Monday, February 14, 2011

Posted from Care2.com



Healthier Valentine’s

Candy and Chocolate

posted by Greennii Feb 10, 2011 8:02 am
    I used to have a sweet mouth. Not a sweet tooth,
    that wouldn’tdo justice to my love of all things
    sugary. In my earlycollege days, I would
    stop at one of those stores entirelydevoted to
     candies, fill a lunch-sack sized bag, take it
     to my three-hour writing seminar and share it
    during class with my best friend. We would
     finish the bag.  And we didn’t share.

    Image from www.naturalcandystore.com















    I’ve moved on from my sugar-induced writing
     binges and don’t really enjoy sweets like I
     used to, but since Valentine’s is just around
    the corner, I thought I should see what’s out there.
     Several options appeal to me in the candy
    category (I’m taken with the extra-big heart lollipop)
     and any of the dark chocolates on the next page
    are fair game if you put them within my reach.
    HEALTHY CANDY ALTERNATIVES FOR
     VALENTINE’S DAY:
    Note: Ingredients in those little Necco
     “conversation” hearts?  Sugar, corn
     syrup, corn starch, gelatin,  modified
    food starch, natural and artificial flavors,
    gum arabic, xanthan  gum, FD&C Colors
    (Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue1).

    Image from www.naturalcandystore.com
    1. The Natural Candy Store: Online purveyor of all-natural, organic, non-hydrogenated candies.
    2. Surf Sweets: Gluten free gummy candies, made in a nut-free facility, corn syrup and GMO free, with only natural colors and flavors using organic fruit juice and sweeteners.
    3. Glee Gum: All natural colored and
    flavored gum.
    4. Real Healthy Stuff: Handmade candy
     with all natural flavors and colors,
     gluten free and no preservatives.
    5. Sugar Coated Organics: An online
    retailer carrying various organic
    candies with no artificial flavors or
     colors and no corn syrup. Many
     of their brands are gluten free,
    nut free, dairy free or vegan.



    SUSTAINABLE, FAIR TRADE CHOCOLATE
     ALTERNATIVES FOR VALENTINE’S DAY:
    Note: Check out this fun article on one Analiese
    Paik’s experience hosting asustainble 
    chocolate tasting.

    Image from www.theochocolate.com












    1. Theo Chocolate: The only organic, fair trade,
     bean-to-barchocolate factory in the US.
    2. Sweet Riot: “Sweetriot sources their cacao
     directly in Latin America, uses recyclable,
     reusable packaging which features emerging
     artists, and only uses all-natural, healthy
     ingredients for sweetriot’s dark
     chocolate ‘peaces.’”
    3. CocoaVino: Above and beyond just sustainable,
     organic and fair trade, they use 100% recycled
     packaging and purchase 100% wind-generated
    electricity for their kitchen and office facilities.

    Image from www.dagobachocolate.com
    4. Dagoba: Fair trade chocolates, syrup and cocoa powder, from a company participating in both local and worldwide humanitarian and environmental stewardship.
    5. Endangered Species Chocolate: Fair trade,
     organic chocolates with a company policy to
     profit share 10% net by “providing grants to
     our 10% non-profit conservation partners
     and funding on-the-ground sustainable projects
     in areas where our cocoa is grown.”
    6. Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates: Fair trade,
     certified organic chocolates made in the USA.
    7. Coco Zen: Fair trade chocolates in steel
     tins (steel is the most recyclable metal) by a
    company participating in 1% for the planet.
    8. Rescue Chocolate: “From each chocolate
     purchased, 100% of the net profits are
    donated to animal rescue organizations
     around the country.” The company also
     uses biodegradable packaging and hand
    delivery by public transportation when possible.

    Image from www.cocoavino.com









    In doing all of this luscious research, I
     began to consider that maybe I
    should surprise my husband with what
     we call a “brother” gift – something
     the recipient will enjoy just enough
     to make up for the fact that you
    really wanted to buy the thing for
    yourself. I have found my
     brother-Valentine’s-Day gift for sweet
     hubby: Dark chocolate covered
     figs infused with 
    sustainably-produced-in-California
     port, by Cocoa Vino.
    They come in a package of four. Should I
     give him one, or two?

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