Raw Chocolate and Other Adventures

Last weekend, Thursday through Saturday, I made my annual pilgrimage to Mesa, AZ… not to the Mormon Temple that’s up there, but to the Creating Keepsakes Convention, held in April each year.  It was three solid days and nights of scrapbooking and crafting, or in other words, creative therapy.  When I go to something like this that is a drivable distance, I always try to pack as much of my own food as possible, but because it was already so hot in Mesa, I couldn’t really keep my food cool enough, and I didn’t want to lug around an ice chest or cooler.

By Friday morning I was really missing my fresh and organic foods from the farmers markets, but, alas, there was a farmers market right outside the Mesa Convention Center!  I got there just as most of the vendors were packing up, but it was still well worthwhile.  I found the most amazing, sinful, ridiculous, best in the entire world chocolate!!!  I am not exaggerating.  If you like dark chocolate, and especially if you enjoy it for the health benefits, you must check out Stone Grindz Chocolate.
I met the chocolatier who makes every batch,  and I will admit to sampling pretty much every variety he offered that day.  Dark chocolate contains flavonols, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.  While I am not an expert on raw foods, information I found on raw chocolate, as opposed to its processed and cooked cousin, can help reduce stress.  It works like a mild stimulant, that is not habit forming (well, for me it’s habit forming).  There’s a reason we usually feel good after eating chocolate!
Don’t be afraid of the dark!  The 84% variety is quite dark.
We have a saying in my family.  “If it’s not chocolate, it’s not worth it.”  My personal view is that dark chocolate is infinitely better than milk chocolate.  Dark chocolate is not always necessarily sweet.  For some, it can be an acquired taste, especially for those who are used to super-sweet milk chocolate.  Logan and I have been working on this bar of raw dark chocolate for over a week!  We both eat just a bit each day.  It’s so rich and satisfying, that we don’t need more than a small piece to feel satisfied.

We still have a good amount left, and I opened this bar on Friday, April 12!

I also bought a bar of “Espresso Jolt,” which is 60% cacao, along with ground up espresso beans.  I haven’t opened that one yet, but I know it will be amazing.  By the way, I did take a small bite of chocolate before sitting down to write this blog post, and I am definitely feeling more alert and focused.  It really helps!
After I bought my two bars of chocolate, I couldn’t exactly put them in the car, as they would have melted.  I put them both into my purse, and they were just fine.  No melting at all.  I kept the bars in a bag that I took inside with me wherever I went, and even though it was quite hot out in Mesa, I did not have any problems with the chocolate melting.

Stone Grindz will ship their chocolate bars, so if you are not going to be in the Phoenix area, don’t fret!  I also learned that all of their ingredients are certified kosher, so it really wouldn’t take to much for the company to get a kosher certification, or hechsher.  I also don’t see anything in the ingredients that wouldn’t be kosher for Passover, so that’s another bonus.  All of the ingredients in the chocolate are organic, and the espresso beans are locally sourced. 

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