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I recently went to visit my in-laws who don’t live too far from outside of New York City. Because of its vegan-friendly atmosphere and plethora of hard-to-find items that are easily found in cities, unlike where I live in the suburbs, I’m always on the lookout for new vegan-friendly chocolate finds.

I was in a Whole Foods Market in the Chelsea neighborhood when I happened upon a chocolate display (who? me? find chocolate?) where I saw a very cool package for some chocolate by a company called Hu Kitchen. It turns out, they are a local location, which explains why I hadn’t seen this particular line of chocolate at my own local Whole Foods. This is one of the things I love about Whole Foods — they will source local products in addition to major food lines, thus creating an adventure for people like me who scout for goodies in new territories.

If you poke around the Hu Kitchen website, you’ll see they aren’t a vegan brand. In fact, it’s supposedly one of the go-to eateries if you eat a paleo/primal based diet, and one of the advisors is an author of a paleo health book. But then again, so is Joe Cross from the famous “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead” documentary. While I don’t adhere to a paleo diet by any means, and I would love for vegan food to always take center-stage, I’m also not a proponent bashing of any kind, so you’ll just have to stop reading if you’re freaking out about the fact that I am writing about vegan-friendly products that didn’t come from a vegan brand. What I do appreciate is that vegan food/vegan options are intentionally available.

I will say this, I like the Hu Kitchen philosophy on using whole foods and sourcing the best products possible, whether it’s a “smarter” sweetener choice or avoid GMO “foods”.

At any rate, I purchased tWO dark chocolate bars — almond butter & puffed quinoa, and salty chocolate. I love a good combo of salty and sweet, so I would absolutely recommend this bar to others who share my fondness for that flavor combination. However, the almond butter & puffed quinoa dark chocolate bar was AMAZING! I’ve had chocolate bars in the past where there was a grain ingredient and have not always enjoyed the texture; sometimes the grain is too hard and takes away from the enjoyment of eating the chocolate. But the puffed quinoa was light, inconspicuous, and didn’t bother me at all. And the almond butter…ah, the almond butter! It was creamy and such a nice juxtaposition against the dark chocolate and quinoa. Almond butter and chocolate combos are like the regal, high-brow version of peanut butter and chocolate, but not everyone appreciates almond butter as much as I do. Again, I would highly recommend this bar to vegan chocolate lovers. Also, overall, the dark chocolate wasn’t too bitter. If you can ever snag some of these bars, definitely do!!

Check out the photos below where you can see the ingredients list and nutritional information. By the way, I love the unassuming, crafty brown paper on the outside and then once you look inside…ta da! The chocolate is packaged 😉

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