Good news…the short answer is YES!
Not all chocolate is created equal. The ingredients that make up chocolate and their quality can vary hugely. And while some chocolate on the market is undoubtedly ‘junk’ food, some can indeed be a healthier treat!
Here are five criteria to look for to make sure you’re getting the healthiest chocolate:
- Pure, whole food ingredients
We strongly believe a good-quality chocolate should contain the smallest list possible of natural ingredients. Cacao (or cocoa, if it’s not raw) should be among the first on the list. After all, it’s the thing that ultimately makes chocolate, well, chocolate!
Other ingredients could include cocoa butter, and coconut rather than dairy to create the creaminess. And of course an unrefined sugar such as coconut sugar rather than refined, bleached cane sugar. And finally flavoursome ingredients such as fruit powders and vanilla pods.
Avoid additives such as artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers, flavourings and ‘E’ numbers as these have no nutritional benefit – and some may even have harmful effects!
We make sure that only the finest natural, unrefined ingredients are used in our Ombars.
Cacao is a pretty incredible plant product, full of amazing health benefits. And perhaps its greatest health-boosting property is its content of flavanols, which are powerful compounds that can have antioxidant benefits for the heart, skin, brain and immune system.
Yet the roasting process used to make standard chocolate can destroy these compounds. When making raw chocolate however, like we do at Ombar, the beans are left to dry naturally in the sun and are not roasted, thereby preserving as many nutrients as possible.
By choosing an organic chocolate, you’re avoiding artificial and potentially harmful chemicals such as pesticides. Just another way you’re getting the purest possible chocolate with more goodness.
- Dairy-free / plant-based
Plant-based diets are associated with a load of health benefits, including helping to maintain a healthy weight, for the heart, and for living well into old age. Here, here! The great news is that you can stay plant-based with your chocolate too: all Ombar chocolate is 100% vegan!
To create a truly healthy chocolate bar, it needs to be healthy for the people who make it, too. At Ombar, we work closely with everyone in our supply chain – from growers to exporters – to make sure everyone is compensated fairly. We even have a team member on the ground in Ecuador working directly with the farmers who grow, harvest and ferment our cacao beans. She’s helping them learn how to improve their techniques and processes so that they get a better price and stability of supply, and we get a better quality ingredient. It’s a win-win for all!
So as you can see, there IS such a thing as healthier chocolate. And all without losing that delicious, creamy, chocolatey taste. So why compromise on less than you deserve?