We rounded up the best dark chocolate bars to snack on when you’re trying to be healthy but still want a treat.
When it’s time to cleanse and be all healthy and not eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast like we do all through December, we’re told dark chocolate might just be our savior if we need something sweet. To be specific, the flavanols found in cocoa may help protect your heart, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. Also, if you’re going paleo or giving up dairy in 2020, dark chocolate is often naturally vegan, as there is no added dairy like there is in milk chocolate.
Still, to some, dark chocolate feels like a runner-up to whatever they really want for dessert. The higher cocoa and cocoa butter concentrates in dark chocolate can make it taste somewhat bitter compared to a Hershey’s. And choosing a bar of dark chocolate these days can feel almost as overwhelming as picking out the right bottle of pinot noir. After all, there’s the origin of the chocolate to consider, as well as the reputation of the manufacturer.
Related Reading: How to Host a Spa Lunch to Kick Off a Healthy New Year
But trust us when we say this is the year to go to the dark side, especially if you’re trying to do a low carb diet (see above-mentioned cinnamon roll binge). We are living in the golden age of the healthy-ish chocolate bar. Below, our guide to the best bites.
The hit of matcha green tea and spirulina makes this bar a no-brainer. The latter ingredient is packed with vitamins A, C, E and B, as well as a whole host of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium. If you haven’t gotten on the matcha train yet, know it’s been linked to health benefits, including heart disease prevention and mental alertness.Buy Now
At 56 percent bittersweet, this is a good bar to try if you’re new to dark chocolate. Originally sold as baking chocolate in the ‘30s, this brand has become a staple in Iceland, and is much better for you than raiding the bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the pantry. Also? That. Wrapper.Buy Now
This gift-to-yourself chocolate dream by subscription box giant Mouth offers boutique dark chocolate bars from marquee names in the chocolate world, including Dandelion Chocolate, French Broad Chocolates, Woodblock Chocolate, and Videri, highlighting various percentages and origins.Buy Now
Made with ethically sourced chocolate, Taza follows Mexican traditions to create chocolate discs (not bars!) that are ground on millstones to highlight the complex taste of cacao. Rounding out the process is adding single ingredients like vanilla, cinnamon, and chili.Buy Now
As you can imagine, 99 percent is the real deal. Think of eating this kind of chocolate bar the way you’d savor a rich red wine. In fact, why not double the antioxidants and pair a few squares with a rich red wine?Buy Now
High cacao content—ranging from 70 to 80 percent—ethically sourced ingredients, and the addition of toasted coconut and Himalayan sea salt make these hunks a great addition to your chocolate stash.Buy Now
Yes, this breaks down to almost $15 a bar (there are two total). But the “K” in the name stands for Thomas Keller, who paired up with olive oil producer Armando Manni and used single-origin beans to bring us lush, artisanal dark chocolate in a super sleek package.Buy Now
This set of 40 single-origin squares highlights four different percentages of chocolate made from beans sourced from Uganda, Ecuador, Santo Domingo, and Ghana. They’re the perfect size for an end-of-day treat, but it will be hard to resist tearing through several at once.Buy Now
Following a keto or low-carb diet? Chocolate can still be on your plan. If you want your dark chocolate to be more sweet than bitter, look for options without sugar—the sweetness in this one comes from monk fruit.Buy Now
There’s one ingredient in this chocolate bar, and that’s cocoa. It may be bitter to some, but it also packs a powerful nutritional punch and makes it suitable for anyone following a ketogenic-type diet.Buy Now
Paleo, vegan, and organic, Hu prides itself on short ingredient lists and fair-trade cocoa. Hu uses coconut sugar as a sweetener, which has a lower glycemic index than traditional sugar. In addition, unlike regular sugar, coconut sugar contains nutrients like zinc, calcium, and potassium. Pretty sweet! (See what we did there?) That said, this particular four-pack of bars marries sea salt with the sweet dark chocolate.Buy Now
“It’s food, not candy” is Eating Evolved’s tagline and it plays out in the list of ingredients in each bar. The list is short: Organic cacao, organic coconut sugar, organic cacao butter. More impressive is what the brand omits. Minus soy, traditional sugars, or emulsifiers, this bar still tastes rich, complex, and is a guilt-free treat for anyone exploring clean eating.Buy Now
Chocolate of the Month Club
For when the cleanse is over...
Header image courtesy of Hu/Amazon