FEATURED PALEO TRAVEL SNACKAs part of Getting Primal's Paleo-friendly travel snacks feature, the founders of Pure 7 Chocolate were interviewed in order to obtain an inside look into the creation of Pure 7 Chocolate's Paleo-friendly food products.
PURE 7 CHOCOLATE
Mmmm, chocolate...truly food for the Gods. When my family switched to eating Paleo approximately two years ago, I had to give up my daily chocolate fix. Trying to find a Paleo-friendly chocolate treat when we first turned Paleo was a challenge. To be honest, I gave up. Most chocolate treats, even ones touted as 'natural' in health food stores, tended to have some sort of additive in them. I made a mistake of one day giving Kiarra a chocolate treat with an additive (which was hidden in the description - my fault for not reading) which drove her into...well, to put it mildly, loony-toon land. Her brother Ronan lovingly refers to these episodes as Kiarra's 'Exorcist' moments. Never again did I make that same mistake.
Most treats or snacks I have given the kids since then have been made by me. As the years went by, however, I began to discover more and more Paleo-friendly snacks. As you can imagine, I was particularly excited to find Pure 7 Chocolate bars! Naturally sweetened, organic, absolutely raw with no additives, and not to mention several killer flavours to choose from, I was sold. I had the opportunity to interview the founders of Pure 7 Chocolate and get to know more about them and the process involved when making their scrumptious Paleo-friendly bars. Thanks to Julie and Carrie my kids (OK, and me) will be able to enjoy chocolate bars once again!
What inspired you to start Pure 7 Chocolate?
Julie: I have always loved chocolate and it was the one food that I missed the most when my family and I started the GAPS/Paleo diet for health reasons years ago. I love chocolate because it is not only delicious but has so many incredible health benefits. Unfortunately, most chocolate has so many fillers, sugars and is so highly processed, it loses all health benefits. I wanted chocolate without all of the junk, especially refined sugars. I wanted it to be honey sweetened and raw (so not cooked above 110 degrees) to retain the essential vitamins and nutrients found in pure cacao. And, it needed to taste amazing because I am a huge foody at heart and extremely picky. I could not find it, so Carrie and I collaborated and the rest is history!
What is the hardest part about creating your bars?
Carrie: Julie and I love challenges and chocolate making is truly an art form We have both cooked for many years, but this is a completely different skill. It requires quite a bit of knowledge and training to really get it right. It took us over a year of experimentation to learn the process. We researched a ton- joined chocolate forums, read articles and watched on-line videos. But the biggest challenge by far was tempering chocolate with honey as a sweetener. Liquid sweetener (even though honey has extremely low moisture content) makes tempering chocolate extremely difficult and then no matter what, it alters the texture. We finally figured it out and threw away probably 1000 bars in the process. We were really happy with the result (and so was everyone else) but we are perfectionists. We wanted not only the best honey-sweetened chocolate, but the best healthy chocolate out there! We are now trained and mentored by one of the top chocolatiers out of NYC. He has taught us so much and challenged us to take our recipe to the next level.
Are you working on any new flavours at the moment?
Carrie: We actually had to recently cut some of our flavors from our lineup because we are planning on going national with Whole Foods by the beginning of next year and we are getting lots of new big national accounts so we have had to stick to our top selling flavors which are Pure7 Dark, Salted Almond, Raspberry, Coconut Cherry, Espresso and 100% and Stevia. We are thinking about bringing back Orange Goldenberry because people adored that flavor and we are getting lots of inquiries!
What would people be surprised to know about you?
Carrie: Julie is a true farm girl. She lives on a farm, has chickens, grows her own veggies, makes her own yogurt, cooks a completely Paleo diet for her entire family (family of 6), and runs a business. I think people are surprised to know that we truly live the life that we portray in the media. Julie has been Paleo for years and has always been passionate about eating real food (and so have I).
Any other paleo-friendly treat connoisseurs who you admire and can recommend?
Julie: A few companies that we admire are Fat Face Skin Care- its a tallow based skincare company out of Lake Tahoe. Cassie the founder is an amazingly talented person. We love EPIC. Taylor and his team make Paleo 100% grass fed animal based protein bars and we feed them to our kids almost everyday- they are so good! Our favorite cookbook is Make It Paleo by Bill Staley and Haley Mason. Both of us have cooked so many recipes from that book that our books are falling apart. Love!
For more information about Pure 7 Chocolate and their products, you can visit their website, like their page on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.
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