“Chocolate is cheaper than therapy, and you don’t need an appointment”. Literal to these terms, chocolate is really that happiness you can eat! In fact, it has a glorious history that runs back for decades. And, it can probably be one of the most favorite and scrumptious treats that have been relished by tonnes of people worldwide, including the vegan community.
Chocolate is technically vegan since it incipiently derives from the cacao beans of the Theobroma cacao tree, while some aren’t. This depends on the process they are made and also assessed by the method the trees are farmed at the beginning. So, this article hopes to unveil some in-depth and delicious facts about vegan and non-vegan chocolates.
Is Chocolate Vegan?
Chocolate is a type of food produced from roasted and ground cacao pods. It is prepared as a solid, liquid, or paste, on its own or as a flavoring medium in other foods. It originally derives from the Theobroma Cacao plant. And, they are harvested using human resources and machines where technically no animals are involved. However, although they are vegan-friendly in their actual forms, animal products like dairy are customarily used in the process.
Common Animal Derivations Used In Chocolates
01 – Milk
This is the most basic animal by-product that is used in the production of chocolates. Other than milk by itself, we can also see milk derivatives in them. They are:
- Milk solids
- Milk fat
- Milk powder
- Whey powder from milk
Unless the label of particular chocolate mentioned they had used plant-based milk, most of them are made out of dairy milk and its derivatives.
Lecithin is a well-known ingredient in many bulk-produced chocolates. And is a fat used as a low-cost stuffing. Most commercially used lecithin comes from eggs or derives from animal tissues. However, some use vegan lecithin like soy or sunflower seed oil. So, unless they are not clearly mentioned, it is better to decide that lecithin is non-vegan.
Chocolates usually come in three main forms- dark, milk, and white.
- Dark Chocolate- Good quality dark chocolates are always vegan friendly. They contain no dairy and are made from cocoa butter and solids.
- Milk Chocolate- If you are a vegan, you should be picky when going for a bar of milk chocolate. Manufacturers usually use cocoa, milk, and sugar as the key ingredients for these. Thus, milk products make a majority of them non-vegan friendly.
- White Chocolate- Unlike dark and milk versions, milk chocolates are different in color and taste. Milk solids are used as one of the main ingredients in addition to cocoa butter and sugar. Therefore, once again, most white chocolates aren’t favorable to vegans.
Additionally, those who follow the strict vegan philosophy may be concerned about how the cacao plant is cultivated. Some cacao farmers use organic and vegan agriculture methods in their cultivation. This makes your chocolate to be purely and one hundred percent vegan-friendly.
What Is Vegan Chocolate?
Once you learn if chocolates are vegan or not, the next question that could arise may be, what is vegan chocolate? Well, if you read our detailed section above, you are now aware of the ingredients that any chocolate could contain, which come from animals. Hence, in short, any chocolate that contains no animal derivatives and is made using cocoa butter, sugar, and cocoa solids is vegan. One of the best possibilities you could go to is to pick a bar of high-quality dark chocolate that includes a higher percentage of cocoa. However, when you are in doubt, it is always better to read the table of ingredients of the packaging. Most top branded chocolates mention if they are vegan friendly or not, so you could be on the safer side.
As we mentioned earlier, vegans follow their own ethical means in different ways. Consequently, some would even consider the mode of cultivation and the packaging that chocolates come to the market. So, research on what you intend to buy. This way, you could find what is best for you.
Is Cocoa Powder Vegan?
Cocoa powder is the ground version of the dry solids with a small residual amount of cocoa butter. We could purchase cocoa powder from the market in two forms- natural and Dutch-processed. Natural cocoa powder is obtained with the “Broma process“. The leftover dry cocoa beans are powdered into cocoa powder after extracting cocoa fats from the chocolate nibs. And, natural cocoa powder has a light-brown color.
Dutch-processed cocoa is fine cocoa grounds that have been handled with an alkalizing agent. Thus, none of these processes involve animals, and cocoa powder in its pure form is generally vegan.
Is Hot Chocolate Powder Vegan-Friendly?
On the contrary to ordinary cocoa powder, most hot chocolate or drinking chocolate powders in the market contain milk products. They are typically blends of cocoa powder, sugar, milk powder, and preservatives. However, now there are vegan hot chocolate powder alternatives readily available in stores. Plant-based milk powders like coconut milk, soy milk, and almond milk are substituted in place of regular cow’s milk.
Here are the best-selling vegan hot chocolate powders that are available.
Vegan, Natural, Delicious, Creamy Chocolate | Made in Colorado from Premium Milk Powder (Soy Free, Non-GMO, Gluten Free), 7 oz
Organic Cacao Powder Blended with Nourishing Mushrooms, 8oz Bag
Is White Chocolate Vegan?
Basically, cocoa butter is the only ingredient that contains in white chocolate derived from the cocoa bean. In fact, they include only minimal amounts of bracers, caffeine, and theobromine which are already in the cocoa body but not the butter. In addition, additives such as vanilla may be blended into most types of white chocolate with sugar and milk and its derivatives. Therefore, since dairy is included in them, most of them do not become desirable for vegans. However, presently, some of the well-reputed brands have introduced vegan white chocolate by replacing plant-based milk and its derivatives on cow’s milk.
Here are some of the top-rated vegan white chocolate brands that you would love to try.
Non Dairy Kosher Easy Malting Chocolate Bar – 10 Pieces of 30-Gram Per Bar Easy to Break – 2 Packs of 300-Gram
Great for Baking | Non-dairy | 9oz (Pack of 3) Kosher
What Dark Chocolate Is Vegan?
Chocoholics know the absolute sensation of a dark chocolate bar. Its bitter-sweet taste could be the only thing that some of us crave on a gloomy day. In fact, in its most genuine, most delicious kind, dark chocolate should only include cacao beans and sugar. Yet, except for small-batch, most of them you’ll get comprise a stabilizer and usually a flavoring. Vanilla and soy lecithin are two of the most basic flavorings and stabilizers which are entirely non-dairy. In addition to these ingredients, you may also get cocoa butter in some dark chocolates, which is, again, vegan-friendly.
However, vegans should be watchful as there can be dark chocolate imposters. Although some of them available in the store are labeled as “dark Chocolate”, you can find hidden animal by-products once you observe the table of ingredients more closely. Hence, read the ingredients well before you purchase any brand that you are not one hundred percent not sure of.
For your preference, we have listed below some highly-rated vegan dark chocolates that you may be interested in trying.
Organic, Paleo, Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Chips | Baking and Snacking Chips | Plant Based, Non GMO, Kosher | 9oz
Dairy Free 9oz (3 Pack),Nut Free, Lactose Free, Kosher, Great for Baking (9OZ, 3)
12 Pack Hazelnut Butter Chocolate | Natural Organic Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo, Non GMO, Fair Trade Dark Chocolate | 2.1oz Each
Are There Any Vegan Milk Chocolates?
While we mentioned that a majority of milk chocolates contain dairy products like milk and milk derivatives, we can see that some apex chocolate brands have recently introduced a range of vegan-friendly milk chocolates. These have replaced cow’s milk with dairy-free milk like oats milk, coconut milk, and almond milk. So if you are not a very good fan of dark chocolates or white chocolates, you can unquestionably go for these milk chocolates. Here are a few highly user-ranked vegan milk chocolates that you would want to give a try.
Vegan Chocolate Recipes
Chocolates will always be your go-to happy snack. But isn’t it another level of happiness when you could include your vegan chocolate to prepare another delectable recipe? So, here we will present you with two hassle-free and easy recipes that you could make in no time. Grab your favorite vegan-friendly chocolate and enjoy these with your family!
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookies are favorites of most of us that can be enjoyed any time of the day. Try this easy chocolate chip cookie recipe that can make ten cookies in a few minutes.
- 4 ounces of vegan semi-sweet chocolate chunks (115 g)
- 4 ounces of vegan dark chocolate chunks (115 g)
- Half a cup of sugar (100 g)
- 1/4 cup of dairy-free milk of your preference (60 ml)
- 3/4 cups of dark brown sugar (165 g-packed)
- One and a half cups of flour (185 g)
- One teaspoon of salt
- Half a cup of refined melted coconut oil (120 g)
- One teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Half a teaspoon of baking soda
How to make:
- Whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt, and coconut oil till mixed in a deep container.
- Add in dairy-free milk and vanilla continuously until all sugar has melted and the batter is creamy.
- Then, strain the flour and baking soda, fold the dough with a spatula and avoid overdoing the mixture.
- Now, put in the chocolate chunks uniformly.
- Place the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- At this moment, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Next, scoop the cookie dough with an ice cream scoop onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Make sure to keep at least 2 inches of space among cookies and the corners of the sheet so cookies can rise and spread smoothly.
- Bake in the preheated for 12-15 minutes, or till cookies just start to brown.
- Cool completely, and enjoy!
Homemade Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream
The feeling of ice cream brings us a different kind of joy. This homemade vegan chocolate ice cream is easy to put together. Try this sweet treat on the weekend and enjoy it with your whole family.
- Two 400g cans of coconut milk (not light)
- 100g of vegan dark chocolate (chopped)
- 175g of caster sugar
- 50g of cocoa powder (Normal or Dutch-processed)
- Two tablespoons of cornflour
- One teaspoon of sea salt flakes
- One tablespoon of vanilla extract or one heaped teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
- Put most of the coconut milk into a pan, keeping a plop in a small container for later.
- Combine the sugar, chocolate, cocoa, sea salt flakes, and vanilla into the saucepan.
- Then, cook slowly for ten minutes until the sugar has melted and the chocolate has dissolved.
- Blend the cornflour with the saved coconut milk until creamy.
- Now, drain into the hot milk mixture and simmer for another 5-10 minutes, continuously stirring until the batter hardens to a pourable custard texture.
- Pour into a container, then close and leave it to cool to room temperature.
- Next, strain the cooled custard into an ice cream maker and beat for 20-30 minutes until you get soft-scoop ice cream.
- Now, put it in a freezer-proof sealable vessel and chill for up to three months, or until set to serve.
- Strain the mixture into a wide-bottom plastic container or dish if you don’t have an ice cream maker.
- Freeze for three hours, mixing every 20 minutes to break up any huge ice crystals till you have smooth ice cream.
- Then, transfer to a freezer-proof sealable container and chill it until well-set to serve.
- Keep standing for 10 minutes at room temperature before scooping into cones or dishes.
If you need more vegan chocolate recipes like this, you can purchase these recipe books that have tonnes of tasty recipes.
Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts
supplement a Vegetarian and Raw Vegan Lifestyle
Can Vegans Eat Chocolate?
So, as you see, when you analyze the information we have discussed throughout this article, you can see that chocolate is a vegan-friendly food in its purest form. Although we may get some doubts about the process that certain chocolates are made, there are a plethora of vegan alternatives to choose from. Therefore, vegans can eat chocolates once they make sure that none of those animal by-products, as mentioned earlier, are included in them. On that note, dark chocolates can be the closest and most dependable option that vegans got.
Final Bar Of Chocolate…
Vegans might sometimes think that the food they get to eat is very limited. That is why we strive to show and bring you the best options and alternatives from each and every article. Chocolate is indeed a dessert made in heaven! Hence, as you read in this feature, once no animal by-product like milk, milk derivatives, or lecithin is included in chocolates, vegans can eat them without hesitation.
However, every vegan has their own faith and follows different ethics. Therefore, although chocolate can be vegan from its true form, some vegans could consider other facts like the way cocoa plants have been cultivated and the packaging it comes to the market. So choosing and deciding the best is left for you.