Welcome to Meraki Cacao. Inspired by journeys and explorations to the four corners of the world…
Hand made using unrefined, organic & nutritious ingredients & 73% cacao.
Our raw cacao bars are dense in nutrients and refined sugar free. The flavours are based around travel experiences we have had or would like to have. Hopefully eating our cacao bars and reading the stories behind each flavour will take you on a journey of your own.
I’m Vicky, the founder of Meraki Cacao. I love chocolate, but most of it is pretty unhealthy, laden with refined sugar and unhealthy vegetable fat. I believe what we eat should nourish our bodies, even treats! After trying and disliking pretty much every ‘healthy’ chocolate out there, I set about creating my own.
I also love travel and exploring new places. Whilst thinking of flavours, I couldn’t help thinking about all my favourite places I’d visited or would like to visit and what foods invoked memories of being there. That got me thinking of all the stories and the flavours were born!
I knew I wanted to make a ‘raw’ chocolate dense in nutrients and refined sugar free. ‘Raw’ means that I use unroasted cacao nibs and raw cacao butter. These are stone ground, together with our special sweetener for around 30 hours. This unusual method produces an incredibly smooth mixture which means that once they’ve been made into bars, will melt in your mouth. Whilst grinding, the mix is kept below 45 degrees centigrade to preserve as many nutrients as possible. Natural flavours are added at the end of the grinding process. The mix is hand tempered and then moulded into bars.
Lots of research was done into finding the right ingredients. Each ingredient had to have a nutritional benefit including the sweetner (SugaVida)…. After deciding on the type of sweetener (SugaVida) we wanted to use, we found out that we weren’t actually going to be able to call our product chocolate! See our blog if you want to find out why. We actually don’t mind this however, as we think producing raw cacao bars invites a curiosity from our customers to find out more…
Once we’d learnt the basic production techniques, we spent over a year experimenting with different combinations of ingredients, superfoods and flavour combinations.
Our background is in ecology and conservation. Being ethical and sustainable in choosing the ingredients and packaging for our product is very important. At Meraki Cacao we choose suppliers that care about people and the environment and that produce ingredients in an organic and fair way. We are working hard to make sure our packaging will match our ethical standards too. We have changed from a cellophane wrapper to foil that can be recycled. Our labels are printed on recycled paper and printed with vegetable inks.
Here’s a bit about the ingredients in our cacao bars and their health benefits:
Raw Organic Cacao Cacao is normally roasted, known as cocoa, before made into chocolate. Although this can develop the flavours of the different beans, it also destroys much of the nutrients found in the cacao bean. This includes a large amount of antioxidants and flavonoids which contribute to our health. We choose to use raw cacao nibs in our bars to preserve as many nutrients as possible. We use suppliers who choose 100% organic raw Criollo cacao beans, which are prized for their superior flavour. They are sustainably grown by small holders, in the Amazon area of Peru.
There are numerous scientific studies on the health benefits of raw cacao. Here’s a short summary:
Raw cacao can be good for your heart. The Aztecs always knew this and studies have shown that eating raw cacao can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Raw cacao contains high levels of magnesium which is important for maintaining healthy hearts. Raw cacao has more than 40 times the level of antioxidants of blueberries. Antoxidants are important for maintaining good cholesterol. Raw cacao contains very high levels of iron – the highest source in plant based foods. Iron is necessary for transporting oxygen around our body and essential for our energy levels and healthy blood. Raw cacao has higher levels of calcium than dairy milk. Calcium is necessary for healthy bones and teeth. Raw cacao contains a chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA). PEA boosts your mood and increases your energy levels. Cacao also contains serotonin, dopamine and anandamide which help make you feel happy.
More info about the ingredients used by Meraki Cacao & the travel journeys & stories which have inspired the chocolate bars can be found over on their website by following the link.