dark.creamy.yummy ChocoSol at the Farmer’s Market

Tomorrow, Wednesday afternoon, the U of T Farmer’s Market will be running inside UC from 2:30pm until 5:30pm. Among the fabulous local farmers, we have a chocolatier with an amazing story.

Mathieu is one of the people who works at ChocoSol: local chocolatiers who produce pedal-powered, stone ground chocolate right here in Toronto. We asked Mathieu to give us a quick introduction to ChocoSol, and here is what he had to say:

 

We are ChocoSol Chocolatiers. We make stone-ground dark chocolate directly from the cacao bean here in Toronto. We make locally processed chocolate which is made in a traditional Mexican style instead of an industrial factory. Traditional Mexican chocolate is like the “Drinking Chocolate Pucks” (sold at the market) which are used to make chocolatey which is a traditional form of Mexican drinking chocolate. Chocolatey comes from the word xocolatl which means “bitter drink” in Mayan. We draw our inspiration from the tradition of chocolate from the region the chocolate is grown in. Our project in Toronto has an educational component. We try to connect people here with the tradition of cacao and inform them of where chocolate comes from. We also combine this chocolate with local Toronto ingredients like local hemp seeds from Peterborough and locally grown chillies and mints, some of which are grown on our green roof. It’s a wholesome dark chocolate that is ecologically produced, nutritional and delicious. You can come out and try the chocolate any time- we have free samples here. We are here every Wednesday. Everything is done on bicycles around the city, so we are all over the downtown core.

 

They encourage volunteers to join ChocolSol and participate in the production of chocolate the way it has been done for centuries in the Mayan regions. There are no skills needed, and no predetermined hours. It is a great way to connect with the food you consume. Feel frère to ask Mathieu about volunteering, and to try some of the free chocolate (by the way, the vanilla seed chocolate is to die for!).

 

So drop by the Farmer’s Market tomorrow afternoon, bring your own mug, sip on some of the best hot chocolate in town and learn about chocolate-making, from the fields in Mexico to the Farmer’s Market at U of T.

Nutrition Tip: Almonds

Colder temperatures are slowly making their way into Toronto. This week, our nights will be chilly and our mornings frosty. At times like these, our bodies crave warm, starchy foods with lots of carbs and calories. It is nature’s way of preparing for the winter and keeping you warm.

Now, you could give in to the cravings and snack on warm croissants and cookies. Or you could reach for healthier snacks, and keep that weight off until the holidays. What healthy snack will satisfy your cravings? A handful of almonds!! They are a delicious, warm fruit (yup! Almonds are the seeds of the Almond fruit!) filled with nutrients and goodness, and they keep you warm! Here is a list of some of the wonderful nutrients found in almonds:

  • Almonds contain very little carbohydrates. That makes them an excellent choice in gluten free desserts (almond flour cookies, yum!).
  • Almonds contain fibre, which keeps your digestive system happy.
  • Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats: the good fats that lower your cholesterol and risk of heart disease.
  • Almonds are also high in Vitamin E, and its related antioxidants.
  • Almonds contain magnesium, which helps channel blood, nutrients and oxygen through your veins and arteries.

 

To summarize, almonds are great for your heart. You may be wondering how you can include almonds in your diet without having to carry around a bag full of them. Here are a few meal ideas using almonds:

 

  • Almond butter on toast. This contains less sodium than peanut butter and tastes incredible.
  • Almond flour in cakes, cookies and breads. Almonds have a warm, slightly sweet taste which is great in breads.
  • Crushed almonds (in a food processor) in your milk or latte.
  • Crushed almonds (again, in a food processor) are a great topping for fruit, yogurt or ice cream.
  • Toasted almonds sprinkled on your salads, chicken dishes, and even pasta.
  • Sliced almonds on iced cakes and cupcakes.
  • Or a handful of almonds, plain and simple.

 

What ever way you choose to eat them, they are an excellent healthy snack.

 

Until next time, stay nutritious!