organic

The Raw Chocolate Company – Christmas Raw Chocolate Berries Review

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Mulberries

Kris at The Raw Chocolate Co. has slowly become my best friend by plying me with copious amounts of raw chocolate. Although, I have to say that anyone can become my friend pretty much instantly if they send me out some chocolate goodies (hint hint), especially raw chocolate. So this time in line with Christmas, Kris sent me out their Organic berry collection, and ooooooh, oh yeah was it good!

Inside my little care package was; The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Raisins, Goji Berries and Mulberries.

The first time I tried raw chocolate was the moment I never turned back, and the very first raw chocolate that I sampled was from The Raw Chocolate Co.

The Raw Chocolate Co. was founded by raw foodie enthusiast Linus Gorpe. Linus became very intrigued with raw cacao and he began to experiment with raw chocolate making. After a lot of ‘lab’ experiments, trial and error and some very happy taste testers, Linus, had become an expert. The company was launched in early 2006.

The one thing that has always attracted me to The Raw Chocolate Co. is it’s values and ethics. Out of all of the raw chocolate companies I have come across this one by far is the most ethical. All of their outer packaging for their chocolate bars is made from recycled paper and printed with vegetable inks, their factory is wind and solar powered (meaning no CO2 emissions) and all of their produce is Fairtrade too. In fact they recently picked up an award for being one of the UK’s most ‘socially responsible businesses’ – not too shabby hey?!

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Mulberries

So what makes their chocolate and the rest of their products so special? I hear you ask.

Good question! Well for a start their ingredients are either raw or cold pressed, organic (well at least all of the ingredients that can be) and they don’t treat any of their cacao produce with chemicals. In fact they often scour the world to find the absolute best ingredients even if it takes them years!

All of their bars and berries are suitable for Vegans, and Paleo followers alike – fab!

I heard that raw chocolate totes some awesome health benefits. Is this true?

Yes. Raw chocolate does indeed boast a whole host of health benefits; it improves digestion, enhances the libido (wit woo – insert winky face here oi oi!), improves cardiovascular function, is packed full of antioxidants that neutralise free radicals, and contains a variety of vitamins and minerals.  So, on that note… let the taste testing commence!

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, the review!

Welcome to Cinderella’s 3 ugly sisters… Ok they’re not so ugly but as you will probably notice they look like some little organic lifeforms’ miniature brains… Mmmm brains… brains covered in delicious chocolate. Each ugly duckling that I popped into my mouth transformed into a beautiful swan. Each had their own unique quality and made my mouth have a little party – awesome.

All 3 products contain raw cacao mass, coconut palm sugar, virgin cacao butter and cacao powder.

Organic Raw Chocolate Raisins

Raisins, raisins, raisins… I do not like raisins… but luckily I do like chocolate raisins.

These juicy and plump raisins are covered in a dark chocolate (minimum of 74% cacao solids) oh and then dusted in cacao powder just for good measure!

Now, The Raw Chocolate Co. do not do things by halves as you may probably have noticed already. Yes these wonderful folk have consumed many a raisin in their lifetime just in order to find the perfect one to coat with their gorgeous bittersweet chocolate with. They sourced these juicy, plump raisins all the way from Turkey!

Now this is like eating one of the ugly bolshy sisters out of Cinderella crossed over with an ape. It’s the goji berry’s overweight and over indulgent sister – this isn’t a dainty snack, oh no, don’t let it fool you. This is a big bang wallop to your taste buds. The juiciness of these raisins really shocked me and they almost explode in your mouth with a ginormous amount of flavour, it’s crazy.  Seriously. The only problem is that these raisins are so sweet and so loud that it’s hard to be able to appreciate the beautiful chocolate that encases them. I’m not saying that you can’t taste the chocolate – you can. But you do have to do quite a bit of mental digging to latch on to and appreciate it’s beautiful complex flavours. But then again this could be to do with my taste buds not liking raisins so much. Did I enjoy eating these though? Most certainly!

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate RaisinsThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate RaisinsThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate RaisinsThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Raisins

Would I eat these again? Uhhhhh hello? Are you crazy?! Of course I would, but in moderation for sure as these are the highest in sugars out of all of the berries with 46.8g sugar per 100g.

They are available in the following sizes;

100g resealable foil pouch for £3.29

200g resealable foil pouch for £5.29

Organic Raw Chocolate Goji Berries

So these I thought were going to be my favourite but then I tried the mulberries and they were my favourite. So these are my ummmm 2nd favourite.

The guys at The Raw Chocolate Co. searched for 7 whole years just to find the perfect goji berries! Say whaaaaaaaaaat?! I am starting to think that they are all a little bit bonkers but after eating their goji’s I can see why. They are the biggest, plumpest, chewiest, juiciest, and all round loveliest goji berries ever. I have eaten goji berries that are almost flat and brittle before and that is always a sad experience. But not these yummy bad boys oh no! They sourced these all the way from beautiful China, just in case you were wondering.

Goji berries (also known as ‘Wolf Berries’) were originally used in Chinese medicine but these little fellas have found their way over to the UK due to the huge number of celebrities that are in utter awe of them. They are packed full of antioxidants and the beta-carotene which gives your skin a lovely, radiant glow. They are also are high in fibre, and vitamins E, C, B1 & B2. If you’ve never had goji berrie before they are bitter like a cranberry and have the sweetness of a cherry.

These are the least sweetest out of the berry batch but only because of their beautiful sourness that comes through at the beginning, and the aftertaste is somewhat bittersweet as you can expect from a goji berry. There’s a little bit of seed crunch going on here and there but nothing that takes away from the whole experience. The fruitiness of the goji compliments that signature fruity flavour of all of The Raw Chocolate Co. chocolate. As the chocolate has a minimum of 50% cacao solids it helps to sweeten any bitterness that the goji berries tend to carry with them and so almost goes unnoticed. However the cacao dusting does keep that chocolatey flavour lingering for longer.

I was trying to think of what these remind me of and all I can really think of is that they carry the flavour of a really fruity tasting milky dark chocolate with the texture of well… chocolate raisins. The aftertaste stays for quite a while and is beautiful. Yes I devoured this snack pack in no time whatsoever. Yummy scrummy in my tummy!

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Goji BerriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Goji BerriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Goji BerriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Goji Berries

These are perfect sprinkled over your faux porridge in the morning, and also as a post workout recovery snack as they contain 9.9g of protein per 100g.

They are available in the following sizes;

32g snack pack for £1.49

100g resealable foil pouch for £4.49

200g resealable foil pouch for £7.99

Organic Raw Chocolate Mulberries

These little beauties shocked me. These were my favourite out of the whole berry collection. Oh my oh my… I’ll stop blabbering now, wipe away the drool and get my brain back on track.

These gorgeous little white mulberries have been dipped in chocolate and then dusted with cacao powder. They have a minimum of 41% cacao solids so that’s pretty standard milk chocolate. They source their organic white mulberries from Turkey.

Mulberries are high in iron, calcium, riboflavin and vitamins A,C, E & K. They are also high in antioxidants. So like goji berries they are great for your hair, skin and nails and also for cardiovascular health.

These really reminded me of one of my favourite little childhood sweets ‘Poppets‘ – who remembers those? These little bad boys are like eating a silky smooth fruity milk chocolate with a soft toffee chewy centre. I literally think that if you were blind folded you wouldn’t be aware that you were eating berries – magic!

In fact I had never had mulberries before until today that is, but I have always wanted to try them, and I am so glad that I did. There was a tiny bit of crunchiness when you eat them, I take it that these are seeds but it wasn’t unpleasant, it almost reminded me of eating little miniscule rice pops or something like that. I have to admit that I polished off the bag in under a minute and I don’t tend to do this as I like to savour my chocolatey treats. The light dusting of cacao is what makes all of these berries, it takes away from the overpowering sweetness and just adds that tiny little bitterness that enhances both the flavours of the mulberries and the raw chocolate itself. The mulberries themselves taste distinctly caramel like and it is the most bizarre thing that I have ever eaten (but in a nice way) I mean how can a berry taste exactly like a piece of soft chewy caramel?! Splendid! I guess their flavour reminded me quite a bit of the Vanoffe bar that The Raw Chocolate Co. do.

I just want to clarify that although these are chewy like a caramel/toffee they do break apart into fragments rather than staying as one big fat lump – I prefer this because it means I can throw a handful into my mouth and chow down as fast as I like.

And another thing that impressed me – these are the lowest in sugars compared to all of the others with just a 30.4g sugar content per 100g.

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate MulberriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate MulberriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate MulberriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Mulberries

These are soooo going to be making an appearance under my tree this Christmas for sure!

They are available in the following sizes;

32g snack pack for £1.49

100g resealable foil pouch for £3.79

200g resealable foil pouch for £6.29

150g festive gift tube for £6.49

So, overall what did I think? What’s the verdict? Would I purchase any of these products myself?

Yes, yes and yes times infinity!

I don’t think I need to add much else really. I love the ethics and hard work that this company possesses. I  love the overall branding. I love the quality and taste of the products.

I really think that these are the greatest little Christmas snacks that you can indulge in, and well not just for Christmas but the mulberry gift tube just reminds me of something that good old Santa would drop down the chimney! Oh and don’t forget the snack packs to whack in your pocket on your travels or workouts!

So where can you buy myself some of these lovely little treats?

Good question.

Well the first place you can go is directly to The Raw Chocolate Co. themselves. In fact if you live within the UK you can enter in your postcode into the map on their website and it will tell you your nearest stockist. Clever huh? Yup.

Other than that they are available in a lot of online and health food retailers.

You can follow The Raw Chocolate Co. in these places:

Twitter: @TheRawChocCo

Facebook: @therawchocolatecompany

Instagram: @therawchocolatecompany

Pinterest: @therawchocco

Have you had any experience with The Raw Chocolate Co. products before? Please do comment below and share your experience!

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MULU Raw Organic Chocolate Review

MULU Organic Raw chocolate range

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive a care package from MULU containing their full product range. I kept this under wraps as I have had a bundle of products to review and I thought it would be best to save this one for the weekend. And just in time for the start of Christmas shopping the wonderful people at MULU are giving a mahoosive 20% off of all Greens of the Stone Age reader’s first orders! Wahey!

About MULU

I’ll start by telling you a little about the amazing MULU raw chocolate. When Kaycee & Ben Fordham took a trip to Cornwall they stumbled across their first taste of raw chocolate. Elated at the idea that chocolate could be beneficial to your health they decided to do a little research about raw chocolate. They discovered that although it may well be good for your health it wasn’t comparable in taste and quality to a lot of commercial chocolates available. They decided to try and make their own raw chocolate in hopes of perfecting the recipe for the best raw chocolate around. MULU Chocolate Ltd. was founded in 2007. (If you’d like to read more about Ben & Kaycee’s story then click here.)

Packaging

MULU love to keep their packaging as ‘raw’ as their chocolate. I absolutely love how their boxes and inner wrappers are recyclabe, biodegradable and from sustainable sources. In fact all of their card is actually recycled. The inks that they use to print are plant based and all of their boxes are sealed using a water based varnish – I didn’t even know that that even existed! Amazing!

Ingredients

All of the ingredients used at MULU are certified organic and ethically sourced. Their raw cacao is sourced in Ecuador where they have formed close and trusting relationships with cacao farmers (most of which are fairtrade certified) from small scale productions. To read more about how MULU work with their suppliers please click here.

Their chocolate bars are handcrafted at very low temperatures and contain very few ingredients; (which is great in my books) raw cacao, agave nectar, vanilla and incredibly small trace amount of sunflower lecithin. Their products are soya free and suitable for people suffering from soya allergies. The sunflower lecithin used is non-organic, however it is certified GMO free.

MULU raw chocolate is Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free and nut-free. Although their factory is a nut-free working environment they state that they “cannot guarantee nut-free” products due to the fact that their cocoa beans are picked, dried and processed in a rainforest so nut contamination is possible if a nut were to fall from a tree.

Agave nectar is high in fructose and so cannot be a certified Paleo product, however it is Paleo friendly and should be consumed sensibly in small amounts. To read more about agave and the Paleo diet please read my agave article here.

The MULU Chocolate Range

MULU Christmas Star

At 70% minimum cocoa solids, the MULU star is the same as their dark chocolate bar. I love the MULU Christmas Star it’s cute and fun. It’s pocket sized – or stocking sized rather! And well it’s delicious.

When you first open the box there is a super cute magical shooting star and following it the little saying “Shoot for the moon… dance among the stars” – I just love it! If you had this on Christmas day in your stocking it would just make it!

The chocolate was chunky and had a nice well tempered snap to it. Although the chocolate was very firm the texture was almost butter like and incredibly smooth once it began to melt in your mouth. The flavour was slightly nutty and a bit bitter – not too bitter though as a there is a lovely sweetness to it, but again it was not too sweet either. There was a slight floral note to this, I guess you could say it is a bit reminiscent of Turkish delight!

Yup I love this one for sure and at £1.20 for this beautiful little handcrafted 20g star of raw chocolate it’s a bargain gift for Christmas! If you’d like to buy one click on the link here.

MULU Christmas StarMULU Christmas StarMULU Christmas StarMULU Christmas Star

MULU Raw Chocolate Buttons

This is MULU’s lowest cocoa solids product at just 58% minimum cocoa solids. This is certainly perfect for children as a once in a while treat. Again it would make a great stocking filler.

The chocolate is smoother, meltier and has a milky taste to it probably due to the lower cocoa solids teamed with the organic vanilla that is used. My 9 year old daughter loved these and devoured the lot before I could say stop.

It’s a 22g bag with 10 small round chocolate buttons. As they are very melty they wouldn’t be much of a choking hazard for young children but again due to the agave nectar I think that these would be more suitable for older children.

If you’d like to pick up the MULU raw chocolate buttons for a mere £1.00 then click here.

MULU Raw Chocolate ButtonsMULU Raw Chocolate ButtonsMULU Raw Chocolate ButtonsMULU Raw Chocolate Buttons

MULU Silk Block

The MULU silk block is a sort of ‘dark’ milk standing at around 65% cocoa solids.

The texture was very similar to the MULU star but slightly meltier and not as soft as the MULU buttons. The butteriness does linger with you for a little while and their is a more distinct fruity and floral flavour rather than nutty. This was a very comforting bar and would be great with a big mug of hot chocolate and some furry slippers. The blocks are around 1cm thick or possibly thicker so this is the ‘Yorkie’ of the raw chocolate world I love it!

For a whopping 74g you can bag this at just £2.99 from MULU.

MULU Silk BlockMULU Silk BlockMULU Silk BlockMULU Silk Block

MULU Dark Block

The MULU dark block is a minimum of 70% cocoa solids. It is the same chocolate as the MULU star and so is very solid yet buttery once it enters your bouche! In a very weird way it reminded me of a Bournville bar but far more sophisticated with it’s nutty flavour. The MULU dark chocolate isn’t as rich and complex as other raw chocolates around but it’s simplicity really did win me over. It’s not dressed up trying to be anything else. It’s just a very sweet, solid chunky bar that you probably would have craved before you went down the healthy route.

I really like it and it’s smoothness is so comforting.  You can pick up this 74g block of MULU dark for £2.99 from MULU.

MULU Dark BlockMULU Dark BlockMULU Dark BlockMULU Dark Block

MULU Dark with Raw Cacao Nibs Block

So the minimum cocoa solids of this bar is 64% excluding the cacao nibs, including them it would be 73%.

Out of all the bars this one was my favourite in flavour and texture. It has a slightly milkier taste than the MULU Dark and has an amazing crunch when you bite into it due to the crushed cacao nibs. If you want to reap the maximum benefits of raw chocolate and still want that bitter kick then this is the MULU bar for you!

This bar only weighs 68g but I can promise you that you won’t notice at all! If you want to try this bar then head on over to MULU.

MULU Dark with Cacao Nibs BlockMULU Dark with Cacao Nibs BlockMULU Dark with Cacao Nibs BlockMULU Dark with Cacao Nibs

My ultimate verdict

I really like the branding of the products at MULU – the mothernature-esque background that adorns all of their packaging along with the tagline ‘The way mother nature intended‘ is just breathtaking. They seem more like an indulgent luxury raw chocolate treat or the perfect gift for a loved one due to the way they are packaged. The ethics at MULU are outstanding, and any green and responsible business will win me over.

The taste and the texture of these products shocked me. There wasn’t even the tiniest bit of powderiness that you would associate with a lot of raw chocolates and they remind me of simple childhood treats that have been made to be slightly more complex and a lot more sophisticated for the adult market. MULU have succeeded in their dream to create a raw chocolate bar that equals that of the commercial chocolate market.

My only criticism is the use of agave nectar – and well, this is purely because I would like to be able to treat myself more often and scoff an entire bar. But I guess that’s what will make MULU more special for me – it’s a little treat I can look forward to, and they are always the best!

If you’d like to place an order then head over to the MULU online store and go wild for Christmas! Don’t forget to quote MULU20 on your first order for a whopping 20% off!

I can’t wait to see what MULU have in store for the future!

If you’d like to follow MULU Organic Raw Chocolate online then check out the links below:

Facebook: @MuluRawChocolate

Twitter: @mulurawchocolat

Instagram: @muluchocolate

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kayceeburnett/mulu-organic-raw-chocolate/

 

Had any experience with MULU products before? Then don’t be scared to leave a comment!