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Read on to discover Raw, "empowered" chocolate products launched by Empowered Foods; full review of sensational product line
Review by Mike Adams
You've never had chocolate like this before. Of all the chocolate products I've ever tried (and I've eaten a lot of them because, of course, it's my job), nothing compares to the raw, "empowered" chocolate superfood bars and products made by a small raw foods company in Clearwater, Florida. It's called Empowered Foods, and its products are like nothing you've ever tried before. The company's Chocolate Goji Bar, for example, is made with raw Tibetan goji berries, raw cacao powder, raw cacao butter, raw mesquite pod meal, sun-cured African vanilla beans, Himilayan Crystal Salt and raw blue agave nectar.
And that's just for starters. This company hand makes the most remarkable raw chocolate "superfood" products I've ever seen across the health products industry. Their Goji Jelly Cups, for example, are made with raw wildcrafted camu camu berry powder, raw Tibetan goji berries and "empowered chocolate." One taste tells you this is no ordinary food. In fact, it's among the highest-density superfood I've yet experienced. And the best part? It tastes so incredibly good that you'll have to exercise significant self discipline not to eat everything in sight.
Meet the Raw Guru
The company products are found at The Raw Foods diet Health Shop and it's headed by Alex Malinsky, "The Raw Guru," a pioneer in the raw foods industry who is quite well known as a raw foods chef and online entrepreneur (despite his remarkably young age of 22).
I spoke with Alex in researching this story and found him to be a humble, dedicated and authentic person who not only lives an empowered raw foods lifestyle, but who also seems quite dedicated to sharing the raw foods experience with as many people as possible.
Chocolate, of course, is the perfect food for introducing just about anyone to something new. And you've never tasted chocolate like this. It isn't just a chunk of processed cacao powder pressure formed with some refined sugar... this is a creamy-textured cacao blend that combines raw mesquite pod meal, agave nectar, vanilla and other ingredients to create what I can only call a "perfect blend." The mesquite pod meal, by the way, helps reduce blood sugar spikes and is well known as an anti-diabetic food. (I eat the mesquite pods right off the trees here in the desert, but I admit it's an acquired taste if eaten alone.) When blended with chocolate and agave, the mesquite pods create an exquisite texture, taste and healing effect on the human body. When you also consider the liver-enhancing, brain-enhancing and anti-cancer effects of chocolate, and you add in carefully chosen ingredients like goji berry jelly, organic yacon syrup, black maca, lucuma powder and even nopal cactus (found in their "Superfood Chocolate bar"), you've created a powerhouse of superior nutrition that just happens to be the best tasting bit of food that's probably ever reached the tip of your tongue.
Let me say, for the record, that I wholeheartedly endorse the entire Empowered Foods product line. I support this company and its philosophy, and I think these foods are such magnificent creations that -- I kid you not -- eating these foods should be on everyone's among the top 100 things they do before leaving life on this planet. We've all got taste buds. Don't miss out on this taste experience!
Also worth noting: I was not paid anything to review this company or its products, and I earn nothing from the sale of these products. My endorsement is freely and openly given based purely on the incredibly quality and experience of the products themselves.
What's available from Empowered Foods
Speaking of the products, let me explain what they have and help guide you through what I think are the best products offered by Empowered Foods. Their products are categorized into five basic groups: Bars, Cups, Chunks, Mixes and Spreads. My recommendations for each are below. You can also view the list yourself on the Empowered Foods website.
These are the flagship products. The basic starting bar is simply called the Empowered Chocolate Bar. It's just the basic chocolate mix containing mesquite pod meal, vanilla, agave nectar, and so on. Once you've tried that, venture into the Wild Peanut Caramel Chocolate Bar made with raw wild organic jungle peanuts. The taste makes you feel like you've been transported right into the Amazon rainforest, surrounded by deep-rooted plant energy.
Their Ancient Wisdom Bar is sweetened with raw organic yacon syrup (which has a glycemic index of about 12, making it the ideal sweetener for anyone watching their blood sugar) and contains maca, lucuma powder and raw cacao. And when you're ready for the ultimate nutritional adventure in superior chocolate products, order their Superfood Chocolate Bar and get ready for a taste explosion of spirulina, chlorella, maca, burdock root, nettles, probiotics, icelandic kelp, dulse, enzymes and much more. Personally, I call this the anti-cancer chocolate bar because just about every ingredient in the bar has well-documented anti-cancer properties. It even contains E3 Live, which is probably the most enzymatically-active blue-green algae product on the market. Anybody working to prevent or reverse cancer should, in my humble opinion, enjoy as many of these Superfood Chocolate Bars as they wish.
These are fun to eat. They're a lot like those name-brand chocolate peanut butter cups, except all the ingredients found here are premium, highly-nutritious raw foods. They've got Wild Jungle Peanut Butter Cups made with raw almond butter, raw ceylon cinnamon, raw jungle peanuts and empowered chocolate. The cinnamon, by the way, is yet another medicinal spice that helps control blood sugar, so it's the perfect ingredient to add to a chocolate bar.
Empowered Foods also offers Goji Jelly Cups made with wildcrafted camu camu berries (the highest natural source of vitamin C in the world) and raw Tibetan goji berries (extremely rich in antioxidants, used for 5,000 years in Chinese Medicine).
Personally, I found the chocolate cups to be just as delicious as the bars, but I liked the bars better because they were easier to unwrap and eat. The cups take a bit of work, and if you refrigerate the Goji Jelly Cups and then bite down on one, the goji jelly smooshes out the side (yes, "smooshes" is a technical term used by nutritionists).
Have you ever taken a large, raw fig right off a fig tree, then stuffed it with raw almond butter, cinnamon, goji berries and chocolate? I haven't either. But for some reason, the Empowered Foods team thought this would be a great idea (did it come to them in a dream?), so they created a product out of it. The product rocks. Personally, I love raw figs in the first place (they're WAY better than the typical dried figs you get in the store). Adding in the almond butter and chocolate makes this taste so incredibly good that if I were actually looking for a vice, I'd choose to be addicted to this.
Empowered Foods also makes Chocolate Coated Durian Chunks, which is only good if you happen to like Durian. For those of you who don't know, Durian is an exotic rainforest fruit that has a very peculiar smell. (Some simply say it stinks, but that depends on your personal taste.) I remember flying into Malaysia a few years ago, and someone had actually stuffed a Durian fruit into the overhead compartment of the airplane. Every passenger on that plane was then treated to a three hour long "fragrance endurance test" by the Durian fruit. Ever since that experience, I have not been able to enjoy Durian fruit, but your own experience might be different...
What I really do like, however, is their Chocolate Coated Wild Ice Cream & Apple Bananas. Now, before you go ape nuts crazy over how great this name sounds, please remember that there's no ice cream here. It's just part of the name of the banana species, which is called Wild Ice Cream & Apple Bananas because if you have a really good imagination, they sort of taste like ice cream and apples. Dip 'em in chocolate and, needless to say, they're extremely delicious. I enjoyed these so much that I went back to Empowered Foods and bought more!
Empowered Foods also offers various chocolate mixes made with wildcrafted nuts, dried fruits and exotic fruit leathers, all mixed in with empowered chocolate and other goodies. The ingredients are too numerous to name, but they include exotic items like wild rambutan, wild egg fruit, Incan golden berries and many more. The mixes include names like Meditation Munchies Hunza Longevity Mix and Kieba's Island Fruit Leather Mix with Empowered Chocolate, among other interesting names.
These mixes were wonderful, but they did suffer from a melting problem (see my "melting" notes below). I liked the basic chocolate bars better. It's also worth noting that these mixes are not sugared-up to taste like the super sweet, sour or salty nut mixes you might find at common grocery stores. To appreciate the taste of these mixes, it's best to be off all the extreme synthetic chemical tastes found in American foods. Or, to put it bluntly, if you're still eating Doritos and other similar junk foods, your tongue is probably too blasted by all the chemicals to be able to sense the subtle richness of these exotic fruit and chocolate mixes. This is a taste that only genuine healthy people will likely appreciate.
Empowered Foods also makes a product called Rawtella Hazelnut Chocolate Spread, which is a raw foods alternative to the popular Nutella product. It's groovy good. Very rich. Don't eat this stuff while watching TV... you need to pay attention to what you're tasting here because you don't want to miss the experience.
They also have Rawtella Goji-Swirl Spread which I haven't personally tried, but reading the ingredients makes me wish I could dive face-first into a giant vat filled with the stuff. (Does anybody out there remember the old Smothers Brothers "I fell in a vat of chocolate" comedy routine? It's from 1962, and still quite hilarious. See the wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Two_Sides_of_the_Smothers_Brothers
Beyond all the products I mentioned here, Alex tells me that the Empowered Chocolate labs are working hard on new inventions. Okay, they're not really labs; they're more like kitchens, and they're probably taking their own sweet time eating all the mistakes and calling it "research," but before long, we're all going to witness the introduction of yet more Empowered Foods products. I don't know what they'll be, but I'm fairly certain I want to be at the front of the taste testing line to try them out.
The melting problem
Quiz time: What happens when real chocolate gets warm? It melts, of course. This problem is avoided by the more mainstream chocolate manufacturers by the use of paraffin wax as a stabilizer in their chocolate products. Some chocolate bars on the market are probably more candle wax than chocolate, and as far as I'm concerned, if it doesn't melt, you probably shouldn't be eating it.
Empowered Foods products do melt upon reaching certain temperatures (probably in the 120 degrees F range). I discovered this the hard way after ordering a large box of Empowered Foods to be shipped to me in Arizona, where I enjoy life in the desert. It's not only hot in the desert; it's WAY hotter in the big brown UPS trucks that drive through the desert. (Just ask any UPS truck driver if you don't believe me.) The inside of those trucks reaches about 140 degrees F, which is more than enough to melt Empowered Foods chocolate.
As a result, the chocolate mixes in my shipment had turned to chocolate smears. All the bars, cups, chunks and spreads were fine -- just the mixes were thoroughly melted. For all the other products, I just tossed them into the refrigerator for a few hours and they were fine, too. So if you live in a place that gets a lot of sunlight and heats up during the Summer, you may want to avoid buying the chocolate mixes until temperatures cool down in the Fall.
Another point to consider is that subjecting raw foods to UPS truck temperatures destroys their raw-ness. Once they get delivered by UPS in any hot environment, they're actually cooked at low temperatures. They've gone way above 108 degrees, and they've probably stayed there for hours. This is true even if you choose second-day air shipping, because the delivery of that shipment requires the second-day air package to be placed on a local truck that drives out to your house. During that drive, your products get inadvertently cooked.
This is a big problem in the raw foods industry. It affects every manufacturer. For customers, it simply means you have to buy your products before the hot season really begins. Those of you who don't live in the southern portions of the U.S. probably don't have to worry about this. Canadians have no problems whatsoever.
Overall, I enjoy the Empowered Foods products so much that I'm not letting hot weather stop me from ordering. Even if these products are inadvertently heated for a few hours during shipping, they're still far healthier (and less processed) than the typical chocolate bars you see on the market.
By the way, Empowered Foods is working with somebody in the U.K. who may be replicating some of these products and making them available soon throughout Western Europe. I don't have details on that plan, but I know it's in the works. Alex's vision is to take this company (and its products) global, so watch for announcements along those lines. I hope to be reporting on ways that our readers around the world can enjoy these products. In addition to our North American readers (U.S. and Canada), we've got lots of readers in Australia, New Zealand and across Western Europe. I'm always keeping you in mind when reviewing these products, in the hopes that I can recommend regional sources wherever possible.
The most innovative raw chocolate products on the market
Overall, I consider the Empowered Foods products to be the most innovative raw chocolate products on the market. They're not merely good for you, they're artful in their recipes and presentations. This is exquisite food fit for Kings and Queens. If I ever hold a party and invite all my hippy friends over to my house, this is what I would want to serve. It would be an all-nighter chocolate party, where everyone is hopped up on Peruvian Maca and high-energy raw cacao. (No alcohol, please -- we want to stay conscious enough to experience the chocolate...)
I can't recommend this company highly enough. After reviewing hundreds of health product companies over the last few years, it is truly delightful to discover Empowered Foods and their unique approaches to joyful, healing foods. All citizens on planet Earth should be lucky enough to taste this chocolate someday, but alas, there isn't enough to go around. Not yet, anyway. Help Empowered Foods grow and maybe someday they can actually make enough of this super healing chocolate food to give everybody a taste.
Get your own supply by ordering at The Raw Foods Diet Health Shop Empowered Foods department
by Mike Adams