Raw Halo – Artisan Raw Chocolate.

I recently went to the Speciality Food Fair which had a huge section just for chocolate exhibitors. That’s right, every stand had chocolate samples, so I spent the whole afternoon chatting and tasting, then walked to the train station in a chocolate coma..! One of the most exciting finds was Raw Halo, and I got to nibble on lots of creamy, raw chocolate while Meg shared her story about how she got started.

The ethos behind Raw Halo…

Founder Meg followed a vegetarian diet since the age of five, and became a vegan in June 2015. Although she always thought of herself as quite healthy, chocolate and sugar was a real weakness, and after reading some books on the subject, she decided to cut our sugar and sweeteners for six months.

With her sugar addiction cured, she found she only missed the many happy memories associated with eating chocolate, so began experimenting with simple, raw chocolate recipes at home. After initially using dried fruit as her sweetener, she soon discovered that her two favourite natural sweeteners were coconut sugar and lucuma powder. These were much lower GI than the dried fruits, and had additional vitamins and minerals like potassium and beta-carotene.

With great feedback from friends and family, Raw Halo was born with a firm set of guiding principles:

“We’re committed to bringing you the finest organic, refined sugar-free, gluten-free and 100% natural Peruvian raw chocolate. Eight of our nine bars are delicious, dairy-free, raw vegan chocolate, so you can eat clean without having to sacrifice life’s little luxuries.

We believe that good things come to those who wait. That’s why each of our bars are individually handcrafted and minimally heated to maintain the vital nutrients found only in raw food.”

As I’m already a big fan of Pana Chocolate raw chocolate, it was time to see how these bars compared…

The best bits about Raw Halo…

Organic Mylk and Crispies
* raw cacao butter * buckwheat * coconut sugar * raw cacao powder * cashew nuts * lucuma powder * inulin powder * vanilla powder
If you’re a Dairy Milk addict like I used to be, changing over to cacao-based chocolate can be quite a hurdle, simply because the flavour is so much stronger. Once you like the taste, there’s absolutely no going back to the old stuff as it no longer resembles chocolate!

This ‘mylk’ chocolate version has a strong, chocolatey flavour without any bitterness that you sometimes find with cacao. The chocolate texture is creamy smooth and melts deliciously in your mouth, and the small sprinkle of crispies is just enough to give each bite a little extra crunch. This is a great bar for raw chocolate newbies!

Organic Dark and Sour Cherry and Almond
* raw cacao butter * raw cacao powder * coconut sugar * dried sour cherries * pure almond nut extract
I can eat cherries by the handful, so I’d purposefully picked this flavour to see how well they combined with dark chocolate. I wasn’t disappointed – the cherries are delightfully sour and compliment the strong, dark chocolate perfectly. I didn’t notice the almond oil at all which would have added an interesting extra dimension, but it didn’t stop me reaching for a second piece…

Organic Dark and Sweet Orange
* raw cacao butter * raw cacao powder * coconut sugar * pure orange extract
I’m a huge fan of chocolate orange ANYTHING, so was really looking forward to this one. The dark chocolate is very distinctive in flavour without being bitter, but I could only detect a tiny hint of orange. I definitely would have liked it stronger so that it balanced the darker flavour better. As a ‘chocolate sucker’ (yes, I like it to melt gently in my mouth to make the sensation last longer!), it was absolutely the most creamy and smooth of any raw chocolate brand I’ve had to date.

If I could tweak anything…

The texture of each chocolate flavour was velvety smooth, so no changes there. I would have loved a stronger and more definite almond flavour in the cherry bar, and orange in the other one. Subtle can be good, but personally, my taste buds wanted even more!

Lottie’s verdict on Raw Halo…

An exciting new brand from a passionate foodie is always a joy to find. I’m all for brands who want us to enjoy their goodies without guilt, and Meg has found a great balance between a delicious product and healthy ingredients. I know I’ve mentioned it several times but seriously, I’ve tried lots of raw chocolate and NEVER come across anything so lusciously smooth. If you’re a chocolate sucker like me, your tongue is in for the best treat ever! Why not be vegan-curious and try Raw Halo for yourself?

There are so many exciting chocolate flavours to try and you can buy them directly from Raw Halo online. While you’re there, check out their gift boxes and superfoods too! Follow them for drool-worthy chocolate chit-chat on TwitterFacebook, G+,and Instagram.

The small print. These products were kindly gifted by Raw Halo for me to try and review, so this is my honest opinion of them. I wasn’t paid to post this and let’s face it, if it was an advert, I would have loved them all equally. 😀