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February 13, 2015

Vivi Chocolate

by Anne Paddock

What Love Tastes Like…Simply Chocolate

Back in 2006, Barbara Yeager was in an herbal apothecary store in Seattle, Washington when she noticed a jar of cacao nibs (cacao beans that have been roasted at a low temperature, separated from their husks, and broken into tiny pieces). After she tasted the nibs, she understood why people are really into chocolate: because cacao nibs taste like chocolate without the sweetness. It was love at first bite.

cacao_nibsCacao nibs are inherently pure and delicious (nutty and fruity) especially to someone who prefers dark chocolate over milk chocolate. And, cacao nibs are healthier (more magnesium, fiber, iron, and antioxidants) than the processed beans but the challenge is to find a great tasting bar made with raw cacao (cocoa beans that have been roasted at 115 degrees or less) so you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for health attributes. When Barbara was unable to find such a bar, she decided to create her own and call them Vivi’s Chocolate. Vivi means “alive, full of life” and that is exactly what Vivi Chocolate bars are.ViVi-Chocolate-bars

Vivi Chocolate offers 9 varieties (although new varieties are added frequently), all of which have 6 grams or less of sugar per 1 ounce serving because the emphasis is on flavor and not sweetness. The bars are slightly softer than commercial dark chocolate and have the subtle hint of graininess inherent in raw cacao. For some, the difference in texture will take time to appreciate; for others (especially dark chocolate lovers) the love fest is immediate.

  • Simply Chocolate Sweetened with Agave: Made with organic raw cacao, organic raw agave with a glucose index of 17 (compared to most agave syrups that have an index of 40-45) and Himalayan salt.
  • Simply Chocolate Sweetened with Coconut Sugar: Organic raw cacao is blended with organic raw coconut sugar and Himalayan salt to make an 80% cacao bar that actually tastes sweeter than the Simply Chocolate bar that is sweetened with agave.
  • Mint Cream Filled Chocolate: The most popular Vivi Chocolate bar is made with 4 organic ingredients: raw coconut butter, raw agave, raw cacao, and peppermint oil, and Himalayan salt. This is what happens when two great flavors – peppermint and dark chocolate – unite.Inside-Mint-Chocolate-1024x811
  • Almond Crunch Chocolate: Raw almonds and dark chocolate come together in this crunchy, nutty bar made with organic raw cacao, raw almonds, organic raw coconut sugar, organic raw cacao nibs, organic spices, and Himalayan salt.
  • Coconut Cream Filled Chocolate: Creamy and dreamy defines this bar made with four organic products: coconut butter, agave, raw cacao, shredded coconut along with Himalayan salt.
  • Raspberry Balsamic Chocolate:  Italian balsamic vinegar is the surprise ingredient in this bar that pairs perfectly with organic raw cacao, organic coconut sugar, and Himalayan salt.
  • Chili & Sea Salt:  There’s a lot going on in this bar which resembles a slightly spicy Nestle’s Crunch Bar but a thousand times better. Made with five organic ingredients: raw cacao, agave, raw buckwheat, coconut sugar, and cayenne blended with Himalayan salt, this bar has the crunch and delivers the punch.
  • Almond Chocolate Sweetened with Stevia: A bar that screams chocolate for those who want no sugar in their bars yet want a hint of sweetness with the added crunch and flavor of almonds. Made with four organic ingredients: raw cacao, coconut, coconut sugar (less than 1 gram), and stevia blended with raw almonds and Himalayan salt, this bar is rich and full-bodied.
  • Naked Bar:  The name says it all: 100% cacao made with one ingredient: organic raw cacao. For the hardcore, eat as is. For others, consider grating, melting, and then blending the chocolate with nuts, dried fruits, or whatever strikes your fancy.

Vivi Chocolate bars can be purchased directly from the company’s on-line store (www.vivichocolate.com). Each 2 ounce bar is $6.50 -$7.50. To read more about Vivi Chocolate and other products, go to the company website listed above.

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