It’s no secret that I’m a serious chocolate lover. My all-time favourites include Ferrero Rocher, dark chocolate Lindt balls, Guylian sea shells, milk chocolate Toblerone and Cherry Ripe. If you’re reading this, I’m sure most of you will agree, chocolate has to be one of the most indulgent and equally pleasurable foods on the market.
Choosing the best chocolate for your health should be chore free and easy, while still enjoying that aromatic, milky goodness feeling.
How To Pick The Best Chocolate For Your Taste Buds: Take a peek below and decide which type of chocolate lover you are, and then read my top tips to help you get the most out of your not-so-guilty pleasure:
If You’re a Dark Chocolate Lover
The good news is dark chocolate is king in the indulgence isle and nutritionally, it is by far the superior choice. Eating two slices a day of this bittersweet intensity has been shown to enhance mood, act as a natural sun-protectant, improve cardiovascular health, stabilise blood glucose levels, positively affect the ageing cycle and promote a healthy bowel movement.
What to buy: Select ranges that contain more than 85% cocoa and stick to the recommended serving size. Try Green & Black‘s or Lindt – both do excellent dark chocolate.
If You Just Can’t Get Away From White Chocolate
If white chocolate is your thing, you most likely have a very sweet tooth. Lucky for you, my motto is, if you’re going to treat yourself, do it properly. If you’re a big fan of the white stuff opt for quality over quantity. Enjoy in moderation.
What to buy: Purchase single serving sizes only and don’t bring large blocks into the house! Choose bars that are pure or have added nuts. Steer clear of varieties that contain dried fruits and confectionery, as these can easily pump up the sugar level. Try Green & Black‘s Organic White Chocolate, or White Delight by Sweet William.
If You Can’t Go Past The Classic Dairy Milk
This category of chocolate would have to be the most popular one among chocolate fans. It is oh-so-smooth! Unfortunately, for many, it is way to easy to eat an entire block in one seating. Just like white chocolate, moderation is absolute key here.
What to buy: Many chocolate brands offer great single serve options, but be wary and check the serving size on the label. Don’t be fooled and buy a serving for two, unless you’re sharing of course! Loving Earth or Green & Black have delicious options that will wow your tastebuds, just take your pick and remember what I said about moderation.
If You Love Everything Fruity And Nutty
I’m thinking chocolate coated strawberries, frozen bananas dipped in dark melted chocolate and variations of macadamias and brazil nuts. Cooking with chocolate can be lots of fun and you can definitely make some healthy snacks. Always choose good quality dark chocolate for melting, use fresh fruits over dried, raw nuts and consider your serving size. As a rule of thumb this should be a little less than a standard serving of fruit. You can source these delicious, freshly made treats at your local fresh food markets. Try my easy and delicious recipe for homemade Chocolate Cherry Ripe Bark. You can add nuts and do different fruit and nut combinations, as suggested in the cooking notes.
What to buy: If you want a ready-made option, try Alter Eco or Loving Earth for quality options with a delicious fruity twist or fruit and nut combo.
If You’re A Fan Of The Finer Chocolates
We usually see this category pop up around birthdays and the festive season. They come in beautiful packaging and taste sensational. They are simply, one big temptation. Be careful not to overindulge, it’s all too easy to keep going back for more. Share the goodness with friends and family to save your waistline.
What to buy: If you’re a chocolate connoisseur who visits the local chocolatier as a standard weekend ritual, select a maximum of four small chocolates so you can spoil yourself over the week. Opt for the darker categories and always remember to pick nuts over fruit. If you need a ready-made option, a dark chocolate Lindt ball or Alter Eco chocolate truffle may just do the trick.
If You Get Sucked In At The Junk Food Counter
It happens to the best of us. Whether it’s the vending machines at the entrance of the movies, or the chocolates displayed strategically on the supermarket shelves and at the checkout, you surely know what I mean. This group of chocolate is full of eye-catching packaging, cheap snack size portions and sadly family portions, hoping to tempt you. The bad news is, they are jam-packed with preservatives, food colouring, additives and are nutrient empty. My tip? Try indulging from another group. However if you must, this is a ‘once-in-a-blue- moon’ category.
What to buy: If it’s the little round balls you love, I suggest going for the raw nut & chocolate coated treats such Ferrero Rocher or Lindt Balls. But just 1 or two, and not every night. Many brands already mentioned are in supermarkets. If you’re lucky you may even spot Pana Chocolate at the checkout – the smaller bars perfect when shared with a fellow chocolate lover.
Be mindful with any food, but in particular, when it’s chocolate you’re deciding to eat. Quality is important, and moderation is key. Just as I’m an advocate for good quality chocolate and treating yourself when needed, I also believe that chocolate is a luxury food, not to be snacked on all the time. Stick to small portions, don’t restrict yourself and if you follow the guide above there’s no need to feel guilty. Eat mindfully and enjoy every bite and flavour sensation.
I want to know via the comments – what’s your favourite chocolate bar? Is your chocolate always store bought or do you make homemade chocolate bars from scratch?
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