Getting My Chocolate Fix or Thank God for ‘Sugar-free’ snacks…

31 Mar

I desperately needed to get groceries and was dreading the trip for all the temptations that I’d inevitably want to pick up.  Sure enough, I totally blew more money than I needed to on “treats”, but eh, I’m pregnant and screw it – I’ve been craving chocolate, not carrot sticks.  (Though I have also been craving cucumber and I did buy two of those…)  I was trying to avoid buying anything with added sugar and especially nothing with sugar and chocolate… but sometimes you need to have something on hand so you don’t resort to stuff in the vending machine.

Much as Colombus failed to find an alternate route to Asia, I failed at my primary objective but ended up making two cool discoveries.

First: Sugar-free Mousse Temptations by Jello

Mousse Temptations by Jello... more like mana from heaven

O. M. G…  these are sooo good.  I picked up the Chocolate Indulgence flavor and I was blown away by what I got for 60 calories and only 10g of carbohydrate per snack cup.  The sweetness is just right.  The cups are sweetened primarily with xylitol (the same stuff you get in sugar-free chewing gum), but is backed up with a little sucralose (Splenda-type sweetener).  The texture is pleasing and helps play up this “adult” snack.  It’s light and airy, but it’s not the same as a true mouse.  I like that the top is not unlike the “skin” you get on a cooled off bowl of cooked chocolate pudding.  The chocolaty-ness is at the right level.  The third ingredient is dutch-processed cocoa, so you know that you’re not getting chocolate-flavored junk.  (Really?  Who thought chocolate-flavor was a good idea?)  These need to stay refrigerated, but I found I like the cups best if I pulled the cup out of the refrigerator, then waited a few moments to actually pull the lid off and start eating – they get “melty” quickly.  Drawback – I wish they came just a smidgen bigger – maybe 100 calorie sized?  It’d only be 16-17 carbs…

There are three other flavors available, which I can’t wait to try.

Second cool discovery: Emerald brand Cocoa Roast Almonds

Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds in 100 Calorie Packs

My grocery had these on sale, and I was already going to pick up a box of the 100 calorie pack Natural Almonds.  I find that snacking on nuts really keeps me going.  I like to combine a handful of natural almonds with a handful of craisins (yum!) so the little snack packs work for me.   I was originally leery of the Cocoa Roast Almonds because I couldn’t tell from the box if it was just going to be a dusting of chocolate powder or a candy coating, but I decided to go for it.  I’m glad I did.  It seems that the sweetened (hello there sucralose) cocoa is actually roasted onto the nuts (hence the name Cocoa Roast), sometime in the process with the salt.  It plays out very well.  The outer texture of each nut is rough, probably because of the crystalized salt and sucralose.  The nut itself is, of course, a little drier than the natural, unroasted almonds are, but it doesn’t take away from the experience.  The flavor is dark and almost smokey and would be perfect with some black coffee.  They stray a little on the sweet side, but are definitely not over-salted (I can’t have more than a few of their regular roasted nuts – only “natural” for me).  All-in-all, I think they’re great for keeping in my desk in case of snack machine beckons.  These have an advantage over the mousse cups in that they need no refrigeration or spoons, and provide protein. Drawback – these don’t have the indulgent connotation that one gets from a pudding cup.

The Cocoa Roast almonds are also apparently available in Emerald’s twelve ounce container, but I’ll be sticking with the snack packs to keep my servings honest.

Anyone else have some good, low calorie, low carbohydrate, indulgences they’d like to share?

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