When I crave chocolate, the desire is intense, and it must taste good. So you can imagine how this might be a bit of a problem for me as a diabetic. Yes, I love chocolate, but not so much so that I want it to put me in a glucose-induced coma. As such, this is one area in my diet that I’ve had to become much more mindful of what I ingest; but the quest for a “healthy chocolate” has been an almost laughable oxymoron.
I have tried several “carob-covered” items, like raisins and cherries. While these are favorites of mine in regular milk chocolate form, it was all I could do to choke down the carob. I’ve never tasted sawdust, but from what my gut tells me, I could probably liken it to carob. I acknowledge, though, that the only medium in which I tasted it was the bulk candy aisle at Whole Foods. Maybe there is a packaged carob product that I would enjoy more, or perhaps some master chef has a baked goods recipe with carob that would be much more palatable. I know that I can’t continue to consume the regular high fat high sugar chocolate that I’ve always known, and so for that reason I havent completely written carob off. I’m not opposed to trying it again in some other form, but I sure am apprehensive about it! So far, to me, there is just no substitute for chocolate. Chocolate must just be chocolate. So then I looked at real chocolate with ingredient substitutes. And surprisingly, I found some viable options.
First on the list (but not tops) that I tried was the Kashi Chocolate Soft Baked Squares. I was super excited about these. A healthy brownie? Yes Please! And seconds, too! But then I actually tasted it. And lets just say maybe some things are too good to be true. I mean, it wasnt like the worst thing Id ever tasted. In fact, I would gladly opt for the Kashi chocolate square before I ever again ingest a carob covered raisin. But would I say the square tasted like a brownie? Not really. It tasted more like a semisweet whole wheat flour cake with mashed up sweet potatoes and black beans in it. Which is actually okay since that’s exactly what it’s comprised of. But sue me for just wanting my chocolate to be chocolate. I’ll get my vegetable intake elsewhere!
Thank my lucky stars; I did find an alternative that I’m quite fond of: the Fiber One 90 Calorie Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Sure, it doesn’t have any vegetables baked in, so I guess the ‘wholesome goodness’ quotient is not as high. But it actually does have the lower calorie count at 90 and 3g of fat as opposed to Kashi’s at 160 calories and 6g of fat per bar. And it just plain out tastes better.
Another new favorite of mine is the Pillsbury Sugar Free Brownie Mix. If it weren’t for the “sugar-free” written on the box, I might not have known that it was! (It does sweeten with Splenda) At 90 calories and 2.5g fat per serving, this is the closest “diet” brownie I’ve tried that is almost (if I squinch my eyes real tight) kind of like the real thing. This makes it easy for someone like me to still have the occasional indulgence without the fear of my glucose readings going off the charts. I’ll toast a brownie to that.
But if chocolate and sugar substitutes do not work for you (or the confounding added vegetable ingredients!) then behold Unreal, Candy Unjunked. This reinvention of such chocolate classics as M&Ms and Snickers contain 100% real milk chocolate, real caramel, real nougat, real peanut butter and real cane sugar. As such, the calorie, carbohydrate, and sugar count is higher than in the aforementioned alternatives, however, it’s still at much lower levels than its overprocessed counterparts. And, it also 100% does not contain chemicals, hydrogenateds, preservatives, corn syrups, artificials, or GMOs, also known as all the things that tend to trip up and shut down the diabetic’s internal workings.
I’m quite eager to be introduced to any other healthier forms of chocolate goods, particularly if you know a good carob item that I could try. I’ll admit that I’m skeptical, but I’m still all ears!
This has all made me hungry now! I think I’ll go have a brownie. Let it chocolate rain.