A majority of the products I’ve reviewed in this blog up until now have been longtime favorites of mine, something I’ve enjoyed for months if not years. Those reports were a lot of fun to write, but I’m running out of ammo. If I am going to keep updating this blog at the same rate, I’m going to have to adventure out and try new things. It will be a great experience for me to see what else is out there in the world of sweets, and I hope some of you readers can learn about some products you hadn’t heard of it, or hadn’t had a chance to try.
My last review was partially in this category, but the subject this time, Artisana Oganic Raw Cacao Bliss, was chosen just so I could have something interesting to report on.
I wasn’t able to find out the official date this product was released, but I just noticed it on the shelves of Whole Foods Market a few weeks back, so it may be somewhat new.
I could just state the flavor is a mix of coconut and cacao, which would be quite correct, but that much you could easily guess just from the product name.
In all fairness, I come a background of heavy “Justin” (Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter) use, so I can’t help but compare initially. Texture wise, cacao bliss is much more oilier with a finer consistency, almost what I would describe as grainy. Due to the lack of nuts this product is less ‘meaty’ than nut-based spreads.
What really hit me in the face, so to speak, was how *coconutty* this spread is. I’m a big proponent of coconut-based ice cream, but I’ve never been overpowered by the coconut flavor there; it’s always secondary to the other flavors. In this product it’s really exposed, with the cocoa flavor taking a back seat.
My first reaction wasn’t too rosy, but after I finished my slice of bread and rested a moment, I realized I wanted some more. So I worked my fingers and squeezed every last drop of this coconut-heavy spread into my mouth, and to my surprise was already liking it more. I have the feeling I’ll learn to love it as I eat more of this product, and learn to stop comparing it to other spreads.
Ingredients / Nutrition
In one 33.7 gram pack there are 177 calories, a value on par with similar spreads. Sugar is very low at 3 grams, nearly half that of my beloved “Justin”.
There all only five ingredients, all Organic: Coconut Butter, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Agave Syrup, Cacao, and Cacao Butter. Many will be happy to hear this product is both vegan and free of sugar cane sugar, and it should satisfy even the pickiest health fanatics. I’d like to note that the term “raw” is a bit vague, and most if not all of the ingredients here have at least some processing.
Although the protein content (2 grams) is a little lower than nut-based spreads, both coconut butter and coconut oil are known for a wide array of health benefits. For example, they can increase metabolism, reduce cholesterol, and help maintain proper weight.
Unfortunately in the world of nutrition there is always another side to things. Coconut oil is a saturated fat and hence should be limited a small portion of total calories due to potential increase in heart disease risk. So as with most things, eat this in moderation.
Price and Availability
This product is sold in 1.19 ounce (33.7 gram) packs, either individually or in sets of 10. I bought a single pack from Whole Foods for around $2.00, though if you look around you can buy a pack of 10 for as little as 1.67 per pack online (see references).
It’s also sold in 6 packs of 227 gram jars, for roughly 20% cheaper than buying the 33 gram packs.
Healthy chocolate spread which is great for coconut lovers.