Are you a chocolate lover? Shut up, I know you are!
Whether it’s creamy milk chocolate bars, cocoa powder, cake fillings, sweet liquor, or unprocessed dark chocolate, I think it’s safe to say that there isn’t a person in this world that hasn’t tried this universal ingredient in one form or the other.
But there is a twist: some people may be wondering "is chocolate vegan?" Well, the answer is, “it depends”.
While chocolate is made from cacao beans that are grown on cacao trees, during the manufacturing process, many animal ingredients are often added before the final products are released.
So let’s look at how you can distinguish the difference between everyday chocolate and vegan chocolate.
What Is Vegan Chocolate?
Vegan chocolate is basically any chocolate made without using any ingredients that originate from animals.
If you are a vegan who loves organic chocolate, you will need to find a bar suitable for your dietary beliefs. The first step is to check what ingredients are present in the bar itself. Typically, you will find that those with fewer additives are usually the best option.
Most vegan chocolate brands make their bars out of chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter (which is vegan btw), and vanilla.
Dark chocolate is often a good option for those who follow a vegan lifestyle. You should look for bars that have a cacao percentage of 50 percent or more.
The most important thing is to check the recipes used as manufacturers will sometimes add milk or dairy fillers, such as milk fat.
It is perfectly acceptable for vegan chocolate brands to include other various ingredients, such as:
- Almond, dried fruit, or mint
- Caramel, peanut butter, truffle, or toffee - these are best avoided unless stated otherwise, as they typically contain dairy products.
There are many different versions of veganism, and what may be acceptable for you may not be suitable for someone else, and vice versa.
For example, some may avoid foods or chocolates that contain honey, or refined sugar as they consider them an animal by-product. Others may find these ingredients acceptable for their own personal beliefs.
You should find a chocolate bar that suits your own unique diet and lifestyle!
Types Of Chocolate
- Dark Chocolate: Indeed, the dark chocolate variety contains the highest percentage of cacao. Moreover, dark chocolate is typically the healthiest, making it the most suitable option for vegans. This is due to the antioxidants it contains, plus the low sugar content and it being dairy-free.
- Milk Chocolate: Milk chocolate is a combination of cocoa solids, milk products, and sugar. Unless it specially states that plant-based milk has been used, such as coconut milk or rice milk, then this won’t be vegan-friendly.
- White Chocolate: Even though it is called chocolate, this is not technically true due to a lack of cocoa powder product. White chocolate may not be suitable food for those on a vegan diet as it can contain dairy products. You should always make sure to check the label before purchase and definitely before you eat it.
How Do You Know If The Chocolate Is Vegan?
When examining vegan chocolate brands, it is important that you read the label carefully.
Although checking the label itself will likely answer your question "is chocolate vegan?", sometimes you'll need to do more digging than that.
Higher quality chocolates are often suitable for vegans as they have higher chocolate content, with purer ingredients and no additives. They will likely consist of:
- Cocoa powder (it's totally vegan friendly)
- Butter made of cocoa
- Soy lecithin
Cheaper quality chocolates will typically have a longer list of fillers like food starch and artificial flavorings added.
These chocolates may also contain milk, milk solids, and milk fat. For obvious reasons, anything that contains milk is not suitable.
Cocoa butter, despite its name, poses no health concerns and does not come from an animal. It is free of dairy and is made from the fatty portion of the cocoa bean.
We recommend making your own favorite type of chocolate (mine is dark chocolate, hands down). Cacao powder by Navitas Organics can be a great choice for the main ingredient.
What Is “Accidental” Vegan Chocolate?
There are brands that produce chocolate suitable for consumption but are not marketed as vegan.
These brands will usually be free of dairy, whey, casein, and other additives and animal products, hence the name “accidentally vegan”.
Does Vegan Chocolate Taste The Same?
Not only can vegan chocolate taste the same as traditional bars, but reports have indicated that it can taste better even. They tend to be a much healthier alternative to many of the more popular high street brands.
Dark chocolate - which has a higher concentration of cocoa solids, and is often made without milk - is the usual go-to option for vegans. Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of certain recipes that taste bitter.
If this is the case, you could try a “mylk” brand. It is a vegan alternative to traditional milk chocolate bars made from dairy-free alternatives like coconut or soy milk.
When this ingredient is added to the recipe, a milder and creamy taste is produced.
Where Can You Buy Vegan Chocolate?
If you are looking for vegan chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth, we have the solution for you.
These products and companies have been chosen for their flavor and are all suitable for those on a vegan diet.
All of them are dairy-free, organic, and contain Fair Trade ingredients. Check them out!