By now, everyone and their mum has heard about vegan chocolate – we would know, considering our mums were the stars of our previous post! Some people think vegan chocolate is just a fad, but we say it’s here to stay, and more importantly, it isn’t just for vegans – it’s for chocolate lovers everywhere!
As the creators of some of the best vegan chocolate out there, we consider it our duty to make sure you know everything there is to know about vegan chocolate. So if you want to know what is vegan chocolate or what UK chocolates are vegan, well, you’re in the right place! Grab a cuppa and your snack of choice (we recommend a cheeky White Choc Cre&m Wafer Bar), and dive right in.
IS CHOCOLATE VEGAN?
Let’s start with the basics. Chocolate, in its purest form without any additives, is made from cacao beans that come from cacao trees. So it’s plant-based and vegan. But things get a little bit tricky when other ingredients are added, such as animal products like milk or butter, that make the chocolate go from vegan to non-vegan. (That being said, there are some terrific vegan milk chocolate and vegan white chocolate options out there!)
People often assume dark chocolate is vegan. While that is true to a degree, sometimes the chocolatier or manufacturer chooses to add milk-based ingredients. So if you’re on the hunt for a vegan dark chocolate bar, make sure you check the ingredients list for dairy-based products.
WHAT IS VEGAN CHOCOLATE?
Vegan chocolate is a fantastic sweet treat for vegans and non-vegans alike. It’s a serotonin boost, a caffeine high and a mouth-watering, taste-bud-tingling snack that’s good for you and for the planet. The main thing that you need to know about vegan chocolate is that it doesn’t contain dairy – see below!
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VEGAN CHOCOLATE AND REGULAR CHOCOLATE?
The main difference between vegan chocolate and regular chocolate is the presence of animal products. Most chocolate bars contain milk or milk products, and so they aren’t vegan. The funny thing about this is that it means that some brands are accidentally vegan - which we’ll get to in a minute.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE VERSUS REGULAR CHOCOLATE
You may be wondering how different the taste and texture of vegan chocolate is to that of regular chocolate, especially if it doesn’t contain dairy. The answer is – no different! In most cases, you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two. And if you can, that’s the mark of a bad vegan chocolate – or at least that’s what we think.
At LoveRaw, we love the benefits that accompany veganism, but we’re also chocolate lovers and we’re unwilling to sacrifice on great taste. That’s why we say our chocolate is for unvegan vegans – people that aren’t necessarily vegan, but are interested in delicious, stomach-rumbling chocolate treats.
WHAT MAKES A CHOCOLATE VEGAN-FRIENDLY?
For the most part, you can tell whether a chocolate product is vegan because of a small green or white symbol on the packaging. If it’s an accidentally vegan chocolate, you may have to look a bit closer, and cast your eyes over the ingredients. Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, face dietary restrictions or are environmentally conscious, we’ve collected a list of things to look out for on product packaging so you don’t slip up.
What to avoid:
- Confectioners Glaze
- White Sugar
You may be surprised that the list doesn’t include refined sugars, but the fact is that in the UK, most sugar brands are vegan (and, unlike the US, don’t use bone char to filter sugar).
Vegan chocolate typically has very few ingredients. A quick way to check if what you’re about to eat is vegan is by looking for the allergen warning “contains milk”. If it says “contains”, the product is not vegan. If it says “may contain traces of milk”, it is likely that the chocolate in front of you is vegan! This is because it is a precautionary warning, advising that there could be a risk of cross-contamination. But the good news is that all certified vegan products (like our own) contain no animal products and are tested for traces of them regularly.
So, to summarise, the answer to the question “what is vegan chocolate?” is that, quite simply, it’s dairy-free chocolate.
SO, WHAT IS VEGAN CHOCOLATE MADE FROM?
If it isn’t made from dairy, what is it made from? As self-confessed chocolate connoisseurs, this is one question we can definitely answer. Some common ingredients that you’ll find on a vegan chocolate wrapper include:
- Cacao butter
- Natural sweeteners such as dates, bananas and maple syrup
- Plant-based flavours, from fruit and vegetables
While it varies from product to product, these are the staple ingredients that you can expect to find – especially cacao! Cacao is chocolate in its purest form, and so the higher the concentration, the more likely that it is vegan. Like we said, that’s why people assume dark chocolate is vegan, though it might not be if animal products have been added.
You can find some great examples of what vegan chocolate is made from by taking a look at our packaging (we promise we’re not biased!). Check out our Peanut Butter Cup Starter Pack: each packet contains peanuts, fairtrade dark chocolate, cacao butter, organic agave syrup and sea salt. Are you drooling? We are, just a bit. But most importantly, all of these ingredients are natural and vegan! As a bonus, the Peanut Butter Cups are also gluten-free!
HOW IS VEGAN CHOCOLATE MADE?
Ever wondered how to make certified vegan organic chocolate? While it may seem like a difficult task, because there are so many ingredients that you have to avoid, it’s actually quite simple! In fact, you can even make it at home!
You only need three ingredients:
- Cocoa butter
And you only need to follow three steps:
- Simply melt your ingredients and mix it all together until you are left with a silky-smooth texture. If there are any lumps, beat or whisk them out.
- Plate it however you would like, and then pop it into the fridge or freezer until it is set.
- And then hey presto! You’ve just made vegan chocolate.
Of course, there are things that you can add to mix it up and make it interesting. Salt, vanilla extract and cinnamon are all great flavourings that can take your masterpiece to the next level. You can also incorporate grated fruit, nuts and other exciting toppings that will have your friends celebrating your skills in the kitchen in no time at all.
Believe it or not, LoveRaw started in a tiny kitchen. While we’ve grown a lot since then, and we’ve changed our creation process to make sure that we can fulfil all of our orders, that’s pretty much how we started out – back when it was just Manav, Rini and a food processor!
BENEFITS OF VEGAN CHOCOLATE
There’s a reason that vegan chocolate is for everyone! They’re not just chocolate treats that taste great, they also have so many benefits, both health-related and otherwise, that not trying it would be utter madness! Some of these benefits include:
- Antioxidants: What is vegan chocolate, other than a great way to get your daily dose of antioxidants? It typically contains more antioxidants than red wine or green tea, which means it’s perfectly acceptable to have multiple bars a day (right?).
- Serotonin Boost: If the health benefits weren’t enough of a reason to eat vegan chocolate, the serotonin boost definitely is. It has been proven that compounds found in it actually make you happier!
- Caffeine Fix: Chocolate contains caffeine, and this is doubly true of vegan chocolate! Forget your morning cup of joe, all you need is a wafer bar or three and you’re sorted.
- Environmentally Conscious: This is a big one for many people. Since vegan chocolate doesn’t contain animal products, it is much better for the environment. No milk means no methane, which means a happier, healthier planet!
Many of the benefits of vegan chocolate were previously restricted to dark chocolate – not to toot our own horn, but our vegan chocolate comes in so many delicious flavours, so you don’t have to worry about dark chocolate being your only option.
WHAT UK CHOCOLATES ARE VEGAN?
Finally, the accidentally vegan section you’ve been waiting for! The chocolate industry is a funny place because there are so many vegan chocolate bars on the market - and some of them are there by complete coincidence! Some major chocolate brands produce vegan chocolate, either accidentally or on purpose, and so you need to check the label! Being vegan no longer has to be restrictive - with so many options to choose from, the days of searching for vegan chocolate are in the distant past.
And if you’re looking for a terrific example of UK chocolates that vegan (Ahem! Some might say the best example), then try a bite of our vegan chocolates. We’re sure you’ll love them!
BLIND TASTE TEST! LOVE VEGAN CHOCOLATE? LOVERAW.
If you’ve gotten this far, then congratulations! You now know everything there is to know about vegan chocolate. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this blog post - we definitely enjoyed taste-testing all of the products mentioned!
Still looking for your vegan chocolate fix? At LoveRaw, our delicious vegan chocolate is incorporated into all of our tasty treats. Whether you’re in the mood for the satisfying snap of a M:lk Choc and Cre&m Wafer Bar, or the sumptuous melt-in-the-mouth sensation of a Salted Caramel M:lk Choc Bar, we do it all and more.
If you have any questions about our chocolate, or our story, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. The only thing we enjoy more than satisfying our sweet tooth is talking to our customers and fellow chocolate fanatics.
Contact us today by emailing email@example.com, and we’ll be in touch! And if you’re interested in reading more about our brand, and our love for vegan chocolate, then be sure to check out our other blog posts, and our Instagram!