Chocolate Bars and Snacks

‘Have a break, have a kit kat!’ – KitKat
‘There’s a smile in every Hershey Bar’ – Hersheys

‘A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play. – Mars

‘I said No Chocolates after Eight!’ – Mom

Pretty sure we’re all well aware of the above. Usually coming from the TV or proudly displayed on a big billboard and sometimes coming from those hapless humans we call ‘Moms’, chocolate has been a big and important part of our childhood – adulthood as well if you think about it.

We would all agree that the joy it gives is not one bit exaggerated. There are few things in life that can promise such pure delight as chocolate – no question about it.

Chocolate – The Perfect Snack

Chocolate being a mood enhancer and energy booster serves as the perfect snack at any time of the day. It was for a reason that in the 1700s, chocolate was used in survival kits and has long been part of the US Army’s ration. Napoleon always had this energy booster with him. So stash a chocolate bar when you are out and about. If you are dreading a work related deadline or want to finish a workout, do not hesitate to nibble on chocolate. You need the kick to get started. Remember when the going gets tough, the tough eat chocolate!

To have the healthiest snack bar, check the ingredients, they are there for a reason. If a plain bar doesn’t work for you, then there are many other chocolate snacks you could treat yourself to. As Deanna Troi from Star Trek says I never met a chocolate I didn’t like – similarly there isn’t a chocolate snack you wouldn’t love.

Strawberry with chocolate – Beats the Wimbledon combination

The English and the French first used these berries to landscape their gardens, today it is enjoyed in a number of ways. Every year, the English treat themselves to the traditional snack at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, where more than 28,000 kg of strawberries (served in a pot with cream) are consumed while the action unfolds on the court. Strawberries and Wimbledon is indeed a winning combination but certainly not the only one.

Sadly the English haven’t gotten wiser to using chocolate instead of cream, may be it has a lot to do with the tradition at Wimbledon. When the ripe red strawberry takes a dip in the dark rich chocolate it makes an ideal snack. These berries can be decorated creatively to be the life of any party and hence makes a popular dessert at weddings, Halloween and birthday parties.

Among citrus fruits, strawberry takes the lead when comes to Vitamin C. It contains fibers and Vitamin K and the best part is that strawberries are low in calories. Combine it with the antioxidant chocolate for a snack and get the perfect boost of energy and health.

Chocolate pretzels - the Crunchy Rewards

Not many are aware of the fascinating history behind this snack that makes more than $180 million yearly in the US alone. How did this craze start? It goes back to 610 AD, when a monk in Italy baked the dough and twisted it in a shape to resemble a child’s arms while in prayer. He gifted the baked delights to children who would learn their prayers by heart. These were called “pretiolas” meaning “little rewards”.

These were used as a convenient food during the Great Depression and became a symbol of luck over the years. But whatever its history, there is one thing that has carried on – the love for the tasty rewards.

Today they come in countless shapes and sizes and there are many ways of having them; the hot favorites are the rounded ones with milk chocolate. The salty, crunchy and sweet flavors have caught on making pretzels the second most popular snack in the US after fries. The little rewards taste best when dipped in chocolate, be it dark, white or milk. So be it a casual get-together or any party, you will not be surprised to find them at all occasions. And when you have worked hard and think you deserve a treat don’t look around to be appreciated. Celebrate it with the crunchy chocolate pretzel.

Go Nuts with Chocolate

Nuts not only taste good but also do a lot of good. Whether they are studded on a bar or dipped in chocolate, the classic combination makes a scrumptious and healthy snack. Around 20% of the world’s peanuts and 40% of almonds are used by chocolate manufacturers because these two nuts gel so well with chocolate.

So when it comes to snacks, nuts with chocolates are definitely a healthier choice; even better if you go with nuts with lower fat levels such as pistachios, cashew nuts, chestnuts and almonds. When roasted or salted, nuts may lose some of its nutrition but not all of it. Packed with protein, fiber and being a rich source of folic acid, a handful of nuts can do the trick when hunger strikes and you have a craving for chocolate.

Deep Fried Chocolate – The Southern Snack

Introduced in the 1990s, fried chocolate is a relatively new but quite an interesting take on chocolate. Americans have developed a liking for it and it is no longer a novelty in the country. The recipe is simple as well – a chocolate/ candy bar fried in a batter, yes that’s it! It can be a coconut batter or whatever you desire, the options are endless. Some people find the concept of fried chocolate quite peculiar but those who taste it have fallen head over heels for it.

In Thailand, it landed as a fun item on the menu of a restaurant but soon enough the tourists and the locals kept coming back for more. In England and Scotland deep fried Mars bars are available. In fact, it is believed that the trend for fried chocolate bars began from Scotland. And don’t be surprised to find these fried chocolate candies at fish and chip shops in New Zealand and Australia. The craze for fried chocolate is fast catching on but this one may be heavy on your waistline.

Remember snacks are small meals so treat them as they should be. Take the sweet little breaks!

Charles M. Schulz, an American cartoonist aptly said, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.

These small joys can make your days worth the ride. Next time when you have a bar of chocolate, remember you are making a choice for happiness! We all deserve that. Don’t we?