Whether you see Valentine's DayÂ as a perfect excuse toÂ shower your sweetheart with love, think itâs the worst kind of fake holiday, or fall somewhere in between, thereâs one thing we can all agree upon: February 14 means chocolate.
Of course, some varieties are better than others. There are types made without refined sugar, darker varieties with more antioxidants and less sugar overall, and others with superfoods mixed in. With so many on the market, we did some, ahem, intensive research to bring you some of the best-for-you and tastiest ones. (Youâre welcome!)
So treat your sweetheart, friend, sister, or yourself (or all of the above); itâs all good.
(Remember, as with our recent story on dairy-free ice creams, these are still treats, so be mindful of portions.)
Luluâ€™s Love Truffles ($8 for a box with 3 truffles;Â amazon.com)
These truffles are perfect for Valentineâs Day for obvious reasonsâtheir name, for one, but also becauseÂ theyâre heart-shaped and thereâs a heart on the box. But there are plenty of other reasons to love them, too. Theyâre organic, vegan, soy- and gluten-free, made with lower-glycemic coconut sugar, have just five ingredients (all recognizable), and theyâre even Fair Trade. Needless to say, theyâre also delicious. Dark chocolate (78% cacao) enrobes a silky filling made with sprouted hazelnuts, and just a touch of fleur de sel makes them absolutely tantalizing. Did we mention that you can eat all three for only 255 calories?
Heavenly Organics Honey Patties ($24 for 40;Â amazon.com)
Look no further for an indulgent treat for your honey (sorry). These little cups, filled with organic raw honey, are made with 100% cacao, are Fair Trade, non-GMO certified, and come in amazing flavors like mint, ginger, pomegranate, and almond (there's also a plain one if you like your chocolate and honey straight up). Portion control is not an issue here, as each individually wrapped patty is so satisfying (and light, at around 50 calories).
Taza Chocolate Coconut Besos ($6 for a 2.5-oz. bar;Â amazon.com)
Aside from being adorable that itâs named âbesosâ (âkissesâ in Spanish), this non-GMO, Direct Trade Certified, gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free bar is made with Tazaâs signature rich stone-ground chocolate (70% cacao in this bar), and studded with super-trendy coconut. Other great options: Tazaâs Sea Salt & Almond or Cacao Nib Crunch, both made with 80% cacao.
Theo Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups ($17 for 6 2-cup packs;Â amazon.com)
The classic combo gets an upgrade in these luscious cups, which are not only gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free, 71% fair trade and made with ingredients you can pronounce, theyâre also heart-shaped (awww!). Plus, you can eat both cups and still come in at 210 calories.
Photo: Courtesy of Theo
Green & Blackâ€™s Organic Dark Miniature Bars Collection ($30 for 12 mini bars;Â amazon.com)
If youâve ever stood in front of a Green & Blackâs display and agonized over the choicesâHazelnut and Currant? No, Ginger. No, Cherryâtoday is your lucky day. This box has 6 different flavors, 2 mini bars of each, so you donât have to decide. Plus, theyâre all organic, Fair Trade and made with just a few simple ingredients (and theyâre all delicious, of course).