Even the most avid health nuts like to indulge in a treat every once in a while. And most know that having a piece of chocolate is much better than downing a bag of white sugar-encrusted gummies. But is all chocolate made equal? Not quite. Dark chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate because the latter has less of the actual cocoa bean in it and is diluted with milk solids, sugar, and cream. Dark chocolate is not the healthiest chocolate there is, though – cacao is. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate you can consume, it is far less processed than typical chocolate bars you’ll find in stores (even dark chocolate) and is thought to be the highest source of antioxidants of all foods and the highest source of magnesium of all foods. Cacao also protein, calcium, fiber, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, sulfur, flavonoids, and essentially fatty acids. Considering cacao’s impressive nutrition, it’s no surprise that we’ve been seeing this superfood pop up in all sorts of forms like bars, butter, truffles, powder, cereal, and so on. Check out these 15 products made with cacao and see for yourself!
Ghirardelli 100% Cacao Baking Bar
When baking, you usually have so many other sweet ingredients involved like sugar and fruit, that you don’t necessarily need your chocolate to be sweet too. This is when products like the Ghirardelli 100% Cacao Baking Bar come in handy. This bar is exactly what it sounds like – a baking bar made from roasted and milled cocoa beans. Reviewers are reporting that this bar is good quality and adds an excellent flavor to baked goods. This is not a typical snacking bar, it is meant for baking. Some reviewers who were expecting a typical chocolate bar felt this product was “too bitter” but those who used it for baking noted that it actually adds such a rich chocolate taste to goods that you may want to use a bit less than the recipe calls for. To try it out yourself, you can get a pack of 12 four-ounce bars for about $43.
Raw Coconut Cacao Bliss Butter
Coconut butter, or puréed coconut meat, is pretty nutritionally beneficial. It’s packed with healthy fats, is rich in lauric acid, has been shown to boost metabolism, and is full of essential amino acids. While coconut butter is delicious on its own, some take this butter to the next level by blending it with other tasty treats. Take Artisana Raw Coconut Butter Cacao Bliss, for instance. This spread is made from organic coconut butter, organic coconut oil, organic agave syrup, organic cacao, and organic cacao butter. Reviewers are reporting that this spread is rich, decadent, and very healthy. Just be aware that this spread does not have a velvety smooth consistency straight out of the jar, if you want it to be very soft and very spreadable, reviewers suggest leaving it out for a bit before enjoying. You can get one eight-ounce jar for $11.75.
Righteously Raw Dark Chocolate Bites
Righteously Raw Dark Chocolate Bites are tiny, vegan treats made from 83 percent dark organic chocolate. Specifically, it contains cacao butter, cacao powder, coconut palm nectar, vanilla powder. It is non-GMO, low glycemic, soy-free, and gluten-free. Reviewers are reporting that these bites are satisfying, high-quality, and apparently “do not taste raw.” Some reviewers felt these were a bit on the bitter side, but admit that it’s likely due to personal taste. To see if you’d like these, you can get a 32-ounce box for a little under $25.
VivaLabs Organic Cacao Powder
Want to add the delicious flavor and nutritional benefits of cacao to beverages like smoothies and coffee? If so, consider checking out VivaLabs Organic Cacao Powder. This 100 percent organic cacao powder can be added to baked goods as well, and VivaLabs relays that this powder, and cacao in general, contains an impressive number of antioxidants and as a result is very energizing. Reviewers have been saying that this powder is very good quality, is convenient (since you don’t have to ground any cacao nibs into powder) and lends a rich chocolaty flavor to anything it is added to. You can get a one-pound bag for $10.50.
Wild Raw Nibs
Wild Sweet Nibs is an organic, raw, paleo-friendly, and single-origin chocolate treat. It is made by carefully crushing raw organic cacao beans and then rolling the “nibs” in coconut sugar to make them sweeter than your typical raw chocolate, which some people feel is a bit too intense in flavor. Since they’re granular, the company suggests pouring them over dairy-free yogurts and ice creams, or just snacking on them straight out of the bag. Reviewers are saying that this product is a great healthy, unprocessed option for nixing chocolate cravings, have a nice sweetness thanks to the coconut palm sugar, and are great added in smoothies and baked goods. You can get one eight-ounce bag for $15.
Lulu’s Sea Salt and Almond Chocolate Bar
For a chocolate bar you can feel good about eating consider checking out Lulu’s Sea Salt and Almond Chocolate Bar. This chocolate treat is made from five ingredients: organic cacao, coconut crystals, sprouted almonds, smoked sea salt, and vanilla bean. It is raw, vegan, organic, fair-trade, and gluten-free. Reviewers are saying that this bar is good quality, delicious (the sea salt apparently gives it an especially nice touch), and satisfies sweet cravings perfectly. You can try one one-ounce bar for $5.
Mayesa Cacao Dairy-Free Beverage
Mayesa Cacao Dairy-Free Beverage isn’t exactly a chocolate milk alternative but it is a creamy, chocolaty drink. This product is made primarily from filtered water, evaporated cane juice, organic cacao powder, and pea protein isolate. It is soy-free and gluten-free and provides five grams of protein and five grams of fiber per package. Reviewers are saying that this drink is a tad bitter (no more than dark chocolate) but tasty, is a nice replacement to coffee if you can’t handle too much caffeine, and is a wonderful post workout drink because of the nutrition cacao provides. To try this product out yourself, you can get a 12 pack of eight-ounce packages for about $30.
Emmy’s Dark Cacao Macaroons
Emmy’s Dark Cacao Macaroons are a gluten-free, organic, and dairy-free treat made from organic coconut, organic raw agave, organic raw cacao powder, almond flour, organic extra virgin coconut oil, natural fair trade vanilla flavor, and Himalayan crystal salt. Each macaroon only has five grams of sugar. Reviewers are saying that these macaroons are delicious, made from an excellent combination of ingredients, are good for various diet types, and since they’re so dense, you’re easily satisfied after just one. Just beware, as a few reviewers pointed out, just one macaroon has 100 calories, so if you eat the entire bag of three, that’s a 300-calorie indulgence. If you want to try these out, you can get 12 three-macaroon packs for about $34.50.
One Degree Veganic Sprouted Brown Rice Cacao Crisps
Get some cacao goodness right in the morning with a bowl of One Degree Veganic Sprouted Brown Rice Cacao Crisps. This chocolaty cereal is made from organic sprouted brown rice, organic coconut palm sugar, organic cacao, organic sunflower oil, organic sunflower lecithin, unrefined salt, and tocopherols (Vitamin E). Reviewers are saying that this cereal is undeniably healthy, easy to digest, not very sweet, and super crunchy. Some reviewers feel that it is not sweet enough or “bland” but also comment that adding some fruit on top solves this problem. To try it yourself, you can get one 10-ounce box for $12.
Navitas Naturals Cacao Goji Snacks
Navitas Naturals Cacao Goji Power Snacks are chock full of good-for-you ingredients. In addition to cacao powder and goji berry powder, these bite-sized nuggets have date paste, chia seeds, maca powder, sunflower seeds, lucuma powder, sesame seeds, camu camu powder, and natural chocolate flavor. As relayed by Navitas, these superfood ingredients provide an array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats. Reviewers are reporting that these bites have a deliciously chocolatey flavor, are undoubtedly healthy and are easy to incorporate into an existing dietary routine. That being said, one reviewer makes a valid point, stating that the name of this product is a bit misleading considering that the goji berry powder is pretty far down on the ingredients list. To try this product out for yourself, you can get one eight-ounce back for $6.75.
Pacari Raw Chocolate With Cacao Nibs
Do you like to balance out the bitter taste of dark chocolate with salt? If so, consider checking out Pacari Raw Chocolate With Cacao Nibs. This bar is made with cacao beans, evaporated cane juice, and sunflower lecithin. It is single-origin, soy-free, and gluten-free. Pacari, as a company, has won several awards for their chocolate bars and notes that Ecuador exports more than 60 percent of the specialty cacao in the world. Reviewers are saying that these bars are delicious and good quality. One reviewer points out they taste different than bars made with roasted cacao beans, and warns not to expect the same taste. You can get a pack of six two-ounce bars for about $40.
Two Moms in the Raw Almond Butter Cacao Truffles
It’s not often that a product can be a dessert and an energizing snack at the same time. Two Moms in the Raw Almond Butter Cacao Truffles proves that it’s possible. These chocolaty truffles are made with organic almonds, organic agave, organic cacao and sea salt. Each package provides five grams of protein. Reviewers are saying that these truffles are delicious, incredibly healthy, satisfying, and decadent. You can get six two-ounce packages (each package has three truffles) for $24.
Rawbite Cacao Energy Bars
Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Consider stocking up on some Rawbite Cacao Energy Bars. These organic and gluten-free bars are made from dates, almonds, cashews, cacao paste, cacao powder, and raisins. Reviewers are saying that these bars are delicious, energizing, and made from wholesome ingredients (adding that the product has no added sugars). To see if you feel the same, you can get a box of 12 bars for about $35. That’s about $3 a bar.
Wilderness Poets Cashew Cacao Hempspread
Nut butters, like almond or cashew, have been very popular as of late for the nutritional punch they provide while still maintaining the familiarity of spreads like peanut butter. Wilderness Poets Cashew Cacao Hempspread takes the nut butter trend one step further by adding cacao to the mix. Specifically, this spread is made with the following raw and organic ingredients: cashews, hemp seeds, cacao paste, high oleic sunflower oil, agave nectar, and Himalayan pink salt. It is soy-free and gluten-free and has zero grams of trans fat and zero cholesterol. Reviewers are saying that this spread is strong-tasting, grainy from the tiny hemp seeds, and needs to be warmed if it’s going to be used as a spread. Don’t expect this spread to be super sweet, though. Although it has cacao paste and agave, it is not particularly sweet. If you want a sweet treat, you may want to pair this spread with fruit, as Wilderness Poets recommends. You can get one eight-ounce jar for $12.
Go Raw Chocolate
Go Raw Chocolate is an organic and raw chocolate bar made from just two ingredients: raw organic cacao and raw organic agave nectar. Reviewers are saying that the flavor of this chocolate is intense and as a result, just one square of it satisfies chocolate cravings successfully. Reviewers are also commenting that this chocolate is very rich, to the point that it can almost seem chewy. To see for yourself, you can get one 1.8-ounce bar for about $5.75.
Lead image source: Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Brownies