Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Compare These Vegan Dark Chocolate Bars
Endangered Species & Jcoco

I compared these two 72% dark chocolate bars with cocoa nibs.

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Where Health and Flavor Intersect
We all have heard by now that chocolate is good for us. Good news like that travels fast! But many chocolate products are packed with sugar, fat and dairy. So Doug and I tend to buy the darkest chocolate we can find that still tastes good. For us, the point where bliss crosses optimal health is 72% dark. We find anything higher than that distasteful. For good measure, we also get chocolate that contains cacao nibs, which are bits of the cacao bean itself. The nibs give the chocolate a lovely crunch that takes chocolate goodness, as well as healthfulness, to the next level. 

Our Microbes are at it again
Many of chocolates health benefits come from its anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists are now discovering that inflammation is the root of all evil and can cause cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, and many other degenerative disorders. As you know, I've been obsessed with microbes lately, and it turns out that our gut microbes break down and ferment the large polyphenols in chocolate and turn them into smaller, more absorbable molecules that have anti-inflammatory properties. So our bugs love chocolate too and turn it into a superfood for us.

Selecting our Favorite Chocolate Bar
Today I'm comparing two 72% dark chocolate bars (both vegan, gluten free and non-GMO.) One is by Endangered Species and the other is Noble Dark by Jcoco. We have been taste testing them both for months (it's tough work but these are the sacrifices we have to make for you) and we have done blind taste tests with our friends. Our original assumption was that Noble Dark by Jcoco, at $7.95 per 3 ounce bar, had to be superior to Endangered Species 72% dark chocolate with cacao nibs which is around $3.00 per 3 ounce bar - less than half the price.

The Noble Dark is thinner, chalky looking, and has a tiny bit more crunch (perhaps a few more nibs.) The Endangered Species is thicker and has a nice sheen and texture. Almost everyone who tasted both bars preferred Endangered Species. So you don't always get what you pay for. But I will say, the Jcoco Noble Dark packaging is adorable and a few bars would make a beautiful gift.

Both companies are very generous. Jcoco provides a serving of fresh and healthy food to someone in need every time you purchase their product. They support Northwest Harvest, the food bank for New York City, the San Francisco-Marin food bank, and the greater Boston food bank. 

The Endangered Species company donates 10% of their net profits from the sale of their chocolate to the African Wildlife Foundation and the Xerces Society for invertebrate conservation. 

Beautiful packaging, lots of nibs. Each sale provides fresh meals to local food banks.
Great price, thick and rich tasting, lovely sheen.
Some profits support endangered species.

Where to Buy
These are just two brands that we enjoy. But most 72% dark chocolates are pretty yummy and good for you too so I'm sure you'll find other brands that fit the bill. You can buy Jcoco Noble Dark on their website.  Endangered Species is found in many grocery stores and also on Amazon in packs of 12

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