Are you following a strictly vegan lifestyle but want to know whether you can indulge in your favorite dark chocolate treats?
Read on to discover which dark chocolate brands are vegan-friendly.
Chocolate is crafted from cocoa beans that are dried and fermented and dark chocolate is specifically made by using mixing these fermented beans with cocoa butter as opposed to dairy products which makes it 100% vegan friendly!
A handful of brands may include dairy products in their recipes so it is always important to double-check any ingredients for peace of mind prior to indulging in a bar of dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is also one of the greatest sources of antioxidants on the earth and it has been linked to a reduction in heart disease!
Unfortunately, whilst dark chocolate can be vegan-friendly, the percentage on the product usually gives a strong indication as to whether any additional milk-based products have been added to the bar.
The higher the percentage of cacao within the chocolate, the more likely it is that the dark chocolate is vegan as there will be fewer additions to the original cocoa recipe.
It is worth noting that cacao butter is also a vegan-friendly ingredient as this is the most common addition to dark chocolate brands.
Does Dark Chocolate Contain Animal Products?
Therefore, dark chocolate is typically high-cacao chocolate.
However, this does not always indicate that your dark chocolate is dairy-free. Many dark chocolate brands will use the milk within their products which in turn, makes them unsuitable for vegans.
In fact, even if your dark chocolate doesn’t contain dairy, there is no guarantee that it hasn’t been prepared using animal enzymes such as gelatine.
Vegan chocolate lovers should therefore seek out vegan-specific brands if they are uncertain whether their dark chocolate is compatible with a vegan-friendly diet.
Sugar can also be filtered with bone char and this is also important to note as the vast majority of dark chocolate brands will use sugar in the preparation of their products.
Despite all of the potential animal products that could be contained in dark chocolate, it is relatively easy to detect whether your dark chocolate is vegan or not.
This is because dark chocolate that isn’t contaminated by any milk or animal produce will usually be labeled as vegan-friendly.
Therefore, you should always read the ingredients to ascertain whether your dark chocolate has been certified as vegan as with the current focus on plant-based products, vegan chocolate brands will typically specify that their chocolate is vegan.
As well as being easy to spot, you’ll also be able to purchase dark chocolate in the vast majority of large stores as well as in specifically vegan outlets and online.
Vegan Chocolate Brands
There are a number of distinctly vegan dark chocolate brands that you will be able to purchase.
The following brands cultivate dark chocolate products that are likely to be stocked in the vast majority of large stores and all of these brands are renowned for their delicious flavor.
- Green and Black’s
- Alter Eco
- Theo Chocolate
- No Whey!
Whilst all of these brands produce vegan chocolate, you should always check the label as the vast majority also produce milk-based chocolate so it is better to double-check the product that you are purchasing in order to avoid any confusion.
In conclusion, vegans can eat dark chocolate but they should always double-check their dark chocolate products to clarify the cacao content and whether any additional non-vegan ingredients have been added to the product itself.
Checking packaging is crucial and if you are uncertain, you should always seek the vegan-friendly logo as the vast majority of dark chocolate brands will want to specify whether their product is dark chocolate in this day and age.
An increasing number of brands are producing dark chocolate recipes that are non-dairy and thus, vegan-friendly, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a dark chocolate bar that satisfies your cravings without sacrificing your morals.
A further benefit of consuming dark chocolate is that it is healthier than other variations of chocolate and is renowned for decreasing the risk of heart disease.
It is also more ecologically friendly and there are far more natural ingredients used in the process of manufacturing dark chocolate products.
There is also far less sugar involved in the process which is important as some sugar is filtered using the bone char or animals and so, as a vegan, you will want to avoid products that use sugar in all eventualities unless the product is specifically labeled as vegan-friendly.
Double-checking the ingredients is paramount when following a vegan-friendly lifestyle as you will need to be scrupulous about the food that you are consuming and there is often no room for trial and error if you are hoping to follow a strict vegan lifestyle.
Many products that you would assume are vegan actually contain animal products so it is always best to either thoroughly check the label of the brand that you are purchasing or consult with the product’s manufacturer directly if you are uncertain as to whether your favorite dark chocolate brand is vegan-friendly.
The vast majority of chocolate brands will now offer a vegan-friendly alternative and therefore you do not need to worry about missing out on your favorite sweet treat if you choose to follow a vegan lifestyle.
The higher the cacao content in your dark chocolate, the more likely it is to be vegan friendly but this is not always the case and so you shouldn’t make assumptions about any particular food product when following a vegan diet in spite of what you may have heard through word-of-mouth.