As promised earlier this week, I am here today with a chocolate review and giveaway! More specifically, today is all about Endangered Species Chocolate, my latest chocolate-based addiction!
A few weeks ago I received a bar of the Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Deep Forest Mint as a little “Thank you” gift from a friend. It was the perfect treat to get me through a long Saturday stuck in front of the computer. I assumed my friend had gotten this chocolate from some kind of specialty shop or health food store, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that it had actually been purchased at our local Kroger and I could therefore go back for more whenever I wanted! (To find a location near you that carries Endangered Species Chocolate, click on “Locations” on their homepage…or you can always order directly from the website as well.)
I’m sure you have all read about or heard through the grapevine that dark chocolate has health benefits – and incase you had any doubts, the “rumors” are true! Research has shown that cocoa consumption has a positive impact on various cardiovascular parameters such as arterial vasodilation and blood pressure and thus dark chocolate is often refered to as being “cardioprotective”. In fact, moderate intake (25 grams/day, which is a little over 1/4 of a 3 oz. chocolate bar) of flavonol rich cocoa (aka-dark chocolate) seems to be effective in the prevention of coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction. Some people may be skeptical to incorporate this in to their diet due to fear of weight gain or that it will wreck their diet. However, research has shown that even those following a weight loss diet can incorporate a chocolate snack and still reduce body weight and body fat percentage! (For research articles on this topic simply perform a PubMed search of dark chocolate and health and prepare to be overwhelmed with information!!!) So now that we have established that there are health benefits of dark chocolate, let’s talk a bit about why I LOVE Endangered Species Chocolate more than other chocolates I have tried.
1. There is a picture of a super cute animal that needs our help on each bar/package. I emphasize that “super cute” because I am a HUGE animal lover. I seriously should have made more of an effort to be the next Jack Hanna…but I digress…. Then, on the inside wrapper is information about that animal. For instance, on the Dark Chocolate with Cranberries and Almonds (my personal favorite variety that I have tried so far) is a picture of a Gray Wolf and on the inside wrapper I learned that the Alpha pair are the only members of a wolf pack to breed each year as well as information about how I can help wolf preservation. I have also tried the Dark Chocolate with Raspberries (aka- the “Grizzly Bear”) which I also loved, and the Smooth Milk Chocolate (aka- the “Sea Otter). So in case you are a not a fan of dark chocolate, fret not, Endangered Species has some tasty varieties for you too!!
2. 10% of net profits is donated to non-profit groups that support species, habitat, and humanity. Endangered Species Chocolate is also devoted to supporting conservation in all of their practices as well, from shade growing their cacao to help protect forests and purchasing only 100% ethically traded chocolate, to using efficient HVAC and electrical equipment. Read more about their actions, here and what steps YOU can take to help protect our environment here.
3. VARIETY! Just take a few minutes to click through all of the options they have to choose from! Dark Chocolate Bars with Espresso Beans (aka- “the Tiger”), Dark Chocolate Bar with Goji Berry, Pecans, and Maca (aka – “the acrobatic Monkey”), Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries (aka ‘ “the Macaw”), and SO MUCH MORE! Gift sets are also available, and personally I would be ecstatic if I received one of the African Wildlife Foundation® gift sets for Valentine’s Day – or any day! I mean, who wouldn’t want to adopt a leopard??
So, now that I have told you why I love the Endangered Species Chocolate brand it is time for one lucky reader to get the opportunity to try some out themselves! To enter, just comment below letting me know if you have ever tried Endangered Species Chocolates before, and if so, which is your favorite.
For an additional entry, please tweet out something like ” @NutritionNerd is hosting an @ESC_Chocolate giveaway…” (and include the link) or whatever you want! If you don’t have a Twitter account, how about just a shout out and mention of the giveaway on Facebook instead for an additional entry! Please post a separate comment if you do the additional entry, just informing me of it!
I will randomly pick a winner on Valentine’s Day (aka next Tuesday) and Endangered Species Chocolate will mail you out some samples to try! Honestly, it is a good thing they will be sending the chocolates directly to you, because if I was trusted as the “middle man” in this case, the chances are pretty high that I would consume them all myself and be unwilling to share, haha – but really – they are that good!
What is your favorite wild animal? Have you tried Endangered Species Chocolates before?