According to the World Cocoa Foundation, more than 3 million tons of cocoa beans are consumed a year by people around the globe. The current research supports that chocolate can be a part of your balanced and healthy diet. But, is chocolate vegan? Can vegans eat chocolate? Let us quickly check.
This review is dedicated to all the chocolate-loving vegans around the world. Chocolate is undoubtedly one of the top-ranking foods that most vegans wouldn’t want to give up. The cocoa butter is vegan in chocolates by what about the other ingredients. Every layer of it is filled with the richness of taste and aroma. For the same reason, it is one of the foods that can cause a lot of confusion among vegans or those on a plant-based diet like the super favorite cookies Oreo.
Chocolates – Vegan or Not?
What is Vegan Chocolate? – Just like any other vegan food, vegan chocolate is a chocolate that is free from animal-derived ingredients. If you are searching for the best chocolate brands that are vegan, the first step would be checking the list of ingredients on the label.
Chocolate bars with a minimal amount of ingredients are the most organic ones. Usually, vegan chocolate bars contain ingredients like chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla. So, the fewer the ingredients are, the purer the chocolates are for vegans. For this reason, good quality dark chocolate with a cacao content of 50% or more makes the best option for vegans.
Is Chocolate Vegan?
No, Chocolates aren’t necessarily vegan as a whole as sweeteners are added to give the sweet taste to chocolate which might not be vegan. But some brands do provide vegan versions of chocolates that you need to find by yourself. For this, the process is simple to follow as mentioned below.
Theobroma cacao plant or cocoa tree is the source of chocolate. It means that raw chocolate is a plant-based food – safe for vegans. Now, raw chocolates are the seeds from a plant, which cannot be consumed unless these are prepared by combining with a sweetener. Chocolate bars and snacks produced by popular or unpopular brands might be non-vegan. During the production process, the chances of dairy or other animal-derived ingredients are high.
Is Dark Chocolate Vegan?
Yes, some Dark Chocolates are vegan. Milk is one of the most common ingredients present in chocolate bars and snacks. Milk chocolate has the name milk in it and white chocolate looks like it has dairy. On the other hand, dark chocolate is easy to find as a vegan.
However, dark chocolate can also be non-vegan when there are other animal-derived ingredients present in it. Many brands produce dark chocolate with a balanced amount of dairy (milk, milk fat, natural flavor, etc.) to enhance its flavor and taste. Hence, it is always better to check the ingredient list of the dark chocolate brand you would want to purchase. If you like sweet chocolates, you can prepare vegan milk chocolate at home.
How to Identify Vegan Dark Chocolate?
As we already know, dark chocolate is generally not vegan. There can be a minimum amount of dairy products in it. When we say dark chocolate is generally not vegan, we mean vegan dark chocolate is possible but rarely. There are very few brands that produce completely plant-based pure dark chocolate. Since these are plant-based, pure, and organic, the brands put a vegan label on the chocolates.
Hence, identifying vegan dark chocolate from non-vegan kinds is not a difficult task. Since most of the brands producing plant-based dark chocolate want to cater to vegan people, they mark the products as vegan. You can find them on the label and also you can check the ingredients list for further confirmation.
Also, you need to know that some brands may call the chocolate plant-based and yet the products cannot be vegan. These products may contain trace amounts of animal-derived ingredients. So, the safest way is to read the ingredients. You need to avoid products that have dairy, various enzymes, and natural flavor.
What Makes Chocolate Non-Vegan?
Dairy products, varies enzymes, and natural flavors are the ingredients that make chocolate non-vegan. Dairy makes almost an integral part of chocolate production.
Natural flavors are avoided by vegan people as a few types of natural flavorings are tested on animals. Similarly, various enzymes used while preparing chocolates are animal-derived ingredients. These products can make chocolate a non-vegan food and unsuitable for the people following an all plant-based or vegan diet.
Milk: Milk and chocolate make the best combination as it enhances the taste and flavor by balancing the bitterness of cocoa. The most common three types of chocolate are dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate.
Both white and milk chocolate contains milk, making the end product non-vegan. Some dark chocolates are also prepared with a minimum amount of milk, making the end-product non-vegan, some chocolates do not have milk in it – so are vegan and some have non-dairy milk in it – so are vegan too.
Similarly, milk derivatives, egg products, biscuits, caramel, cocoa butter processed with palm oil, bacon, refined sugar are the products that make chocolates non-vegan. A Level 5 vegan, will only have dark chocolates with no sugar content or organic sugar content only.
Where Can I Buy Vegan Chocolate?
Fortunately, vegan chocolates are available! All the vegan chocolate lovers out there can buy vegan chocolate from brands that label their products as vegan friendly. Also, the chocolate preparation theory states that there is no need for dark chocolate to use animal products. A good quality dark chocolate can contain 100% cocoa solids along with some other products that are vegan-friendly.
But, in reality, 100% cocoa is far too dark and bitter for most people to acquire. Yet, we can assume that higher cocoa is more likely to be vegan. Some of the vegan chocolates contain far less sugar than dark and milk chocolate, making the end-product completely vegan. You should also consider sugar, which is commonly processed with bone char. You can choose products containing organic sugar as an ingredient.
Chocolates, as plant-based foods, can help you improve your lifestyle by adding so much taste and godly feeling. Now that you know that chocolates can be vegan, there is no worry to remove it from your diet. You can in fact include some vegan German Chocolate cake in your diet.
All you need to confirm are the ingredients listed on the label of the product you are buying. Either you can buy certified vegan chocolate or the ones that have no trace amount of animal-derived ingredients at the label. If you want to prepare vegan chocolate at home, you can follow some easy recipes online.