THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for October 14, 2012

HALLOWEEN: Gnosis Raw Organic Chocolate

You’ve heard that chocolate is good for you, but those claims leave out two key points:

  • Many of the flavanoids, the healthy antioxidants in cacao beans, are cooked out of the beans during the roasting process.
  • Chocolate contains lots of refined sugar—milk chocolate and white chocolate have the most sugar, bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao or higher) the least.
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    If you want to try a healthier chocolate, check out Gnosis Chocolate (gnosis is the Greek word for knowledge).

    Gnosis celebrates “the origins of cacao, the well-being of our society, and Earth’s natural majesty.” This specialty line:

  • Is made from raw cacao, which keeps those healthful antioxidants
  • Uses low-glycemic sweeteners, such as agave and coconut palm sugar (more about the glycemic index)
  • Uses ingredients that are ethically sourced and organic wherever possible
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    Healthier chocolate for Halloween. Photo courtesy Gnosis Chocolate.

     

    The bars are available plain or flavored with popular herbs and spices (chili, coconut-almond, hazelnut, mint, sea salt) as well as nutrient-dense superfoods (cashew-fig, cinnamon-goji, pomegranate-açaí).

    Some bars have holistic and ayurvedic ingredients rarely found in chocolate: camomile essential oil, chaste berry, dong quai, evening primrose oil, goldenberry, Inca berry, hemp seed, mulberry, yumberry, schizandra berry, shatvari, Sunwarrior Protein Powder (vegan) and valerian.

    In addition to chocolate bars, Gnossis makes truffles, hot chocolate and trail mix.

    The products are certified kosher, organic and vegan and are free of soy, gluten, and dairy. The bars are wrapped in PCW* recycled, biodegradable packaging printed with vegetable inks.

    Gnosis was founded by Vanessa Barg, a board certified holistic health counselor, who began making chocolate in 2006 as gifts for her clients. In her search for raw, unadulterated cacao, she studied the beans, working on cacao farms and processing beans from the pod. She personally visits the sources and works with growers to assure bean quality and working conditions and to support the growth of organic farming.

    Learn more and shop online at GnosisChocolate.com.

    *Post consumer waste.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Low Carb Pizza Alternative: Zucchini Pizza

    Zucchini “canoes” substitute for pizza crusts. Photo courtesy Lucero Olive Oil.

     

    It’s not the toppings that are the problem with eating pizza frequently. The crust is where the ne’er-do-well carbs reside.

    The late, lamented Goldberg’s Pizza in Manhattan offered a diet pizza by heaping the toppings into an aluminum pie plate instead of onto a carb-laden crust.

    All of the vegetable toppings (bell peppers, broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms, onions—whatever you like) were added to the pie plate, covered with sauce and cheese and baked in the oven.

    It was a way for dieters (of whom proprietor Larry Goldberg was one) to enjoy the flavors of pizza without the empty carbs.

    Zucchini pizza is a modern take on the idea. In this recipe from Lucero Olive Oil, halves of zucchini serve as the base for the cheese, tomatoes and other toppings.

    Zucchini pizza is not only more nutritious; it’s a way to get family members to eat more vegetables, more often.

     

    ZUCCHINI CANOES, A PIZZA ALTERNATIVE

    Ingredients:

  • 3 zucchini (one is a zucchino)
  • 1 box grape tomatoes
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced
  • Fresh Basil (1 bunch)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Basil olive oil (we used Lucero’s)
  • Salt and pepper or crushed chili flakes to taste
  • Optional: pepperoni or other favorite meat topping, chopped
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    Preparation

    1. CUT. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Trim as necessary so they fit into a glass baking dish.

    2. SCOOP. Using a teaspoon, grapefruit spoon or melon baller, scoop out the center core where the seeds are to create a shallow trench. Do not scoop all the way to the bottom. (You can save the zucchini you’ve scooped out and add it to scrambled eggs.)

    3. COMBINE. Combine the crushed garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper/chili flakes. Brush the surface of the zucchini with mixture.

    4. BAKE. Halve the grape tomatoes and arrange them inside the trench with the optional pepperoni. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes.

    5. ADD. Remove the zucchini from the oven and place diced mozzarella in the trench between the tomatoes.

    6. BROIL. Place the baking dish under the broiler until golden and bubbling.

    7. GARNISH. Remove and drizzle the zucchini lightly with basil olive oil. Top with fresh basil and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan.
     

    Find gourmet pizza recipes—with the crust.

      

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    PRODUCT: BettaSnax, Diet Biscotti

    Bettasnax is an artisan bakery that specializes in better snacks. Using only premium ingredients, the bakery aims to “fill the gap”: the gap in healthy snacks, the gap between lunch and dinner.

    They’ve scored a hit with their first product, all-natural biscotti slices. Conventional biscotti have been whittled down to thin rectangles, approximately 1″ x 1-1/2″. Their sweetened modestly (great for those who don’t like sugary cookies), and each little cookie has just 10 calories.

    Now at coffee break or for dessert, you can have several super-crunchy pieces without blowing the calorie budget. BettaSnax also go well with cheese and can be served as a crunchy side with soup or salad. The resealable bag is easy to tote around.

    The ingredients are very clean: flour, egg whites, cane sugar, almonds and vanilla extract. There’s no added fat, no cholesterol, no preservatives, no artificial flavors.

    You can buy a case, twelve four-ounce bags, four portions per bag, on Amazon. If you have some every day, that’s a six-week supply—more if you have only three cookies instead of the one-ounce portion size of nine.

    But you’ll probably find yourself saring them with friends.

     

    Bites of biscotti, just 10 calories apiece, from BettaSnax. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    For more information, visit BettaSnax.com.

    Find more of our favorite diet cookies.

      

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