Friday, April 20, 2012

"The Healthy Chocolate": What's Up With That?

Xoçai: “The Healthy Chocolate”.  We`ve seen it EVERYWHERE. Well, I have.  I have seen it at farmer’s markets, tradeshows, chocolate shows, health food stores and there always seems to be a Google advertisement somewhere online about “The Healthy Chocolate”. And yet, I have never tried it. Until now. 

Why have I not tried it?  I don’t really know. I saw Xoçai chocolate years ago at a farmer’s market and thought the price was too high. And I guess I just avoided it ever since. But that was back when I was still scraping by on a student’s budget, and I thought that a Lindt Excellence chocolate bar was expensive.  But these days I spend more on chocolate that I know is top quality, all-natural, craft-made, handmade or designed to be healthier for me. And since I have begun to make my own handmade, all natural chocolate treats, I now understand the amount of work, research and cost of ingredients that goes into creating high quality chocolate. So today Xoçai chocolate does not seem as expensive to me as it did when I was younger.

Last week, I received two samples of Xoçai in the mail from an independent distributor: a Xoçai XoBiotic Square, a dark chocolate with Probiotics included in it and a Xoçai X Power Square™, which is a dark chocolate loaded with a higher ORAC FN (more antioxidants).

Yesterday, I opened the package and after reading the brochure, I decided to start with the XoBiotic Square because I was getting over a terrible two-day stomach flu.  Since Probiotics are supposed to assist with digestion, I figured this was a win-win situation for me.  I got to eat chocolate and help settle my very unhappy tummy!

The smell of the chocolate XoBiotic Square was surprising.  For something with `Probiotics` in it, I thought it would smell...hmmm...healthy? You know, that smell of oats and granola or wheat germ (blah!) or like something overly healthy and fibrous. But in fact, it smelled like chocolate chips – yup, that very familiar chocolaty smell that we all grew up with.

It also tasted like a chocolate chip.  The texture is not completely smooth, a sort of finely-ground grittiness, but nothing like my home-made chocolate or stone ground chocolate.  And it was very sweet, like a 50% (for the life of me, I cannot find the ingredients list on the Xoçai website and the company does not mention the % of cacao solids, which is the only thing that really bugs me about this product).

The XoBiotic Square contains two Probiotic cultures to assist with digestion. I won’t get into all the gory details, but you can read about how the Probiotics can help your stomach and digestion here: http://www.xocai.com/.  But what is important to know is that Probiotics are supposed to help prevent heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome and stomach ulcers, along with general digestion problems.  Normally, you can find Probiotics in yogurt, but if you do not like yogurt, you can choose the Xaçai XoBiotic Square instead!  Isn’t that the tastier choice? And at 11 grams per piece (Xaçai recommends 3 to 5 pieces per day), they are portion-controlled and certainly will not cause you any weight gain!

The other chocolate by Xocai was their X Power Square, which I ate today.  This one was loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids because it is made with "cacao that is blanched, unfermented, sun-dried, non-roasted and cold-pressed" and mixed with acai berries and blueberries".  Again, the percentage of cacao solids was not listed on the package, but it tasted like it had a higher cocoa content – like a bitter chocolate chip! I did not really taste the açai berries and blueberries that were supposed to be in it, but a higher cacao content means it has more antioxidants and flavonoids already, which are great for fighting cancer (again, you can read the details of how this works on the Xoçai website.

Overall, the two Xoçai chocolates that I tried tasted pretty good.  They are just right for that afternoon sweet treat and to curb chocolate cravings.  Although they are not flavourful in the way that single origin chocolate is, and not bitter like a craft-made 70% chocolate bar, you will find a whole lot of added health benefits.  Check out their site for chocolate with Omega-3 Fatty acids in it (forget the daily supplements!) or if you prefer supplements , Xoçai is launching a line of “anti-aging” supplements that contain their signature cocoa-açai-blueberry blend, plus added vitamins.  Ye hah! to eating chocolate that makes you look and feel younger!

Xoçai also discloses the number of Weight Watchers Points per square.  They print it in their brochure.  For instance, the XoBiotic Square that I ate equals 4 Weight Watcher's Points per 3 squares.  I do not follow Weight Watcher`s and never have (I am on my own life-long Chocolate Diet), but for people who are following Weight Watcher`s special points system, this is very helpful  - no need to calculate the number of points!

So if you are looking for a way to eat chocolate while getting your daily intake of Probiotics, antioxidants, and important vitamins and minerals, check out Xoçai.  There are many independent distributors out there, but for anyone in the Toronto region, e-mail Debbie Innes, the lovely lady that sent me the samples at: HealthyChocolateLover@rogers.com or follow her on Twitter (XocolateChic) https://twitter.com/#!/XocolateChic . Debbie's website is www.AChocolateLoversDream.ca.

For ingredients and more detailed information about each product, check out the detailed PDF fact sheets about each product:

X Power Square™:
http://achocolateloversdream.xocolatllife.com/dnlds/pdf/ingredients_xpowersqrs.pdf

Xobiotic Squares™:
http://achocolateloversdream.xocolatllife.com/dnlds/pdf/ingredients_xobiotic.pdf

10 comments:

  1. I think for me, what would turn me off even before I bought it, would be the packaging. It kinda reminds me of the typical body builder energy bar design. I'll put it on the list to try, though, since you noted it tasted good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, that's true, I hadn't noticed that about the packaging, but now that you mention it, they do look a little like they are meant for bodybuilders!

      Delete
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