PC: Living Raw
We fell in love with Living Raw’s delicious dark chocolate treats years ago while spending some time in the Franklin, TN area, well before we knew much about the creators and founders of the line, Ginger and her husband TJ, who live in the area. We first fell in love with how delicious the treats are! Now, we’ve fallen in love with who these people are and all the work they are doing to help others.
Both Ginger and TJ are passionate health advocates and live a very active and healthy lifestyle with their four children. For some time now, we’ve loved following along on the Living Raw Instagram page where Ginger shares her vast knowledge about nutrition and digestive health, and her simple but delicious plant-based recipes.
We’ve known for some time now that dark chocolate has health benefits, but we never really knew much about why it’s so healthy for you and what makes some taste better than others. We chatted with Ginger about why high-quality dark chocolate is such an important aspect of a healthy and balanced diet, and why their dark chocolate treats taste SO good…
HOW DID YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DISCOVER YOUR OWN LOVE FOR RAW CACAO?
We eat a high raw diet of fruits and vegetables, and there were times when we wanted a treat but didn’t want to feel weighed down and sluggish. We also practice the principles of food combining so we wanted a neutral treat that would combine with any meal. Cacao was the answer, but it took a good amount of searching to find truly high quality and ethically grown cacao. We have literally tried cacao from all around the world! Our cacao is the best around in terms of both flavor and quality. The most important thing to us was to find cacao that was ethically sourced.
SO, HOW DID YOU COME TO START LIVING RAW FROM THIS JOURNEY TO FIND HIGH QUALITY FOODS FOR YOUR FAMILY?
Once we found the cacao we loved and felt good about putting in our own bodies, I created a little sweet treat to have when we wanted it. One day I looked at my husband, TJ and said, “We could sell these.” And so it began. I perfected the recipe for our first two flavors, Darkest Cacao and Coconut Karma. We created a website and TJ took over the sales. A few months later, we were in stores and in search of a bigger kitchen!
WHAT MAKES LIVING RAW’S CACAO TREATS DIFFERENT THAN OTHER CHOCOLATE?
We use raw cacao, meaning it’s not toasted, so you are able to get all the nutritional benefits of the cacao. Cacao is high in minerals as well as antioxidants. Over time we have landed on one of a kind recipes that leave you feeling satisfied, yet still light and vibrant.
TELL US MORE ABOUT HOW LIVING RAW CACAO TREATS ARE PART OF LIVING A HEALTH-CONSCIOUS LIFESTYLE.
We created Living Raw to support and help sustain a long-term healthy lifestyle. Everyone is on their own path to health and longevity. We wanted to create a company and products that would help everyone on their journey. We feel like we have accomplished this with Living Raw. People are able to stay on their path knowing they can have a clean treat when they want one. It sounds funny, but dark chocolate has helped me stay the course. Our chocolate is satisfying yet won’t derail your health goals.
YOU’VE RECENTLY ADDED SOME NEW PRODUCTS TO YOUR LINE. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THOSE?
Yes, the new chocolates! My all-time favorite treat in college was a York Peppermint Patty, but I no longer choose to put those ingredients into my body. I’d been dreaming of creating an upgraded Peppermint Patty for years. One day I heard about human trafficking, which I had never even heard of. TJ and I wanted to help any way we could, so we had the idea to bring to life my dream of a PowerMint Patty and to donate the proceeds to organizations that helped rescue and rehabilitate survivors of human trafficking. Once we got the idea, it all flowed so quickly. We had a short timeline to get this product out as new products reviews were coming up on us very soon. I remember praying for guidance and help before I stepped into the kitchen to create, and even now I get teary. My prayers were answered, and this recipe was finished on the first try with just a couple of tweaks as we went into mass production. I always say, this wasn’t my recipe, it was given to me through divine inspiration to help the children in need.
Our chocolate bars are our newest creation. We wanted to create a vegan chocolate with the cleanest ingredients that were still smooth and creamy. We created the smoothest coconut milk chocolate bar and dark chocolate bar. We also came out with a totally new concept, which no other company is doing right now. I’m a lover of caramel, a big lover of caramel! But, I choose not to eat any of the caramels that were on the market, because I didn’t like the ingredients in any of them. So we came up with a one-ingredient caramel, which is simply whipped maple syrup injected into our chocolate bars. The result is a traditional caramel flavor but with one real food ingredient.
YOU’RE A MOTHER OF FOUR. HOW ARE YOU INSTILLING HEALTH-CONSCIOUS HABITS INTO YOUR OWN CHILDREN?
Yes, we have four little orbs that fill our lives with so much joy. You know, they just eat what we have in the house. Children will eat what you keep in the home. When we go out to friends or social functions I give them freedom to choose what they will eat. Most of the time they choose wisely, but sometimes they don’t and they end up paying for it with a tummy ache. They are bright, they know how certain foods will make them feel, but as a parent we let them make those choices to learn for themselves. While as parents we want them to choose wisely all the time, we also want more to bring up children that are self-sufficient and empowered to choose for themselves. Free thinkers, not robots.