Nelly’s Energy Truffle Bars

Nelly's Energy Truffle Bars

Healthy handmade candy bars. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, in for review is a selection of Nelly’s Energy Truffle Bars, a line of 100% organic, vegan, non-GMO and fair trade chocolate candy bars.

As I have a soft spot for all things coconutty, the Coconut Bar got devoured first. Oh my gosh, it tastes just like a Mounds candy bar but so, so much better, like a gazillion times better. It’s decadent but it also feels light and not overly sweet.

Nelly's Energy Truffle Bar Coconut

The bars are stored in the fridge to keep the chocolate from becoming a mess. They can be out and about for a day but might be a little melty and soft if it’s warm out. It is a bit inconvenient but on the other hand, it also means it doesn’t have all that shelf stable stuff that other companies put in their bars.

Look at the ingredients list and you see things like raw organic superfoods, nuts, seeds and dates. Things that don’t require a chemistry degree to decipher. Plus, it’s handmade in small batches.

Nelly's Energy Truffle Bar Peanut Butter

After the first bite of the Peanut Butter Bar, I’m reminded of a Whatchamacallit candy bar but not as crunchy. Once again, it’s not grossly sweet, just a nice peanut butter and chocolate taste with a great texture.

Nelly's Energy Truffle Bar Goji Berry

The Goji Berry Bar didn’t remind me of any particular candy bar, not that it’s a bad thing. It certainly has no problems standing on its own goji berry goodness.

Note: don’t give in to your I’m-so-hungry-I-have-to-eat-right-now side, definitely let the truffle bars sit out of the fridge for a few minutes before eating. Otherwise it’s way too hard to bite into (yes, I actually did that so learn from my mistake).

Nelly's Energy Truffle Bar Mint Chlorella

The Mint Chlorella Bar is so minty, I can smell the mint while taking its photo. One bite and it reminds me of a refreshing after dinner chocolate mint.

I would be in some serious trouble if all candy bars tasted this good or were even half as healthy. As it is, Nelly’s Energy Truffle Bars are currently available only in Southern California (check out their Facebook page for where and when they’re offering free samples and for updates).

For everyone else, they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to expand their distribution so we can all have healthy candy and eat it too.

Disclosure: I received the products free of charge from the company to review. The opinions and experience with the products expressed herein are my own. There was no pay to say.

Strawberry Spring Rolls with Brown Rice Paper Wrappers

Strawberry Spring Rolls with Brown Rice Paper Wrappers

Before the last of the strawberries disappear from the farmers’ market for the year, I made light and refreshing spring rolls. Sure, the calendar says fall but it still feels like summer around here in California.

And instead of white, it’s brown rice spring roll wrappers. They’re from a local company, Star Anise Foods. I happened upon them one day at a nearby Whole Foods (they’re also available on Amazon if you can’t find them near you). I had no idea there was even such a thing.

Brown Rice Spring Roll Wrappers

They have more of a nuttier taste and are slightly chewier than their white rice counterparts. Pricier too at $3.79 but I like the ingredients list of just brown rice, cassava, water, organic green tea and salt. The company also makes brown rice pho noodles which I’m excited to try next.

Strawberry Spring Rolls with Brown Rice Paper Wrappers
Makes 4 rolls

4 medium-sized fresh strawberries, sliced
2 heads baby romaine lettuce, shredded
1 small carrot, julienned
Several slices of baked tofu (optional)
Handful of fresh bean sprouts
Fresh mint, chiffonade
Fresh basil, chiffonade
Fresh cilantro, chopped

4 brown rice paper sheets
Hoisin sauce
Chili garlic sauce

Fill a large bowl with cold water and dip one rice paper sheet into the water for a few seconds or so. Place the rice paper sheet on a flat work surface.

In the center, spread a bit of each of the filling ingredients, adding more or less of each item as desired. Fold in the sides of the rice paper sheet over the filling and firmly roll up. Gently press the seam to seal. Place seam side down on a serving plate. If you’re making more than a few rolls, cover with a damp towel to keep from drying out while you’re working.

For the dipping sauce, combine a spoonful of the hoisin sauce with a bit of the chili garlic sauce to desired spiciness. Thin with a little water if the sauce appears to be too thick.

Slice each roll in half and serve immediately with the dipping sauce.

This post also contains an Amazon link, I get a few coins tossed my way if you click on the link and make a purchase of anything.

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Sweet Aha! Vegan Cupcakes

Sweet Aha! Coconut Lime Cupcake

You know it’s a beautiful morning at the farmers market when the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and vegan cupcakes are calling your name.

Sweet Aha! is an all natural, 100% vegan, organic, non-GMO bake shop. Their unassuming booth features a weekly rotation of various flavors of cupcakes, muffins and cookies. Pictured above is the Coconut Lime cupcake.

Sweet Aha! Coconut Lime Cupcake

So moist and fluffy! And it’s not super sweet either as they try to use a minimal amount of sweetener (unrefined evaporated cane juice sugar). The texture is spot on. Excellent flavor combination too, the coconut goes really well with the lime.

Sweet Aha! Chocolate Mint Cupcake

A couple of other cupcake flavors is the Coconut Lemon (pictured in the back) and the Chocolate Mint. I never thought I would say this, but the best part is the frosting. It’s so light and just the right amount of sweet.

I remember a time long ago before I was vegan when I would actually scrape off frosting because it was so sickeningly sweet. Not so with a Sweet Aha! cupcake, I would get one just for the frosting. It’s that good. The cake part is good too but the frosting is extraordinary. Easily blows away any other cupcake I’ve ever tried.

Sweet Aha! can be found at the College of San Mateo Farmers Market on Saturdays and at the Inner Sunset Farmers Market on Sundays. I haven’t tried the muffins or cookies yet. I’m already anticipating indecision on what flavor cupcake to try next.