Last Updated: February 13, 2019

I follow Mark Sisson’s 80/20 rule when it comes to nutrition. That means most of the time I eat primally…things like nuts and seeds, veggies, meat, fish, and unprocessed foods. In fact, all of us here at the Primal Health Coach Institute practice what we preach in regards to primal living and eating.

If you’re a Primal Health Coach, you likely have your clients follow these guidelines, too. The idea is to show them how to create habits around balance so they can sustain their health goals for the long-term without feeling deprived, guilty, or completely falling off the wagon. Even Mark himself has sensible vices, including wine, good cheese, and dark chocolate—especially on special occasions.

Speaking of such occasions, Valentine’s Day is coming up fast. So in today’s post, we’re going to share our top primal-approved chocolates, but these aren’t just my go-to treats. We’ve rounded up the ones loved by our PHCI staff, faculty, and our co-founder. Maybe a few of your favorites are on the list!

What Should I Look For?

As you know, dark chocolate is loaded with health benefits, from fighting free radicals to lowering blood pressure. However, it has to meet certain criteria. Look for one that has:

  • A high percentage of cacao
  • Low sugar content
  • No refined sweeteners
  • Minimal ingredients

Which Brands Made the List?

Our Director of Admissions, Laura Rupis, says she’s an equal opportunity chocolate consumer, but seeks out ones that are 85% cacao, less than 10 grams of sugar, and have no soy. She adds that fair trade and organic are important factors, too. Laura says, “I like these because they’re high in antioxidants, low in sugar, and delicious!” Some of Laura’s current favorites are Theo 85% dark chocolate bar, Hu Salty dark chocolate bar, and Alter Eco Blackout bar.

Where to buy:

Theo 85% dark chocolate is available at most retailers, like Thrive MarketAmazon, and on their website.

Get Hu Salty dark chocolate at Thrive Market, and Wegmans for those on the East Coast, as well as on their site.

You can buy Alter Eco Blackout at lots of places including Thrive Market, Amazon, and on their website.


Co-founder of the Primal Health Coach Institute, Aaron Fox, goes for the Alter Eco Blackout bar too. He also likes the Peru 85% bar from Origin, a small, organic company based in Australia.

Where to buy:

Right now you can only get Origin’s Peru 85% bar on their website, or locally if you live in Australia.

Chloe Maleski heads up Student and Grad Support, and tells us that her biggest indulgences are Hail Merry tarts, specifically the chocolate mint ones. She’s not a huge straight-up chocolate fan, but enjoys the 72% cacao Eating Evolved Primal Chocolate bar from time to time, which is made with organic coconut sugar.

Where to buy:

Whole Foods usually carries Hail Merry tarts, as well as local co-ops like PCC here in the Pacific Northwest. You can also order them through Hail Merry’s website.

Eating Evolved Primal Chocolate is available at places like Whole Foods, Thrive Market, and on their website.

Our Product Manager, Erin Power, is happy with any 85% organic chocolate and eats two or three squares a day. She finds that 85% is the magic number for her when it comes to dark chocolates, and often pairs it with thinly sliced extra sharp cheddar cheese. Erin says “it’s like having cheese and crackers, only the “cracker” is a piece of chocolate,” adding that it goes really well with a glass of Dry Farms red wine.

Primal Health Coach Institute blog editor, Kristin Roybal, prefers the Endangered Species 88% Dark Chocolate Bar: Panther, stating “the darker the chocolate, the better!” This Talent, OR based company donates 10% of their proceeds to support conservation efforts and they are fair trade, non-GMO verified, and gluten free.

Where to buy:

You can find Endangered Species 88% Dark Chocolate at many retailers including Thrive Market, Target  and on their website.

As for my top picks, I’m with Chloe on the Eating Evolved Primal Chocolate 72%—less so on the 100% midnight version of the bar (have you tried it?). But my all-time favorite is the CocoNoNut bar from Honey Mama’s. If you like rich, creamy, and smooth chocolate that tastes like a cross between fudge and cake, this bar is for you. It needs to be refrigerated because of its high coconut oil content, but it’s a small price to pay for this much deliciousness. Plus, you can’t go wrong with ingredients like raw local Oregon honey, sprouted organic almonds, and organic raw cacao.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a dark chocolate fix that’s packed with collagen protein, try Primal Kitchen’s Dark Chocolate Almond Bars.

Where to buy:

Get Honey Mama’s CocoNoNut bar at Whole Foods, your local co-op, and on their website.

Primal Kitchen bars are available on the Primal Kitchen website, as well as Thrive Market and Amazon.

Got a New Favorite?

Whether you’re indulging in a few squares yourself or looking for recommendations to share with your clients, keep these chocolates in mind for Valentine’s Day…or any time you want a primal-approved treat:

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