Drinking Chocolate and Cocoa Powder
After two vegan friends extolled the virtues of drinking chocolate, I had to include this section.
Jasmin Singer, Executive Director of Our Hen House (full disclosure and plug: I write a monthly column on OHH), has been vegan for ten years. She says, “Every morning we have a mug of unsweetened cocoa powder and water. No milk, no sweetener. It is our drug of choice and I canít imagine my life without it. We travel with it.”
“Chocolate has a lot of nutritional properties. Itís an acquired taste that I have acquired. Whenever I offer it to someone else they think Iím insane for drinking it, but once you round the bend and appreciate the moodiness of it and the slight pick-me-up and the slight thickness of it, you canít not drink it. And itís not nearly as physically addicting as coffee. It has a lot of the same benefits for me as coffee does: it has the same ritual of having it every morning, it gives me a minor buzz, and it also fills that deep-seated need for chocolate.”
Jasmin notes that the Food Empowerment Project recommends Frontier and Navitas. She has been to the Grenada Chocolate Company (it is located in — wait for it — Grenada) and recommends visiting.
Nibmor Organic Drinking Chocolate
Robyn Lazara, a vegan of seven years, adores both the traditional and mint flavors, and notes that there is “also a six-spice variety flavored with organic cayenne, cinnamon, fennel, cloves, anise, and white pepper. The ingredient list of the cocoas are simple, primarily just low-glycemic coconut palm sugar (not to be confused with palm oil) and cacao powder. †The cacao gives the drink a rich, deep flavor geared for those who prefer dark chocolate. †It’s sold by the individual packet or the six-pack, and is best prepared by heating up a favorite plant-based milk and whisking in the powder. †I’ve found that soy milk is the creamiest. These drinking chocolates are fair-trade and organic.”
Local Treasures in Connecticut
Jessica Greenebaum, Professor of Sociology at Central Connecticut State University and 17-year vegan, will go out of her way for sublime chocolate. She found some at Divine Treasures in Manchester, Connecticut, 40 minutes from her home. Many vegan businesses’ products are available only in their locality, so it pays to explore your area and not limit yourself to nationally distributed brands. Here is Jessica’s review of her almost-local hangout.
ďDivine Treasures makes dozens of unique, hand-crafted vegan and gluten free chocolates onsite, all with organic Belgium chocolate, and some without sugar. My favorites include caramel cashew with sea salt, peanut butter melts, and turona, a chocolate made with coconut and almond flour. The only thing better than their caramels and truffles is the vegan soft serve in vanilla, chocolate, pumpkin, and a sugar-free flavor, such as Kahlua. You can enjoy it in a gluten-free cone or devour a sundae smothered with homemade caramel, peanut butter, or fudge and topped with nuts, pieces of their chocolates, or sprinkles. They also have a variety of vegan ice cream cakes topped with more of their chocolates!Ē
Veg News readers agreed with Jessica, nominating DTís product line as one of their favorite vegan chocolates of 2013. Stop by the store or order online at www.dtchocolates.com.
Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt
When I pay $8.99 for a bar of chocolate I expect it to be really good. This wasn’t. Mostly it was sour. I tasted coffee briefly and noticed that the texture was crumbly as I choked it down. One friend said it was sharp and added, “not good. Blech.” Another, however, called it “smooth,” and appeared not to spit it out. Different strokes, folks.
Happy Chocolate Day!
Many of these brands have additional vegan flavors, and some also make non-vegan flavors. Some of the products reviewed “may contain traces of milk” or are made in facilities that also process dairy; read the fine print before buying to make sure they meet your standards.
Photo credit: Thinkstock/iStockphoto
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