Shameless Foodie: Stivii Chocolate

I remember a few years back (was it five years) Ten years? Ugh, I’m feeling old) when stevia first hit the market. A natural sweetener with zero calories and no carbs that wasn’t manufactured in a lab! It seemed too good to be true?

…And it was. Stevia was terrible then. With a weird taste and a horrible aftertaste, only the most avid health-conscious consumers could deal with Stevia.

Flash-forward to 2015, and stevia is once again a household name. People are walking around with bottles of Coke with green labels – Coca-Cola Life – a new product manufactured with a blend of sugar and stevia leaf extract with” of the calories of regular Coke.

So when I heard about Stivii brand chocolate, I was intrigued. Perhaps by 2015, food manufacturers have figured out how to incorporate stevia and still make food delicious?

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Boy was I right. I tried three Stivii flavors: Blueberry Almond Dark Chocolate, White Peach Dark Chocolate and Original Dark Chocolate.

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The Blueberry Almond Dark Chocolate was by far my favorite flavor. I have a mild nut allergy, but the amount of almonds in this bar was very reasonable, did not overpower the flavor and did not cause a reaction for me. That’s probably due to the richness of the chocolate bars – each one contains 55% cacao for a rich, bold, bitter flavor, so you can’t really eat very many pieces at once! Stivii is definitely a savoring chocolate, not a binge-eating chocolate.

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The White Peach Dark Chocolate was also pretty awesome. It was weird to find chewy gummy pieces of fruit in a chocolate bar, but that’s what made this concept so intriguing. I loved that this was a flavor of chocolate I couldn’t get anywhere else. And the sweet, light peach provided a great contrast to the bitter dark chocolate.

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The Original Dark Chocolate is the same chocolate in the rest of the bars, but without any fruit or nut additives. This bar was definitely delicious and a classic for those who aren’t all about the fruit.

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Beyond the fun flavors, there are two characteristics of the Stivii brand that I really enjoy. One is that all the chocolate flavors are vegan, soy-free, dairy-free and high-fiber. As I get older and begin to think about adopting a more healthy diet, the thought of giving up amazing food is soul-crushing. But with products like this, that are better-for-you alternatives, being healthy doesn’t have to suck.

You can see the almonds and blueberries inside
You can see the almonds and blueberries inside.

The second aspect I admire is that Stivii participates in the UTZ Certified Cacao Program, which means that whenever you buy a chocolate bar, you’re helping sustainable farmers stay in business, protecting the environment. So many win-wins here.

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Other flavors of Stivii include Chili Dark Chocolate and Pomegranate Dark Chocolate. West coast peeps can buy Stivii at any Gelson’s Market and at many other health stores, retail stories and grocers. Everyone else will be able to get their hands on the chocolates (and new flavors) in 2016!

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Disclosure: I received three free chocolate bars from Stivii. I received no other compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

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