Are you a chocoholic? I know I certainly am and although chocolate tastes delicious due to its creamy, dreamy, silky cocoa flavour, it doesn’t always benefit the body; especially when you may be trying to transform your physique, control your blood sugar or defending yourself from heart disease. However, we all know in moderation, a little bit of chocolate isn’t going to harm us. On the other hand, if you are anything like myself and cannot refrain from devouring copious amounts of chocolate, please read on as I may have found a solution enabling you to experience the best of both worlds; health and pleasure, the product: Pundits No Added Sugar Chocolate – with natural Stevia sweetener.
The name ‘Pundit’ originated from the Ancient Indian (Sanskrit) word ‘Pandit’ which actually means a teacher or wise man! After becoming slightly disheartened by the lack of variety and choice when it came to chocolate offered at the supermarket, the team from Sandhurst in Berkshire worked tirelessly to design and create the perfect recipe which would entice customers to keep coming back for more; mainly due to a flavour that was irresistible to the tongue whilst still avoiding the hidden nasties that most of the top brands contain. This is when Pundits was introduced to the world and it was ‘born out of a mission’, a mission to provide quality food that aims to brighten a person’s day without all the added sugar found in regular chocolate, I believe this has now been achieved with this mouth-watering handcrafted treat!
Apart from what the product actually is: chocolate, what makes this bar more ‘appealing to the eye’ is the funky, engaging packaging in particular that truly stands out from the cocoa crowd. Based on the flavour contained within the wrapper, a fun, artistic image is printed on the packaging which I think is ideal if you’d like to tempt fully grown adults and children alike. For example, the ‘milk chocolate & toasted coconut’ flavoured bar has a palm tree, ocean and smiling shark design whereas the ‘milk chocolate & chai’ has an image of the infamous Taj Mahal and a tea pot which provides a clear insight as to how this scrumptious bar may taste.
Some key info:
- There is no after-taste like you get with other ‘no added sugar’ products. And there is no minty/chemical/strange taste you get with most sugar free products which use harmful additives and chemical sweeteners.
- Chocolate bars are large – at least 100g each
- No Added Sugar
- Sweetened with Stevia; a natural sweetener measuring zero in calories, zero in GI and kind to teeth.
- Suitable for dieters (including no refined sugar, keto, diabetics, low carb etc)
- The range includes 9 gluten free bars (3 of which are the dark chocolate bars which are dairy free too, so they are suitable for vegans)
- Pundits is a British brand, all products are handmade in the UK. All ingredients are responsibly sourced.
- The mission is to provide great tasting ‘Wiser Food’ to delight the tastes and dietary expectations of the modern world
- There are 6 Milk Chocolate bars, 3 dark, and 1 white.
Now we get to the most important details: nutrition. Although, there is not a large amount of facts with regards to actual vitamins and minerals, one of the major attractions to this bar is that the Pundits team use plant based sweetener Stevia instead of processed sugar which can cause havoc to your energy levels and lead to disastrous diabetes. By using Stevia, fortunately there is no negative effect on blood sugar levels; making it suitable for diabetics and will save a truckload of calories in the process. In a typical 100g bar, there is roughly 481 calories with ratios similar to that of the standard chocolate bar but without the added sugar! However, on the other hand, the fat content is moderate to high at 38g per 100g with 23g coming from saturated fat which can be harder for the body to use and break down but in my opinion, this is the only area of which the bar may lose a few points overall but it is still lower compared to other supermarket chocolate bars. Conversely, each bar contains a whopping 30g fibre based on the ingredients of oligofructose and inulin which aids digestion, satisfies our hunger to allow us to eat less and also lowers cholesterol which can protect against heart disease; this amount of fibre is our whole recommended daily intake!
The chocolate treat is made with 59% cocoa solids and per 100g there is only 19g carbohydrates and of that, 10g coming from naturally occurring sugars whereas a typical chocolate bar will have around 56g of sugars! The guidelines recommend less than 10g sugar per 100g of every product but if you eat half the bar, there is only 5g in total. With that being said, DO NOT fear as the amount of fibre will slow down the digestion of sugar anyway; not giving you the ‘false high’ that normally leads to a crash of energy that most other bars do. For those of you who have an intolerance to wheat, rye and barley, you’ll be pleased to know that these bars are gluten free and the dark chocolate versions in particular are actually vegan too, so are suitable for all!
Taste and smell:
Milk Chocolate & Orange: After being enticed by the playful cover, I took my time to carefully slide the chocolate from the box as I didn’t want to spoil the design. Once I tore open the transparent wrapper, I was met with a fresh, citrus based scent similar to that of Terry’s own famous chocolate orange; I believe I could have found a rival yet low in sugar! The square of chocolate was gently placed onto my tongue and as soon as it began to move, it rapidly started to dissolve; the texture was perfectly soft and the flavour matched the smell I originally encountered at the beginning.
Milk Chocolate & Chai: Mmmm interesting combination of flavours but I will let you into a little secret: they work! I was pleasantly surprised as to how well the flavours did actually compliment each other as the added ingredients include cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, ginger, nutmeg and star anise which make up chai masala. To be honest, I thought this would have a slightly spice taste to it but even though the milk chocolate did not dominate, the chai was very mild, subtle and not overpowering but more an acquired flavour; I personally enjoyed it.
Dark Chocolate, Orange & Almonds: As an advocate of health, I would often tend to opt for Dark over Milk or White due to having more flavonoids which guard our cells against damage, being higher in fibre which promotes a healthy digestive system and lower in sugar. With that said, with this version, although I do not have to worry about any the sugar content of any of Pundits bars, this lived up to and exceeded my expectations. The bar is made from 86% cocoa solids which for some people, may be quite strong or bitter if you could say that but I was captivated by the power. There was a gentle orange smell as I brought it towards my nose and once I bit into a square, the texture was firm and crunchy based on the sliced almonds on the surface and the darkness did win the battle over the light orange flavour which was quite timid in comparison but I did enjoy this bar nevertheless.
Milk Chocolate & Toasted Coconut: When I lived in Bermuda many years ago, I developed my fondness for coconuts; how refreshing they were and how they could help me recover from a strenuous workout so I was excited to try this bar! After I unwrapped the attractive looking box (due to the golden sand beaches, palm trees and deep, blue ocean that gripped my attention) an aroma of coconut engulfed my nose which was very pleasing indeed. I could not hold back any longer and swiftly sank my teeth into the smooth piece of chocolate that had the perfect blend of coconut and milk. I could not fault this bar at all and imitated the flavour of bounty macaroon with a more solid texture; I could feel the passion that went into this bar; highly recommended!
Value: When we speak about taking care of our health, it does mean that there may be sacrifices in terms of the food we choose, how much alcohol we drink (if we do), how often we party and the time we go to bed for example but if you are ‘in love with the cocoa’ like me, I found this was an excellent alternative to the standard bars sold in the shops.
However, due to the ingredients used in the production of this delightful bar and perhaps the fancy packaging, it does cost slightly more than the average 100g bar at £3.95 but then again, it keeps the blood sugar levels stable and provides a healthy dose of fantastic fibre so I believe it is worth the price tag. What’s more is you avoid the pointless, empty calories which do more harm to your body than good; so I think is a very sweet deal. If you like appetizing, quality chocolate that can benefit your health, I think you should try out what ‘Pundits’ are offering.
Summary: After having the privilege of tasting 4 of the bars from Pundits , I am now very keen to experience the other 6 flavours such as milk chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate & hazelnut, the unique white chocolate & strawberry, dark chocolate & mint and one that I feel will be my personal favourite: milk chocolate & salted caramel! On top of this, they have introduced their own peanut butter with MILK CHOCOLATE so if you are a bit ‘nutty’ like I am, this could definitely be a good option to try! My cravings for the glorious, creamy, cocoa gold will never disappear so if I have a choice as to whether I choose a cheaper, sugar-laden bar or a high fibre, stevia blood sugar balancing bar, I am certainly willing to invest in my health and pay a little more: I truly loved the taste of this product!
If you would like more info or purchase a selection of bars for yourself, please visit Pundits.co.uk
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