Hooray! In its purest form, chocolate is vegan as it’s derived from a plant. This is why most dark chocolate bars are vegan. But not all people like dark chocolate, so many companies use animal-derived products in their chocolate. You need to make sure you check the ingredients list before consuming.
If you’re one of the nearly 10 million Americans who follows a plant-based diet or you’re looking to start, you’ve probably got a few questions about which foods are fair game and which are off limits. Since chocolate is one of the most beloved food items in the world, it’s only natural for you to ask the question: Is chocolate vegan? The good news is that there are tons of yummy vegan chocolate bars and baking chocolates out there (woo!), but you need to know that not all chocolate is entirely plant-based. We’ve got you covered so you know what’s what.
Some Chocolate Is Vegan
Like most food items, chocolate comes in tons of different varieties, and each one is made with its own list of ingredients. However, high-quality chocolate usually starts with three key ingredients — cocoa beans, sugar and cocoa butter — and all are derived from plants and completely vegan. Yep, that’s right! Chocolate is plant-based, just like the kale salad or smoothie you had for lunch. All TCHO chocolate bars are 100 percent plant-based, so you can feel great about consuming our delicious chocolate.
Is Vegan Milk Chocolate a Thing?
Delicious dark chocolate, in its purest form, is naturally vegan. But what about milk chocolate? Of course, standard milk chocolate is made with dairy milk or other derivatives that come from cows, which means it is not vegan. In general, if you’re looking to eat a 100 percent plant-based diet, you should avoid anything labeled milk chocolate. However, there are a few exceptions!
If you adore milk chocolate but want to cut out dairy, don’t stress. With the development of so many amazing plant-based milks, we’ve been able to perfect vegan milk chocolate that satisfies your sweet tooth. TCHO plant-based milk chocolate is made with three key ingredients to remind you of a classic milk chocolate. We use oat milk for creaminess, cashew butter for softness, and coconut sugar for caramelyness. This trifecta replaces dairy and results in a decadent plant-based experience without the guilt. Yep, even our oat milk chocolate is vegan-friendly.
We know that many chocolate-loving vegans miss the rich, sweet flavor of milk chocolate, so we’ve taken our plant-based milk chocolate recipe a step further. Even our drinking chocolate is entirely plant-based, which means you can finally enjoy vegan hot chocolate when you’re looking for something comforting to sip.
Always Check the Label for Non-Vegan Ingredients
While there are tons of amazing vegan chocolate options out there, many companies integrate non-vegan ingredients into their chocolate recipes, so you need to make sure you thoroughly read the ingredients list. Animal-derived food products can be a bit sneaky, so make sure you know what to look for when selecting chocolate.
Unfortunately, for strict vegans, it’s not so easy as “eat any chocolate that doesn’t contain dairy milk.” To identify non-vegan chocolate, you need to know about some of the hidden non-vegan ingredients that may be lurking in your chocolate. For example, some companies use rennet, an enzyme produced from the stomach of calves, in the chocolate-making process. Here are some ingredient list items that indicate a product is not vegan:
- Dairy milk and its derivatives, such as milk solids, milk fat or milk powder
- Whey powder derived from milk
- Lecithin derived from egg
- Dairy butter
- Confectioner’s glaze
- L. cysteine
Making Your Own Vegan Chocolate Creations
Luckily, there are tons of vegan chocolate options out there for snacking and baking. If you love to bake plant-based goodies, you’re going to want to make sure your baking chocolate is vegan as well. TCHO offers a huge variety of vegan cocoa nibs, crumbles and powder to enhance your favorite chocolate recipes. Bonus: Our high-quality chocolate isn’t just vegan. It’s also soy-free, gluten-free, kosher and made with non-GMO ingredients. Plus, all of our chocolate is Fair Trade Certified, meaning 100% of our cacao is traceable to it’s source.