Chocolate and Valentine’s Day are basically inextricable—but chocolate is one of my favorite sweet treats almost anytime of the year, not just in February. I especially like the dark, dark chocolate that is not very sweet at all—in fact the more bitter, the better! This version is healthier since it is less adulterated than so many other options out there, with fewer unhealthy ingredients, and without the milk products to which many people are intolerant. In the last 10 years the varieties of chocolate have expanded exponentially—considering all the dark and milk selections available, and the options for different additions of fruit, nuts, and seeds, etc. These days it can be a little overwhelming to choose a chocolate confection, with so many options and numerous new ones constantly appearing. Consumers scan not only for ingredients but for percentages of cacao content, and also often look to see which are Fair Trade, sustainably grown, or organic.
Berry season is now upon us as the first-of-the-season local berries are coming in: the luscious, mouth-watering strawberry has come and gone, and soon to follow will be blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Hurrah!! You can find all of these berries either wild or cultivated in our beautiful Vermont countryside throughout the summer and even into the early fall! How lucky we are to have all of these delicious and nutritious berries readily available to us locally! Even if we can’t pick them in our backyard, we have