Now if there is one thing NO girls should deny themselves of no matter what … it is chocolate. Be it a little nibble after dinner, a hot choc pick me up in the arvo or a chocolate thick shake for breakfast (yep chocolate for breakfast) – there is always a time and place for chocolate.
“Eating small amounts of dark chocolate can be good for your health. Chocolate comes from a plant — the bean of the cacao tree — and, like certain teas, wine and many fruits and vegetables, it boasts a high concentration of antioxidant compounds called “flavonoids,” which can help prevent heart disease and protect against cancer” – Live Strong
But not all chocolate is made equally. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your next shop down the chocolate aisle a little easier.
1. Darker the better; dark chocolate (in my opinion) not only tastes better BUT is loaded with antioxidants and IS actually good for you. When a chocolate bar states its percentage of cocoa ie 80% it means that the chocolate bar is 20% sugar. Just beware that anything over 75% can pack a real bitter kick. Find your happy medium!
2. Look for Organic or homemade, better yet make your own using even parts (ie. 1/4 cup each) cacao powder, coconut oil and rice malt/maple/agave syrup. I also like to add some almond butter and desiccated coconut to cream it up a bit. Use silicon chocolate molds, patty pans or ice block trays.
3. Quality over quantity; you are better off indulging in a couple of squares of some GOOD quality chocolate than an entire block of artificial sugar packed chocolate. I highly recommend the Loving Earth Luvju range because they are the perfect single serving size so there is no way you can over indulge.
4. Check for natural whole ingredients; cacao butter, coconut oil, cacao nibs, agave, coconut nectar and Himalayan salt. If you can pronounce all the ingredients and potentially have them in your home pantry then grab the chocolate guilt free. Eat Real Food!
5. You get what you pay for. This unfortunately is the harsh truth. But there is a reason that a Caramello Koala is 1/6 the price of a small Pana Chocolate Goji & Coconut block. Because you pay for the wholesome organic ingredients and not to mention the fact that they are HAND made not bulk supplied. Oh and I think the expiry date has a lot to show for itself too. Something that can last 18 + months on a shelf… just isn’t natural.
Here are my favourite go to chocolate bars/blocks. I keep some handy in my pantry and handbag at all times. You never know when the chocolate monster is going to come knocking.
1. Loving Earth; With so many new flavours they pretty much have a favourite for every chocoholic! Mine is mint and salted caramel. Oh goodness they are all good. Organic, Raw and totally vegan and gluten free. SHOP >> HERE or follow them on Instagram >> HERE
2. Pana Chocolate – Raw Organic Homemade straight from Melbourne, Aus. They also make the most insane desserts so if you are ever in Richmond, Melbs… make a stop over. The Pana range is super creamy and decadent. SHOP >> HERE or follow them on Instagram >> HERE
3. Lindt Dark Intense Range; Coconut intense and mint are my go to blocks. Perfect size squares to break off and enjoy with a cuppa after dinner or at work. 2 squares = 1 serving size. So munch slowly. WEBSITE >> HERE
4. The Carob Kitchen; both the carob bars and the Banjo bears are the perfect sweet treat… minus the sugar. Carob is naturally sweeter than cacao so there are NO added sweeteners in these little joys. SHOP >> HERE Carob is also caffeine free so this brand is a good choice for the late night chocolate cravings that won’t keep you up and wired!!
5. Alter Ego; This chocolate gets extra points for its sustainable and fair trade production that includes organic quinoa, rice and sugar grown in impoverished regions throughout the world.
So now there is no reason to deny yourself of chocolate. Just make the smart choices and remember to indulge in moderation. Even healthy chocolate is going to have a negative effect on your health if you are inhaling blocks every day.
AND remember that it is ALSO okay to indulge in M&M’s and tim tams some days too. We are not perfect robots – we are human! and sometimes you just need the sugar! Don’t be too hard on yourself!!