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A WHOLE post dedicated to chocolate.. That’s right. 600+ words all about that sweet, sweet nectar from the cacao plant. Wanna know something even sweeter? I’m talking HEALTHY chocolate. Yep, it does exist. It may even be lurking on a shelf near you. To think, you could be missing out RIGHT NOW. I should probably get on with it and share the goods hey?!
First though, a foreword. When you quit sugar, one of the first things your mind jumps to is chocolate, more specifically, the lack of chocolate. How in Gods name is one supposed to cope without it? As you slowly progress along the fructose free path, what you once knew as chocolate (oh hai Cadbury Crunchie Block) is unmasked as a great big hunk of sugar with a bit of cocoa drizzled over the top of it for colour. It becomes far less appealing (seriously) until you get to a point where you decide to eat a small Easter egg, four months into the process, and realise it tastes like sugar coated chemicals.
What you don’t realise, when you first quit, is that chocolate doesn’t have to be off the menu. No siree. In fact, it can very much be ON the menu. You’ve just gotta know how to distinguish between the aforementioned faux, chocolate flavoured stuff and the really yummy, rich velvety deliciousness of ‘proper good chocolate.’
Your first point of call? Cacao. I eat the stuff almost everyday, generally in my morning smoothie (you can find that recipe HERE) it’s chocolate in (almost) its rawest, purest form. I use both raw cacao and bog standard cocoa (I always try for the organic, fair trade stuff) in smoothies and baked goods. Raw Cacao/cocoa does not taste like the chocolate you’re used to. It is very strong and slightly bitter. When mixed with the right combination of ingredients however, it’s magic. You can find raw cacao at your local health food store or online HERE
Second point of call? Proper good commercial chocolate. Yes, it does exist. There are chocolate bars out there that are so packed with goodness that they’re actually doing your body good. It’s important to remember that in its pure, raw form, chocolate isn’t bad. It’s packed full of an amazing array of antioxidants and other body loving components. It’s just when we take it and process the shit out of it (apologies for the use of pirate language 😉 that it becomes less good for us. If you’re steering completely free of fructose, your best choice of Wild Patch chocolate. This handmade, sugar free, fructose free deliciousness is available online HERE and can be enjoyed practically guilt free.
If you’re not fructose free or ok with small amounts, you’ve got a few other options. If you need a fix from the supermarket, look for the really good quality dark stuff. I usually go with Green And Black’s which is available at most supermarkets. Their Dark 85% Bar contains 5g of sugar per 12 pieces (40g). Personally, I’d be hard pressed to eat half that as its so rich so you’re usually looking at less than 2.5g for a few squares (not bad, all things considering). They also do a dark 70% bar which has 12g per 12 pieces. A little bit higher but as a once off treat, not too bad, all things considered.
Your other options, if you’re happy to source locally or buy online, are bars like Loving Earth (which you can find HERE). The Raw Coconut Sugar Chocolate Bars DO contain sugar (and fructose) BUT many only contain small amounts and if you’re going to have fructose, you could do worse than coconut sugar. Their Dark Chocolate bar has 3.9g sugar per 20g serving while my personal favourite, the Mint + AFA bar has 4.2g per 20g serving. I personally steer clear of agave (which is used as the sweetener in their Raw Agave Chocolate Bars) but if you’re not fussed by it, I’ve heard that those bars are delish.
The final option? Make your own. Much easier than it sounds AND you can control exactly what you use to sweeten the stuff. The Sweet Poison Cook Book, which I’m currently working my way through, has a SUPER easy recipe and you can find plenty online (like this one HERE). I’ll be posting more about the Sweet Poison cook book later in the week so definitely stay tuned for that!