Tag Archives: herbal chocolate

ChoN’anga Chocolate Barks

Johannes Busch, Nelson Schwab IV, and Brando Tijerina are the triumvirate behind ChoN’anga Chocolate with benefits. Together, they have created a line of barks and truffles infused with herbs, nuts, and fruits. Each one has a different focus from energizing to relaxing.

I sampled six of their seven barks. They come in two sizes: single serving 40 gram pouches and 114 gram bags, both of which are resealable. The barks are made with 70% couverture from the Dominican Republic and Ecuador.

Unlike other bark type chocolates, these are already cut into small rectangles that make them neater to eat.

ENERGY is enhanced with sprouted almonds, matcha green tea, dried blueberries and bee pollen, all of which pack a rejuvenating and nutritional punch. I liked the crunchy nuts, chewy berries, and uplifting qualities of the tea and bee pollen.

BREATHE is refreshing with its addition of mint, blueberries, hemp seeds, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, cocoa nibs, and osha root. That last one was new to me so I looked it up. Here is what I found on a site by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP: “Osha root has long been used by Native Americans for cold, cough, and other respiratory ailments. The root contains oils, including camphor, saponins, ferulic acid, terpenes, and phytosterols. One of the most notable benefits is its numbing effect, used to help soothe the irritated tissue of a sore throat. It has been an ingredient in cough drops and lozenges and can even be made into a cough syrup that is more effective than echinacea and goldenseal.” I did feel as if I was breathing more freely after eating just one piece. (Other research has shown that chocolate itself is very effective at relieving coughs. See one of the many articles here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4032585.stm)

SUPER ANTI-OXIDANT has organic almonds, pecans, blueberries, cherries, golden berries, ginger, sesame seeds., matcha green tea, and turmeric. That might sound like a gustatory free-for-all, but each ingredient was used judiciously making the final product still very choco-centric.

VIBRANCY has a very lovely aroma of lavender and rose petals along with its add-ins of sunflower seeds, blueberries, nettle leaf, and damiana. Historically, damiana has been used as an aphrodisiac and sexual potency booster by the native peoples of Mexico, including the Mayan Indians. It also increases energy, and helps asthma, depression, and menstrual problems.

RECOVERY has a chewier texture as it is full of organic cherries, ginger, and banana. There’s also a crunchy undertone from organic pecans, sesame seeds, and hemp seeds. A very yummy combo.

VITALITY was another bar chockfull of fruits and nuts including sunflower seeds, figs, dates, hemp seeds, maca root, Siberian ginseng, ginkgo biloba, and horny goat weed. (Here’s a link to more information on horny goat weed: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-699-horny%20goat%20weed.aspx?activeingredientid=699&activeingredientname=horny%20goat%20weed)

Clearly, it might not be wise to scarf down bags and bags of these nutritionally enhanced chocolates at one sitting. I sampled some of each one at the same time and felt no adverse effects. Of course, chocolate itself has 300+ phytochemicals, so anytime you’re eating a 70% or higher bar you are already getting myriad health benefits. The additional ingredients in ChoN’anga are wonderful if you are looking for specific enhancements.

The company is also happy to create custom blends and bulk orders if you have specific dietary goals or requirements.

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New Tree: Pleasure, Cocoon, Renew, Rejoice, Blush, Forgiveness, Refresh, Crave, Tranquility & Sexy

New Tree, a company that likes to enhance chocolate with mood elevating substances, has seduced me with the names of their bars. Who isn’t captivated by the thought of eating chocolate and feeling: sexy, refreshed, invigorated, tranquil, or renewed?  And, what about the subliminal effect of a bar named Crave?  Not to mention decades that miraculously dropped from my real age when contemplating Blush.  As for their Forgiveness bar, if only it were that easy.  Faith Popcorn, the doyenne of social forecasting, came up with the term cocooning years ago. So, when I saw a bar called Cocoon I was transported to images of homey R & R.  Meanwhile, their Rejoice bar squeals of joy and celebration.  

Creative nomenclature aside,  I liked the adorable little 2″ x 1″ boxes that contained three .32 ounce bars.  What fun!  (They are also offered in 2.82 ounce large bars.)

All their products are made with Belgian chocolate, and tempered to a lovely sheen that breaks with a clean snap.

I have never thought of dark, 73% chocolate, guarana (a fruit that has twice the caffeine of coffee), and ginger as SEXY, but it’s certainly delicious.  FORGIVENESS, with lemon and cactus, had light citrus notes.  VIGOR, with coffee and guarana, is nicely balanced, providing a boost as well as an appealing mocha flavor. BLUSH, with its cherry and grape extracts was similar to Renew, enhanced with black-currant. These last two were a bit intense, with the edginess of super-high polyphenol-boosting grape or black-currant; a big plus, if you’re eating dark chocolate for its health benefits.  On the other hand, the age-old combination of mint and chocolate, supplemented here with green tea extract, was as REFRESHing as its name. 

Their 33% milk chocolate bars include CRAVE, infused with apricot and vanilla, an irresistible combination; and, I am not generally a milk chocolate fan.  The apricot flavor was strong enough to notice, but not so assertive that it overpowered the light chocolate. REJOICE, another in the milk chocolate line, has crisped rice, bitter orange, lime blossom extract and vanilla.  The texture is lovely, though the flavor was a bit mild for me.  COCOON, with cinnamon, was an easy-to-eat bar, and cinnamon helps lower blood pressure–if you need some added incentive. TRANQUILITY’s flavor was buoyed by a touch of lavender, one of the more gentle, but potent, relaxing extracts.

If, after trying all these concoctions you desire something simpler, you may want to sample their PLEASURE bar, a plain 73% chocolate.