Many dieters probably wish that more foods tasted like chocolate. Interestingly enough, a little-known fruit actually makes that easier to accomplish than you might expect – and at a fraction of the calories and fat.

The Black Sapote – a fruit native to Central America – is often referred to as the "chocolate pudding fruit," due to its custard-like texture and its sweet, nut-like mild flavor.

The tomato-like capsule is green in appearance and freckled with dark brown spots (though they aren’t ready to eat until the skin turns completely dark brown.) While the skin is inedible, inside rests a rich custardy goodness that many claim tastes like chocolate.

Since the raw fruit comes directly from nature, it is crammed with nutrients, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C (four times as much found in an orange) and Potassium. A 1/2 cup will cost you about 70 calories—compared to about 400 calories for the same amount of milk chocolate!

Like most fruits, this one can be enjoyed raw, by simply slicing it in half and eating the pudding-like contents with a spoon. For the more adventurous, it can be used to make ice cream or a variety of desserts that would otherwise use chocolate.

While the fruit is grown most commonly in Mexico, the Black Sapote can be obtained at most grocery stores that carry exotic fruits, or even purchased online.

Didn’t know this fruit existed? Share it with your friends to spread the word about this healthy chocolate alternative.

Photo Courtesy of: Quinn Dombrowski

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