Well chances are that if it’s one of those chocolate brands that can be purchased at the local drug store or gas station minimart, it only contains between 5-10% cocoa.
The remaining 90-95% consists of sugar, artificial flavors, additives, fillers, and artificial coloring. These often include soy lecithin (very likely from GMO soy), vanillin (a synthetic vanilla flavor made from a petroleum), and PGPR (a cheap substitute for cocoa butter that decreases the antioxidant power of cacao).
This is such a shame since chocolate can — and should! — be the ultimate guilt-free indulgence, jam-packed with yummy-goodness. Cocoa contains many of the health benefits of vegetables and is high in antioxidants as well as minerals. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals which cause damage that leads to heart disease and cancer. Cocoa has also been proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
But these benefits are what most “chocolate” is missing.
Try whipping up a batch of my simple homemade and healthy chocolate. In addition to powdered cacao (raw cocoa), they include just coconut oil, coconut butter, and raw honey, all of which are extremely nutritious. I actually think of these more as a delicious little superfood supplements (particularly when I add some goji berries or hemp seeds!) rather than candy. So. Super. Yummy.
Candy making isn’t your thing? I’m absolutely in love with Theo chocolate. They’re certified organic, fair trade, certified non-GMO, super rich in taste and reasonable in price, and come in a variety of flavors. The plain dark chocolate bar touts the following ingredient label: cocoa beans, sugar, ground vanilla bean. Yep, that’s it!
For baking, check out these Enjoy Life chocolate chips. They’re gluten, dairy, nut, and soy free, as well as certified non-GMO. And, again, the ingredients are simple: evaporated cane juice, natural chocolate liquor (non-alcoholic), non-dairy cocoa butter.