Pick a Better Chocolate Bar

Best dark chocolate bars

Perhaps my fellow Canadians have seen Hershey Canada's recent "Simple Ingredients" campaign. To me this highlights everything that's wrong with chocolate bars today.  The expensive cocoa butter has been replaced with cheap ingredients like polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR), which Hershey Canada has now decided to remove from their milk chocolate.  But PGPR is still used in Hershey's dark chocolate bars (Yes...the ones YOU thought were better for you) AND it's still being used in Hershey's USA products!

So, how do we go about finding a healthier chocolate bar?

4 Steps to Healthy-er Chocolate

1. Is there such a thing as a healthy chocolate?  I guess what I look for in a 'healthy-er' chocolate bar is very few ingredients like: Cocoa mass, cocoa liquor, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, sugar and maybe added flavour in the form of natural ingredients like vanilla, fruit bits, and spices like ginger or mint.

Surprisingly, most "premium" brands (Godiva, Ghiradelli, Valrhona, etc), and many "health store" brands (Green&Black's, Endangered Species, etc) add soy to their bars. Finding additive-free chocolate is difficult but doable (see below for recommended brands).

(The not-so-perfect disclosure: A couple of my favourite budget-friendly dark chocolate bars have soy in them, but in general I avoid soy as much as I can.)

2. A "Dark" chocolate bar is only required to have 35% cocoa content, so look for 60% "cocoa content" or higher.   The higher the cocoa content, usually the less sugar.  I've trained my palate to enjoy 70% cocoa chocolate, which satisfies me and helps me show restraint.  Sugary chocolate makes me lose my mind!

3. Buy Non-Gmo and/or Organic to avoid genetically modified ingredients, pesticides and other chemicals.

4. If you can, buy Fair Trade or Ethically Traded chocolate. This means the farmers were paid a fair price and hopefully treated decently.

8 Healthy-er Chocolate Bars

The following are some of my favourite chocolate bars that will fit almost any budget in no particular order:

Dark lindt chocolate bar review1.  Lindt - (3g per 10g square and often on sale in grocery stores)

If you're on a strict budget.....Lindt is a good example of a manufacturer that offers some soy-free choices. Most of their 70% and up cocoa content bars have no soy in them. My favorite is the 70% Madagascar which has a touch of vanilla making it a little sweeter and a great transition to dark chocolate. The entire Lindt product range is GMO-free, but not all soy-free.

Dark Enjoy Life chocolate bar review2.  Enjoy Life (Dark: 4g sugar per 10g)

Enjoy Life produces allergen-free*, non-gmo chocolate. These are a little higher in sugar but the dark chocolate bar is made from 'simple 3 ingredient' dark chocolate barINGREDIENTS: Natural Chocolate Liquor, Evaporated Cane Juice, Non-Dairy Cocoa Butter.

(*Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free)

Coco Camino dark chocolate bar revies3.  Camino - mostly found in Canada - 3g+ per 10g

Camino is the whole package.  Simple ingredients, dark, rich, soy-free, organic and fair-trade.

The 65% cocoa content bars comes in mint, raspberry, coconut, orange, etc.

Alter eco dark chocolate bar review
4. Alter Eco 3g+ per 10g

Alter Eco stands out for making 70% Dark Chocolate bars in a  plethora of  unique flavours:

Dark Quinoa
Dark Deep Sea Salt
Dark Burnt Caramel
Dark Organic Sea Salt
Dark Salted Brown Butter

...and amazing  truffles at 4 grams of sugar per.....oh my!...look at these credentials:

  • Organically Grown
  • Fairly Traded
  • Made With Pure Coconut Oil
  • Melty Silky Goodness
  • USDA Organic
  • Fair Trade Certified Ingredients
  • This Box is Recyclable
  • The Wrappers are Compostable
  • Certified Organic by QAI
  • Non GMO Project Verified
  • Certified Gluten Free

Ingredients in 60% Dark Mint:  Cocoa liquor, raw cane sugar, cocoa butter, peppermint crunch (cane sugar, peppermint essence, cocoa powder), vanilla.

Dark theo chocolate bar review5.  Theo - 3g+ per 10g

Deliciously smooth and also comes in amazing flavours like: Salted almond, chill, coconut, cherry almond, vanilla, ginger, sea salt, etc.  Soy-Free, Organic and Fair trade.

70% Dark Salted almond ingredients: Cocoa beans, sugar, almonds, cocoa butter, fleur de sel (seasalt), ground vanilla bean.

6. Zuzubean - 3g+ per 10g

Organic super-food, fair-trade, soy-free, wonderfully fun... almost risqué, 70% chocolate. 

Check out the salted toffee and banana, raspberries & cherries, orange & Ginger. 

Moulin des moines dark chocolate bar review
7.   Moulin Des Moines 3g+ per 10g

74% Cocoa Organic Dark Chocolate comes in flavors like Lemon, Fleur de Sel, hazelnut, and blueberries.

8. For the purist... raw (and expensive) chocolate:  Giddy Yoyo.  You'll most likely find these in health food stores. 

Interested in healthy baking chocolate?  See here.

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