If you’re sweet on someone this Valentine’s Day and want to send some chocolates their way, this guide to five good-for-you treats will give you plenty of ideas. What makes these confections better than the average box of chocolates? We’ve gathered dark chocolatey goodies, many of which are made with at least 70 percent cocoa, which translates to big beauty benefits—as long as you don’t consume them all at once, of course.
Cocoa boasts heart-healthy plant compounds called flavanoids that help reduce stress hormones — and consequently decrease collagen breakdown, which leads to fewer wrinkles or less saggy skin. Dark chocolate also relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow, which helps with that healthy glow, as well as fighting damage from free radicals, such as sun spots. Stick to about an ounce and a half a day of chocolate with 70 percent or higher cocoa content and reap the benefits!
1You can’t resist a savory-sweet combination
A stack of these subtly romantic bars from Fine & Raw ought to do the trick for anyone who adores the juxtaposition of salty and sweet (and who doesn’t, really?). The Valentines Sea Salt Bar combines the goodness of raw cacao, crystal palm sugar, raw cacao butter and sea salt for a flavor that hits all the right notes.
2You’re a traditionalist when it comes to February 14th.
When only a heart-shaped box will do, this luxe version from Vosges Haut Chocolate won’t disappoint. The Noir Truffle Heart Collection boasts 16 exotic truffles ranging from 65 to 75 percent cocoa content. Each one is like a gem, with themes such as Oaxaca (infused with guajillo and pasilla chiles, 75 percent Tanzanian dark chocolate and pumpkin seeds) and Krug Champagne (infused with 85 percent cacao dark chocolate, Krug Champagne, rosewater and cocoa powder).
3You like it raw.
Check out these delicious domes of raw chocolate from the cold-pressed juice gurus at The Juice Press. These Chocolate Love Quest treats are sinfully rich, yet they’re made with only five guilt-free ingredients: raw cacao, coconut oil, agave, salt and vanilla.
4You want what no one else has.
This stunner of a chocolatey gift from L.A. Burdick has the most unique presentation we’ve seen. Serious chocolate lovers will appreciate the divine cocoa nibs and gianduja truffles seasoned with Grenadian spices, coated in Grenada dark chocolate and dusted with cocoa powder — all nestled in a dried cocoa pod.
5You crave a frozen treat.
Once you dig into Jeni’s Splendid Dark Chocolate Ice Cream, you’ll never go back to the stuff from the convenience store again. This handmade treat comes from Columbus, Ohio, and is made with milk from grass-fed cows and 99 percent fair-trade cacao chocolate. The flavor is so intense, you only need a few bites—which is good news for your waistline.