Many people ask me if my vegan diet leads to continuous cravings for a Big Mac or a nice chunk of cheddar. I can honestly say that my diet of legumes, fresh fruits/vegetables, tofu, rice and green tea keeps me completely satisfied.
There is one other aspect of my diet that I've not discussed before - a little vegan chocolate every day.
Most chocolate contains milk products but a few producers make pure, dark chocolate that is 85% pure cocoa and does not contain any animal products such as milk or cream. My favorite vegan chocolates are
Lindt 85% Dark
Lake Champlain Dark Chocolate
Valrhona Dark Bitter Chocolate
Endangered Species Dark Chocolate
I have also found pure, unsweetened vegan drinking chocolate from single regions such as Peru, Kenya etc. packaged by Allegro
What are the benefits of Dark chocolate? It's rich in antioxidants, it lowers blood pressure, and it enhanced mood per WebMD and Dr. Weil's resources.
What is the downside to chocolate? It contains a bit of theobromine, a methylxanthine like caffeine. I try to avoid all stimulants. Chocolate is not for the locavore. I really try to limit all my foods to 100 miles of where I live.
Admittedly, eating .5 ounce of chocolate a day is vegan but not local, is healthy, but is still a stimulant. My only excuse is that I live in the cold, dark, and snowy Northeast. That little bit of chocolate every day is my cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder. It can also be socially responsible.
A few days ago while traveling, I ordered a microbrewed beer and was asked for my ID. Since I'm nearly 50 and was asked for my ID, I can only assume that those antioxidants in the chocolate must be really keeping me young.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Posted by John Halamka at 3:00 AM
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While this would not necessarily be a valid choice given your vegan preference, I must recommend Noka Chocolates.
They are hand made with a minimum of 75% cacao and are single estate origin.. No additives, no preservatives and no artificial ingredients. They are excellent!
I think they do add fresh cream, but for the non-vegans I wanted to pass along the recommendation..
Although one cannot exactly "buy local" when consuming chocolate in MA, allow me to recommend two local companies:
1. Equal Exchange, based in West Bridgewater. They work with Fair Trade Certified cacao, vanilla, and sugar farmers. (And they're organic, too, of course.)
2. Taza Chocolate, based in Somerville. They bring the raw cacao to Somerville, where they roast it themselves. They often have open houses at their "factory," and you can find them at local farmers' markets.
Both brands are available at Whole Foods and other local groceries.
True.. Chocolate is not for the locovore in Massachusetts. Yet we can support local suppliers who source their supply and bring their products the the market place in sustainable ways. Those practices alone sweeten the chocolate experience. Taza chocolate (http://www.tazachocolate.com/) out of Somerville, MA is one such company that provides an exceptional product using sustainable methods. If you havnt already heard of them, this should be good news for you.. :) let me know what you think..
your posting is really informative, and that's really usefull for me, actually I have the related blog like you, I hope you can check on www.top-chocolate.blogspot.com, I hope it will be usefull for u.
The great thing with my family and friends is that I know they are all chocolate mad! So buying for them isn't very hard as I know what tickles their taste buds.
Last year I brought my best friend the boo box from Hotel Chocolat and it brought the biggest smile to her face.
As an after dinner, desert loving, Mediterranean American male, I found that eating several morsels of Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips satisfies. Now to look into the connoisseur, better for you, brands...
John, Being carded at 50 is quite a feat -- congrats on hanging on to those boyish good looks and charm. Geoff
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