Chocolate Covered Strawberries
In our research, we've found that nutritionists actually recommend chocolate covered strawberries to satisfy a craving for sweets, because both the fruit and the chocolate provide a good deal of nutrients and micronutrients our bodies require. Let's get all of the chocolate covered strawberries nutrition facts out in the open so you, too, can see what's in them and decide for yourself.
The USDA National Nutrient Database doesn't have an entry for chocolate covered strawberries, so calorie data for chocolate covered strawberries varies depending on the source you consult. Since a large strawberry, the size most likely to be used for dipping in chocolate, averages just under six calories, the majority of a chocolate covered strawberry's calories comes from — you guessed it — the chocolate.
Chocolate covered strawberries are generally made with about 12 ounces of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate per pound of strawberries, or about 24 strawberries. Semisweet chocolate is 68 calories per half ounce, so we come to this result:
One large chocolate covered strawberry = 74 calories.
Using chocolate with a higher cacao content (more bittersweet) may reduce the calories slightly, to about 65 per strawberry. Additionally, varying the amount of chocolate used will affect the calorie content as well. Some older recipes call for as much as a pound of chocolate to a pound of strawberries, while others call for as little as 10 ounces of chocolate. Just remember chocolate is about 140 calories per ounce and you can calculate for yourself, if dipping the strawberries yourself.
Chocolate covered strawberries have 4.2 grams (g) of fat apiece. 2.5g of that is saturated, making chocolate covered strawberries high in saturated fat at 13 percent of the recommended Daily Value (DV). However, they have no cholesterol.
Chocolate covered strawberries have 10.1g of carbohydrates total, with 0.8g of dietary fiber and 7.7g of sugar. This makes them a very high sugar food, thanks to the sweetness of the berries combined with the sugar in chocolate.
You aren't going to get a lot of protein from fruit dipped in chocolate, and that's reflected in the protein numbers for chocolate covered strawberries: 0.6g per strawberry.
Chocolate covered strawberries are very high in vitamin C, providing 18 percent of the DV per serving — that's a single strawberry! Each strawberry also has one percent of the DV for vitamins K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and B6, as well as two percent of the DV for folate.
The mineral standout in chocolate covered strawberries is manganese, with nine percent of the DV per berry. Other minerals found in them include copper and magnesium, at five percent of the DV; three percent of the DV for iron; and two percent of the DV for phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Antioxidants and Micronutrients
Chocolate covered strawberries are rich in phytosterols, an antioxidant compound that may help regulate cholesterol levels in the body. Each strawberry also contains a bit of caffeine — 8.7 milligrams (mg).
Clemson University nutritionists recommend chocolate covered strawberries as a healthy indulgence. The antioxidant properties of chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, combined with vitamin C-rich strawberries packs a nutritional wallop in a small package. While high in sugar and saturated fat, we recommend chocolate covered strawberries in moderation, such as on special occasions.
Image credit: stu_spivack