Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Ms Knickerbocker's Super Duper Drinking Cacao

The lovely Ms Knickbocker herself, Sylvia.

Firstly I’d like to talk about one of my current favourite go to drinks, Ms Knickerbocker’s Super Duper Drinking Cacao. I find drinking this works perfectly in assisting me get over my afternoon slump time (3.00pm), it picks me up nicely & gives me my chocy fix, so what’s not to love.
I’ve also taken to incorporating the original super duper into my smoothies, I add it in as a base then throw in some berries & superfoods. See the below recipe which is super duper yummy!
I’ve always had a weakness for chocolate but I recently switched my chocolate fix over to cacao. I’ve learnt that one can still enjoy the chocolaty taste, with the superfood benefit, bonus!
I decided to get in touch with the owner/founder of Ms Knickerbocker, Sylvia. Sylvia was kind enough to allow me to interview her about Ms Knickerbocker’s Super Duper Drinking Cacao, see interview after smoothie recipe.

2 tsp Ms Knickerbocker’s original Super Duper Drinking Cacao.
(less or more of the cacao depending on how chocolatey you like it)
1 cup of Soy or nut milk
½ cup of frozen berries
1 small banana
Tblsp goji berries
½ cup of ice

Sylvia also recommends sprinkling the Chai flavoured Super Duper Drinking Cacao over your morning muesli for a delicious uplifting start to your morning
And for all you folk all over in the Northen Hemisphere, fall is on its way so try the Chai Super Duper Drinking Cacao.
I found drinking Chai Super Duper Drinking Cacao an absolute godsend throughout the winter, as the added chai spices have such a wonderful way of warming you from the inside out.

How did the concept for Ms Knickerbocker come about?

Eating well and staying healthy has always interested and motivated me. Last year when I was in New York City with my family there were so many amazing places to eat and great products on sale, that were exactly what I love; vegetarian, vegan, wholefoods, raw food and cane sugar free. It was great. I could go out, on holidays and explore this really great "food world", that was outside of my own kitchen. I made me feel that Australia could do better. And there must be more people like me living right here, in Australia. People that could make this stuff at home but sometimes they might just want someone else to make it for them. This is where I come in. I want to make and sell food that I love to eat, that isn't sold locally at the moment. Being in New York really motivated me to get "out there" and start providing some of this stuff to the Australian market, starting with "Ms Knickerbocker; Food in the raw" - yummy food to love, that loves you back. I thought: "if it can happen here (ie. New York), it can happen anywhere!" 
Raw food is not the only way that I eat. I have a science background and the idea behind eating more foods raw really resonates with me and make scientific sense to me. Eating "raw" isn't just about munching on a celery stick, its eating foods that have only been, at most, exposed to low levels of heat. Heat that hasn't destroyed the natural enzymes in those foods. Our body's enzymes help us digest the food we eat and the enzymes found in food also help break that food down. So double the food digesting enzymes, means better food digesting and more nutrients going into our bodies! Brilliant, no.?

How can customers benefit by adding super foods like raw cacao into their lives?

At the moment my main food focus is maximising nutrient intake from the ordinary portions of food that I eat. You may have heard that people can be malnourished of certain nutrients even if they are a normal weight. So, quality over quantity is key. Adding super foods like raw cacao to your regular diets gives you large hits of a wide variety of nutrients; vitamins, minerals and enzymes to keep your body stay feeling great and functioning as well as it can.
As I notice some of the effects of aging creeping in, I've become more aware of the importance of eating antioxidants to slow down this process of aging (body and brain). One of the best things about raw cacao is that it has one of the highest level of antioxidants of all food. Higher than gogi berries or green tea and much higher than roasted cocoa (that most chocolate contains). So the benefits of super foods aren't only immediate, they also work for long term gains.
Another benefit of a little cacao each day is that it contains natural chemicals that are like the endorphins that your body produces after a workout. Bliss without the workout! This is why chocolate is said to make you feel good. 

Tell us about some alternative ways we can incorporate Ms Knickerbocker Super Duper drinking cacao into our diets, other than drinking it?

I love this, even if I can't help but feel a little less than virtuous when I do this but I love sprinkling a teaspoon the Super Duper original drinking cacao over my raw muesli in the morning. I'm trying to get over this guilt though, telling myself it is one of the best things I could be adding to my muesli - packed with micronutrients, enzymes, loads of antioxidants and low GI sweetener. Anyhow, adding Super Duper original drinking cacao to my raw muesli and favourite milk transforms my breakfast into something that is "just like a chocolate milkshake but only" still really good for me.

 Do you think consumers are becoming more aware of what they put into their bodies; it seems people are wanting to revert back to simple clean food.

It would be great if more people were getting into fresh and healthy foods but its hard for me to say if people are doing it more, as I've always been interested in the latest research into anything to do with health and well being. And this way of eating is something that I grew up with. I am, however, noticing the media reports of certain sections of the population, that do consume a diet of limited calories, fresh plant foods and cold pressed oils, avoiding a plethora of lifestyle related diseases and cancers that are on the rise in modern Western countries. These reports also link a longer life span to these lifestyle choices. 
The media has also been doing a great job of promoting the positive effects of eating fresh foods, such as longer life and the negative effects of higher calorie, processed foods, relating these to health and obesity problems. And I think that this is hard to ignore; even by children, who are also being taught to eat fresh fruit as a snack from an early age at school. 
A gradual move toward fresh, simple and clean food would be a great thing.

Does Ms Knickerbocker also have a consciousness that supports sustainable living in general?
Yes! Ms Knickerbocker has everybody's best interest at heart. We are a company that makes our products using the least resource intensive processes and we ensure that our packaging and distribution has the lowest environmental impact possible. Our aim is to sell our goods in packaging that can even be thrown onto ones compost pile to biodegrade naturally. Where this is not totally possible we ensure that the packaging or parts of the packaging are readily recyclable everywhere, ie. no composite paper/plastic/foil packaging but lots of recycled cardboard and some biodegradable/recyclable plastics.  
The fair treatment of growers of our ingredients and sustainable farming practices is also a concern. We source all of our raw cacao powder and coconut sugar from sources in Indonesia (Big Tree Farms) or Peru (Association of Cacao Producers Satipo). Both of these suppliers ensure that they do trade fairly and use sustainable farming practices, ensuring a long lasting relationship with the land.

Ms Knickerbocker Super Duper drinking cacao is your first product. Where do you see the future of Ms Knickerbocker?
I see Ms Knickerbocker producing a few extra ranges of raw products. These I'll leave as a suprise!, as I'm still working on them. But the next line that I'd like to produce is a range of muesli, based on the super duper muesli that I make at home for my little family. I know that all oat products are not exactly raw, as they need to be steamed, to stop them from going rancid within a few days but they are a pretty super food. Oats have significant benefits for the immune system and cardiovascular health.  They can help people side step diabetes type 2 and studies have also shown that oat grains are also of benefit to celiacs, which is pretty cool if you're on a gluten free diet. So, "stay tuned for action", this muesli range should be in the shops within a few weeks or so.

See Ms Knickerbocker's website for more cacao information, on that note I'm going to make myself a cup now! 

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