Nibbling Nibs

Some of the best health qualities that chocolate has to offer are available in Raw Cocoa Nibs, which totally eliminate any need to feel guilty while eating the stuff. Nibs are available at your local health food store and even Whole Foods carries them at select locations. They are exactly what they are called: chopped up bits of the cocoa bean, left raw for maximal nutrition and health benefits. I won’t lie to you and say they taste as good as a big piece of German Chocolate Cake, but they are delicious in yogurt, with a bit of honey sprinkled on top. The best yogurt consistency for this dessert is Trader Joe’s Greek Yogurt 0% Fat. Unlike the thousands of calories, excess sugar and preservatives contained in a big piece of cake, with this choice you are truly enjoying the antioxidant and emollient benefits of chocolate. Live Superfoods has them to order online, but they do not mention their shipping rates, which always tend to be quite high, so try Whole Foods or your local health food store first. The Live Superfoods website is quite fun though, with lots of instructional facts about chocolate.

Alright, so now that we got the healthy stuff out of the way, lets indulge a bit. My friend Juan recently introduced me to the wonders of Mariebelle’s hot chocolate. The shop has two NYC locations, but also offers a good selection online at Mariebelle.com. We went to the one in Soho, with its little tiny tables all cramped in the back of the shop and the overwhelmed but extremely kind server, and the hot chocolate was divine. Worth the high price, $6-8 for a single shot, which comes served in an espresso cup. This is a purist’s hot chocolate, no milk or whipped cream to be found. I got a little shot of Spicy – with cinnamon, hot pepper and nutmeg – and it was simply divine. Thick, luscious and totally sinful. I felt refreshed and restored on a very cold November day and even found an extra spring in my step walking back to the subway. So, try it out, and don’t forget to ALWAYS N-joy chocolate.

I just came across a wonderful video diary by Seth Kugel of the NY Times, with great hot chocolate addresses and tips. To check it out click on NY Times Hot Chocolate Video.

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