I'd end up doubled over in agony after a bar of my old, favourite chocolate - most probably a combination of the sugar and the dairy, which I don't react to very well.
But now, there's a dairy-free and refined sugar-free chocolate bar that you can nibble on instead. It's made using coconut sugar, cacao and coconut butter. It's called Ombar.
|Ombar Chocolate: raspberry and coconut (top) coconut and vanilla (bottom)|
You might have seen that I blogged about Ombar chocolate buttons last year - my kids loved them, but I felt like I needed something a bit more grown up to stash in the cupboard. And when they released their new flavoured centres Ombar sent me a couple of them to try - coconut and vanilla, and raspberry and coconut.
The first thing I noticed is that, compared to the choccie buttons, the packaging is all grown up. All chocolate browns and gold. Lovely. The other thing I noticed is that the bars are probably a bit smaller in size than you think they're going to be. But that's ok, because a) you don't want to be eating a kilo-bar of chocolate in one go anyway, and b) they taste really good.
They're probably a bit less sweet than your regular shop-bought chocolate bar, and I didn't notice this too much because I'd been without chocolate for about a year. But if you're just transitioning from your favourite chocolate to these, you might notice a slight bitterness. But that's ok, because as they're made from raw cacao and contain coconut products and probiotics, they're quite good for you. And you can use them in your healthy baking, as you would with regular chocolate - chop it up and add it as chunks, or melt it down gently and pour it all over. I'm totally going to make some energy bites with some of this trickled over. Watch this space.
These Ombar chocolate bars are completely dairy free and suitable for vegans. However because they're made using coconut products, they do melt quite easily. I stashed one in my handbag at a wedding I went to (in case I couldn't eat the pudding they served) and even though it was a chilly March day, when I came to take it out of my bag while we were chilling out in the bar area after the ceremony it ended up twisted and melted inside the wrapper. (I let it go cold again on the way home and ate it later, don't worry).
I'm really happy that Ombar have seen a place in the market for chocolate like this. Raw cacao, dairy-free and sweetened with coconut sugar they're a great sweet solution for those on vegan or ancestral diets. But that's not to say you can eat a stack of them in one go. However tempted you might feel.
So where can you buy them? Get these Ombar chocolate bars at the Ombar website or look online at health food shops.
Disclosure: I was sent the two bars of Ombar chocolates for this review.
Have you tried Ombar? What do you think of them?