Who doesn’t love a great piece of chocolate??? And VEGAN chocolate? Even BETTER!
Checkout out the podcast here where we talk all about vegan chocolate or read on for a quick summary.
Wait…All Chocolate Isn’t Vegan?
While it’s true that chocolate comes from the seeds of the cacao and is, therefore, vegan in its raw form, not all chocolate is created equal!
When we get ahold of it, we add milk and a whole bunch of other stuff to it that not only makes it not vegan but can make it unhealthy as well!
What is Vegan Chocolate?
For a product to be considered “vegan” it must not contain any animals or animal byproducts (which is why honey is not eaten by many vegans).
So then, vegan chocolate does not contain any milk, honey, or other animal ingredients or byproducts.
Is Chocolate Good For You?
Just like coffee, I seem to come across articles pretty frequently that say, “Yes, chocolate is good or you!” followed by one that says, “No, chocolate is bad for you.”
Cacao beans do contain flavanols. Flavanols are antioxidants, and as such, can help reduce cell damage that can lead to cancer. That’s definitely a good thing!
In short, look for chocolate with:
- A high percentage of cacao (the higher percentage of cacao means more flavanols, which is a good thing!)
- Few additives
- no dairy, whey casein, milk fats or solids
In moderation, most agree that chocolate can be a healthy, tasty treat!
Where to buy Vegan Chocolate
Peta has a very good guide for purchasing vegan chocolate.
Luckily, as the popularity of vegan food increases, it’s getting easier and easier to purchase vegan products, including chocolate, in local stores such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.
Homemade is the BEST!
Making your own vegan chocolate is SOOO simple, and isn’t homemade always better anyway?
While I personally enjoy the convenience of purchasing off-the-shelf and supporting good companies, I also like the ability to control what goes into my food and customize it to my particular taste.
There are quite a few recipes for vegan chocolate out there but you essentially only need:
- Cacao Butter
- Cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- A sweetener like agave nectar or maple syrup
Here’s a great recipe for vegan chocolate from Loving it Vegan!
You can add nuts, peppermint extract, fruit, or anything else you want from there!
FYI…plain, unsweetened cocoa powder isn’t so good, as this little guy found out!
We hope this episode has given you some chocolatey inspiration and provided you with some things to look for when purchasing some vegan chocolate or making your own.
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Further Reading and Resources Used for this Episode:
- Chocolate (Wikipedia)
- How to Make Vegan Chocolate (Minimalist Baker)
- Dark Chocolate: The Best and Worst Brands (Healthy Eater)
- Is Chocolate Good for You? (Cancer.org)
- Peta’s Definitive Guide to Vegan Chocolate
Thanks for listening!
Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa