If you shop at stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, you've probably noticed this little logo showing up more and more lately. If you don't already know about fair trade, it's an organization that's dedicated to helping small farmers in developing countries to earn a living while preserving their integrity. This means no exploitation and no sweatshops. Fair trade also advocates for small scale, organic farming, which guarantees a high quality, organic, and environmentally sustainable product. In addition to receiving payment that they have agreed is fair for their work, the producers receive extra money to use for community improvements. The fair trade movement is something that I feel really passionate about, and I want to support it as much as I can. For the next few weeks, I will be selling fair trade chocolate bars with ingredients sourced from South America. As you may know, I will be traveling to Ecuador in just over a month with a group of my classmates for a service trip. While we are there, we will be completing projects, visiting markets, and interacting with the locals. The money that I earn by selling this chocolate is multipurpose. Part of it will be used by the Equal Exchange company (the chocolate providers) to benefit the farmers that grew the ingredients for the chocolate. My group will take the rest to Ecuador and use it to buy handmade goods from the markets, which will put the money directly into the community to help the local farmers and businesses. I'm really looking forward to this because everything we buy will have a story and a face behind it, which I find so memorable and special.
But in order for any of this to happen, I need your help! The chocolate bars will cost $2.00 and come in three flavors: peanut butter, dark chocolate with raisins and almonds, and milk chocolate crisp. The bars are all organic, really tasty, and don't contain any creepy ingredients.
If you're interested I will probably have my box at school starting next week. If you don't go to school, shoot me an email at email@example.com and we can work something out.
Once you finally have your delicious, fabulous, fair chocolate, the fun can really begin. What's the point of having such compassionate chocolate if you're not going to share?! For that purpose, I've come up with a fun recipe starring our lovely chocolate in the theme of, you guessed it, Valentine's Day!
I'm a mega fan of chocolate bark because it looks fancy and tastes special, but it takes less than ten minutes and you could probably make it using your feet instead of hands. Don't try that. Case in point, it's really easy! Bonus, the only real step is adding toppings to the chocolate, so you can customize the flavor to whatever you want! This version is decked out in red and pink toppings because of LoOoOve.
All you have to do is let it set, slap a bow on that puppy, and bask in the glory of #1 Valentine-ness.
You're so good, you should be, like, the saint of Valentine's Day or something.
Blushing Berry diy Chocolate Bark
You will need:
- 2 Equal Exchange milk chocolate crisp candy bars
- gogi berries
- freeze dried strawberries
- dried cranberries or cherries
Chop the chocolate, then transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate is smooth and completely melted.
Pour melted chocolate into a small, parchment lined pan. If you don't have anything, parchment on a cutting board works fine. Either way, try to keep the chocolate around 1/8-1/4 inches thick.
Sprinkle on the toppings, then refrigerate the bark until it's completely set. Remove the bark from the parchment and break or cut into pieces.