What you should know About Vegan Chocolate

Many people eliminate animal products from their diet due to health, ethical, or environmental reasons. For chocolate lovers who are vegan, vegan chocolate is the answer.  

Some people wonder if chocolate can be vegan. The answer is yes! After all, chocolate originates from the cacao plant. In order to cater to varied tastes, though, companies that make chocolate sometimes put additives such as milk to create the final product. 

Chocolate is a chockful of health benefits, and just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you should miss out on its goodness!

chocolate and coffee seeds on table near bowls

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What Is Vegan Chocolate?

Vegan chocolate is chocolate that has been processed without any trace of animal products such as egg yolk, milk, casein, and whey.

Who Needs Vegan Chocolate?

While for some chocolate lovers the vegan chocolate is a preference; for others, it’s a necessity. If either of the following factors applies to you, then vegan chocolate is your go-to option.

Lactose intolerant

Lactose is a component found in dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt. Some people are unable to digest lactose and develop symptoms like diarrhea, stomach cramps, and gas. If you are lactose intolerant but still adore chocolate, then vegan chocolate is for you.

Prefer healthier chocolate

It turns out vegan chocolate is healthier than regular chocolate. Unlike normal chocolate, whose fair percentage is taken up by milk, sugar, and other additives, vegan chocolate has a higher percentage of the cocoa stuff, thus offering more chocolate-y benefits.

Allergic to dairy

Just like with lactose intolerance, some people are allergic to dairy, but the two are not to be confused.  A person who’s allergic to milk will experience severe symptoms like hives, vomiting, wheezing, and in extreme cases, anaphylaxis.

Ethical reasons

If you’ve sworn off all animal products because of ethical reasons such as avoiding cruelty to animals, vegan chocolate is your option.

How to Choose Vegan Chocolate

Dairy products can sneak in under all kinds of names. How do you ensure you pick dairy-free chocolate on that shelf? The first tip is to read that label. Apart from “milk,” choose another chocolate if any of these words is in the ingredient list:

  • Lactose, casein or whey
  • “Contains milk” in the allergen disclaimer
  • Any amount of cholesterol, as cholesterol only comes from animals

Also, be on the lookout for chocolate bars containing caramel, toffee, truffle, or peanut butter because these ingredients usually have dairy.  This is unless the product is indicated explicitly as vegan.

As a more general tip, always look for chocolate with a shorter ingredient list; these are usually healthier and of a higher quality — the less the ingredients, the purer and more vegan the chocolate bar. A typical bar of chocolate has these ingredients: chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar and sometimes, vanilla.  

Vegan Chocolate Options For Chocolate Lovers

Vegans have multiple options for a decadent chocolate bar, starting with dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate is chocolate containing cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, without dairy additives as in the case of milk chocolates.

chopped chocolate

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At first, you may find the taste of dark chocolate on the bitter side, especially if you are used to regular chocolate. Usually, the higher the percentage of cocoa mass in the chocolate, the more bitter it is. If this is you, start with dark chocolate with lower percentages of cocoa and progressively work your way up to higher percentages as your palate gets used to it.

Still, you can enjoy cocoa goodness without steeling yourself for that bitter flavor. Go for vegan chocolate with cardamom, lemon, coconut, coconut milk, or raspberry flavor.

Alternatively, you could go for chocolate with orange, raspberry, blackberry mint crisp, ginger, and orange. Other varieties have pecan, hazelnut, almonds, and mylk. Mylk is “milk” that is obtained from nuts, beans, and seeds rather from animals.

Now you know that going vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite indulgence. There are so many delectable dairy-free chocolate options in your store – you just have to know how to pick them out. So go ahead and relish that dark chocolate bar!

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