Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hill & Valley Sugar Free Double Chocolate Muffins

Your Chocolate Priestess bought these four muffins you can see to the left on the "day old" rack at Kroger. We've talked about the benefits of day old products from bakeries but do they hold up when they are sugar free?

These were half-priced compared to if I bought them the previous day. These four Double Chocolate Muffins are made by Hill & Valley Premium Bakery a twenty-two year old business in Rock Island Illinois. They create cake, cookies, brownies, pies and muffins and this is the first of their products I've ever tried.

Each muffin equals one serving on the nutritional facts and has 230 calories or as the label puts it, "not a reduced calorie food". Each also has 2.5g saturated fat, 50mg cholesterol, 390mg sodium, 2g dietary fiber, 19g sugar alcohol, 4g protein, 2% of the daily vitamin A and calcium and adult needs long with 8% of the iron. This immediately raised a question for me: What is the difference between sugars and sugar alcohol nutritionally speaking? I went to the Yale-New Haven Hospital website to find the answer. To summarize what I read, sugar alcohol are also called polyols and come from fruit so they are natural not artificial ingredients. They break down more slowly and do not require much insulin so they are popular among diabetics and contain fewer calories so they are popular among those concerned with weight. However there are some negative side effects so eat in moderation as you should with chocolate any way.

This muffin smells very rich in cocoa though I must bring it close to my nose to smell anything. It is darker on the top than the bottom half as you can see in this picture. The bottom is 2 inches across while the mushroom head blooms to almost 3 inches. Each a few days old it is moist but not wet to the touch as I break it into muffin top and base. While the base does not feel dry it is a bit dry in my mouth. It has a very light sweet taste but primarily cocoa is the essence on my tongue. The top tastes more moisture but also more bitter. As I eat I'm searching for the reason these are "double chocolate" and I can't feel or taste why so I consult the ingredients list and see chocolate chips list. Looking closely at the muffin I can see these but even purposely trying to taste them offers nothing different. While this muffins tastes ok for a sugar free product it doesn't taste doubly chocolate simply chocolaty.

The Double Chocolate is one of nine muffin varieties Hill & Valley makes and the only cocoa type. If you visit the bakery's website you can see if these are available in your area and if so you can print off a coupon and save 75¢ to try them yourself.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.

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