Saturday, August 12, 2017

Back to School Gluten Free and Chocolatey

We've talked about Jovial Foods previously here on The Chocolate Cult but I've been saving this feature article for now as children (and some adults) head back to school. Some students and teachers still pack lunches to take with us and many of those same folks find they are hungry after classes hours before dinnertime. Within those categories of folks looking for treats or snacks, are those who follow a gluten-free diet for various reasons. Chocolate bars shouldn't have gluten; if yours does, toss that out! But chocolatey cookies are another matter and cookies are a common item to include in lunches or use as after school snacks. Jovial offers Gluten Free Chocolate Cream Filled Cookies for those trying to find a treat to meet their desires. They sent us three free boxes of this product in exchange for us testing out and reporting on our experiences with the treat; no other form of compensation was received.

Unlike the previous cookies we looked at from Jovial, these are not made with einkorn but do include organic rice flour, organic chick pea flour, and organic buckwheat flour; these cookies are sort of "gluten free" certified at less than 10PPM. Only you can know your tolerance for gluten. It also includes organic hazelnuts so be aware if you have these food allergies. Most importantly for us is the organic cocoa on the ingredient list. The cookie outside is a crisp but not dry nor hard cocoay dome. It made a loud crunch when I took a bite and continued to make such sounds as I chewed. I could not break it in half with my hands but a sharp knife worked as you can see in our photo to the left. Inside is a pudding like center that has a very light hazelnut flavor but is strongly chocolate. Not too sweet this was enjoyed by everyone I shared them with.

But how is this a back to school treat? Two cookies equal a serving of 160 calories so less than the standard candy bar you might be tempted to pack. They come two to a plastic sleeve so you can easily portion control and protect the cookies at the same time. While these are tasty there are some ingredients that made me frown. The company spends a lot of time boosting about organic this and farm-raised that but it also uses palm oil. I don't care how "environmentally responsible" you might think the company you are buying palm oil from is, it all contributes to deforestation when there are many other oil alternatives you could use including cocoa butter itself or simply more of the other oils and fats on the ingredient list. There always alternatives and it was disappointing to see palm oil listed on these otherwise wonderful treats.

For flavor and portability these are excellent choices and earn Sacrament Status... now get rid of the palm oil, Jovial Foods, and you can be at the top of our 2017 list of products!

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