Ancient Grains/Modern Chocolate

by Melody Morrow

Chocolate is one of my favorite things so I’m always looking to justify my healthy appetite for sweets with my quest to incorporate a healthy lifestyle. Eco18’s Sue Taggart has written much about ancient grains and the importance of their purity and authenticity for use in cooking and what exactly all these grains and grasses are about so I thought it was time to talk about getting our ancient grains in a modern way through what else but snacking!

There are many snack bar companies who offer healthy bars, but not as many offering them in the form of a chocolate bar like a Nestlé’s Crunch or Hershey’s bar. There are wonderful artisanal chocolate bars like Theo, Endangered Species and Salazon who are also very eco-friendly and philanthropic, but don’t seem to offer ancient grains in their mix of good ingredients.

The companies who provide a functional component and to many, an introduction to a new ancient grain such as amaranth, chia, flaxseed, hemp, yes… hemp and quinoa. In other words, companies who may be able to reduce guilt over chocolate if there is any to begin with is a winner every time in my book.

“Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.” Judith Viorst

Alter Eco’s Organic Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bar like their other products is made with Quinoa rice crisps and raw can sugar-made with only five ingredients in total and reminds people of a nostalgic childhood treat not as good for you. It has a single origin in Ecuador and supports farmers, coops and the fair trade community. They pride themselves not only on their cacao beans, but also on being a large family who travel the world to source the best.

Pure Organic Chocolate Chunk Nut Ancient Grain Bar is a blend of amaranth, flax seed, hemp and quinoa amidst chocolate. In addition to their great mix of healthy ingredients they also mix it up and give back to many charities including Fresh Moves, o mobile produce market and the Lunchbox Fund which feeds children in Africa.

Health Warrior Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Bar offers 1000 mgs of omega 3’s, 4 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and only 100 calories for this pretty package. They believe in the health powers of Chia and would like everyone to become part of the their tribe of warriors. If chocolate is part of the ceremony I would join!

New Tree’s Almonds Milk Chocolate Bar with Golden Flaxseeds a great source of Omega 3’s in a nutty milk chocolate bar. They say they combine the finest Latin American cacaos with crunchy roasted almonds and golden flax seeds. Made with organic and fair trade ingredients, their recipe also features 5 times more fiber than regular chocolate bars.

Truly Hemp’s Fu Barz Hemp Chocolate Bars in dark and milk chocolate, which includes hemp, but other ingredients don’t seem to be listed. Some may think hemp isn’t an ancient grain, but the more I read the more hemp was mentioned as a historic grain. They say their chocolate bars can leave you feeling relaxed…hmmm.

Does anyone know of an innovative company developing a Kamut Chocolate bar?

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