Wednesday, February 11, 2009

ModernGear Food: A healthy sweet treat

Working at home is wonderful - when you get a little peckish, you can make your way into the kitchen and nosh on whatever you can scrounge around and find. Hopefully that's something nutritious and delicious, but that's up to you when you're at the grocery store stocking up on supplies! The fact is, if you buy potato chips and Oreos, that might just be what you grab when your tummy starts to growl. I always try to keep this in mind when navigating the store aisles.

Now that I am transitioning from working at home all the time into working at an office half-time, I am having to put a lot more thought into how to pack my handbag for the day. If I don't grab at least an apple and a protein bar, I'm done for. There's a Pinkberry down the street and its siren song has lured me in a few times, and there's a cheap sub shop downstairs. But sometimes, and in fact, most times, all I need is just a little pick-me-up.

I recently found something special, that has been my mid-afternoon slump snack of choice lately: sweetriot's 100% cacao nibs.

They're billed as "'peaces' of intense yum, 1-2 calories per 'peace'". Each little nib is about half the size of a chocolate-covered raisin and has a crunch closer to a chocolate-covered espresso bean, without that caffeine kick.

I don't know if you're into dark chocolate, but I've developed a real taste for it, and it doesn't hurt that it's incredibly healthy and provides a powerful antioxidant punch as well. WebMD says so, says so, Dr. Weil says so. One thing they all say, though, is that like a lot of things that are healthy in moderation (red wine, olive oil, etc.) to limit your portion size.

If you have the sort of self-control where you can allow yourself a small taste of something and feel that it satisfies the craving, then sweetriot's cacao nibs are perfect. I carry a baggie of almonds with me, and pop a handful of nibs and almonds into my mouth for a few moments of pure bliss.

Here are some quick facts from their web site:
140 calories
12 - 14 carbs
11 - 12g fat
6 - 10g sugar
3 - 4g fiber
2g protein
0mg sodium
3 points WeightWatchers
And my own fact: 100% flavour!

My only caveat is that if you don't have much portion control, then you might eat the whole small canister in one go, and that wouldn't be so good. I'd say mine lasted about a week and a half...

You can choose between:
'flavor 50', which has 50% dark chocolate
'flavor 65', cacao nibs covered in 65% dark chocolate (these are the ones I chose, and they're YUH-MEEE!)
and 'flavor 70', lightly roasted cacao nibs, covered in 70% dark chocolate with a hint of espresso. Oh yeah, these are the ones I am going to try next time.
For a small 1 oz. (28g.) canister, they cost $3.99. I found mine at Whole Foods, but you can also order online (and in bulk, hello!) on their web site, and you can also find other bricks-and-mortar retail locations here. You can collect and re-use the artwork-covered tins, too, for breath mints, spare change, hairpins or anything else that would fit.

I love their other products like the unBAR, and I am definitely going to have to try their baking "peaces" for chocolate chip cookies.

I would also like to point out sweetriot's even sweeter side. The company's values leave an even better taste in my mouth than their chocolate, if that's possible:
*use premium, high-quality, and all-natural ingredients
*practice fair trade with developing countries
*celebrate culture and diversity through their products
*create sweet experiences for customers, partners and employees
*are young at heart, energetic, down-to-earth and contribute to the greater good
You can read even more about why the company itself is worthy of your support, here.

I'm such a fan I'd even wear their t-shirt and show my love of the dark chocolate nib and sweetriot, across my chest!

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