Chocolate can be, should be, and often is vegan!
Adopting a plant-based lifestyle may mean “giving up” a few things, but chocolate certainly isn’t one of them.
Unfortunately, it seems that chocolate has become synonymous with milk chocolate. But in reality, pure dark chocolate (you know, the heart-healthy kind), is totally plant-based! Here’s a quick primer on how most commercially available chocolate is made:
- Cacao pods are harvested from cacao trees growing throughout the tropics.
- The beans from inside those pods are then placed in earthen pits or wooden bins, covered with banana leaves, and left to ferment.
- After fermentation, the beans are dried in the sun for about a week.
- Dried beans are shipped to a factory, where they are first sifted and roasted.
- The beans are then cracked and winnowed, leaving the bitter but edible cacao nibs.
- The nibs are crushed and ground into a thick paste called chocolate liquor. Chocolate liquor has a strong, bitter taste, and a grainy texture.
- To make what we know as chocolate, manufacturers then add sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla, yielding a sweet but still grainy mixture.
- Finally, manufacturers run the mixture through a series of steel rollers to refine the texture, and may add more cocoa butter and soy lecithin.
Step #7 is where you would add milk if you were making milk chocolate. But of course this is totally unnecessary, and research has even shown that milk decreases absorption of the heart-healthy flavonoids found in chocolate.
So let’s get to the chocolate! Here’s a list of 10 of our favorite commercially available, vegan dark chocolate bars. Let us know if we missed one, or share your favorite in the comments section below!
- Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Varieties
- Chocolove Dark Chocolate Varieties
- Crispy Cat Chocolate Bars
- Divine Dark Chocolate Varieties
- Endangered Species Organic Dark Chocolate
- Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate Varieties
- Kallari Chocolates
- Lake Champlain Dark Chocolate Varieties
- Newman’s Own Dark Chocolate Varieties
- Theo Dark Chocolate Varieties
Image Credit: Chocolate Reviews/Flickr
Would love for you to try Live A Lot chocolate! We make our vegan superfood chocolate bars with organic, fair-trade unraosted cacao from Ecuador. Our bars don\’t include dairy or soy, and they\’re filled with goodness like goji, matcha green tea, mucuna, and medicinal mushrooms. We\’re a sister owned company infusing so much passion and love into the delicious and nourishing products we make. Let us know what you think! (livealot.org)
I\’m so surprised that no single brand has conquered the global market for vegan chocolate yet. I came to your page looking for new brands to try, but I believe Divine is the only one available in Europe.
You inspired me to write a new post of the top 10 best vegan chocolate bars (in Europe!) Hopefully our readers can share tips from both when they\’re traveling the world. Check out the link for more! https://dairyfreeandy.com/best-vegan-chocolate-bars/