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The Best Dark Chocolate on the Planet: Well-Balanced

You wouldn’t know it from how much we talk about cookies, but Birchbox staffers are a pretty healthy bunch. We love our veggies and mind-clearing workouts, and are always up to try the latest fitness class or nutrition bar. Which is why we have new regular column: Well-Balanced. Check back weekly for our latest wellness obsession.

It’s a well-documented fact, that I am a Cookie Monster of the first order. I’ve about given up on conquering my sweet tooth, but I am attempting to make healthier choices. When I chatted with Food Matters founder Tricia Williams, she told me that one of her favorite snacks is dark chocolate, preferably raw and/or organic, which has the highest concentration of antioxidants. Fun fact: raw cacao has more antioxidants than any other food. With that glowing endorsement, I embarked on the herculean task of finding the best healthy chocolate on the market. Click through for my favorites.

One Lucky Duck: This New York-based raw food cafe has a knack for making virtuous food taste absolutely decadent (witness their beloved Mallomar). I recently discovered their line of raw (and organic and vegan) chocolate bars, and I’m hooked. Their five-bar gift set would make a great Valentine’s Day present for your greens-loving buddies. My favorite: The Buckwheat Chocolate Bar, which sounds ridiculous, but tastes amazing. Think grapenuts plus chocolate. Or just toasty chocolate—either way, it’s fantastic.

Pacari Ecuadorian Chocolate: This family-owned company is known for its artisanal bars, made in small batches from single-origin Ecuadorian cacao. All of their products are organic, but they also have a line of completely raw bars, which are produced at extremely low temperatures. Unlike some organic chocolate, Pacari’s bars have a smooth and melty mouth feel, and come in a range of exciting flavors. My favorite: The Salt & Nibs, which pairs flaky Peruvian sea salt with organic dark chocolate nibs.

NibMor: our director of marketing, Deena, introduced me to this line of New York-based organic, vegan chocolate. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, refined sugar-free…and somehow still tastes indulgent. My favorite: Dark Chocolate Almond, for its nutty crunch factor.

Fine & Raw: I love everything about this Brooklyn-based line, from the gorgeously designed recycled paper wrappers to their high-brow flavor combinations. I’d eat a bar a day if I could. My favorite: Bonbon Bar, a deep dark bar laced with vanilla, sea salt, and agave.

What’s your favorite healthy chocolate? Tell me in the comments!

The flip side of being a cookie addict? Being equally loyal to exercise. Check out our take on the latest fitness craze.