Navigating the Low Carb Chocolate Bar Craze

February 21, 2012

By Vicki Shaver

In 1999, the year that I first discovered the many benefits of a low carbohydrate lifestyle, it was not easy to legally satisfy my taste for chocolate. It took legwork. Back then the only place I could find anything resembling a low carb candy bar was in a health food store. There was an odd guilt associated with navigating the aisles of nature’s finest, only to load up my basket with chocolate. It garnered a few stares from the granola crowd. Yet, I persevered!

Carbolite brand was the name of the game in those days. I would just about kill for one of their 2 ounce, solid dark chocolate bars with only 2 net carbs. The peanut butter filled milk chocolate was pretty good, too. However, at nearly $3 a pop, I had to ration those babies! Not only was my waistline sliming down, but my wallet was, too!

Today, there are so many low carb choices that you nearly trip over them on your way to the check out. However, one thing hasn’t changed much, and that’s the premium price. So you don’t have to waste your time, money or discriminating sweet tooth experimenting, I am going to give you the benefit of my years of research.

So, here goes:

Carbolite – Still good, still expensive. If you decide you can afford one of these, go for the dark chocolate and eat only a square or two at a time to make it cost effective. This is my favorite when accompanied by a nice glass of cabernet.

Endulge (Atkins brand) – Don’t bother. I have yet to come across one of these chocolate bars that are worth the price. The peanut butter cups looked hopeful, and with 3 to a package the price wasn’t so bad, but the chocolate has a plastic aftertaste. Sorry, doc.

Pure De-Lite – I used to stumble across these little gems in the checkout line of one of the health food establishments. These are pretty darn good, but what sets them apart is their texture…very creamy. They come in truffle style, flavored with orange, mint or hazelnut. Their small size is a bonus, too. It keeps the cost down and prevents over-indulging, which is a problem for most carb addicts. These have not gone main stream, though. So far, there is no sign of them on the shelves of Target or Wal-Mart.

Hershey’s – Boy, was I excited when I saw this product! The familiar logo and dark brown wrapper reminded me of the good ole days, and with a reasonable price attached. I was so confident that I had scored the mother lode, that I bought a 6-pack of the milk chocolate variety before I even sampled one. As proof of my resulting disappointment, I shared them with my husband. Usually, my low carb stash is off limits! Similar to the Endulge brand, the chocolate has a plastic taste. Note: Their LC Reese’s brand peanut butter cups didn’t measure up, either.

Russell Stovers – Nirvana! Utopia! Finally, I hit the jackpot! This stuff is awesome. I’ve tried nearly all of their LC chocolate products, mint patties, toffee squares, dark and light chocolate medallions, and at last, a yummy peanut butter cup! Each one of these is excellent, in my opinion. They come in convenient 2-packs for less than a dollar. You can also buy them by the bag, individually wrapped – perfect for packing with your lunch. What’s the key to their success, you ask? The chocolate (and other ingredients) in these products tastes like the real thing. Well, it is the real thing, but with fake sugar. The consistency is right on. No plastic taste. The cream in the mint patty is exactly what you need for balance after that garlicky meal. The toffee in the toffee squares sticks to your dental work just like the real stuff in a Heath Bar! What more can you ask for?

What’s that? Did I hear someone say, “Low carb ice cream?” Stay tuned.

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