Category Archives: Dagoba

How to Make a Chocolate Raspberry Cooler

Chocolate Raspberry Cooler

Drinking raspberries and chocolate outside on the patio

Organic chocolate Smoothie

Even though the snow is a distant memory by now, there’s no reason to give up enjoying rich drinking chocolate.   Unlike hot chocolate, with this recipe you don’t need to sweat over the  stove; just pull out the blender and get going.  Chocolate and raspberries are an antioxidant-packed combination that delights the senses with vibrant, full flavors.  If you use the Dagoba unsweetened cocoa, the extra little bits of chocolate in their mix will survive the blender and add a nice texture to an already plush drink.  All the cocoa powders I recommend are organic and non-alkalized, so you can easily use all organic ingredients for something that’s extra good for your body.

 What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, gently rinsed (frozen berries are OK) [1].
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened organic cocoa powder.  I recommend the unsweetened organic cocoas from Grenada Chocolate Company, Dagoba Chocolate, or Rapunzel (these are definitely non-alkalized).
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk  or 2% milk
  • About 1/2 to 3/4 cup of ice cubes
  • 3 teaspoons sugar

Put everything into a blender. Blend first on the lowest setting and then on high for a good long time until all the ice is chopped fine.  Serve in large tumblers.  Makes about 3 servings.

 Garnish:  Just a dollop of whipped cream, then some shaved chocolate followed by a few sprigs of mint.

Variations:

  • Vegan: substitute 1 cup of coconut milk or an equal amount of soy milk for the cow’s milk
  • Sugar free:  since the cocoa powders I recommend don’t have added sugar, you can substitute your favorite sweetener for the sugar.
  • For the kids or whoever:  add 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream and leave out 2 of the 3 teaspoons of sugar.

Notes:

[1] We picked our organic raspberries at Wright-Locke Farm in Winchester, MA, a local non-profit no more than 2 miles from our house.

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Dagoba Organic Chocolate – Lemon Ginger

Dagoba Lemon Ginger Organic Chocolate Bar

Dagoba Lemon Ginger Organic Chocolate Bar

Dagoba makes a fantastic cocoa powder that I’ve been enjoying immensely for drinking chocolate and iced-chocolate drinks over the last couple of years, so I was interested to see what they could do with a chocolate bar. Dagoba was one of the first small companies to bring organic chocolate into the United States in 2001 and should be given a lot of credit for creating a vision that others have followed. They also have an active Full Circle Sustainability™  program where they “strive to achieve high standards in quality, ecology, equity and community.” They have since been acquired by a larger corporation, but I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon and trash them for selling out. Let’s let the chocolate speak for itself – and I’m telling you up front that the organic hot chocolate is excellent with its little bits of chocolate dispersed throughout the organic cocoa powder. So, clearly a corporation is capable of getting it right.  But how about the bars?

The Lemon Ginger bar is one of a series of flavored bars including Superfruit, Lavender Blueberry and other exotic mixes.  Knowing that other ginger-chocolate bars on the market such as Chocolove’s have a strong fan base, I decide to start with Lemon Ginger.

WHAT:  Dagoba Organic Chocolate Lemon Ginger Bar.  68% Cacao. 56g.  Ingredients: Organic dark chocolate (cacao beans, cane sugar, cacao butter, cocoa, non-GMO soy lecithin); ginger, cane sugar, natural lemon flavor, milk (less than 0.1%).  USDA Organic.  Certified Kosher (KSA).   Where to buy:  available at small natural foods stores and some Whole Foods Markets.

WHEN:  Tasted numerous times throughout 2010

OVERALL RATING:  <50. I stopped at 50 as a minimum rating.  It scored the highest points for texture and less for finish, but that’s not saying much.

AROMA:  Minimal, sour creme.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS:  Skim milk.  Wax.

MIDDLE TASTE:  Clay, straw, black tea, green apple.

FINISH:  Walnut and, of course, lemon, ginger.

TEXTURE:  Crumbly.  Crispy bits of ginger were nice.

A Bit of Ginger in Dagoba's  Organic Dark Chocolate

A Bit of Crispy Ginger in Dagoba's Organic Dark Chocolate

LAST BITE – This was clearly not a premium chocolate experience – the bar seemed tired, the underlying chocolate had no personality and it all seemed to be just dressed-up by the ginger and lemon flavors.  However, I need to defend Dagoba a bit here since I suspect that the New Jersey-based distributor that I got these bars from had mis-treated them.  I got another case of Dagoba Superfruit bars from the same distributor that was completely bloomed – every single bar was virtually inedible!  At the same time, these bars were not bloomed at all and I’m not sure the lemon-ginger combination works all that well for me.

As for the Distributor, I’ve changed to one that is closer and has their act together.  Still,  I will stick to Dagoba’s rich cocoa powder for my drinking chocolate and stay away from the bars…for now, at least until I have time to evaluate the rest of their offering.  As for the rest of the Lemon Ginger bars in my stash, they’re going into my morning oatmeal which I am enjoying just fine…like turning lemons into lemonade or lemon-ginger bars into, …well, you get it.

Notes:

[1] I paid for this chocolate myself.

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