Go ahead, enjoy your dark chocolate truffles!

dark chocolate hearts

It’s true!  THANK GOODNESS!  Chocolate is good for you.  In small doses, in the right form.  No, this article is not going to direct you to the nearest Hershey bar (sorry!), but I do think chocolate and yummy indulgences are a part of enjoying life.  I satisfy my chocolate cravings in a healthier way!  I’m a mom and a business owner, and my life is busy and hectic just like everyone else’s.  Sometimes I just want a treat at the end of a long day.  But honestly, I’m never temped by the kinds of chocolates my kids bring home from trick-or-treating or class parties.  I have more delicious ways to enjoy chocolate!  The other stuff just tastes artificial to me now.

Dark chocolate is richer in flavor and more satisfying, so you’ll be able to stick to one square much more easily that you can with a Hershey bar that is full of sugar and spikes your cravings for more.  If you are a milk-chocolate-aholic, this will take some time.  The sugar and chemicals have your taste buds all messed up, and you have to re-train them.  Dark chocolate may taste bitter at first.  But if I can change (I was a HUGE sugar person well into my twenties), then you can too. 

There are so many fantastic gourmet chocolate bars out there.  Walk into your co-op or Whole Foods and you will be overwhelmed with the aisle.  My favorite is Green & Black’s.  This chocolate is so rich and creamy, a square or two is really all you need.

dark chocolate

Green & Black’s Organic 85% Dark

The key to choosing a chocolate bar is to go for really dark, 70% cacao or more.  I personally love the 85% bars, but start with 70 and work your way up.  Avoid soy, artificial flavors and hydrogenated oils.  Many high-quality bars contain soy, but avoid it when you can, especially if it’s not organic.

I also love raw cacao powder and use it in smoothies, homemade hot cocoa, and raw brownies.  Raw cacao powder contains healthy antioxidants, iron and magnesium.  Common cocoa powder just doesn’t compare.  I buy mine in the supplements section of my co-op, but you can also find it online. 

raw cacao powder

One of my favorite ways to unwind after a long day in the winter is to make a cup of hot cocoa after my kids are in bed.  Yummy!  (You can sweeten with raw honey or a couple drops of organic stevia… yes, you will need a sweetener!)

Healthy hot chocolate

This Valentine’s Day, enjoy some dark chocolate!  I want to hear your favorites!