I’m a serious chocolate lover. I pretty much crave it all the time at anytime of day. I’ve always been a dark chocolate fan, even as a child. The darker, the better 🙂
During my vegan transition I looked for animal product free chocolate companies to satisfy my chocolate tooth and was pleasantly surprised that most dark chocolate is actually vegan! However, in my research I discovered the importance of fair trade products, especially chocolate and coffee. Fair trade products insure fair payment to farmers and employees who harvest the cacao as well as safe working conditions. Many chocolate companies that are loved in the United States, such as Hershey’s and Nestle, get their cacao through means that include child and slave labor. Many also use environmentally detrimental farming processes. Look for this seal to ensure you’re buying fair trade:
For more info on fair trade check out this website: http://fairtradeusa.org/?gclid=CP78srfup74CFceCfgod5AsAPw
That’s why when I discovered Sjaak’s Vegan Chocolates I was extremely happy! I happened upon them in the UC Santa Cruz Express Store on my campus and picked up their dark chocolate bar to satisfy a craving. It was creamy, delicious, and very cacao-y! I was in love from first bite.
Sjaak’s chocolates are all organic, non-GMO, soy free, gluten free, fair trade, and vegan! Very impressive considering most chocolate uses soy as an emulsifier, making it hard for people with soy allergies to find an acceptable chocolate.
I received a variety of chocolate to review on a friday afternoon after classes and it made my day!
I had already had the pleasure of enjoying their dark chocolate with raspberry bar in the past and was excited to try it again. Knowing I already loved it, it was the first one I broke into. (I stored the rest in the fridge because I love the way cold chocolate gets slightly melty when you take it out)
The inside of the dark chocolate is filled with sweet sticky raspberry filling. The dark chocolate is slightly sweet and creamy, without being bitter which some seem to pick up on in dark chocolate. This bar could satisfy any sweet tooth, and I love the combo of berries and cocoa.
The milk chocolate peanut butter was also a favorite and very reminiscent of the (non-vegan) Reese’s I used to love as a child. Though I’m not usually a milk chocolate fan I did love this! I would probably still prefer dark chocolate as I like my chocolate less sweet, but for milk chocolate fans this is amazing! Peanut butter and chocolate is always a favorite combo of mine.
BUT I was particularly excited about the Earth candy bars that I received. I’ve been wanting to try them for awhile and so they didn’t last long. The descriptions sounded awesome also!
The celebrate bar was the first to go! I love coconut and it can be difficult to find vegan caramel products so I was excited to try this one.
It was SO good that I went out and bought one to put in an easter basket for my family. (They also thoroughly enjoyed it!) It tasted reminiscent of an almond joy but way better! Not as sweet and the crunch of the almonds juxtaposed against the creamy caramel was a perfect match.
The treasure bar was similar without the peanuts.
These were ALL definite favorites! I would absolutely buy every single one of these Earth Bars again. These would be great treat for vegan kiddos and a better choice than many candy bars in stores. Obviously not things you would eat every day, but everyone needs a little treat now and then? Why not treat yourself with a sustainable, cruelty-free, organic goody?
They also included they’re adorable Easter Almond Butter Bunny and Mlyk Chocolate Peanut Butter egg.
I love that they use all natural dyes from fruits and veggies instead of the artificial dyes common in most candies. As an almond butter lover the bunny was too good and super cute! I almost didn’t want too eat it!
Sjaak’s also offers holiday themed goodies for Christmas, Halloween, and Valentines Day! They’re allergy friendly, kid friendly, and delicious! Great treats for kids and a great way to support a company using sustainable practices. They are also pretty affordable compared to many vegan chocolates. A great place to order chocolate gifts from!
They make bars, bite size chocolates, drinking chocolates, caramels, truffles, clusters, and boxed chocolates that make great gifts. You can order many of their chocolates individually to sample instead of a whole box! Head over to their website and check them out! 🙂