vegansaurus!

12/02/2013

We heart Nicobella’s delicious vegan chocolates!  »

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You guys are totes going to love Nicobella! Just read this:

We love animals, therefore do not use any animal ingredients. We donate 5% of our sales to our favorite animal organizations (Mercy for Animals, The Gentle Barn, Noah’s Ark of Locust Grove, GA and The Humane Society of the United States). We also donate any left over chocolates that have not been sold to these organizations to be used in auctions, which helps to raise money for animals in need.

Yay! And not only are the chocolates vegan, they are organic, sustainable and fair trade! I tried the Nicobella truffles above and then the “munch” snacks you see below. I LOVE THE MAPLE NUT MUNCH!!!: “Maple-nut munch is a savory healthy snack made with organic, Fair Trade 75% dark chocolate, maple coated roasted pecans and just a touch of sea salt.” OMG RIGHT? You should know by now that I love chocolate and salt together so this is right up my alley. 

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I shared the treats with my coworkers because I’m so nice to them. Once again, they weren’t that interested in the fair-tradeness, sustainability or vegan…ity? But they were def interested in the chocolate part. The truffles were very popular. I think the green tea drew a lot of interest and the pumpkin chai. I liked them too but it was the Maple Nut Munch that took the show in my book. The other Munch flavors went like hot cakes as well. They are especially nice because they seem a bit healthy but still so yummy and chocolatey. 

In conclusion: Nicobella rules! The I just ordered more Maple Nut Munch today because I’m obsessed. 

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Legal bit: I got these for free from the company to try!

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!

04/30/2012

Product review: UliMana raw vegan chocolate truffles are totally baller!  »

Remember that 1998 episode of South Park (I’m so old) when Chef told his students to enjoy his chocolate salty balls? The world grimaced, laughed, and I have a hunch that chocolate balls and certain pornographic film sales increased exponentially.

Twenty years later, how is the market for chocolate balls? Are they still culturally relevant? Do they still taste amazing? If you’re a vegan who likes raw chocolate, our answer to all of these questions is UliMana raw vegan chocolate: proof positive that chocolate balls still rule.

The super adorbs packaging of UliMana drew me in immediately. Stacked like gum balls in a jar, each delicate chocolate ball miraculously keeps its shape while pressed against its brethren. How do they do that!? I imagine that’s a well-kept UliMana secret.

UliMana are technically considered truffles. I love that each ball is infused with cacao powder, coconut nectar (which is a much lower-glycemic sweetener than refined white sugar and other sweeteners on the market!), high-quality salt, cacao butter, vanilla beans, and various superfoods, depending on the flavor. The goji cherry and the cacao nib truffles are my favorite, but if you prefer your chocolate balls straight up, then get the dark cacao raw truffles.

Be a baller! Get UliMana online, at local Bay Area health food outlets (including Rainbow and Whole Foods), and your new best friend’s pantry. UliMana sent me some samples, which I loved on thoroughly.

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.

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.

05/11/2011

Half-price vegan truffles! Find all the great deals with @VeganDeals!  »


Quick post guys, because why waste time reading when you could be buying vegan truffles? Check out this online deal from GatherGreen for a $6, 6-piece box of organic yum from Nicobella, shipping included. I haven’t tried these but the flavors sound awesome! Presents galore!

The only reason I know about this fabulous opportunity is because of my new favoritest Twitter feed, @vegandeals. I was going to take the time and like, interview this person who is gathering all the vegan deals around the country from sites like Groupon and tweeting them to you. But I can’t wait long enough for that. Get a Twitter, go sign up, and perhaps later we’ll have an interview with this hero of ethical consumerism.

TRUFFLES!

10/27/2008

Review: XOX Truffles!  »

I was given a box of truffles from XOX for my birthday last year and fuck me if I haven’t been hooked on these amazing bite sized bonbons since. The vegan flavors are Dark Chocolate, Orange, and Noisette (Hazelnut! in French!). They are rich and creamy and they literally MELT IN YOUR MOUTH. AND ALSO IN YOUR HAND. BE CAREFUL. Just thinking about these things, my mouth waters. And I’m not even really a chocolate person. Actually, I hate when women are like, “Chocolate is better than sex!” Is your name Cathy? Do you have a boyfriend named Irving? GET OUT OF MY FACE. Now, mashed potatoes…that’s another thing. I’d kill a man for some mashed potatoes. I would literally kill a man. I’d probably kill Colonel Sanders. I’d raise that motherfucker from the dead and then re-kill his ass. In fact, I’d love to kill any man involved with the Kentucky Fried Chicken regime, including the man known as Star Jones because I know he was a KFC stockholder at some point (or at least looked like one). I would like to send them all through a slaughterhouse while I take all of the lovely chickens out and we will enjoy big vats of mashed potatoes and have a dance party. It will RULE.
Another man I’d kill for some mashed potatoes is Tobey Maguire. I just don’t like the way that kid looks. He should donate his face to Down Syndrome research. While I’m at it, I’d kill Julia Stiles for a pack of Orbit gum. Seriously, have you seen Mona Lisa Smile? Well, I DID. IN THE THEATER. Ugh, I’ve said too much.

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