I am without doubt a chocoholic, I mean it’s lush isn’t it?! But with summer fast approaching it’s hardly the healthiest thing, especially if I want to wear anything remotely flesh baring, and as the age old saying goes…’everything in moderation’.
I know full well that switching over to dark chocolate is the way to go, because it’s rich intensity means you still get a chocolate hit, but need far less of it to feel satiated and there are just so many more health benefits associated with it than the milk or white variety.
I was recently sent some raw, dairy free, refined sugar free, vegan chocolate products from Ombar, and yep I’ve got to admit reading that lot kinda made me feel as though all the fun had been taken out of eating chocolate. But boy are these some stylish looking chocolate bars, and the look of them alone completely won me over. Even more so when I peeled back the paper layer and discovered the gold foil underneath. Ummmm hello, I think I may have just won a golden ticket, get me to that Wonka factory!
But I’m guessing you’re not that fussed about what they look like right? You wanna to know what they taste like, so here’s what I thought:
Ombar Coco Mylk
Oooo look an interesting spelling of milk…which I can only guess is to further promote the fact that these bars are vegan…? This particular chocolate variety comes in both bar and button form and is made from organic raw chocolate, creamed coconut and, would you know it, live cultures. Yep there’s 1 billion CFU (that’s friendly bacteria to you and me) packed in that there chocolate, all waiting to give your gut a friendly hug. This is the one you choose if you’re switching from standard chocolate to the raw, organic, refined sugar free stuff, because OK it doesn’t taste the same, but it’s certainly creamier than the other varieties and it’s a good one to start off with, especially if you’re trying to convince the kids. The creaminess comes from the creamed coconut, and you can really taste the coconut; it gives it a lovely flavour. The buttons are very kid friendly and described as “Little Bursts of Dairy-Free Deliciousness”, they make the perfect little treat…for parent and child alike!
Ombar 90% Raw Cacao
This is the deep, dark moody one, the one that takes a bit of getting used to, the one that you need to build up to, because if you’ve been scoffing Dairy Milk all your life, you’re gonna find this one pretty intense. Yep 90% cocoa means bitter, but it also means you’ll want less and it is a fab source of magnesium and manganese and loadsa natural antioxidants. Ingredients include raw cacao, coconut sugar and cacao butter and at 201 cals per 35g bar, I figure that’s roughly 50 cals per rectangle; trust me you really won’t need more than that in one go. It’s a great one to use in baking, as a little goes a long way, in fact I used it recently in my recipe for Cacao Matcha Flapjack Cups, but I also think this would work equally well in a savoury dish, something like a veggie chilli to add real depth to the dish.
Ombar Centres – Raspberry & Coconut
I love a soft centred choc, so I had high hopes for this baby! Ingredients include coconut cream, coconut sugar, raw cacao, coconut oil, cocoa butter, raspberry powder and ground vanilla powder, plus at 202 cals per 35g bar it ain’t looking too bad on the health front. The pack colour varies ever so slightly to the other bars in that it has a pinkish hue to it, helping it stand out from the choccy crowd. And it’s certainly a good looking bar, one that’s gonna look pretty damn fine in your handbag. The bar is divided up into 4 rectangles of dark chocolate and is emblazoned with the Ombar logo. I must admit I was expecting it to look bright pink inside, perhaps I was thinking too much about those strawberry ones you get in Quality Street, but no instead it was a light brown, and after my very brief disappointment I realised that actually it’s lack of colour is truly a good thing. Because we all know that anything too brightly coloured is deffo not natural! With a minimum of 60% cocoa solids it certainly still packs a punch in the flavour department and in fact the layers of flavour that this bar offers made it feel as though I was eating something Willy Wonka had invented himself. From rich and creamy to bitter then sweet then finally through to a burnt caramel taste it was an absolute taste explosion. It’s intense, so you’ll deffo need a drink alongside it and you probs won’t want to eat the whole bar in one go, but seriously a snack that lasts all day…amazing!
I don’t care what anyone tell you, in my mind chocolate is good for you. It makes you feel good, it raises those happy endorphins and jeez we all need a little bit of something we fancy every now and again right? So, I’m not saying go out and trough a 1kg bar of Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut (although some people may argue it does contain 1 of your 5, or is it 10?, a day), I’m saying choose your chocolate wisely. And if eating good quality, high cocoa content, dairy free, vegan, ethical chocolate, like Ombar, gives you pleasure, gets you through your period, makes a bad day seem better or simply satisfies those sweet cravings, then I see absolutely nothing wrong with that!
For more details of these and to see the full range of chocolatey goodness go to the Ombar website.
*Products gifted for review.