I'm sure most people reading this have already heard about the potential health benefits of chocolate. This is due to the natural presence of flavanol antioxidants which have been linked to health benefits such as; lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improved blood flow, improved skin tone, increased alertness and many others. Unfortunately for us chocolate lovers, a lot of our favourite mass produced chocolate bars, even the dark chocolate ones, do not contain high levels of flavonols, partly because some of these antioxidants are destroyed during the manufacturing process.
I was contacted via twitter to try some Beyond Dark Chocolate Drops, and I was certainly intrigued to try a chocolate that claims to have more than three times the amount of antioxidant found in standard dark chocolate. The Beyond Dark range is the result of a four year quest by the founders to create an antioxidant rich chocolate. They used the "finest cocoa beans from the African Ivory Coast" and a unique production process to ensure the high levels and even claim that their chocolate contains the antioxidant equivalent of 25 oranges, 8 bananas or five apples in every 35 g pack.
I do love dark chocolate but I am a bit fussier about it than milk or white chocolate, mainly because I don't like any dark chocolate that has a bitter edge to it. Thankfully these Beyond Dark chocolate drops are just the kind of dark chocolate that I love. The chocolate is an intense 70% cocoa solids minimum dark chocolate that still manages to be extremely enjoyable to eat. It is rich and smooth, with an additional hint of vanilla that provides just enough creaminess and sweetness. There is no bitterness at all, just a perfectly well-balanced rich chocolate.
These chocolate drops, in moderation, are perfect for anyone who is following a diet or on a health kick. They will provide a little chocolate hit without too much guilt. There are 189 calories in each 35g pack, making each drop slightly less than 2 calories - although I can't imagine eating just one or two as they are quite small! They are very useful for baking too. I make some vegan oat cookies once in a while, and next time I do, I'll be adding some of these chocolate drops.
Beyond Dark drops are available in Harrods, Sainsbury’s, Holland & Barrett, and selected independent retailers. They are also available in Hints of Raspberry and Hints of Orange varieties. They are gluten, wheat and dairy free, and are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
And if you've ever asked yourself the question: "which provides more pleasure - kittens, puppies or chocolate?", then check out the Measure of Pleasure experiment. This is one battle that chocolate cannot win!
Grocery Gems Verdict: Beyond Dark Chocolate Drops
RATING: 8.5 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Definitely.
Nutrition: 189 calories, 2.7g protein, 10.9g carb (9.7g sugars), 14.7g fat.
Price: £0.99p (Holland & Barrett)
Ingredients: Cocoa solids 70% Minimum (Cocoa Mass 63.67%, Cocoa Butter 8.95%), Sugar, Vanilla, Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin