Interested in knowing more about raw, organic, refined sugar and dairy free chocolate? I for one definitely am, as I have the biggest sweet tooth possible, and could quite happily nibble away on chocolate everyday. However, too much dairy gives me break outs (people seem to forget chocolate is packed with milk!) and the excess sugar just worries me about piling on weight, being in bad health or becoming sluggish.
Just before Christmas, I discovered Raw Halo, a Derbyshire based start-up brand with 12 tasty varieties of raw, organic, refined sugar and dairy free chocolate to their name, and an ever-evolving range soon to be released.
Raw Halo was founded in 2015 by Meg Haggar, after giving up refined sugar herself back in 2012, and searching for quality raw chocolate that wasn’t loaded with additives or nasty sugar alternatives.
She launched Raw Halo in a bid to combine superfoods with rich Peruvian cacao to create six ‘Mylk’ and six Dark healthy twists on the nations favourite chocolate combinations. So you literally have the all the key favourites: Dark Chocolate + Mint, Mylk + Crispies (made from buckwheat, this is delicious, like mini rice krispies packed into chocolate!) and Dark + Sweet Orange (a little like Terry’s Chocolate Orange!).
However, there sure is a gap in the market for the more adventurous chocolate tastes, in which Raw Halo have embraced. They have also launched Dark + Lemon and Pink Himalayan Salt, superfood enriched Mylk + Goji Berries and Vanilla and the Dark + Ginger and Pecan. Mmmmm!
Unlike conventional chocolate, the cacao beans aren’t roasted; instead, through careful temperature control and minimal processing, the raw chocolate is minimally processed to retain the nutrients of the original cacao beans. By keeping the chocolate raw ensures the cacao retains its high levels of antioxidants, magnesium and iron, maximising its nutritional benefits.
This isn’t the first time I’ve sampled raw, organic and refined sugar free chocolate, but I’ve been disappointed numerous times before. Sometimes, the chocolate goes ‘too healthy’, if you get what I mean, taking away any sort of sweet, indulgent taste which originally draws me to chocolate and to enjoy it.
Raw Halo have put the effort in to research various natural alternative sweeteners to ensure their chocolate has the same indulgent sweetness of traditional chocolate, but without the same health concerns. So I actually get the same delights as I do from eating ‘normal’ chocolate, it just has a slightly richer, stronger taste, if that makes sense?
These chocolate treats contain half the sugar of comparable brands, using organic coconut sugar and organic lucuma powder as their two preferred natural sweeteners due to their low GI scores, yet with a sweet and subtle caramel taste.
Coconut sugar is naturally sweet and contains 17 amino acids, you’ll possibly have heard alot about it recently as its fast becoming a popular sugar alternative. Lucuma is one I wasn’t familiar with, which is an exotic fruit from Peru. It’s a good source of beta-carotene and contains many other vitamins and minerals such as niacin, iron, calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins and fibre.
The twelve 35 g bars are a lovely treat for me, satisfying my chocolate cravings and giving me the delicious taste I need. But also, have I mentioned how pretty they look? A box collection actually makes the perfect gift too, with each bar wrapped in bespoke rose gold foil.
I’d say that my favourite of all is the Dark + Sweet Orange, basically because I’m a sucker for orange flavoured chocolate. I’m also enjoying the Pure Mylk and the Pure Dark, but in all honesty I’m just enjoying them all!
Stockists include the Raw Halo website, Booths, Whole Foods, Planet Organic, Harrods, Not on the High Street and As Nature Intended, as well as delis, health food stores and cafés nationwide. Prices start from £2.79 per bar, but I’d overly recommend the Gift Boxes which retail around £18.99 – the perfect thoughtful present for someone who regularly seeks dairy free, refined sugar free and organic treats.