Oh chocolate, how you have reentered my life with a vengeance! I managed to go almost a month with no dairy, gluten, sugar or alcohol. It felt really good, although I think it was more the physiological side of proving that I could have that much discipline than any real physical impacts. It was simply an experiment to see how I would feel. I think that the reduced sugar really had an impact, but I did not eat that much prior to my experiment in the first place. Almost all of my sugar is from fruit, but I was putting honey on my morning oatmeal. I am weaned off that now and figure it only helps! I did notice that after 3 weeks off sugar, my palate was much more sensitive to it, and so I need less to get the same impact.
The first form of a desserty sugar that I added back in was dark chocolate. I went to our local PCC (the co-op chain in Seattle) and sought out the lowest natural sugar dark chocolate I could find. The bars I found were all enticing, from rich pure dark chocolate to ones studded with coconut, flax, berries you name it. Of course I wanted to try them all, and so began my chocolate project.
The upside: I am experimenting with all sorts of great, high quality chocolate and quickly learning which ones are worth buying.
The downside: I am eating a whole lot of chocolate. The discipline from my no-sugar experiment is nowhere in sight. I need to work on that and find some self control.
I am sure you are wondering what I have found through this oh-so-laborious process. And well, I have to admit that I have been surprised at how varied my results are. All these brands are extremely unique in flavor and texture, and really are totally different products. Real, honest to goodness chocolate is so different than a Hershey bar. I encourage you to seek out these real high quality treats, and have a chocolate taste test yourself! Do you have a favorite high quality chocolate bar?
A brief summary:
- Fearless Midnight Dark – floral flavor, slightly grainy
- Fearless Exploding Coconuts – grainy, good strong flavor, not very sweet
- Endangered Dark 72% with Cocoa Nibs – smooth, strong and slightly sweet. Very satisfying. Favorite so far!
- Endangered Dark 72% with Espresso beans – a close second, really good smooth and satisfying
- Endangered 88% dark – beautiful dark rich bar, creamy and dark flavor, only 5g sugar!
- Theo coconut – very bright flavor…not as pleasing as Endangered, as much as I want to support this Seattle company it was not nearly as good at Endangered…and was more $$$
- Equal Exchange Very Dark – very creamy and molasses-like flavor…not sure if I like this one
- Sweet Riot 70% dark with Flax – hard to taste the chocolate since the flax flavor was pretty intense. These were all full on flax seeds…but toasted so they had a neat texture. I did not initially like this bar but could not stop eating it…(perhaps because I was starving at the time and also bored)
I should probably take a break. I think I have a chocolate tummy ache…