You probably know that dark chocolate does wonders for your mind and body. There have been plenty of studies on how it can boost your mood, improve your memory and cognitive functions, and even reduce your risk of heart disease. All that’s left for the popular snack to do is to cure cancer.
What most people don’t know, though, is that most chocolate isn’t even chocolate at all. Those milk chocolate candy bars you get for a few bucks? They’re usually made with only 10 per cent chocolate — the rest of the bar is bulked up with milk and sugar and fats and fillers. White chocolate, meanwhile, may not even contain any cocoa butter at all.
All of this is why I’m such a snob about preferring dark chocolate. By default, dark chocolate bars are made with a higher percentage of actual cocoa. The best ones, which can be as rich and complex as the finest red wines, leave little room for junk ingredients. And, again like red wine, dark chocolate is good for the heart, rife as it is with antioxidants. No wonder that the two make for such a classy pairing.
I haven’t even gotten to that distinct, divisive taste of dark chocolate. Metaphorically, that tension between bitterness and sweetness perfectly sums up this thing called life. Gastronomically, the first makes the latter that much more significant. It’s as though the two flavours are caught in captivating dance on your tastebuds. Every bite is a delightful surprise, leaving you curious for more. And it truly takes the same level of sophistication to make dark chocolate as it does to appreciate it. (Like I said, a snob.)
If you’re still uninitiated to the cult of dark chocolate, I’m here to convert you. You can start with baby steps, in the form of these delicious and nutritious snacks made with dark chocolate. With them, you’ll get protein, iron, vitamins and, always, just the right amount of sweetness. Some of them are even made only with natural, vegan ingredients, reflecting just how much attention dark chocolate die-hards pay to what they consume. And trust me, whatever snack you try, you’ll be doing your tastebuds a favour after years of numbing them with Hershey’s or Cadbury bars.
(Hero and featured image credit: Amazin’ Graze)
The best dark chocolate snacks in Singapore
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- Stoneridge Orchards strawberries dipped in dark chocolate
- Squbes dark chocolate, coconut and sea salt seed and nut snack
- Amazin' Graze dark chocolate brownie chips
- Border Biscuits dark chocolate gingers
- The Ice Cream & Cookie Co. vegan dark chocolate ice cream sandwich
- Myprotein Protein Bar Elite in dark chocolate berry
- Granovibes Dark Chocolate & Almond Granola Bar
- barkTHINS dark chocolate pretzel with sea salt
Unless you can find the time and patience to wait for chocolate to melt, you can forget about fondue and switch to these Stoneridge Orchards goodies instead. Each bag offers all-natural American strawberries, picked at the peak of ripeness and dried so they retain their berry flavour. That’s nicely complemented with a light coating of premium dark chocolate, made from 70 per cent cocoa. No artificial preservatives or ingredients have been thrown in, either. They’re best enjoyed with a glass of red wine, or mixed in your favourite vanilla ice cream.
The name of this snack is quite a mouthful, but it’s one you’ll appreciate once you get a taste of all those listed vegan ingredients. They’re essentially cubes made with chunks of dark chocolate. They get their crunch from sunflower seeds and almonds, both filled with immune-boosting vitamins and nutrients. Their sweetness, meanwhile, is owed to both chocolate and natural agave syrup. With their texture and taste, these are by far the most fun way to get your fix of iron and protein.
Imagine if there were a way to enjoy brownies without hating yourself for each bite. Well, this is what it looks like. Amazin’ Graze’s brownies are flattened to just two millimetres of gratifying goodness, made only with natural ingredients. Instead of refined sugars, these chocolate chips are sprinkled with all the good stuff like chia seeds, almond flakes and (unsweetened!) coconut shreds. Who needs a bag of potato chips when you’ve got these?
Like the purest of dark chocolates, the fiery combination of ginger and chocolate can be an acquired taste. But once you get it, you’ll see why people love these treats from Scottish brand, Border Biscuits. These biscuits offer a kick with each bite, thanks to the tangy freshness of carefully sourced ground ginger. Then comes that smooth, rich dark chocolate to soothe your tongue with. They’re the perfect thing to nibble on during your tea break.
We’re already fans of The Ice Cream & Cookie Co.’s artisanal ice cream, but the homegrown brand is now taking up more snack shelf space with their sandwiches. Each sandwich comprises two freshly baked chocolate cookies and a chunk of heavenly dark chocolate ice cream that melts on your tongue. They’re an obvious winner if you’re looking for a tasty dessert that’s gluten- and dairy-free.
In terms of nutrition, this snack bar packs a punch — 26g of protein, to be exact. In terms of taste, it holds up just as well with its deliciously sweet blend of dark chocolate and strawberry flavours. You can’t even tell that it’s actually low in sugar. It’s the perfect thing to chew on in between meals to get that extra boost in protein, especially if you’re not big on beef or dairy, and can’t be bothered to whip up a protein shake.
The perfect granola bar does exist, and it’s from Granovibes. Unfortunate name aside, this vegan-friendly snack raises the bar with its wholesome, plant-based ingredients, including organic chia seeds, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, brown rice and just a tiny pinch of coconut sugar. On top of all the protein and dietary fibre it provides, you’ll also find that oats and dark chocolate are a match made in heaven. Consider your breakfast sorted.
Back when going to the cinema was a thing, I would always get a mixture of sweet and salty popcorn. Why choose between two great tastes? These barkTHINS pretzels are made with the same idea. On the one hand, you have these deliciously salted, crunchy pretzels — a classic snack that’s hard to fault. But they’re also coated with rich, dark chocolate that is non-GMO and Fair Trade certified (i.e. no labourers were exploited in the making of these snacks). Just like popcorn, you shouldn’t be having these everyday. Instead, keep them stashed in the resealable bag and reward yourself after a long week with a pretzel or two.