Whether you’re smooching someone special or rocking this Valentine’s Day solo, it’s important to give yourself a little TLC too. And yeah, sometimes TLC grows from the cacao plant.
But before you try to put a ring on that Ring Ding, know that not all chocolate is not what it claims to be. For example, the first ingredient in a Hershey’s Bar is sugar. And take a look at a Reese’s Pieces package—you won’t even find chocolate listed in the ingredients. There’s nothing sexy about something pretending to be chocolate that’s just… not.
But don’t lose heart! We put together a list of healthyish chocolate treats we think are worth swiping right for. Chocolate that’s real and raw. Chocolate that will support you emotionally and treat you right physically. Because you deserve better than mediocre modified cornstarch this Valentine’s Day.
Made with 70 percent cocoa, butterfat, and fleur de sel, Alter Eco’s dark brown butter bar is pretty much everything we’ve been looking for in a partner chocolate bar: smooth, rich, and nuanced… willing to give us everything without asking for anything in return. In other words, having this bar might just beat having a bae.($8.25; amazon.com)
You don’t have to be Winnie the Pooh to think honey is the sh*t. Break off a piece to find the rich dark chocolate you’d expect in a chocolate bar paired with the sweet crunch of honeycomb you probably wouldn’t. It’s a delightfully sweet and surprisingly addictive combo that we fully endorse for all humans (and cartoon bears) observing Valentine’s Day this year.($6.21; amazon.com)
Jam-packed with crunchy almonds and tart, chewy cranberries, this bark is basically the love child of your go-to trail mix and your favorite chocolate bar. Take a bag along with you whenever snacking is imperative—from the trail to a potluck to your nightstand.($5.49; thriftyfoods.com)
Taza’s stone-ground disks can be heated up and melted into a rich cup of hot cocoa, stirred into savory sauces for added flavor and texture, and drizzled over desserts for an extra kick of cocoa. Unfortunately, we can’t get much more specific than that, because we ate it all straight out of the package before we could try doing any of these things.($15.59; amazon.com)
From lattes to soups, it’s trendy to make almost anything ‘golden’ these days, and chocolate is no exception. Whether or not you’re in on the turmeric hype, these chewy bundles of coconut, dark chocolate, and turmeric are loaded with flavor and might even have a few health benefits.($5.99; theochocolate.com)
Think Reese’s cool aunt. Made with fresh almond butter and a deep dark chocolate ganache, these almond butter cups are naturally indulgent without even trying. You won’t find any shady partially hydrogenated characters in here—Hail Merry uses organic virgin coconut oil and natural sources of sugar and fat to give rise to extreme (and clean) decadence in each bite.($2.49; snapkitchen.com)
Some people eat these tart treats from the Himalayas for their antioxidants, high fiber, and iron. Others do it for the vitamin C. We do it for the chocolate. These scrunchy berries coated in dark chocolate are basically superfoods disguised as dessert.($9.49; jet.com)
Nanga by Nature’s motto is, “only good stuff touches these nuts,” and judging by the taste of these almonds, we believe them. Roasted, sweetened lightly with maple syrup, and sprinkled with cocoa dust, these are definitely the sexiest almonds we’ve laid eyes on in 2018.($29.99; amazon.com)
Move over, Nutella, we’ve just met a dreamier chocolate nut butter. With subtle hints of espresso and cocoa, this almond butter goes with almost anything—or, admittedly, without anything. Spread this gluten-free, dairy-free, and Paleo-friendly almond butter on toast, spoon into oatmeal, or forget the table manners and dig in.($14.59; juliesreal.com)
Let’s be real: Most chocolate yogurts leave a lot to be desired. (Cough cough… the chocolate part?) Unlike most brands, Noosa’s Mexican Chocolate yogurt has more in common with chocolate than its hue. Made with yogurt, a pinch of cinnamon and cayenne, and with rich fair-trade cocoa powder, this dairy-based dessert can be spooned up on the daily.($6.19; jet.com)
The flavor of our favorite beverage now lives in the body of our favorite food. Still not enticed? Goodio’s Finnish chocolates are simple, vegan, and made with raw, unroasted cacao. They’re also fresh to the U.S. market, so you’ll have to check out Whole Foods in the northeast to track some of these bars down.($6.99; amazon.com limited supply)
Thought to be natural aphrodisiacs for a long time, figs have gotten quite the reputation as a super-sexy snack. And while the jury’s out on whether or not these dried fruits can actually help you get it on, John and Kira’s chocolate covered figs certainly make us a little weak in the knees. These Calabacita figs are filled with a whiskey-infused Valrhona dark chocolate ganache, then dipped into rich, dark chocolate.($39.95; johnandkiras.com)