Vegan Chocolate: What Exactly is It?

Veganism is slowly rising in popularity across the world. It isn’t just a fad and it isn’t just a diet. It’s a lifestyle that tries to eliminate the use of all kinds of animal products from human use. So being vegan doesn’t just require you to replace cow milk with nut milk, it will also require you to switch your leather belt with a synthetic leather one. In recent years veganism has gone from being a passing fad to a trend that is here to stay. Athletes like Tom Brady have become much healthier and have prolonged their careers after switching to a vegan diet. There are ethical aspects of veganism as well and a lot of people see veganism as a method to stop animal cruelty for good. When it comes to food, almost everything has a vegan substitute these days and why should chocolate be left behind? Chocolate is one of those sweets which is liked by everyone (or at the least to most), including vegans. Fortunately, chocolate and being vegan are not incompatible since chocolate is of plant origin, that is why vegans can eat chocolate. But beware, you have to be careful when choosing a type of chocolate and read the labels carefully to know exactly what are the ingredients with which the chocolate has been made. In this post, we will find out more about vegan chocolate and also give you a fantastic recipe to make vegan chocolate at home. Let’s get started.

Vegan Chocolate: All You Need to Know

What is vegan chocolate?

Essentially, any kind of chocolate without animal products is vegan. Vegan chocolate will most likely utilize soy, almond or coconut milk products instead of normal cow’s milk in the manufacturing process. With improvement in recipes and technology, vegan chocolate won’t actually taste that different from regular chocolate. The recipe for making vegan chocolate may vary depending on the manufacturer, but the basic ingredients are: cocoa, sugar and cocoa butter, in the case of dark chocolate. In the case of milk chocolate and white chocolate, powdered vegetable milk is also used, made from soy, almond or coconut, among others.

Which is the best chocolate for vegans to eat?

Without a doubt, dark chocolate. The reason is none other than the presence of dairy products, both in white chocolate and in milk chocolate (as evidenced by its name). It is also possible that these chocolates, or even some dark chocolate, include animal butter or egg among their composition, foods prohibited in veganism. Therefore, the best option is dark chocolate, although you must never forget to read its label to guarantee that it is 100% vegan, in this way you can enjoy all the benefits of vegan chocolate. Within this type you can expand the variety by choosing chocolate bars that also include nuts, such as chocolate with almonds.

What is the flavour of vegan chocolate? 

Regarding the flavour, in the case of dark chocolate that only contains sugar, cocoa and cocoa butter, the flavour does not vary, since the chocolate is the same for vegans and non-vegans. Whereas, substitutes for soy, almond or coconut milk are used for white chocolate and milk chocolate, thus achieving acceptable products for the current vegan consumer. In these cases, there is a variation in taste.

What are the benefits of cocoa?

Cocoa provides countless health benefits. Cocoa beans are a rich source of antioxidants. The addition of sugar, dairy, or cocoa butter simply dilutes the cocoa solids. Subject to having some type of allergy to the components of the formula, vegans and non-vegans alike enjoy these benefits, in the case of dark chocolate. Vegan white and milk chocolates have the benefit of not containing animal fats.

In South America, the place where cacao originated, there has been a tradition of consuming cocoa in various forms, for more than 3000 years. The introduction of milk to chocolate began with the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century. So in a way, the South Americans had consumed the vegan form of chocolate for a long time. While the current vegan diet might be a recent phenomenon, it isn’t exactly something “new” in the land that gave us chocolate.

How is the demand for vegan chocolate?

Every day more people join the vegan lifestyle, either for health or for ethical reasons. And every day there is a greater demand for vegan pastry products, free of elements of animal origin. Companies that make vegan chocolates do so with the objective of satisfying the need to consume something sweet and rich, visually novel and that does not conflict with the consumer’s ethics.”

In addition, vegan chocolate is an alternative product, consumed by people with food allergies or specific lifestyles, this in the case of vegan milk and white chocolate. And for dark chocolate, there are many varieties of cocoa with which bars can be made that meet the characteristics of a vegan product and that each of them can surprise us with its flavor and texture.

What are some vegan chocolate recipes?

In the case of vegan cuisine, you can use dark chocolate or buy pure chocolate and add it to your vegan recipes and make, for example, a vegan chocolate cake. Another vegan alternative to chocolate is to use carob for dessert and pastry toppings.

Recipes on how to make vegan chocolate, brownies, hamburgers and even ceviche abound on social networks, making it even easier to enter this wonderful world of healthy and conscious food. 

You can prepare a complete dinner based on vegan dishes, you just have to know the basic ingredients that are used and have the desire to prepare them.

Here is a very simple and straightforward recipe for vegan chocolate. All the ingredients are plant based and you will definitely enjoy the creamy and smooth bar at the end.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of coconut oil
  • 4 teaspoons of agave or maple syrup.
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid or paste vanilla essence.
  • ½ cup of cocoa powder.
  • Two containers to use in Bain-Marie cooking (try using a large pot and a container according to it)
  • Flat tray for ready mixing
  • Optional: nuts.

Preparation

  • Grease the entire surface of the pan with coconut oil. Set aside to rest.
  • Cover the pot for the double boiler halfway with water and put the other container with a handle on top, so you can drink it without burning yourself. The water should touch the top container without overflowing.
  • Put on medium heat until the water reaches a medium low temperature, without bubbling. Coconut oil melts easily, so you don’t need to bring the water to a boil. 
  • Melt the coconut oil. Once it is completely liquid, begin to incorporate the cocoa very carefully, beating constantly. We recommend doing it gradually, using a spoon, with this you will avoid lumps. 
  • Then add the agave and the vanilla essence. To enhance the flavour you can add a pinch of salt. 
  • You can add the nuts to the mixture, or put them on top once it has been transferred to the tray.
  • Stir carefully and control the temperature of the water, until the mixture is homogeneous. 
  • Once ready, pass the mixture to the already greased tray, and with the help of a trowel you can smooth its surface. 
  • Let cool for a few hours and then cut into pieces to your liking.
  • You can also pour the vegan chocolate mixture into different molds if you want some nice and interesting shapes.

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