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Alternatives to Chocolate

Updated on December 23, 2011

In early summer of 2011 my body started reacting to chocolate. A visit to the doctor confirmed what my husband and I already suspected. I was allergic to chocolate. Why? Perhaps it was stress. Perhaps it was because I was about o turn forty. Perhaps it was God's way of saying I'd reached my lifetime quota. Whatever the reason, even trace amounts of chocolate caused the inside of my mouth and throat to itch and swell. As someone who really, really likes chocolate, it was time to find some alternatives. Here are some that still satisfy my sweet tooth.

  • Yogurt-covered things - Mostly pretzels, but sometimes raisins. The consistency is very close to that of chocolate, and the yogurt sweeter than chocolate, so it takes less of them to satisfy my chocolate craving.
  • Dried fruit - I love dried fruit -- especially dried apricots. I'm not sure why, but I love these things. Not only are they incredibly sweet, but they're also a good source of iron. That's another bonus since I'm also anemic.
  • Caramel - Mmm. Especially caramel sundaes from McDonalds, which replaced my McCafe addiction. Not only are they slightly healthier, but they also cost less, so I'm saving money on this front. Werther's sugar free, caramel latte flavored candies are also pretty good, and as a bonus work after a meal when regular coffee isn't an option.
  • Honey roasted nuts - Where I used to eat chocolate covered nuts, now I choose the honey roasted variety. The seasonings satisfy cravings for something that's both sweet and salty. The only ones I avoid are the spiced ones, or anything with cinnamon -- that's a whole other allergy in itself!
  • Frozen yogurt - This has totally replaced my need for chocolate ice cream. And the flavors are endless! Forget about actual frozen yogurt that comes in half-gallon boxes. They never even see the inside of my fridge, but go straight to the large freezer right in their small plastic containers. They defrost quickly enough, and they also work well as an alternate to cold packs when packing the cooler for picnics and other outings. The yogurt that comes in tubes freezes really well, too.

If you've ever faced having to find alternate foods to popular treats -- whether to allergies, or any other reason -- I'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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