Interview: Gnosis Chocolate gives you sweet vegan choices! »
A couple years ago, Vegansaurus TV did a feature on super-gorgeous Gnosis Chocolate creator Vanessa Barg. Since then, Gnosis has undergone some super-exciting changes! Vegansaurus chatted with Gnosis’ Marla Golde about these changes, and how Gnosis is working to offer more healthful ingredients in its all-vegan, organic raw chocolate!
Vegansaurus: In the past, your products were sweetened with agave, and it seems some of your new chocolates have coconut sugar. Why?
Gnosis: We are currently in the process of a switch to raw, organic coconut palm sugar as our primary sweetener! The taste and consistency of coconut palm sugar is slightly different than agave nectar, so we decided to offer our customers a choice during this transitional period through our “Sweet Choice” program. This allows customers to choose between chocolate sweetened by an agave nectar/coconut palm sugar blend, or coconut palm sugar only.
Vegansaurus: What’s so great about coconut sugar? Are you anti-agave?
Gnosis: Coconut palm sugar is a highly nutritious sweetener; rich in magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and calcium. It has a low glycemic index, and we’re particularly excited about it because it has been named the most sustainable sweetener by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations!
Vanessa Barg has a great relationship with Big Tree Farms in Bali, and has worked directly with their farmers. This has created a deep connection between our company and the community there, ensuring that we receive the highest quality product. The difference you’ll notice in the flavor of CPS-sweetened bars is that they impart more of a maple, molasses, or brown sugar-like taste—it complements our line of chocolates beautifully.
We still stand by our specific source of agave (see Vanessa Barg’s report here) and will continue to use it as a sweetener in some of our products. Our agave is organic, truly pure, low-glycemic, and raw.
Vegansaurus: Gnosis uses no advertising, but y’all are doing pretty splendidly! Why do you choose not to advertise?
Gnosis: The company has grown 100 percent by word of mouth, with no advertising and no PR companies. Instead, we devote that energy and money to making the absolute best products possible; and carrying out projects that make sure that our customers can deeply trust in our commitment to run our vegan business with complete integrity.
Vegansaurus: Where are you located?
Gnosis: Both our office and our kitchen are located in Long Island City, just a few minutes from New York City.
Vegansaurus: Please tell us more about your vegan mission!
Gnosis: The phenomenal health benefits of veganism (decreased likelihood of heart disease, increased life span, stronger immune systems, just to name a few!) are vitally important reasons why our chocolates are vegan. Because our bars are dairy-free, they don’t block antioxidants and contain no cholesterol. Gnosis was born out of Vanessa’s work as a holistic health counselor—the bars were created for her clients as a way to take great care of their health without giving up their beloved chocolate.
Also, while personal health is a vitally important part of our mission, planetary health is just as important—so our products are also vegan in the name of sustainability and environmental consciousness! Since the livestock sector plays such a major role in deforestation, pollution, land degradation, and the reduction of biodiversity; and animal agriculture leads to global warming via methane and nitrous oxide emissions…. Producing products that support a vegan lifestyle is a great way to ensure that we’re a model for responsible, conscious entrepreneurship.
Lastly, we never, ever want our products to harm any creature, so our chocolate is also vegan in the name of kindness to animals. We know that the animals at factory farms feel pain just the same as our beloved Choco-Kitty, Charlotte, and are proud that our vegan certification tells the world that none of our products are tested on animals.
Vegansaurus: Thank you! Any concluding thoughts?
Gnosis: Thank you so much for this opportunity! We absolutely honored to be a part of Vegansaurus again!
All Gnosis products can be purchased online and at select Bay Area health food stores.
Product Review: Bee Free Honee! »
A lot of vegans are like, “what’s the big deal about honey?” I’ll tell you: IT’S SO GODDAMN GOOD. I love that stuff! Like, so much. And I don’t like agave at all, so I just gave up on the things I like to eat with honey.
Then I saw this Bee Free Honee! How excited was I?! So very excited. I got a free bottle to try and now I will tell you all about it.
I was skeptical but then when I opened the bottle, I was like, holy cannoli! It smells like honey! Plus, it looks like honey! I tried a little just on my finger and… it tastes like honey!
It doesn’t taste exactly like honey; It has a tartness that most honey doesn’t really have. But if you are a honey expert like me, you know that there are many different honeys that vary in taste depending on the flower source. This kind of tastes like one of the more exotic honey flavors.
As I said, when I tried it straight, it tasted a lot like honey. Then I tried it on Shredded Wheat with warm coconut milk; it melted pretty quickly and the tartness came out more; I didn’t love it. Then I tried it on graham crackers with peanut butter, and it was great!
There are many other great things about Bee Free Honee. It’s made entirely of apples, beet sugar, and lemon juice. It’s safe for babies and people with honey allergies. Katie Sanchez, the creator of Bee Free Honee, also takes great pains to make her carbon footprint as small as possible: She sources local apples, and one day hopes to have production facilities powered by wind and solar energy. Plus, I’ve heard some weird stuff about agave, so Bee Free Honee would be a great alternative. You know what? This would be perfect in your Charoset at Passover!