Here in Northern California, summer is fully underway. The rivers and lakes are warming up from the Tahoe snowmelt, the grasses are drying up and fruits and veggies are coming into full season. I love to be warm, so naturally this is my favorite time of year!
While summertime isn’t typically the time of year for chocolate, in my house, chocolate is a staple year round. No matter what the season, there is chocolate. I don’t know about you, but I always have a chocolate bar on hand to satisfy my usual nighttime craving.
Nearly six years ago, after my initial breast cancer diagnosis, I adopted a 100% raw vegan diet, and it was at that time I discovered Righteously Raw chocolates. These chocolate bars were a welcomed sweet treat, in between my diet made up almost entirely of green juices, sprouted nuts, seeds and vegetables. Because Righteously Raw chocolates are indeed, raw, they have a different taste from most chocolate. While I love these chocolates, and in particular the Dark, Caramel and Divine Mint, they have an acquired taste. Raw chocolate generally tastes bitter because of the high percentage of raw cacao and because it doesn’t contain milk which I think dilutes the powerful taste. Don’t be intimidated because this chocolate is still amazingly delicious. With flavors like the three I mentioned above, plus Acai, Goji, Maca, Synergy Spice, I’m certain anyone can find a flavor to love. And if you like coconut, Righteously Raw just developed Raw Chocolate covered Coconut Macaroons that are pretty darn wonderful too!
So what’s so special about Righteously Raw? Aside from the incredible attribute that these chocolates are of a very high quality, made up of 80-90% raw cacao, they are also jam packed with some of the planet’s most powerful superfoods. All of their chocolate is totally non-GMO, organic, kosher, gluten free and contains no refined sugar. It’s even created in a totally gluten free, nut free, certified organic, vegan and kosher facility in sunny San Diego, California. And even more, these chocolates have very few ingredients, eight at most.
While I haven’t sampled all of the Righteously Raw chocolates, here’s a run down on a few that I recently had the pleasure of enjoying:
Just like dessert, I thought I’d start off with my very favorite Righteously Raw bar first, Caramel. Who doesn’t love caramel, right? This was my go to bar when I was living a 100% raw food diet and needed a sweet treat. The inside is thick, not gooey like most caramels. This 90% cacao truffle bar is truly decadent and packed with lucuma, a superfood which contains high iron and beta carotene. This bar is available in the full bar size (2.3 ounces). What are you waiting for? Get your caramel on!
Ingredients: lacuma, Himalayan pink salt, organic raw agave nectar, organic raw dates, organic raw cacao powder, organic raw vanilla bean.
My love of chocolate and mint likely began as kid who loved Mint Chip ice cream. This chocolate reminds me of that very taste. The difference? Righteously Raw Mint Chocolate is totally raw and it’s healthy for you. It’s got that dark chocolate bite with a refreshing mint flavor that’s comes straight from high quality peppermint oil. I’m willing to bet that all mint lovers will think this chocolate, which is available in bite size (.35 ounces) is both heavenly and divine.
Ingredients: Organic cacao butter, organic agave, organic coconut oil, organic vanilla, organic essential peppermint oil
The Maca bar has perhaps the most acquired taste of the bunch. Since I am not a huge fan of maca, I find it bitter, those who love maca will certainly love this bar. This is a tough one to describe, but no matter what, you’ll get the amazing benefits from both the chocolate and the maca (which apparently is great for the libido!) if you eat it. This bar is available in the full bar size (2.3 ounces) or in the new bite size (.35 ounces).
Ingredients: Organic cacao butter, organic dates, organic maca powder, organic mesquite powder, organic cacao powder, organic agave, organic raisins, organic vanilla and Himalayan pink salt.
This bar is truly like nothing I have ever tasted before. It’s not-so-subtle rose flavor is uniquely delicious and even the color of the bar, has a purple hue (from beets and raspberries). The bar has a grainy texture, I’m guessing due to the coconut sugar. A lovely fruity flavor that’s divine. It’s available in both the full bar size (2.3 ounces) or in the new bite size (.35 ounces).
Ingredients: Organic cacao butter, organic sprouted brown rice protein powder, organic coconut palm sugar, organic red beet, organic red raspberry powder, organic rose hips.
This yummy bite sized bar (.35 ounces), which is one of my favorites, also comes in full size (2.3 ounces). It is wonderfully decadent at 83% cacao, and is perfect for those true dark chocolate lovers. While I find that a lot of dark chocolate is too bitter, this one is is not. It’s pure, smooth, full of flavor and of course rich.
Ingredients: Organic cacao butter, organic cacao powder, organic agave, organic coconut oil, organic vanilla
At 80% cacao, this truffle bar has a truly different taste. While I’ve never found acai to be sweet, and I wouldn’t call this bar sweet, but it definitely has a hint of berry. Plus, it’s filled with antioxidants, even more so than blueberries, acai is a powerhouse of both protein and antioxidants.
Ingredients: Organic cacao butter, organic cacao powder, organic agave, organic freeze dried acai berry, organic coconut palm sugar, organic coconut oil, organic vanilla, Himalayan pink salt
If you’re looking for a healthy chocolate alternative that will still satisfy your sweet tooth, I recommend giving Righteously Raw a try. You don’t have to be a vegan or raw foodist to love these truly tasty, unique, flavorful, complicated, varied, high quality chocolates. And now through July 31, 2014, use this coupon code (CGIRLS) valid for 15% off when you purchase any Righteously Raw product on their website: www.righteouslyrawchocolate.com. If you’re looking to purchase directly from a store, you can find Righteously Raw in both Whole Foods Markets as well as in small health food stores and co-ops across the country in the raw food section. Enjoy!
All photos by Faye White