Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Hey hey, it's superfoods day: raw cacao

Today’s superfood was super-easy; super-cheating you might even say. Last weekend we bought some organic raw chocolate from the NibChoc stall at the Oxford Farmers Market. It was a small market that day – apparently it’s sometimes a lot bigger, but there was a good veg stall, two really nice bread stalls and a café stall selling home-made curry, as well as NibChoc. I was excited to realise that the lady on one of the bread stalls was the same lady who had made a huge, and absolutely delicious challah for Eco Sis and Eco Bro’s wedding last summer. She knew immediately who I must be when I asked her about it – when we took Eco Sis to a party with us once our friends commented that she was a Mini Lysy (with more focus in board games). Together we form a freakily similar-looking whole!

We were taken by the idea of the raw cacao immediately, alert as we are to superfoods (especially when they’re chocolate!) NibChoc’s website states that they aim to use the raw cacao nibs in as unadulterated a way as possible, as refining dilutes its nutritional properties. Their bars are vegan, and come in a variety of flavours, including ginger, and chilli (the latter apparently has quite a kick – I didn’t dare try it!). Their philosophy is ‘that good nutrition is vital for everyone's well-being and that it can and should be delivered by food that tastes sensational.’ Raw cacao is full of antioxidants (more than green tea or blueberries), minerals and lots of feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. We were allowed to taste several varieties before selecting a plain one and a ginger one. We had a little slice of each tonight after dinner, and both taste and texture are just nothing like regular chocolate. The most obvious difference is the richness of the flavour – densely chocolatey with no hint of the smooth (but no doubt much more artificial) milkiness of processed chocolate. In fact it reminded me of vegan brownies in its density and almost savoury-like chocolate taste. The other obvious feature is the texture, which is grainily nutty, and a lovely mouthful. NibChoc sell their bars at various outlets in Oxford as well as at the East Oxford Farmers Market and via their website– go along and give it a try. You will see chocolate in a whole different way…. Thank you to Eco Sis and Eco Bro for taking us, and The Scientist says he's sorry for neemying your bid for victory in the afternoon board game, Eco Sis!

East Oxford Farmer's Market
Asian Cultural Centre, Manzil Way


LisaRene said...

Very cool photo with the wine glass! I went to the website and the chocolate looks very interesting. I love that chocolate is now available flavored and ginger would have been my choice as well. It's nice to find a treat that satisfies your sweet tooth AND is good for you!

Ilana said...

not so sure about this full of dopamine and serotonin business... maybe if you injected the chocolate into your brain it might make you happy but going through the protein-breaking-down machine of your gut i don't think it gets into your body in any recognisable form. PLUS dopamine can't cross the blood-brain barrier - this we know because of the treatment of Parkinsons disease.

so there :)

from lysy-like

Lysy said...

No No, Eco Sis, I don't want to know that! Humph, medical students, spoiling all our chocolate fun, mumble grumble. I don't fancy injecting it into my brain much either.