A Healthier Guide to Buying Chocolate

From bonbons to truffles, here's everything you need to know about giving and receiving the gift of chocolate.

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February 08, 2019
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A Healthy-ish Guide to Chocolate

Shopping around for a sweet treat? Chocolate can make for a lovely and health-promoting gift, but you need to do some homework. While chocolate does often get a health halo, it's not straight-up health food. The quality of the ingredients and how it’s crafted makes a big difference. Here are a few no-fail treats for the healthy chocoholic in your life.

Why Dark Is Better

Chocolate is made from a magical mixture of elements. Components of cocoa beans are combined with sugar, flavorings and sometimes milk, to create the confection many folks go ga-ga over. Dark chocolate contains the highest percentage of cocoa and, therefore, the highest proportion of good-for-you ingredients. Cocoa contains potent antioxidants that help promote heart health and fight inflammation. Sadly the unavoidable fat and sugar that comes along for the chocolate ride can outshine the healthy attributes if you overdo the portions.

Dairy-Free Chocolate

Look for dairy-free “milk” and dark chocolates from Pascha. These cocoa beans are non-GMO and directly sourced from certified farms using agrarian, social and ecologically sustainable methods.

Buy It: Pascha Chocolate Co, $29.95

Bonbons

Delicate pouches of finely crafted infused chocolate feature health-boosting ingredients like fruits, nuts and spices. Send your loved one a box of select cravable bon bons from Cacao & Cardamom.

Buy It: Cacao & Cardamom, $36.00

Kid Favorites with an Upgrade

Craving kid-friendly confections but prefer a more grown up version? Unreal makes peanut butter and almond butter cups and bite size candies coated chocolates that are organic, sustainable, fair trade and non-GMO; some varieties are vegan as well.

Buy It: Unreal Brands Inc., $25.99

Icelandic

Iceland isn’t typically known for its chocolate but Omnom might change all that. Meticulously sourced cocoa beans and artfully designed packing are just the beginning of the intrigue. These bars feature healthful add-ins like nuts, raisins and sea salt.

Buy It: Omnom Chocolate, $8.26

Unforgettable Name

Just as delicious as it is fun to say, Fritz Knipschildt’s creations took him from a small Connecticut apartment kitchen to an international chocolate sensation. From bonbons to truffles to sauces, Knipschildt translates to chocolate heaven.

Buy It: House of Knipschildt, $60.00

Exotic Truffles

Vosges takes truffles to a whole other level. This collection of truffles features antioxidant powerhouse ingredients including matcha, wasabi, curry, olive oil, pumpkin seeds and edible flowers, plus outrageous flavor combos with absinthe, lemon zest and vanilla powder. Is your mouth watering yet?

Buy It: Vosges, $48.00

Mr. Chocolate

You can’t talk about chocolate without "Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres. This culinary superstar offers chocolate lovers an encyclopedia of chocolate-y treats at locations all over New York City. Do your bones some good with his custom hot chocolate mixes or enjoy something crunchy like chocolate covered Cherrios or espresso beans. A must stop next time you are in the Big Apple, or order online and get them delivered to your door.

Buy It: Jacques Torres Chocolate, $74.00