Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tips for Picking The Healthiest Chocolate :) Happy Valentine's Day!

The first point won't be a big surprise: choose dark chocolate. The darker the bar, the higher the cocoa mass percentage will be. Dark cocoa (at least 70%) will have more healthy polyphenols and antioxidants and less of the processed oils and sugars. If it doesn't list the percentage then don't buy it. Second point also won't be a surprise: read the ingredients. Whether its a cereal, granola bar, or chocolate it's all the same point…. The fewer the ingredients the better. Look for 3 or 4 ingredients in high quality chocolate: chocolate, cocoa butter/ cocoa mass, and/or cocoa liquor, plus sugar. If the bar contains any oil, milk or milk products, soya lecithin, emulsifiers, ‘natural flavour’, or preservatives don’t buy it. Buy organic whenever possible. Cacao plants are some of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world. Pesticide residues can end up in the final product. Find out how your chocolate was manufacture. It is important in determining how 'healthy' it is. Drying cacao beans in the sun instead of roasting them preserves many of the chocolate’s delicate nutrients. Make sure that their processing temperature is not over 110°F. Also look for if the chocolate has undergone “Dutching", an alkalization method that actually removes the polyphenols. The polyphenols, the healthy part, gives the characteristic bitter flavour to the finished product. Hope these tips give you something to think about over the next couple of days if you buy chocolate for your loved one, or yourself!!