Chocolate Survival Guide

No one said you had to banish chocolate from your life.
Published February 23, 2016

Love chocolate? You're not alone. Plenty of people find this satisfying indulgence simply irresistible so don't beat yourself up. Use these easy tips to get your chocolate kicks, without blowing all your SmartPoints® values.

Not all chocolate is created equal
Splurge on good quality chocolate. Look for high-end brands like Baker's or Scharffen Berger, available in many gourmet stores — or even Green & Black's. A good chocolate is like good red wine — it has a brightness that mellows as it melts in your mouth.

Always read the label carefully. Some chocolate makers include hydrogenated fat in their products. The worst offenders are those who make white chocolate, which tastes best when made only from cocoa butter, the natural fat in the cocoa bean.

Whether you chose white or dark, buy pure, good-quality chocolate. If you're going to treat yourself, you might as well treat yourself right.

Dark chocolate is a flavorful alternative
Many people think all chocolate has milk or cream in it. But only milk chocolate contains dairy. Dark and bittersweet chocolate are unadulterated products of the cocoa bean. For chocolate lovers, they're a straight-up fix. Semi-sweet chocolate also contains no dairy, but it has as much as 60% added sugar (thus the 'semi-sweet' label).

Bark is better as a bite
Chocolate bark (a sweet slab that resembles tree bark) is a wonderful way to enjoy chocolate without a lot of fat. Look for dark chocolate bark with dried fruits or plain, thin-sliced nuts. It's loaded with flavor; a real treat with a cup of coffee or tea.

Chocolate is best at room temperature
Chocolate tastes best when it's about 10 degrees below body temperature (in fact, chocolate melts just one or two degrees below body temperature, which is why it can end up on your hands).

Choose fruit-filled rather than creams
Ever wonder why a vanilla cream chocolate has more calories than a chocolate-covered cherry? The difference is in the center. A chocolate-covered cherry has a real fruit center while the vanilla cream contains fondant, a creamy filling that is often made from hydrogenated fats, cream and artificial flavorings.

Get crunch without the fat
Chocolate-covered pretzels will give you just as much crunch-kick as chocolate-covered Brazil nuts. Each is delicious, but the pretzels are lower in SmartPoints® values.

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