What is your preference when it comes to chocolate? Do you care more about health, taste or both? Some chocolate lovers prefer the bitter taste to its creamy counterpart, but do you know which one is better for your body? Here are the healthiest types of chocolate you can’t resist.
Why Is Some Chocolate Healthier Than Others?
To understand chocolate production better, it is essential to learn how cacao turns into cocoa. Producers first harvest the pods from the cacao trees to dry, ferment and roast them. The cocoa beans produce cocoa butter, chocolate liquor and cocoa powder. After processing, only the cacao nibs remain, which consist of 53 percent cocoa butter and 47 percent cocoa solids. The cocoa butter is what adds the fat content to chocolate while the solids make cocoa powder. It is in the cocoa butter tempering technique that chocolatiers practice to perfect their products. Candy makers can also add in lots of sugar, extra cocoa butter, liquor, fats, nuts, fruit or various candies. Some chocolate facts:
- Cocoa butter is the natural fat in the beans which melts and gives a unique taste
- Cocoa butter is prominent in mild chocolate blends and melts at room temperature
- Chocolate liquor is a liquid that forms from ground beans and makes unsweetened, bitter or baking chocolate, which is also called a mass, paste or cocoa solids
Healthiest Types of Chocolate
Chocolate taste and types are determined by the amount of the cocoa bean in each product. The higher the cocoa concentrate, the more distinct the cocoa taste will be in the chocolate. Here are three of the healthiest forms of chocolate:
- Unsweetened chocolate: Unsweetened chocolate is one of the healthiest, purest types as it is made with 100 percent cocoa liquor, which gives it the bitter taste. It is often used for chocolate manufacturing, baking and product flavoring. There is generally no milk or sugar used in unsweetened chocolate, but there is butter, fiber and fats. Unsweetened chocolate has lots of health benefits including cognitive, heart and brain function.
- Dark, bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate: Dark chocolate does not have milk or dairy powder, but it does contain more than 35 percent cocoa. Bittersweet and milk chocolate also have similar cocoa ratios but have additives like sugar and fat that change the health factor considerably. Consuming a crunch bar by Chuao will provide 70 percent organic dark chocolate and helps your body with weight management, blood pressure and heart disease.
- Cocoa powder: While chocolate is often associated with tongue-pleasing sugary treats, cocoa in its pure form is quite nutritious because it doesn’t naturally contain sugar or fat. After the cocoa butter is removed from the liquor, the nibs are crushed into powder. Natural cocoa powder works best with baking soda, but Dutch has alkaline to deactivate acids, which work with baking powder. When you use cocoa powder in treats, you can control the amount of sugar to make healthier snacks.
So, forget feeling guilty about eating chocolate moderately that has higher cocoa to fat ratio. Not only are you going to please your palate, but you will be doing your body a guilt-free favor.
Brought to you by our friends at chuaochocolatier.com.