Refined sugars as a common buzzword, but do most of us really know what is meant by refined sugars? This post will go into the basics of refined sugars and an interview with Meg, founder of Raw Halo, a chocolate bar range free of refined sugars.
I’ve always loved chocolate, so for me it was a simple change to healthier chocolate – that’s where the inspiration for Raw Halo was born.Meg from Raw Halo
What are refined sugars?
Refined sugars are basically sugars which have been extracted from things containing sugar, usually sugar cane and sugar beets. Because the sugar has been extracted, it needs less processing by our body, so this is why we get a sugar rush. Consuming sugar in this way doesn’t make us feel full.
Conversely, naturally occurring sugars such as those contained in many fruits need more processing by the body. This is due to the fibre contained which slows how fast your body absorbs that sugar. In addition, you get all the benefit of the vitamins and minerals contained in the whole fruit rather than just the refined sugar.
Knowing this, I do try and limit the number of refined sugars I consume, opting for fruit first or a fruit tea. Raw Halo is an additional way of treating myself, as their range of chocolates contains no refined sugars. (They are also vegan!)
Here, I speak with Meg, the founder of Raw Halo.
Interview with Raw Halo
Hi Meg! Tell me a bit about yourself and why you gave up refined sugars?
Hi there! Well, I’m the founder of Raw Halo, an award-winning raw chocolate brand that I launched in 2015. For a long time I’ve been interested in healthy eating, and after reading up on the harm refined sugar is doing to everyone, I decided to cut it out of my diet completely. This was really difficult, as I’ve always loved chocolate, so for me it was a simple change to healthier chocolate – that’s where the inspiration for Raw Halo was born.
What were you doing before setting up your own business?
I’d been working in the world of corporate HR since I left university in 2011. I loved my various jobs and worked at some great companies however I quickly reached a fork in the road. Would I continue to work my way up the corporate ladder, or follow my dream of launching my own chocolate business? It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster since then!
How do you choose your ingredients suppliers?
When sourcing ingredients we look at various aspects such as where the supplier might be based, whether they have been established for a long time. We then take time to consider their organic accreditation and find out more about their supply chain. Where do they source their ingredients from, do they trade fairly with the growers and farmers. As a business, we try to make a positive impact on the world, so it’s important that we work with other businesses who share our values on ethical business.
What was the biggest challenge in setting up your business?
There were so many challenges in the early days of Raw Halo. The biggest challenge was knowing exactly where to start. I had so many ideas but also so many questions. Transitioning from my day job to launching Raw Halo was extremely difficult. This meant many long evenings, working through the night and weekends. Looking back, it’s the best decision I ever made, and I’m truly proud of where Raw Halo is today.
Where do you get your inspiration for chocolate flavours?
New flavour inspiration can come from anywhere really. Sometimes I look to classic flavours that I just know will work so well, such as Dark + Mint. For some of our more modern flavours such as Dark + Lemon and Pink Salt, there were many hours of experimenting to find the perfect balance.
What are some of your favourite flavours from your range?
My go-to bars are Pure Dark, and Dark + Orange. I’ve always been a fan of our dark chocolate, as it’s so rich and fruity. I love to break a few small squares on top of my morning porridge, and then nibble on the rest whilst I answer emails each morning.
Aside from chocolate, what else do you like eating? Sweet or savoury.
I love anything made with avocado or sweet potatoes. I try to find a way to include them into most meals, and it’s so easy with so many great recipes to be found online nowadays. But overall I do have a sweet tooth, and dessert (always chocolate based!) is the meal I always look forward to the most.
What would be your last meal on Earth? Three-course menu, please.
If I had to choose my perfect three-course meal that’d be; An avocado salad for starters, a spicy bean burger served with a side of sweet potato fries, and finished off with a raw vegan chocolate mousse.
Thank you, Meg, for giving me the opportunity to interview you.
You can purchase Raw Halo from select stockists such as Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Booths, Harrods, WHSmiths and Ocado. You can also order from their website.
RRP is £2.79 per 35g bar.