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Even before my family was on a healthy trail, I didn’t have candy in the house (I knew the risk of artificial food dyes even then; unfortunately at that time I thought artificial colors could only be found in candy- not many, many things- like pickles!), and I didn’t let my kids eat it, with one exception, chocolate. I did let them have Hershey’s chocolate on occasion.
Today, I know better. I know how unhealthy soy lecithin and other additives are. I also know that many, many people’s bodies can’t handle milk products, my entire family included. Through following the GAPS Diet protocol, introducing foods in the quest to heal our guts and the rest of our lives, we realized that none of us can even do GAPS Diet legal yogurt. I tried time and time again, on and off, for almost two years. Finally, I gave up, accepting the fact that it makes us all stuffy, visibly puffy in the eyes, and congested. We are able to eat cheese, but only the very hard and dry varieties.
Back to the chocolate… we now buy soy free, milk free, additive free, organic chocolate. Once you get used to this, if you ever happen to try a typical Hershey kiss or soy filled chocolate again, you’ll be shocked at the difference in taste. The Hershey’s chocolate tastes disgusting! And for me, even just one kiss makes me feel so sick (To be clear, I only tried one a few times when I was craving chocolate horribly and there were candy dishes at other people’s houses- I don’t touch the stuff at all anymore.).
HOW DO I FIND SOY FREE AND ADDITIVE FREE CHOCOLATE?
Here is what you should look for in a label.
Make sure there are no weird chemically sounding words (usually referred to as additives).
WHY DO I BUY ORGANIC?
I really would like to minimize my family’s consumption of chemicals, pesticides, and who knows what else. I more so feel like the question should be why not? When there is clear evidence of the harm chemicals being used on our food can cause, why would you risk it?
HERE ARE MY TWO FAVORITE KINDS;
- Theo. They seem to develop new bars all the time, so you’ll have to keep your eyes on the ingredients. Depending on the flavors, or kinds, the ingredients can vary. They use essential oils to flavor some of their bars. I prefer not to ingest essential oils. We also stay away from the milk chocolate ones for our dairy sensitivities. We like the dark chocolate salted almond Theo bar. The ingredients are cocoa beans, cane sugar, almonds, cocoa butter, Himalayan pink salt, and ground vanilla bean (all organic).
Note: if you are sensitive to milk (and I highly recommend avoiding even if you think you aren’t), then be sure to read each individual kind of Theo bar. I don’t believe any of them have soy, but there are plenty of milk chocolate options (which contain powdered milk). On the front of the bar, look for a dark chocolate percentage of 70% or higher (again this is only for this particular brand- each brand has it’s differences and things you must watch for- there is only one brand that I’ve found to have every single bar they offer free of soy, additives, and milk products- but I haven’t tried them yet- HU Kitchen).
- Green and Black’s Dark 85%. The ingredients are organic chocolate, organic cocoa butter, organic cocoa, organic raw cane sugar, organic vanilla extract.
Note: this is the only kind of Green and Black’s that is soy free. Be sure to read the ingredients and make sure you get the 85 % kind. The 70 % has exactly the same design on the front. I’ve accidentally ordered the wrong one a few times, resulting in sick tummies and a confused mommy.
As you can see these both have sugar. While it is organic raw sugar, I still prefer my family to use natural sweeteners- honey and maple syrup. It seems to be that perhaps chocolate bars don’t work using honey or maple syrup? I have yet to find any. I bake, and only sweeten with honey and maple syrup (both local, thick, and amazing), so I’ve accepted to let the sugar in the chocolate slide, as long as it’s its organic and raw (this means no bleaching and in the healthiest state possible).
Also be sure that if you see salt listed that it is sea salt, as typical table salt isn’t natural in the least bit.
WHAT ABOUT CANDY?
When I say candy, I am referring to the bright colored gooey or hard things in the candy isle at supermarkets. I’m not sure if some people call chocolate candy as well, but for some reason, I just can’t seem to do this. For me, chocolate is called chocolate and everything else is candy.
Let’s look at what exactly is wrong with candy…or better yet, is there anything ok about candy? Usually not. Here are the ingredients in Swedish Fish, something I used to buy often: inverted corn syrup, corn starch, citric acid, mineral oil, artificial flavors, coloring, and carnuba wax.
Now let’s try one that I’d consider is a mix of chocolate and candy, Malted Milk Balls: sugar, corn syrup, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, whey, cocoa, malted milk, confectioners glaze, lecithin, salt, natural flavor and artificial flavor, calcium carbonate, tapioca dextrin.
No thank you, I’ll pass on the hydrogenated oils, lecithin (soy), natural flavor (a cover word for who knows what flavor or where it came from), coloring (food dye- unnatural), etc. I think you get the picture.
Now, there are a few brands of suckers and gummies that use real fruit and vegetable juice for color and flavor, but I still stay away from these as teaching my children how to look for healthy chocolate among a sea of bad is difficult enough without throwing in the lesson of somewhat healthy suckers versus not.
There isn’t any real nutritional value in the these either. In the chocolate above, you can at least find sea salt (which our bodies do actually need) and real cocoa powder (full of vitamins and minerals).
Avoid ingredients like salt, sugar, hydrogenated oils, unnatural dyes, additives, soy lecithin, corn syrup, …
Instead, look for things like sea salt, organic raw cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic cocoa, organic vanilla (this is typically the entire ingredient list of most of the healthiest chocolate bars).
WHERE TO BUY
SHOP ONE STOP PALEO SHOP FOR HU KITCHEN CHOCOLATE!
-use this link for 25% off
-Thrive Market usually has both Green and Black’s 85% organic chocolate bars and Theo bars
-Vitacost has both Green and Black’s 85% organic chocolate bars and Theo bars