Poking around in Trader Joe’s, I was excited to find an intriguing candy bar in the refrigerated section that contained minimalist and unprocessed ingredients. I bought it, not expecting much. But it was full of flavor, and when I shared a couple pieces with my mom and sister, and they eagerly reached for more. I was then equally disappointed to discover that Trader Joe’s stopped carrying it a couple weeks later. This was a vegan and paleo option worth sharing, so I was immediately on the hunt to find it again.
I was surprised that so few stores carried this brand (Honey Mama’s), and I only had two options for purchasing it: online or at my local natural foods co-op. I opted for the latter and zoomed out to the grocery store. At this point, I was genuinely curious if this bar was as good as I remembered. It was! I tried the same flavor I had the first time as well as a new one: Nibs & Coffee and Lavender Red Rose. To top it off, there were real flower petals on the lavender bar.
These bars taste rich without being overwhelming; they are filling without feeling indulgent; they have a satisfying taste without being complex. The coconut oil base adds a unique flavor profile that isn’t found in mainstream candy bars. That being said, the coconut oil requires the bars to be refrigerated at all times to prevent rapid melting. For me, this is an easy trade-off I’m willing to make for preferable ingredients.
Why can’t everything be made this way? Artificial flavors, additives, fillers, texturizers, and preservatives detract from food and convolute pure ingredients that would naturally add depth of flavor. When I occasionally stop in at an upscale restaurant, I’m always mildly surprised to be satisfied with the most basic thing on the menu. It really comes down to basic but quality ingredients with an insightful cooking process.
The ingredients in Nibs & Coffee are:
- Raw local honey
- Shredded Organic coconut
- Unrefined Organic coconut oil
- Alkalized Organic cocoa powder
- Cacao nibs
- Ground coffee
- Himalayan pink salt
And that’s it! A delightful treat in just 8 ingredients. I would encourage you to try this bar, a similar one, or to make it at home (I will happily offer to be a taste tester). It’s easy to forget how simple cooking good food can be. Modern processed food might lead us to believe that we need at least 25 ingredients to make something delectable, but we don’t. In many cases, less is more. Don’t write off vegan or paleo food just yet, because it might be the best thing you’ve tasted all day.