We’ve always used all-natural, unrefined ingredients in our delicious Ombars. These include the natural whole-fruit powders and dried fruits that are used to flavour several of our bars, including Blueberry & Açaì, Strawberry Mylk, Goji Berry, Mandarin, Lemon & Green Tea and Centres Raspberry & Coconut.
So why do we use natural fruits instead of fruit flavourings?
1. Natural goodness from the fruit
Number one has to be the amazing array of nutrients provided by real fruit. These include vitamin C, of course, which is vital for our immune system, skin, joints and energy; as well as a range of flavonoids and carotenoids that can have protective antioxidant properties. The gentle drying process used to produce fruit powders allows them to retain a high percentage of these natural nutrients.
Here are some of the highlights:
Blueberries, raspberries and açaì berries are fantastic sources of anthocyanins. These are flavonoids that are responsible for the berries’ brilliant purple, red and blue colours. Anthocyanins are associated with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and may be protective for heart health and the eyes. Some research has suggested that blueberries in particular may even benefit memory and the brain!1.
Strawberries are among the top fruits for vitamin C content, as well as providing anthocyanins and a range of other flavonoids.
Goji berries are rich in carotenoids – especially lutein and zeaxanthin, which are associated with protecting our eyes against sun damage. Our Goji Berry bar contains whole dried goji berries as well as goji powder, so you get double the benefit!
Lemon and mandarin are rich in vitamin C and citrus bioflavonoids.
All this means that you’re getting extra goodness in your Ombar – in addition to the minerals and antioxidants in the raw cacao, of course.
2. Natural-tasting, fresh flavour
Quite simply, we know that nothing can give our bars the delicious flavours of fruit as well as fruit itself. If you’re a fruit lover, we’re sure you’ll agree.
3. Avoid any negative effects of additives
There’s also a growing awareness of potential health problems associated with artificial additives such as colourings and flavourings. For this reason alone, it makes sense to ‘get back to nature’ and favour natural ingredients rather than synthetic equivalents. If you knew the fruit flavouring in your chocolate or cake was brewed up in a laboratory from a range of chemical ingredients, would you still want to eat it? Or would you prefer a treat made with natural fruit?
4. Sweetness without the sugar rush
Lastly, fruit powders and whole dried fruit are a natural way to provide additional sweetness to Ombars (we also use small amounts of unrefined coconut sugar). The fruits do contain natural sugars, but the fibre they contain helps to slow down its absorption. This means that your blood sugar will be more stable than if you had consumed the equivalent amount of refined sugar, helping to keep your energy and mood on an even keel and potentially preventing further sugar cravings.
- Krikorian R et al. Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 14;58(7):3996-4000.