contributed by Katy Morris
We are always on the look out for local culinary talent to share with our readers, and with this one, we struck gold….er, uh, chocolate. We’ve found four unique women who have taken Fairfield County, CT by storm with their diverse and delectable chocolate.
Organic, kosher, fair-trade, vegan, raw, GMO and soy free? We’ve got you covered. And they all sell online so if you don’t live in CT, you can be just as chocolate satisfied as we are. Here’s to local talent!
The Super Food Chocolate
Chocholistic, founded by Certified Health Counselor Kenzie Harrick, started after she ventured into the Costa Rican jungles and learned everything there was to know about raw cacao and just how powerful of a food it is.
Now back in the CT woods, she has taken those lessons, combined them with those learned at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and created her own line of vegan, sugar-free, raw, organic, “super food” chocolate bars. Kenzie is passionate about helping others lead a healthy lifestyle yet she also appreciates the need for fun and enjoyment…this is how her chocolate was born. She offers fantastic varieties, including herbal mint, mocha chip, goji superfruit, and cacao coconut. All of her tasty raw dark chocolate is kosher, contains tons of antioxidants and minerals, and provides various other rejuvenating qualities, so you can savor that chocolaty taste and reap the health benefits, all in one bite.
Her super food sweets are available at a few local CT stores, including The Organic Market, Ultimate Solutions, and Southend Spirits, or you can order directly from her online.
Worldly Chocolates…Right in your OWN backyard
The handmade chocolates of LeRouge are some of the most unique around, and the woman behind it is just as noteworthy. Founder Aarti Khosla of Weston, CT gathers inspiration from cultures she’s encountered near and far and in turn infuses her chocolates with both exotic flavor combinations, including saffron & pistachio, and beetle leaves & preserved rose petals, as well as more familiar ones like double espresso & dark chocolate, and apple pie & cinnamon. All of her chocolate varieties are made with vegan fair trade dark chocolate and can be made completely non-dairy (the dairy only comes in when she adds white chocolate for a ganache in some flavors). A lifelong travel, food, and of course, chocolate aficionada, Aarti experimented with various recipes and mixtures until she found the perfect balance of flavors to delight local folks with “global palates”. She has now mastered several varieties and makes all of them in small batches by hand. Her handmade chocolate collections are not only distinctly tasty, they are visually appealing as well. Check out the ‘glowing’ masala chai and wasabi ginger truffles and her limited edition chocolate Diya to get an idea. You can get her chocolates directly from her website, and be sure to follow her on facebook to get updates on new varieties and events.
Fairfield County’s Cacao Cowgirl
Did you know that chocolate helps heal strep throat? No? Well, did you know that the antioxidant level of raw cacao is significantly higher than green tea and blueberries? Fairfield Health Coach Amie Guyette Hall knows this plus much more about the healing power of raw cacao. In a nutshell, her mission as a Health Coach is to support her clients in leading a balanced lifestyle, from your inside out: healthy & wholesome yet flexible & fun.
Eating chocolate doesn’t have to be a guilty “indulgence”; in fact, she is an advocate for enjoying the right kinds of chocolate every single day. Raw cacao, which is the base for every chocolate treat she creates, is the one of the most powerful antioxidants in the world and is also brimming with other minerals including chromium and magnesium.
Through workshops and one-on-one coaching with clients, Amie reveals the healing benefits of raw cacao and empowers others to embrace this super food as an important part of their balanced diet. And as a graduate and Ambassador of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition she knows what she’s talking about.
Although her main forte is in inspiring and enabling her clients to integrate positive wholefood choices in their diets, the Cacao Cowgirl has begun making and selling her own chocolate treats (including scrumptious bark with different kinds of nuts, dried fruit & seeds, macaroons, and black bean brownies, to give you a taste) at local Farmer’s Markets & Events. Check out her website for more information.
MOO-ve Over Dark Chocolate!
Inspired by the luxurious and wholesome sweets of Switzerland, Greenwich resident Jackie Ekholm created her very own chocolate business right here in Connecticut for families to enjoy without having to board a plane to Europe. With the help of her own family, she created a blissfully delicious yet healthful milk chocolate delight that is certified kosher, organic, and contains absolutely no GMO’s or artificial ingredients…so parents can feel good about giving their kids these sweets (and indulging themselves too).
Current flavors include Rice Crisps, Graham Cracker, Corn Flake, and Granola, but keep your your eye out for some new kinds that are just on the horizon (SMOOches: bite-sized MOO chocolate filled with caramel, almond butter, and peanut butter!). Click MOO chocolate to find a list of local stores that sell this child friendly product or order directly from the online “Moo Store”.
Do you have local makers in your town that we should know about? We’re on the lookout. Let me know in the comments section below.
Know your makers and support local. We’ll all be better for it.
Chocholistic- certified kosher
LeRouge Chocolates- dairy free available
The Cacao Cowgirl- dairy free available
MOO Chocolate- certified Star Kosher Dairy
Photos from Chocholistic, LeRouge Chocolates and Moo Chocolates are courtesy of the respective makers. Thank you.