Companies like Endangered Species Chocolate, Hu Kitchen, and Chocolove, offer a variety of products made with natural ingredients, and many are also introducing innovative new flavors and recipes that appeal to a broad range of palates—from classic combos like dark chocolate and mint to more adventurous options like orange ginger and peanut butter banana. Often, a main ingredient is cacao or dark chocolate derived from it, which is packed with antioxidants.
- Bianca Tamburello, RDN, registered dietitian and nutrition educator
- Micah Siva, RD, Micah Siva, RD, is a registered dietitian, food photographer, and recipe writer.
- Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, registered dietitian and nationally-recognized food, nutrition, and wellness expert with a private nutrition counseling practice
- Vanessa Risetto, MS, RDN, Vanessa Risetto, MS, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and the co-founder and CEO of Culina Health, a virtual nutrition clinic.
Learn about some of the health benefits of this potent plant here:
As healthy chocolate snacks become more common, it’s easier than ever to find them in your local grocery store or online. But that also means that there are more people marketing “healthy” chocolate options to capitalize on the trend, which is why it’s worth knowing what a registered dietitian considers to be a win in this category. Below, you’ll find a variety of delicious chocolate treats that get an RD seal of approval.
Healthy chocolate snack options RDs love
Both Samantha Cassetty, RD, co-author of Sugar Shock, and Vanessa Rissetto, RD, founder of Culina Health, say that Alter Eco is one of their favorite chocolate brands. While the organic, fair-trade company sells everything from truffles to nut butter bombs, Cassetty loves the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Bar that’s made with 70-percent cacao.
“This bar boasts a simple ingredient list, a super smooth taste, and the loveliest hint of fleur de sel,” she says. “Plus, it has just nine grams of added sugar per serving.”
Rissetto is fortunate to have family in both the U.K. and Switzerland who hook her up with some of the best chocolate on the market, and she believes there is nothing better than a true Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar from across the pond. Interestingly, Cadbury chocolates and candies made in the U.K. are much different than their U.S. counterparts, featuring cleaner labels and more delicious flavors.
“I love Spring & Mulberry Chocolate, as it’s made with 72-percent cocoa, and sweetened with dates,” says Micah Siva, RD of Nosh with Micah. “Not only that, but the brand is women-owned, the products come in gift-worthy packaging, and the chocolate is less bitter than other dark chocolates on the market.”
Bianca Tamburello, RDN of Fresh Communications loves the Jojo’s brand of chocolate treats for containing much less sugar than many of its competitors, while still being plenty satisfying. “I love that these chocolate bites offer up plant protein from hemp seeds and healthy satisfying fats from the almonds and pistachios,” she says. “Plus, these bites have no added sugar.”
This one’s another top pick for nut lovers. Theo offers organic, low-sugar chocolate made with fair trade cacao for a sweet treat you can really feel good about, and the brand sells more than a dozen delicious flavors. (Salted Toffee, anyone?)
It’s a favorite of Cassetty’s as she says this bar proves you don’t need a ton of sugar to enjoy some major chocolate-y goodness, as this bar only has four grams per serving. Plus, it has a simple, easy-to-read ingredients list and is made with 85-percent cacao for some serious antioxidant power.
One of Cassetty’s favorites, these cups are made with 80-percent cacao and five grams of sugar. Plus, if you’re allergic to peanuts or prefer other nut butters, there’s also a Super Dark Chocolate Espresso Almond variety.
Tamburello says that she gravitates towards Raaka chocolate bars when she’s looking for something out of the ordinary that will tame her sweet tooth. The Brooklyn-based brand is all about bringing the best single-origin, small-batch, and organic chocolate products in mouth-watering flavors like Waffle Cone, Bananas Foster, and Green Tea Crunch.
“As an unroasted chocolate, Raaka uses fermentation to bring a more fruit-forward flavor than roasted chocolates,” says Tamburello. “I also like that the brand is transparent about sourcing and shares exactly where each ingredient comes from.”
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