To me, it’s welcome news when you can squeeze “dessert” & “healthy” into the same sentence. All too often, dessert is relegated to the guilty pleasure category. Not so with dark chocolate! The benefits of dark chocolate are well documented. The bittersweet sweet provides a splendid array of healthy upside.
“Chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree. That makes it a plant. Chocolate is salad.”
Dark Chocolate’s Flavor Profile
Milk chocolate’s more sophisticated cousin, dark chocolate has a unique flavor profile. Pure dark chocolate is a mix of bitter, roasted, fruity, earthy, woodsy & nutty notes.
Today, Chocolatiers craft dark chocolates infused with mouth watering accents. A varied mix of sweet, salty & tart, complement dark chocolate’s distinct flavor profile.
Everyone’s palate is different. Fortunately, it’s now far easier to find dark chocolate that hits the sweet spot! We like to stock a wide assortment of dark chocolates at home. We’ll highlight some of our favorites below.
JauntyLife could receive compensation (no cost to you) if you choose one of the chocolates below. That’d be sweet for us! 🙂 Affiliate disclosure here…
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
There are numerous benefits to enjoying dark chocolate. And, they’re backed by lots of research. Consuming moderate amounts of dark chocolate each week can be a great supplement to your diet!
Dark Chocolate is surprisingly nutritious. It provides a healthy does of iron, magnesium, zinc copper and manganese. It’s also rich in fiber.
A moderate amount is dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which lowers the risk of heart disease. Flavonoids work to lower blood pressure & promote good cholesterol (HDL).
The bittersweet has been linked to improved brain function & cognitive performance
Dark chocolate goes toe to toe with blueberries on antioxidant density! This helps combat free radicals which cause cell damage, leading to cancer, alzheimers & heart disease.
It also helps to reduce inflammatory responses in the body. Chronic inflammation can lead to arthritis, type 2 diabetes & certain cancers
How Much is Considered a serving?
Studies suggest that 1 oz (30 grams) is a reasonable serving. That’s roughly a quarter to a third of a typical bar. Dark Chocolate is calorie dense, so moderation should be kept in mind. Otherwise it becomes too much of a good thing.
Shopping for Dark Chocolate
Shopping for high quality dark chocolate will be a rewarding journey. There are some things to consider when choosing the right brands.
First, look for a low sugar content. About 7-9 grams per serving is good.
Second, few additives & a short ingredient list are best.
Third, 70% cocoa provides nutrient dense, dark chocolate. If you’re new to dark chocolate, 70% is a good place to start. Higher percentages tend to be much more bitter.
Fourth, look for “Non Dutched” cocoa. Dutching involves an alkalizing process. While it makes dark chocolate milder, it cuts the nutrients by about half.
Lastly, try to avoid any artificial flavors or ingredients.
Once you’ve made your purchase, store your chocolate in a cool, dry place. It will stay fresh that way. We like to throw some dark chocolate in the freezer too. It provides a cool, crunchy twist!
Dark Chocolate Recipes
Personally, I enjoy dark chocolate directly out of the wrapper. That said, if you’re more ambitious, Spruce Eats put together some great dark chocolate recipes. Dark chocolate’s unique bittersweet adds more flare to chocolate oriented dessert recipes.
Benefits of Dark Chocolate – Brands we Like
The benefits of dark chocolate & the wide variety of flavors will make your exploration a pleasant task. Perhaps, try pure dark chocolate experience first. Then search for the perfect combination of bitter, tart, salty!
Pascha combines their healthy dark chocolate with arabica beans!
The highest quality ingredients and refreshing mint for a dark and icy taste!
Carmel, sea salt & rich dark chocolate give Alter Eco a rich, full taste!
G&B combines outstanding flavor with their strict fair trade policy.
Lindt is world renowned for its contribution to great chocolate!
Cherries, Almonds & 70% delicious dark chocolate are one of many unique flavors Theo brings to market.
Frango offers a classic, romantic box of chocolates. Surprise someone with dark chocolates from Frango!