Valentines Day might traditionally be a celebration of romantic love but since having children it just felt so natural to take the opportunity on Valentines Days to express my love to much broader circle of those who are near and dear to my heart including my children, family and close friends. I might send my besties little messages reminding them how much they mean to me, I give extra cuddles and kisses to my kids and tell them how much they rock my world, and I love to gift my hand-made chocolate to those I love so dearly.
I asked my greatest gurus today (my kids) what it means to love someone and I got a myriad of highly entertaining responses from them with peels of laughter all round. I then dug a little deeper and discovered that a bunch of kids, aged 5 to 10, were asked questions about what they thought of love. Here's what they said:
"If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don't want to do it. It takes too long." -- Glenn, age 7
"Once I'm done with kindergarten, I'm going to find me a wife." -- Tom, age 5
"On the first date, they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date." -- Mike, 10
"My mother says to look for a man who is kind. That's what I'll do. I'll find somebody who's kinda tall and handsome." -- Carolyn, age 8
"One of you should know how to write a check. Because, even if you have tons of love, there is still going to be a lot of bills." -- Ava, age 8
"Most men are brainless, so you might have to try more than once to find a live one." -- Angie, age 10
"A man and a woman promise to go through sickness and illness and diseases together." -- Marlon, age 10
"Love is foolish...but I still might try it sometime." -- Floyd, age 9
"Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me." -- Dave, age 8
"It isn't always how you look. Look at me. I'm handsome like anything, and I haven't got anybody to marry me yet." -- Brian, age 7
"It's love if they order one of those desserts that are on fire. They like to order those because it's just like how their hearts are - on fire." -- Christine, age 9
"See if the man picks up the check. That's how you can tell if he's in love." -- John, age 9
"You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming." -- Allan, age 10
And when the kids were asked to make up Titles of Love Ballads You Can Sing To Your Loved One, here’s what they said:
"'How Do I Love Thee When You're Always Picking Your Nose?'" -- Arnold, age 10
"'Honey, I Got Your Curly Hair and Your Nintendo On My Mind.'" -- Sharon, age 9
"'Hey, Baby, I Don't Like Girls, But I'm Willing To Forget You Are One!'" -- Will, age 7
Ok, so it seems that its hard to define love but my kids and I agreed that if it comes from the heart, it’s real and raw and it’s love.
I express my love in many ways but, like my mother, one of the ways I instinctively express my love is through the creation of beautiful nourishing food made for those who I care about.
To that end, here is our selection of limited edition exquisite hand-made products that we made exclusively for Valentines Day 2016 for you to share with you loved ones! I hope they make your heart sing as much as I loved crafting and making them for you:
Rose Petal Raw Dark Chocolate
We liberally sprinkled our signature raw dark chocolate with Ovvio Organics certified organic rose petals to create chocolate that is almost too pretty to eat!
Each piece is individually wrapped in paper, tied with twine and stamped with a little “Love You” card. These sing artisan chocolate hand-made with love at the top of their sweet voices.
Priced according to weight at $14/100g.
Raw Love Double Love Heart Chocolates
Lolly pop meets raw dark chocolate, these double chocolate love hearts on a stick were such hit last Valentines Day that we are including them in our Valentines range for 2016. Made with our signature raw dark chocolate sweetened with maple syrup (81% raw cacao content) there are 7 double love heart chocolates on a stick in a bag for $14/100g.
Chocolate Infused Activated Muesli
Our raw dark chocolate + our activated muesli = taste orgasm in a bowl. Does is get any better? Over the past few weeks we’ve saved all the off cuts of our range of raw dark chocolates and mixed them through our activated muesli, packaged it up in glass jars with beautiful ribbon and a little “Love You” card. Because I think breakfast is the best time of day to eat chocolate!
$33.50/500g or $22.50/300g.
What makes our chocolate unique?
We think our chocolate is pretty special. Here’s why:
1. We only use certified organic ingredients where these are available.
2. We use raw cacao powder (as opposed to processed/heat treated cocoa) that has been fermented for 3 days and ranked as the 3rd most nutrient-dense food on the planet. Raw cacao powder is touted for its numerous health benefits:
a. High in polyphenols (anti-oxidants) particularly flavanols (higher than green tea, red wine, goji berries, acai berries). Anti-oxidants prevent the effects of aging, DNA damage, heart disease and cancer.
b. high in minerals esp. magnesium (healthy heart and brain function; muscle relaxant; bones density; mitigates feelings of stress), chromium (assists pancreatic health and regulates blood sugar) and iron (promotes oxygen transport in the blood).
c. positive effects on the brain, circulatory and cardiovascular system. Eg lowers Alzheimer’s risk, lowers blood pressure, improves blood lipid profile (lowers oxidised LDL), improves insulin sensitivity, improves exercise endurance, protects against pre-eclampsia in pregnancy.
d. anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-thrombotic (anti-blood clotting)
e. anti-depressant/ feel-good chemicals (eg dopamine, serotonine, tryptophan)
f. protects the liver against alcohol (wine and chocolate = winning pair!)
g. protects against UV damage
h. it’s theobromine content (bitter compound) has a stimulating effect producing higher levels of physical energy and mental alertness. It has 1/4 of the stimulating power of caffeine.
3. we only use raw cacao butter as our fat of choice which is what is used in traditional chocolate making (and do not ‘water down’ with coconut oil or other fats and especially no industrial seed oils like vegetable oil found in conventional chocolate). Raw cacao butter is what gives chocolate that melt in your mouth smooth chocolaty taste.
4. we only use natural sweeteners that have a favourable sucrose to fructose ratio. In this batch of limited edition Valentines Day chocolates we have used pure maple syrup from Canada as our sweetener of choice for its mineral content, smooth texture and beautiful flavour. We do not use agave syrup (way too high in fructose which causes metabolic and digestive issues).
5. We do not use soy lecithins, milk powders, any preservatives, or artificial flavours, colours or additives, which is why our chocolates need to be stored in the fridge.
What makes our muesli unique?
I crafted this muesli as few years back as there was and still is nothing on the market that comes close in terms of source and processing. Here’s why:
1. To my knowledge, we are the only producers in Australia of muesli made with activated nuts and seeds. To understand why it is so important that all nuts and seeds be properly prepared (“activated”) read the product information brochure at the top of this page. Many mueslis might claim to be “paleo” or “organic” but proper preparation is all-important to make the nutrients digestible and accessible.
2. We only use certified organic ingredients where these are available.
3. Our muesli is grain-free and in particular gluten-free. We use activated buckwheat (not a relative of wheat) as the base. Technically buckwheat is a fruit and not a grain but it behaves like a grain so it is soaked and dehydrated until crispy. We do not used puffed grains or any other grains for that matter.
4. We do not add any concentrated sugars or sweeteners. It is naturally sweetened with gojis, coconut flakes and dried figs which are hand-cut to size.
In the words of some of my clients:
“I just wanted to let you know that your muesli is so delicious …. It has the most amazing combination of flavours & textures & our family love it .... there is nothing else like it on the market ....” Heather
“Awww Soulla, the goods arrived, and oh myyyy, they are sooo delicious! The muesli is absolutely yummy (could devour it all day long)” Fiona
“Soulla, your muesli is the best part of my day!” Kate
“Hi there, I have had many organic/natural chocolates over the last 10 years from all over the world… these ones have to be the best by far! My fav is the fruit and nut and cinnamon crunch… well done! Your macadamia nuts are the best too!” Peter
How to Purchase
These limited edition Valentines Day products can be purchased from Broth Bar & Larder or to pre-order please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have only made a limited amount and will not be making more when these sell out so please get in fast or pre-order to avoid disappointment.
I HOPE YOUR VALENTINES DAY IS INFUSED WITH RAW LOVE IN ALL ITS GUISES.