For all of you chocolate-loving vegans out there, the answer is yes! Chocolate can be vegan. Chocolate is made from cacao beans, which are grown on cacao trees. This means that chocolate is inherently a plant-based food. The question of whether or not chocolate is vegan becomes a bit more complicated when you start to consider the process of making chocolate and the various ingredients, such as milk, that are sometimes added to create the final product.
What is Vegan Chocolate?
Vegan chocolate is any chocolate that is made without ingredients that come from animals. If you are a chocolate fanatic on a quest for quality chocolate brands that are vegan, the first step is to check the list of ingredients. Look for chocolate bars with a minimal amount of ingredients. A typical chocolate bar should include chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter (yes, this natural cocoa fat is vegan!), and vanilla. The fewer ingredients, the purer the delicious vegan chocolate bar is, that you have been eyeing.
High-quality dark chocolate is a great option for vegans. Look for chocolate with a cacao content of 50% or more. The higher cacao percentage indicates a higher chocolate content. Not a fan of super-dark chocolate? Vegans can enjoy chocolate with almonds, dried fruit, or mint, as these inclusions are often vegan-friendly. Caramel, peanut butter, truffle, or toffee filled chocolates, unless specifically noted as vegan, should be avoided as they typically contain dairy. However, not all dark chocolates are created equal. As a general rule of thumb, be sure to double check the ingredient label, as some brands add milk, or fillers developed from dairy, such as milk fat, to their dark chocolates.
Like all diets, there are varying degrees and types of veganism. Chocolate that one vegan recognizes as a great option might not be acceptable to another vegan. For instance, there is much debate in the vegan communities over whether or not foods that include honey and/or refined sugar are considered animal byproducts. Therefore, some vegans choose not to consume products with these ingredients. There are many versions of veganism and each vegan follows their own unique diet and lifestyle. Whether your dietary preference is for environmental, health, and/or ethical reasons, find what works for you!
Where Can I Buy Vegan Chocolate?
If you are currently vegan, or planning to adopt a plant-based diet, Lake Champlain Chocolates offers an extensive assortment of great-tasting vegan chocolate and vegan gift options. Choose from vegan chocolate gift baskets, hot chocolate mixes, and vegan-friendly gourmet baking chocolate! Be sure to also check out our wide-selection of holiday chocolates for some delicious seasonal vegan treats! You can shop online, visit our Vermont chocolate stores, or find us at a store near you.
At Lake Champlain Chocolates, we believe in using only the best ingredients. We also believe in being transparent about what is in our gourmet specialty chocolates and truffles, and how they are produced. Our dark chocolate is made with cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla. While we do not add dairy to our vegan dark chocolates, these products are manufactured using the same equipment as our chocolates containing milk ingredients. Although we apply good manufacturing practices to minimize cross-contact, we do not guarantee any product is entirely free of milk.
We encourage you to learn more about each of our vegan options to ensure you are selecting the best chocolate for your lifestyle. Feel free to contact our chocolate experts if you have any additional questions about our vegan chocolates.
Now that you can take comfort in knowing that you can include chocolate in a vegan diet, go ahead and enjoy that delicious dark chocolate bar! We strongly support you in all of your chocolate indulgences! Want to learn more about vegan chocolate? Take our online quiz to test your knowledge!