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As the world becomes more conscious of the impact of animal agriculture on the environment and animal welfare, the demand for vegan products has skyrocketed. Chocolate is a guilty pleasure for many, and for vegans, finding suitable tasty chocolate does not have to be challenging.
With the increasing popularity of veganism and the growing demand for ethical and sustainable products, chocolate lovers following a vegan diet have an abundance of options.
Whether you’re a long-time vegan or just looking to make a more sustainable chocolate choice, this article is for you. So, let’s begin with understanding what’s vegan chocolate, and finish with taking a look at a couple of the best vegan chocolate brands on the market.
What Is Vegan And Is Chocolate Vegan?
Vegan is a lifestyle and dietary choice involving abstaining from animal-based ingredients and products, including meat, dairy products, eggs, and honey.
Chocolate can be vegan, but it depends on the ingredients used to make it. Milk chocolate is primarily not vegan because, as the name implies, it is made with cow’s milk. However, many high-quality dark chocolate bars are made with only chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, and are a great vegan option.
Some vegan chocolate bars may also include additional ingredients such as vanilla, soy lecithin, and other natural ingredients, along with alternative sweeteners such as maple syrup, agave nectar or coconut sugar instead of traditional sugar.
To ensure chocolate is vegan, it’s best to check the ingredient list or look for a vegan-certified label.
What Makes Vegan Chocolate Different?
As mentioned above, vegan chocolate is made without any animal-derived ingredients, such as milk, butter, or cream. Instead, many vegan dark chocolate treats are made with plant-based milk alternatives such as soy, coconut, or almond milk. These ingredients can provide a creamy chocolate texture and rich flavor, similar to traditional milk chocolate, but without the use of animal products. Some vegan chocolate also use rice, oat, or hemp milk as an alternative.
Here are a couple other differences between vegan and non-vegan chocolate:
Production Process Isn’t the Same
Vegan chocolate brands typically produce their product in a facility that does not process animal products to avoid cross-contamination with non-vegan ingredients. This means that vegan chocolate is not produced in the same facility or using the same equipment that is used to make milk chocolate, which can contain traces of milk and other animal-derived ingredients.
This is especially important for people with severe allergies to dairy, as it reduces the risk of cross-contamination.
It Has a Distinct Chocolate Flavor
The taste of vegan chocolate can vary depending on the type and quality of the ingredients used. Some people find that vegan chocolate has a slightly different taste than traditional milk chocolate, while others find it equally delicious.
The taste and texture can also differ based on the type of non-dairy milk used. For example, chocolate made with coconut milk may have a distinct coconut flavor.
It’s More Expensive than Regular Chocolate
Vegan chocolate can be more expensive than traditional milk chocolate due to the cost of the plant-based ingredients used to make it. Additionally, vegan chocolate is often produced in smaller batches and may be sourced from smaller, artisanal producers, which can also increase the price.
Is Vegan Chocolate Healthy?
Vegan chocolate is a healthier alternative to traditional chocolate. The main reason is that it does not contain animal products or by-products. Some vegan brands also add healthier ingredients and nutrients, and contain less sugar, which make them a better option.
The cocoa content of vegan chocolate also makes it healthier because it’s a good source of antioxidants. The antioxidants in chocolate can help to protect your body from damage caused by free radicals. If there is an excess of free radicals in your body, they can cause damage to cells and tissues.
It’s recommended to read the nutrition label and ingredients list on any chocolate product, vegan brands or not, to understand its nutritional content and assess the health aspect of the chocolate. Always remember that excess of anything is bad, so try to consume chocolate, even vegan, in moderation.
3 Popular Vegan Chocolate Options
If you’re starting to follow a vegan lifestyle but don’t want to exclude chocolate, then you should try some delicious vegan chocolate that you can easily get from Amazon. Here are 3 of the best vegan chocolate brands.
These chocolate bars contain a high amount of cocoa for a very rich flavor. They are certified vegan and gluten-free, and also sourced from farms that ensure fair trade. Look for the “certified vegan” stamp on the wrappers to easily spot the vegan bars of chocolate they have available.
These UNREAL dark chocolate almond butter cups are gluten-free and certified vegan chocolate cups with less sugar than leading brands. You can count on them for fair trade, non-GMO, and no artificial flavors or preservatives. While you enjoy the flavor of chocolate, these vegan chocolate cups will take care of your health and won’t violate the rules of your vegan lifestyle.
Tony’s Chocolonely is a company on a mission to stop slavery on cocoa farms worldwide. With a great taste and a great cause, you can’t go wrong satisfying your chocolate cravings with one of their bars.
Chocolate can definitely lighten up your mood and make you happy. But, if you choose vegan chocolate, it will do these while also taking care of your health. I hope this gives you a better idea about what vegan chocolate is, and why you might want to give it a try.