Alexa is searching around for new healthy snacks, but sometimes I neglect to try out new things. When shopping with my husband I have a one track mind, get everything on the list. If I don’t I would bring home an extra $30s worth of snacks home each week. Which isn’t so great on my wallet. But while in New York last weekend, I let myself splurge a little. I saw two things I wanted to try in a small grocer, raw chocolate and Califa Farms’ almond milk.
Let me start off with Califia Farms’ almond milk. I was starting to get shaky after a long day walking in a museum and taking the subway. I wasn’t sure if I was dehydrated or hungry (probably both) so I picked up a Chocolate Protein Almond Milk Blend. I guzzled it down, and found out IT WASN’T VEGAN! Uggg…. Why would anyone bother putting whey protein in almond milk? I found the milk bland and not impressive, even being intensively hungry and thirsty.
But I heard so much hype about this brand that I figured I would give it another try at home. Luckily, only the protein blends have whey added to it. All their other products are vegan (if you are worried, make sure the bottles say “dairy free” not “lactose free” with the Califia brand). So I hopped over to Whole Foods and picked up their iced coffee drinks, picking Salted Caramel and XX Espresso. I’m impressed. If anyone likes the premixed espresso drinks from Starbucks or Illy Issimo, then they’ll love these vegan versions.
I personally like XX Espresso the best, as it had the strongest coffee flavor. The Salted Caramel was yummy, but maybe a little too sweet. I wish I poured that one over ice instead of drinking it straight from the bottle. Carrageenan and sunflower lecithin is added to the drinks to give more body and creaminess.
Next on my list was raw chocolate. I’ve always wanted to give it a try, but it was expensive with even more pricey shipping. I noticed some chocolate at a small NYC grocer with raw written on it. Quirky little drawings adorned the label. The company is Fine & Raw and is located in Brooklyn. The company seems to joke about their uber hipsterness, which makes me like them.
I first bit into the White Candy, which was velvety and creamy. This bar is made out of cocoa butter, coconut, and lacuma, making a caramel-like white chocolate bar. I am not a huge white chocolate fan, but the flavors worked so well with each other. It is hard to find vegan white chocolate, so this was a great treat. I couldn’t find the bar on their website, so who knows when I will be able to eat it again.
I later opened up the espresso bar. The bar has small bits of roasted coffee beans. I normally don’t like this, but the beans are small and not too crunchy. The coffee perfectly matches up to the chocolate. Unlike the photo of the White Candy bar, the espresso bar has a beautiful luster, and a nice crisp snap to it.
The prices might be a little high, but I am interested in buying some more chocolate. The chocolate bars I have featured in the photos are 1 oz chocolates, which aren’t actually sold on the store website. Some stores in NYC carry the Fine & Raw chocolate bars, but no official listings are available on their site. Keep searching, they are worth it.