Friday Night In With Malindi from The Chocolate Yogi (+ 20% Off Your Order!)
I feel like The Chocolate Yogi company has just crept up out of nowhere. One minute I was trawling Instagram, and saw this divine looking chocolate scattered about beautifully. It was an image uploaded by my cookbook photographer Tanya Zouev (incredible by the way!). The next minute, it's popping up in health food stores all around Australia! With great reason too!
If you haven't seen or tried their sticks of joy yet, you're in luck. Head to their website with the discount code below in hand, and prepare your tastebuds for a seriously delectable treat. They're not just your regular milk and dark chocolate either. Think Walnutty Apple, Dreamy Chai, and Salty Caramel too.
True to the nature of The Body Dietetics - their chocolates are also gluten, dairy and refined sugar free!
Enjoy your Friday Night In with the healthy chocolatiers, the lovely Malindi and Ed.
My name is Malindi Lovegrove and I run an organic, raw, vegan chocolate business with my husband Ed. We live on an island, north of Sydney called Scotland Island, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world. In our house in the treetops, we make our delicious chocolate from bean to bar.
How did your business come about?
A couple of years ago, when we were living in Brighton in the UK, I was having a few health issues. I started reading a lot about nutrition and we decided to go pretty much vegan. After doing an elimination diet, we discovered that we both had dairy allergies and gluten intolerance, we also decided that we wanted to ditch white sugar and other processed foods in favour of a wholefoods diet.
This was very hard, harder than even quitting smoking because white sugar is everywhere. I was a total chocolaholic and really struggled to give it up, especially since when I looked for alternatives without white sugar, none of them tasted the way I wanted chocolate to taste.
So, as a major chocolate fan who desperately wanted to be free of white sugar and dairy and gluten and all the other things we were finding were going in to our old favourites, I had to get creative in the kitchen. I started experimenting with making my own raw chocolate, aiming for a milk chocolate taste. I tried using lucuma and coconut in various forms and kept experimenting and tasting until I got it close to the way I wanted it to be. We started only eating the chocolate I was making because it was the only one that satisfied our tastebuds
Two years later, we moved to Australia. We both struggled to find work in our fields (bookkeeping and community development) and decided to take a risk and make a big change. So we moved to Scotland Island north of Sydney, so we could live our dream of being closer to nature and in a peaceful environment, and we decided to start a raw organic vegan chocolate company.
Where did the Chocolate Yogi come from?
We called it ‘The Chocolate Yogi’ because we have both been practicing yoga for many years, and during this time we discovered that in India they believe that the state of mind of the chef profoundly affects the food, and since the food becomes part of your body and the energy that drives your thoughts and emotions, it can affect your total experience of life. That may be why, in many religions and cultures, people bless their food before eating it. We both believe this to be true, so we make our chocolate in a peaceful environment, we meditate every day and sing uplifting songs and Sanskrit chants as we make the chocolate. Many people have reported that they find the chocolate very easy to digest, maybe this is why!
Why are your chocolate bars so good?
Chocolate Yogi bars taste like traditional Belgian chocolate – milk, dark and white but they are organic, raw and vegan. We wanted to bring back all the traditional flavours we love like salty caramel, ‘milk’ chocolate, fruit and nut, toffee crisp, but in a healthier way, using coconut sugar and raw cacao. We have found that everyone loves our chocolates – children, people on paleo diets, people with allergies, health conscious people, but also non-vegans, my parents, the guys who came to fix our fridge…
We make our chocolate with a lot of care and attention to detail. The beans are hand-sorted and stone ground for more than 24 hours. All the ingredients are high quality, whole and organic. We experimented a lot to reach the flavor, texture and varieties that we offer today, and we are working on more exciting flavours to be released in the New Year.
The most rewarding part of your business?
We love watching the reaction when people first taste our chocolate, their disbelief that raw, organic and vegan can taste so good is so satisfying to watch! :)
What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could?
So many things! We love adventure and travel. I would love to swim with dolphins, visit Disney World and work with orangutans in Malaysia to name a few!
We both want to do social projects once the business is running on its own, I lived in a village in Tanzania and would love to go back there and do some organic farming and small busines projects with the community. Ed is interested in starting up a nature retreat for homeless people. We have lots of ideas.
Where do you get the inspiration for your flavours?
From our childhood favourites mainly. We love old school tastes like toffee and caramel, although I love chai, so we had to make a chocolate with chai spices too!
Favourite place in the world?
Scotland Island, where we live, is my favourite place in the world. Every morning we get woken up by the birds singing, go for a walk through the forest and have a swim in the estuary. Every day there is some new wonder or surprise, a Kookaburra sitting in the middle of the path searching for food, one of the island dogs taking itself for a walk, King Parrots nibbling on the grass, a family driving past in a golf buggy, a starfish or stingray in the water. It’s a great place for adventure and quirks, which I love.
If you were a spice, which would you be?
Cardamom, because I love it!
5 things you can’t live without:
If you could choose anything in the world for your next meal what would it be?
Green Papaya Salad with sticky rice and fresh coconut juice every time.
What was for breakfast?
A vegan protein smoothie with banana, blueberries and almond milk.
How would you classify your eating style?
Vegan, nutrient-dense, aim for 75% greens on my plate, gluten free, freshly cooked / prepared, Ayurvedically inspired.
Your favourite way to stay active?
Yoga on the balcony, walks through nature, swimming in the ocean / estuary, and dancing.
Your favourite TCY chocolate flavor?
Creamy Mylk is my favourite because it tastes like classic milk chocolate. I always loved milk chocolate and it was something I couldn’t have for years when I came off dairy and white sugar. So to have been able to create it and to now enjoy it is a beautiful thing indeed.
20% OFF DISCOUNT CODE*: 0MDTVVM09LAS - Enter the code at checkout on www.thechocolateyogi.com.au
*Available to the first 100 only and expires Dec 31st 2014.
Your favourite time/place/way to savour a bar?
I actually love melted chocolate. My favourite way to savour our Creamy Mylk chocolate is to pour a ‘shot’ of it in to a mug and then eat it with a spoon! Preferably on my sun lounger on the balcony at sunset.
Your best advice for living a wholesome healthy lifestyle?
I always tell myself to take a small step from where I am when I want to change my situation. We are where we are because of all the steps we took up until now. To get to a better, healthier place, we just need to take a small step right now in the direction we want to go in. Whether that might be eating healthier - right now we could prepare a salad for lunch. Or doing more exercise – right now I could get up and do 20 squats or go for a walk or put a reminder in my phone for when it is more convenient.
I think small steps are important so the mind doesn’t get overwhelmed and give up, then these things can be incorporated in to our lifestyle one step at a time.
The main things I do to keep healthy are: meditation and breathing techniques every day, yoga, go for a walk in nature and swim in the ocean, have smoothies for breakfast, make at least 75% of my plate fresh non-starchy vegetables (raw or freshly cooked), be silly and have fun with my husband and friends, dance and sing in the kitchen, enjoy creativity, and allow space for life’s ups and downs to be ok.
How can readers find you?
We can be found via our website – www.thechocolateyogi.com.au or you can find us in 26 shops in Sydney and Melbourne (our Stockists list is currently being uploaded on our website, call us for your nearest stockist if it is not up yet).