As Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz famously said, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” If Schulz says we should have more chocolate in our lives, then count me in! But not just any chocolate will do—the focus here is on products featuring intense dark chocolate, cacao beans, cocoa, and for the skin, nourishing cocoa butter. The best part? These good-for-you treats come with no sugar crash!
1. Adapt to Stress, Fend Off Fatigue
In ancient Mayan culture, cacao was viewed as a sacred, medicinal food. HealthForce SuperFoods captures this ancient wisdom with Cacao Alchemy Adaptogen Tonic, featuring organic Ecuadorian Arriba Criollo heirloom cacao powder (chocolate in its purest form). Along with cacao, adaptogenic herbs (ashwagandha and astragalus) and pure extracts (schisandra, reishi, cordyceps, and chaga) are added to ease stress and combat fatigue. The powder is sweetened with nutrient-dense carob, lucuma, and mesquite pod. Add to your favorite milk or smoothie.
2. Achieve Optimal Wellness
Early Spanish explorers used cocoa beans for increased stamina and power. Korea Ginseng Corp takes this a step further with Kore-select Wellness Capsules. They’ve combined premium Korean red ginseng with theobroma cacao extract for an all-in-one health booster. Use for immune support, focus, and healthy energy levels.
3. Soften Your Skin
A type of fat from cocoa beans, cocoa butter has a long history of use as a skin moisturizer. It also helps fade stretch marks and scars, thanks to its high vitamin E content. Our pick is Life-flo Pure Cocoa Butter, which is pure organic theobroma cacao (cocoa) butter and vitamin E.
4. Keep It Dark
Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Hu Kitchen Simple Dark Chocolate lets you reap the health benefits of 70% pure dark chocolate without compromising your diet. Made with organic house-ground cacao, the bars (also available in other flavors, including Cashew Butter and Salty Dark Chocolate) are Paleo, vegan, and dairy-free. The chocolate is sweetened with coconut sugar—no cane sugar, refined sugar, or sugar alcohols.
5. Unwind Tonight
A steaming cup of cocoa is good, but what’s even better is a hot mug of Four Sigmatic Mushroom Cacao Mix with Reishi. Organic unprocessed cacao is paired with reishi mushroom to help ease away worry and stress. Organic coconut palm sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and stevia add a touch of sweetness. Mix one packet with hot water or milk (of your choice)—presto, you have the perfect nightcap!
6. Let Yourself Eat Cake
- Cacao: The unrefined cacao bean; comes from the tree’s Latin name, Theobroma cacao; high in antioxidants, magnesium, iron, and other nutrients; can be powdered (non-processed) or broken up into pieces.
- Cocoa: Processed (to remove cocoa butter) into a powder; is sometimes combined with sugar and dairy; also rich in nutrients, including riboflavin and manganese.
- Dark Chocolate: A blend of 50–90 percent cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and generally some type of sweetener.
- Milk Chocolate: Contains 10–50 percent cocoa solids, cocoa butter, milk, and generally a sweetener.
Marika Blossfeldt is an award-winning cookbook author, a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and a Certified Health Coach. Every summer in her native Estonia, Blossfeldt leads yoga, wellness, and cooking retreats on her farm. In her newest cookbook, Cooking With Marika: Clean Cuisine from an Estonian Farm, Blossfeldt shares her favorite recipes (like Lemony Red Lentil Soup with Lacinato Kale, Caramelized Corn with Sage, and these delicious Quinoa Chocolate Cakes!). Her food philosophy is simple: “My recipes are based on natural whole foods and consist of only a few lovable, nourishing ingredients,” says Blossfeldt.
“No complicated food preparation techniques are involved because fresh, seasonal, quality produce is all you need.” Learn more at marikab.com.