao nibs, bars, and even chocolate body products!
I must admit, her prices are a bit high though. For a 2 ounce box of her chocolates (where you get only 6 pieces), you are gonna have to fork over (including tax) $10! Today on my way home from Barre Burn class, I was craving some raw chocolate and decided to support a fellow Integrative Nutrition alum and plunk down $10. I also wanted to finally try her stuff.
I bought the Superchoc Vitality blend of her raw chocolate. It contains cacao beans, coconut palm sugar, goji berries, raspberries, mesquite, maca root, Siberian ginseng, Ashwahandha, gingko biloba, gotu kola, passionflower, rose hips, reishi, acai berry, burdock root, lavender, and stevia. Oh, and it lists “love” as an ingredient too . Cute. I figured I should get my daily dose of feminine herbal medicine. I also probably succumbed to the savvy marketing ploy of a superhero chick on the box (I should know better that I’m not going to turn into SuperGirl after eating this pricey chocolate!) But Imust say, the branding and packaging of her products definitely attract the niche, target market likely to purchase “raw, free of dairy, soy, and gluten” chocolates – Upper East Side women!
If you check out the prices for other 70% raw cacao dark chocolate and slightly larger pieces, you will find that they cost less than $10. But for all the ingredients in her Superchoc and the fact that her boxes and labels are made of post-consumer recycled material, the inks used are made of vegetables, and the inner wrappers are biodegradable, it might not be so bad to support her line of chocolates. In addition, her brand claims to support fair labor practices and sources herbs from the Amazon to the Himalayas. (I’m basically regurgitating what is on the back of her boxed chocolates). For you skeptics out there (you know who you are), either she is an excellent brand marketer or she is an excellent environmentalist.
Remember, dark chocolate is good for you! Check out my Valentine’s Day post on chocolate. As always, I’m here to give you the information. It’s up to you to decide if the food item I am discussing is right for your particular diet. Everyone’s body is different and reacts differently to things, ie. dairy, meat, gluten, etc. I will leave you with a quote from inside the Gnosis chocolate box .