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05/06/2014

THIS IS REAL LIFE: Kale granola chocolate bark!  »

imageAllow me to blow your mind: introducing KALE GRANOLA CHOCOLATE BARK! I’m so serious. I’ve written about my love for Coracao Confections in the past so you already know I’m into them. But then I saw this newish product and was like, say whaaaa?! You KNOW I’m on a kale kick! Obvi I had to try it, so they sent me some free kale chocolate bark to try and now I will tell you all about it.

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I was thinking it’d be like chocolate covered kale chips, but it’s not. It’s like a true chocolate bark: a thin bar of bittersweet chocolate with Just Pure Foods Chocolate “Kalenola” mixed in. The Kalenola nutrition profile is impressive. I can’t tell how much actual kale is in the chocolate bark, though; you can see it looks like more of a sprinkle on top. But I’m saying, it’s got more kale than any other chocolate I eat! So I will take those vitamin-filled sprinkles. 

And let’s not forget the raw cacao! It’s low glycemic (which I think is good or something, right?) and as Coracao says, it’s “full of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and those ‘happy brain’ chemicals that we so love.”

At $7.50 for a 2 oz. pack, it’s not cheap. But it’s got quality ingredients that are most, if not all, organic. And there’s Himalayan crystal salt in it, which I think is cool. I wish Crystal Salt were my nickname.

This is definitely on the dessert side of the spectrum, not some sort of chocolate trail-mix type of thing. It could use a little more salt, I think, but when you get a good salty bite, it’s perfect. Who would have thought, kale and chocolate? But it works! I’m officially a fan!

Note: the kale chocolate bark is currently sold out but I’ll let you know when they have more. In the meantime, I recommend the rawmond butter bar!

UPDATE!: It’s back in stock! Get it while it’s hot!

03/01/2013

Vegansaurus Giveaway: Coracao Confections Deluxe Box of Chocolates!  »

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Hubba hubba! This 22-piece deluxe sampler box from Coracao is up for grabs! You can see the box in all its glory above. I think that’s the bee pollen truffle in the middle but I checked with Coracao and they said that the bee pollen truffle doesn’t actually come in the sampler. So it’s all vegan—don’t worry your pretty lil’ head!

As you know, we are big fans of this yummy chocolate. This box sells for $60 and is not only vegan, it’s raw, organic, gluten-free and soy-free. Coracao also sent me a bunch of links about the possible health benefits of raw and dark chocolate:

1. It improves memory and slows down dementia

2. The countries with the highest chocolate consumption have the most Nobel prize laureates. Seriously.

3. One ounce of pure cacao has 200% of your daily USRDA Iron needs.

4. Cacao is one of the highest antioxidant foods ever tested. (PDF)

5. Decreases inflammation.

6. Prevents the formation of blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

7. A 2004 study in Britain showed that Theobromine in cacao is more effective at suppressing coughs than codeine.

8. Chocolate releases serotonin, helps make people happier and helps alleviate depression.

So obvi, raw chocolate is the new penicillin.

To win: “Like” the Coracao FB page and leave a comment here about how this deluxe raw chocolate sampler box will help you take over the world. I’ll pick a winner next Friday!

02/21/2013

Coracao Confections is raw, ethical, and delicious!  »

Coracao Confections is a raw, mostly vegan (there’s one truffle with bee pollen) chocolate company. It’s on the FEP recommend list so we can enjoy it in ethical peace! Moreover, Coracao says all of the chocolates “are made with the purest ingredients, including raw cacao, which is full of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and those “happy brain” chemicals that we so love.” That’s my kind of science! Sarah reviewed these a while ago but I wanted to try them for myself because everyone should try all vegan chocolate all the time!

Coracao sent me a bunch of free stuff to try. Coracao chocolate is rich but not very sweet. In a word: delicious. I want more! No really, I’ve been craving it since the first bite. But because I am so nice, I brought the chocolates to work to share with everyone. Everybody loved them! I think it made up for some of the other wacky vegan things I make them try. Silly omnis, always hating vegan stuff. Not this time!

Here is a lovely box of chocolates they sent. The almond heart is the cutest! So of course I gave it to the baddass rock n’ roll biker who occasionally freelances in my office (being on staff is NOT rock n’ roll!). He enjoyed it. What’s cuter than a biker with a chocolate heart? Not much.

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Here’s the inside of the hazelnut mousse truffle:

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My favorite thing in the mix was the caramel cup.

Here are the butterscotch cookie-dough macaroons. I tried one and it was good but coconut isn’t my favorite. Macaroon fans at work liked them though. My Creative Director also really enjoyed the package design—and he has high standards in design.

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Coracao also sent me these chocolate bars:

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The caramel bar was great and everybody liked it. Someone noted that the caramel had a bit of a grainy texture, but they liked it. I thought it was very yummy. I wasn’t that into the lime caramel bar; it was REALLY lime-y. But my taste-testers definitely liked it. One said it had a key-lime pie flavor. So if you like chocolate and key-lime pie, this is for you.

But my most favorite thing was the almond butter bar! Here’s an inside shot:

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It’s yummy! It has a high chocolate-to-filling ratio. The filling is my favorite part but it’s good chocolate so that’s OK too. When you bite in, the bittersweet chocolate shell exterior snaps and gives way to the delicious almond butter filling. I totally can’t get it out of my head! I seriously just ordered two bars (and a peppermint patty!) because writing this post was making me miss it. Sigh. Until we meet again, Rawmond Butter Bar!

04/20/2012

Product Review: Coracao raw vegan chocolate! G’damn!  »


The first time I saw Coracao at the Saturday Berkeley Farmers’ Market, just a few blocks from where I was living at the time, my heart melted into a puddle of love. Peeking from behind the brown and pink awning was Daniel, a handsome fellow with bright skin and a sparkle in his dreamy eyes. “Would you like to try some raw chocolate?” he asked, as if that were a question. From the first piece, I knew this was some of the best raw chocolate I had ever had. No, the best chocolate I had ever had, period.

Coracao sources the finest ingredients—ethically sourced chocolate (they make Food Empowerment Project’s list!) that is sweetened with lower-glycemic coconut palm sugar and prepared with the finest raw ingredients. Coracao is so passionate about their ingredients, that they put together an entire snazzy 12-page PDF explaining the various health benefits of antioxidant-rich chocolate, and what goes into making the perfect batch of Coracao treats. One of my favorite parts about this informative PDF, which teaches all about superfoods, is this info:

Our pure chocolates NEVER contain these “common chocolate” ingredients: Milk, hydrolysed milk protein, skimmed milk powder, lactose, de-mineralized whey powder, butter, cream, wheat or gluten, hydrogenated fats, corn syrup, soy lecithin, vanillin (artificial vanilla flavoring), refined sugar, sodium chloride (bleached, refined and de-mineralized salt), sulfur dioxide (preservative), Potassium Metabisulphite (preservative), FD&C Yellow no. 6 *E10, FD&C Yellow no. 5 *E102, FD&C Red no. 3 *E127, FD&C Red no. 40 *E129, FD&C green no. 3 *E143, FD&C Blue no. 1 *E133, FD&C Blue no. 2 *E132 (artificial food colorings), polyglycerol polyricinoleate or PGPR, ammonium phosphatide or YN, mono-diglycerides or sorbitan tri stearates (stabilizers).

I had no clue that lots of chocolate contains these things! I guess I live in a bit of a raw vegan bubble. I commend Coracao for taking such steps to inform the public about the crap being passed off as chocolate ingredients. Ammonium phosphatide? Whose colon deserves that? I mean, really.

Coracao makes several different confections, all of which contain ”superfoods” that have been linked to various health/taste benefits. Here’s a sampling of what they sell at the Farmers’ Markets throughout the Bay: Almond coconut dream, live almond heart [Ed.: Creepy name! But I like! I think!], caramel cup, macadamia coconut cream, kaffir lime caramel cup, raspberry fudge truffle, superberry cup, matcha fudge truffle, and more!

I have tried the Blondie Bar, a coconut macaroon bar with the edge dipped in chocolate, which contains lucuma, one of my favorite butterscotch-flavored superfoods. This tastes like pure chocolate chip cookie dough mixed with coconut. It is one of their most popular items for good reason! Coracao’s other specialties are their filled chocolate bars. These contain superfood fillings including caramel, kaffir lime-infused caramel, and Rawmond Butter. The Rawmond Butter is like a peanut butter cup but SO much better—it will absolutely blow you away, seriously!

Coracao’s uniquely decadent indulgences can be found online, at various Cafe Gratitude locations, Farmers’ Markets, Whole Foods, and health food stores around the Bay Area. Check their website to see where they sell their delights near you!

[Photos courtesy Coracao. Samples were provided via the kind folks at Coracao, but that doesn’t guarantee a review or anything because we’re hella legit and only write about shit we love.]

This is Vegansaurus raw correspondent Sarah E. Brown’s latest post! Read more by Sarah on Vegansaurus, and visit her personal blog, Queer Vegan Food.

02/20/2012

Adele is going to give vegetarianism a go! And we’re here to help!  »

Oh-so-lovely songstress Adele is making an effort to go vegetarian! She says that for what’s on the agenda in the year ahead, she has to be “really healthy and stuff like that.” Plus, when she eats meat, she thinks of her dog and sees his little dog eyes. This is incredible news, though of course going vegan would be all the more fantastic. It can be a difficult transition to make, I understand. But, Adele, I’m here to help you. Anything you need, any time of day. Then when you visit San Francisco, I’ll give you the drinking vegan tour of the city! Or you can hire me as your personal chef, whatever works.

1. I understand you don’t like the taste of tofu, that you go so far as to describe it as “rank.” Tofu is not chicken, this much is true. However, when seasoned well, tofu is delicious! I’ll let you borrow my Tofu Xpress and we can marinate blocks of protein together! You must also read Sarah’s guide to making the most out of a tofu scramble: It will change your life.

2. Faux meat and cheese are your friends during this transitional time. Every time I blink, new ones hit the market. Try them all out to find your faves. You don’t have to like them all, it’s OK. I stay as far as I can from Tofurky deli slices and cheddar-flavored Follow Your Heart cheese.

3. Raw chocolate truffles are the BEST. Raw desserts in general, I think, are better than the average vegan treat, except for coconut ice cream, which is delightful.

4. Check out Happy Cow so you know where to eat in every city on your tour. I really should have checked Happy Cow before I went to Reno (as opposed to the drive home), because I subsisted on a salad, a sandwich, and a Lara Bar for two days—not enough food for me. Learn from my mistakes.

5. Barnivore is your new best friend. Use it, download the app, and then go to your nearest pub.

6. Get yourself some vegan cookbooks! Because Vegan with a Vengeance was my first, I am biased in believing it should be every vegan beginner’s guide!

7. I have heard that it is safe and nutritious for doggie companions to go veg as well as humans! You and your pooch can go on this veg journey together, OMG that would be the cutest.

8. Read Vegansaurus! You’ll love us, we are sassy. Like you!

9. I probably will not lose respect for you if you pose for a PETA ad, but personally, I think it’d be amazing if you did work with Farm Sanctuary or Mercy for Animals. Just don’t pull a Ginnifer Goodwin, in which you yell about your veganism only to turn around and bash it on Jimmy Kimmel Live, OK?

Now it’s time for a video, with everyone’s favorite kale-lover, Anderson Cooper! Just kidding; he openly hates kale because like my sister, he has the palate of a six-year-old!
Adele is just stunning in all these clips. Are you getting chills watching her sing? I am!

[photo via Tom and Lorenzo. Who does your makeup, girl? It’s perfection.]

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