Lauren Slayton, nutritionist, Foodtrainers founder, and Blisstree contributor, tapped her staff for their favorite healthy-ish chocolate choices for Valentine’s Day (and any other day), and kindly agreed to share them with us — and you. So here are their top ten picks. (If you like what you see, be sure to sign up for Foodtrainers’ terrific monthly newsletter.)
In honor of Valentine’s Day, our gift to you is Foodtrainers’ ten favorite chocolate products. Of course you already know that dark chocolate contains good antioxidants. (Phenylethylamine, a “feel-good” chemical, is also found in chocolate.) But bear in mind that we use the term “healthy” loosely — “healthy-ish” is more accurate.
1. Sweet Riot
These all natural, antioxidant-rich, cacao “peaces” are dairy- and gluten-free, and contain just 140 calories per tin. The ORAC (Oxidant Radical Absorbance Capacity) a.k.a. antioxidants in 100 grams is 980 for Brussels sprouts, 1,700 for kale, 6,740 for milk choclate, and 13,120 for dark chocolate.
2. No Pudge Fudge Brownie Mix
You can use No Pudge Fudge as a brownie mix, but we love the single-serve recipe where you mix it with plain yogurt (we add berries) and heat it up for a little brownie. This makes for a 120-calorie treat, almost like a healthy single-serve chocolate souffle.
3. Kee’s Chocolates
If you want to visit a chocolate shop in Manhattan, do not miss Kee’s locations in SoHo and Midtown. With flavors ranging from Thai chili to elderflower, these are not your average pieces of chocolate candy.
4. Dark Chocolate Hemp Protein Powder
We know, we know hard to put a protein powder on the list with desserty items but this is a chocolate you can have every day. We love Manitoba’s certified organic omega-rich hemp blend, which contains all ten essential amino acids, and is vegan-friendly. For a chocolate mint treat try combining its chocolate-flavored hemp with 1/3 avocado, a little cocoa powder, mint extract, honey, cold water, and ice in a blender.
5. Chocolate Fondue
Lauren’s friend Julie Negrin, author of Easy Meals to Cook with Kids posted this recipe and I knew it was perfect for our list. Chocolate-dipped fruit is easy to make and just plain fun.
6. Real Bar
This truly is a healthy chocolate bar that blows other “protein bars” out of the water. Real Bar creators John Marsh and Gigi Barlowe Marsh just opened their first New York City restaurant, Green Market Tavern.