Taste Test: Three Local ‘Healthy’ Chocolate Companies
There’s not a sugar addict on the planet who hasn’t wondered, at some point, why chocolate can’t just be healthy. And while chocolate is unlikely to ever reach true superfood status, there are several local companies doing their best to capitalize on the health benefits of everybody’s favorite dessert while cutting out the bad stuff. We took on the oh-so-difficult task of taste testing some of their healthy chocolate products to see how they hold up to a classic Hershey’s bar:
Background: Pure7 uses raw honey in place of refined sweeteners in its organic dark chocolates, which are made without GMOs, soy, dairy, gluten, and preservatives. Its line includes flavors like raspberry, salted almond, peanut butter and banana, espresso, peppermint, and more. The chocolates are made in Carlisle and can be purchased online, at Whole Foods, or at a handful of specialty food stores.
The verdict: Not too bitter and not too sweet, Pure7 produces a solid dark chocolate that will fulfill your cravings without tasting artificial. We especially liked the fruity, tangy raspberry flavor.
Background: In addition to clocking in at 40 calories per piece, Tru Chocolate is sugar-, dairy-, gluten-, and GMO-free. The just-launched company makes plain dark chocolate and a line of chocolate-covered snacks, which can be purchased online or at a handful of Massachusetts stores.
The verdict: Though Tru tastes pretty similar to regular chocolate, after melting in our mouths, the texture took a little getting used to. There’s also a distinct Xylitol aftertaste, which can be good or bad depending on your tastebuds. Its range of chocolate-covered snacks, especially the flame raisins, are a good bet.
Background: Combining the flavonoids of dark chocolate with the energy- and endurance-boosting properties of ginseng, Perfect Fuel markets itself more as a nutrition supplement than a candy. The chocolate bites are vegan, kosher, high in antioxidants, and use low glycemic index coconut palm sugar. Buy them online or at area Whole Foods stores.
The verdict: Dark chocolate lovers will approve of Perfect Fuel’s rich, slightly bitter taste. The texture is slightly chalky, likely due to the ginseng, but all in all it’s a pretty enjoyable snack. Side note: If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may experience slight coffee-like jitters after eating one.