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eBrandAid is playing Cupid this Valentine’s Day and melding together your passion for great chocolate with your desire for better health!
Folks, it’s a match made in chocolate heaven…and our BestBrands picks are 100% good for you…cross our healthy heart!
In case you haven’t heard the exciting news:
Health experts recently decreed dark chocolate a superfood. Dark chocolate is packed with the same powerful health-boosting antioxidants like those found in red wine, apples, onions and grapes.
These super substances, which are also called flavonoids, are thought to help protect against nasty afflictions like heart attack, stroke, dementia, hypertension, diabetes and circulatory diseases.
But, before you partake in a Valentine’s Day chocolate feast – proceed with caution! Not all chocolate is heart-healthy. Read on.
Milk chocolate may be yummy but it doesn’t deliver the goods. It’s DARK chocolate that contains the flavonoids that help your body fight off serious illness.
Sure, milk chocolate tastes sweeter. But because of its high sugar content, it will do you more harm than good. Milk chocolate can be as much as 90% refined white sugar…and that’s the sweet stuff that melts on your lips and hardens on your hips!
The Good News: Dark chocolate tastes great too! Your food sleuths have whipped up a sinfully sweet recipe that will tantalize your taste buds and boost your health – all in one sitting!
eBrandAid Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
This Valentine’s Day show your loved ones just how much you care for them…join them for a skinny dip of warm, melted dark chocolate and delectably cool strawberries.
Check it out.
- 5 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped (see BestBrands dark chocolate picks below)
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter OR 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
- 1 pint of fresh strawberries with leaves
- Wash, dry, and chill strawberries.
- Place chopped dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, and then add the butter (or heavy cream) on top in center. Microwave on medium for 1 minute, and then stir. Continue microwaving on medium for another 30 seconds or more, until chocolate and butter are completely melted, stirring frequently.
- Holding berries by the stem, dip each one in melted chocolate and place on wax paper. Chill for 30 minutes and serve!
Tip: Although dark chocolate is very healthy, it still contains sugar and calories, so you’ll want to set a limit of two per customer please! Yum.
eBrandAid Dark Chocolate Guidelines
Now that you know dark chocolate can be a regular part of your healthy lifestyle (in moderation), you NEED to know which brands to shop for. The candy aisle is crammed with one Healthy Food Imposter after another, so be sure to follow our BestBrands Guidelines for dark chocolate…and enjoy!
- The cocoa percentage MUST BE listed on the front label – look for at least 60% cocoa. (If there’s no percentage listed, put it back and move on).
- Chocolate liquor, cocoa or chocolate should be the first ingredient. If it’s sugar, move on.
- Seek out varieties that use less-processed sweeteners such as evaporated cane juice, barley malt or plain old sugar.
- “Certified organic” chocolate brands are a plus. The rating ensures there are no harmful pesticide residues. Plus, these brands tend to use higher quality ingredients!
Chocolatour Chocolate Bar Dark Tanzania 76% Cocoa
Chocolove Chocolate Bar Dark 73% Cocoa Organic
Chocolove Chocolate Bar Strong Dark 70% Cocoa
Green & Black’s Chocolate Bar Dark 70% Cocoa Organic
Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate Extra Fine 70% Cocoa
Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate Extra Fine 85% Cocoa
Ghirardelli Twilight Delight 72%
Finding healthy dark chocolate in your local grocery store can be a hit or miss proposition. They are more readily available in specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods Market or Target, but you can even find them online.
Because we don’t want to see your resolve melt away like a Hershey Kiss on a hot stove, we’re also rolling out our SilverMedal picks – dark chocolate choices you can buy in most any grocery store. These are good choices, but they’re not the best because they contain milk, which some experts believe reduces the full benefit of the dark chocolate.
Cacao Reserve by Hershey’s Santo Domingo 67%
Cacao Reserve by Hershey’s Dark Chocolate with Cacao Nibs 65%
Cacao Reserve by Hershey’s Premium Dark Chocolate 65%
Dove Extra Dark Chocolate 63% Cacao
Ghirardelli Espresso Escape 60% Cacao
Remember, when you’re armed with a little eBrandAid know-how, you’re in control at the grocery store.