It’s that time of year when we all like to indulge in sweet treats and festive foods but that doesn’t mean we need to do it at a cost to our health or our planet.
Chocolate is a favourite at Christmas and there are many healthy options on the market nowadays. Raw chocolate in particular is big business because whether we enjoy a bar a week or a square a year, we are more aware than ever of the health implications of consuming conventional options loaded with sugar, preservatives and dairy.
So, what should we look for when making our raw chocolate purchase?
At The Love Place we like good food made with good ingredients by conscious producers who are passionate about what they do. This holiday season we tried Goodio’s range of raw chocolate and not only did we fall in love with these beautiful squares of heavenly cacao, we also fell in love with their producers, too.
Goodio are a young, innovative Finnish bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer with a big mission, to make healthy chocolate that has a positive impact on the world. Their chocolate is beautiful. Subtly flavoured with ingredients such as mint, coffee and chilli, this is smooth, creamy chocolate without a hint of bitterness. Sweet and milky, this is vegan chocolate that will be loved by everyone. Presented in beautifully designed biodegradable packaging, these squares of chocolate make perfect gifts. Our favourites are the Chai, made from cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and turmeric and the Licorice and Sea Buckthorn with its light anise flavour. Honestly, though, we’d be more than happy to eat any flavour again right now.
A little aside about bio platics. We aren’t sold on the bio plastics currently available on today’s market. Made from plant materials such as corn, soy, rice and wheat – which are often GMO – or a blend of plant based and food safe plastics, the additives used to accelerate breakdown of these plastics contain potentially hazardous ingredients to not only human health but also the environment. Their production often utilises highly volatile and unsafe chemicals and additives. They also may contain PLA which contains tin or PVDC, a compound closely related to PVC (think clingfilm) that contains chlorine, generates dioxin during production and use and has been proven to leach phthalates, lead and cadmium, amongst other known toxins.
Anyone who has been following the research in the past decade into plastic toxicity will know that every known plastic has been found to leach health threatening chemicals. These plastics are found in much food packaging, kitchen equipment, home furniture and even clothing. As we work towards better options for our health and the health of the planet, we commend companies experimenting with the available choices and Goodio have chosen a film that is GMO free and compostable at home as well as on an industrial scale. Some other bio plastics will not break down unless they reach 60°C.
We asked Goodio some questions about what they do…
What motivated you to start making raw chocolate?
Generally, conventional chocolate is full of white sugar, milk powder, lecithin and low quality fats. Also cacao comes most of the time from West Africa where farmers are not paid fairly.
Goodio was created on the principles of sustainability, well-being, and transparency. It’s a vision to bring Nordic-inspired flavors to a chocolate brand for the global consumer.
We prize organic, nutritious ingredients, and fuse them with unique flavors, such as wild blueberry and sea buckthorn to give you a delicious one-of-a-kind treat.
Goodio uses raw cacao, stone ground in Helsinki for three days. By keeping it raw, it retains its nutrients.
Cacao is among the most anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods known to mankind. To sustain the nutritional potent as high as possible, we don’t roast our cacao at all and we process it at low temperatures.
Raw cacao contains more than 300 different chemical compounds like calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, protein, sulfur, flavonoids, antioxidants and essential fatty acids are also present. These phytochemical elements have incredible benefits throughout the body, such as lowered LDL cholesterol, improved heart function, and reduced cancer risk.
There are plenty of reasons why we have chosen to use organic ingredients but main points are that we want to avoid chemicals, benefit from more nutrients and preserve our ecosystems and agricultural diversity.
Starting with pure cacao beans and mixing in primarily organic and wild ingredients has allowed us to create an exciting, delicious raw chocolate handmade Helsinki, Finland.
Our wild blueberries, sea buckthorn, mint and cranberries are locally produced in the land of the midnight sun. To sweeten the bars, we use Indonesian and Sri Lankan coconut palm sugar which has a low Glycemic Index.
Are your ingredients fair trade?
Our cacao beans originate from organic, non-GMO farms in Peru, Ecuador, and the Congo.
In most of the cases our ingredients are certified fair trade but in some cases it doesn’t just make sense or it’s not even possible, like Finnish blueberries.
Our mission is to make chocolate that is good for people and planet.
We actually believe that fair trade is not enough, we believe that trading should be righteous and fully transparent.
Is Goodio sustainable?
Yes we are. For example we just launched our new packages with biodegradable wrappers and we are always doing our best to make things more green and sustainable in all the areas of our business.
What makes Goodio different to other raw chocolate on the market?
Our motto is “It’s All Good”. It’s very likely that we pay more attention to all the aspects of the chocolate manufacturing process than any other company out there.
Our goal is to make the world’s best chocolates whilst taking into account all elements to give the maximum positive input to the world.
We are striving for excellence in sourcing, nutrient optimisation, sustainability, taste, transparency, marketing, design, R&D, story telling, customer service, you name it.
Our chocolates are made with wellbeing in mind so there’s actually quite a few things that makes Goodio different…
- All our chocolates have quite high cacao content ranging from 50% – 80%.
- We use organic ingredients.
- To sweeten the chocolates, we use coconut palm sugar which has a low glycemic index.
- We don’t use anything else but real ingredients – not even essential oils – to flavor our chocolates.
- All our products are free from GMO, preservatives, additives, gluten, dairy, refined sugar or anything you really don’t need in your system.
What do you think the future of healthier snacks and treats looks like?
The change has been amazing during the past 5 years. Organic consumption is growing in double digits and new health brands and products are popping up constantly.
We believe that in the near future, our food will promote health, not disease.
The development has been so rapid and it only gets better since people are getting more and more conscious about wellbeing and our planet all the time so they vote with their choices.
Also technology pushes us forward and soon we can visit the farms with virtual reality. There’s so many more great things coming we can’t even imagine now.