How Well Do You Know Your Chocolate?
If we are going to keep this decadent treat a part of our lives without sabotaging our diets let’s get the good stuff! We want the best for our palates, right?
Like most things, not all chocolate is created equal. It comes in different textures, cacao concentrations, caffeine levels, flavors, colors, etc. How can you tell if the chocolate you’re about to enjoy is actually good chocolate?
Allow your senses to do the work…
Look at the color. Dark chocolate has more cacao and less sugar than other chocolates. It’s considered “healthier” than milk and white chocolate. Top quality dark chocolate will have a glossy shine without any bubbles or spots.
Look at the ingredients. If you see things you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce – steer clear. Avoid chocolates that have sugar as the first ingredient. And most importantly, keep an eye on the cacao concentration. Cacao is essentially raw chocolate in the purest form. It is not as processed as cocoa and better for you. Try to choose a chocolate bar or bag of chocolate chips with at least 70% Cacao. Here are a few brands to consider…
Look at the price. Good chocolate will cost more than commercial chocolate, as it should. You’ll pay more for a nugget of Godiva than a Hershey bar in the check-out lane. If you are looking for top quality chocolate be willing to pay a bit more. Here are a few price comparisons…
Look for the date the chocolate was made. If you find yourself blowing dust off a bag of hershey kisses sitting on Target’s shelf – put it back and MOVE ON sista! Generally, dark chocolate is recommended to be eaten within a year. Milk chocolate within 6 months and white chocolate 8 months (they don’t last as long due to their “milk” content) and filled chocolates, like truffles, keep for about 3-4 months. Head to this link to learn the proper way to store your chocolate to keep it fresh and edible: Tips on Storing Chocolate.
Chocolate should smell like…chocolate. When you hold it up to your nose and take a sniff – it should smell heavenly! Chocolate absorbs the odor and flavor of its environment, so if it smells like the gummy bears it shares a shelf with then most likely it has been sitting there way too long! Your chocolate craving deserves more!
Pick it up and break it. You should hear a clean snapping sound. If the chocolate bends (I know we’ve all had our fair share of bendy bars) or falls apart… throw it in the “no good” chocolate category. Don’t be fooled!
Does it melt in your hand? Place a square of chocolate on the palm of your hand and wrap your fingers for 20 seconds. If it melts = good quality! If not = bad quality. (I know, I know…I’m giving m&m’s a bad rap here!)
TASTE (My favorite test!)
The flavor should last. The taste of good chocolate will stick with you for awhile. Give your significant other a kiss 10 minutes after popping in a chocolate treat and see if he/she can detect it!
Texture should be creamy and smooth. Beyond taste, true quality chocolates will begin to melt in your mouth immediately. The texture should be creamy and smooth NOT grainy.
NOW GIVE ME CHOCOLATE…EVERY DAY!
Here at Eat the Chocolate, we say…Give yourself a little treat each day, get your chocolate fix, and stay on the path to health and fitness! We are two chocolate-loving moms on a mission – a mission to help others know that it is possible to be healthy and have a little chocolate each day, guilt free!
We’ve created a 21 Day Meal Plan for Chocoholics with families – just like you! Healthy meals and snacks portioned and mapped out for you with grocery lists and over 30 recipes (15 include chocolate!).
Visit Eat the Chocolate TODAY to learn more: www.eatthechocolate.com!