Chocolate is a delicious delicacy that has been enjoyed for many centuries. The ancient Mayans consumed cacao in the form of a drink that was frothy. Europeans added honey and sugar to soften their bitter flavor. Nowadays chocolate (including milk chocolate, dark white chocolate, or dark chocolate) is produced into drinks, bars and powders that are used to be used in a variety of ways.
A lot of us treats from times to time However, vegans might wonder whether chocolate is part of their diets that are plant-based. The positive side is that some but not all chocolate is vegan. Chocolate can be considered to be vegan in the event that the ingredients used to create the product don’t contain dairy products or additional animal products.
Is Chocolate Vegan?
The type of chocolate you buy, chocolate could be vegan. However, many chocolates include the addition of dairy to them, which could exclude the possibility of an all-vegan diet. Milk chocolate naturally contains dairy and dark chocolate could contain dairy.
Ingredients that are not vegan to look for are butter, cream or other milk by-products like casein, whey milk fat, milk solids. If you spot cocoa butter mentioned as an ingredient, don’t be worried. Cocoa butter doesn’t contain butter and is vegan.
There are some other non-vegan ingredients you could be looking for when you are searching for chocolate that is vegan or delicious recipes using vegan ingredients for chocolate. Certain chocolate products baked goods, baked goods, or sweets may contain honey in their ingredients to sweeten the taste. Vegans may choose not to consume honey. Other ingredients that aren’t compliant that could be found in chocolate products include eggs as well as gelatin..
Nutrition and Health Benefits
Dark chocolate, in particular is extensively studied for the health benefits that it could offer. It may also offer certain nutritional benefits.
The USDA provides nutritional data on certain chocolate products that are vegan such as brownies, muffins and cakes, however, there isn’t an official list for chocolate made from vegan ingredients. You can however find the nutritional information you need by reading the nutritional facts on labels on the chocolate bar you love most.
For instance, Raaka is a brand which makes chocolate that is vegan which include dark, vegan chocolate. Here are the nutritional facts for a single portion (25 grams, or for a half-bar) from Raaka’s Coconut Milk Unroasted Dark Chocolate bar: 1
- Fat: 10g
- Sodium: 0mg
- Carbohydrates: 11g
- Fiber: 4g
- Sugars: 8g
- Protein: 2g
For a comparison the 25-gram portion of a commercially-produced chocolate bar (made using dairy) is likely to have 110.2 calories. This includes 3.2 grams of fat 43.8 mg sodium 19.3 grams of sugar, 0.4 grams of fiber, 16.5 grams of sugar and 0.4 grams of protein. 2
Based on the kind of chocolate you consume, dark is a great source of copper, iron as well as zinc, magnesium as well as phosphorus. 3 Vegan dark chocolate isn’t likely to be a reliable food source for calcium. Although it is most likely to be dairy-based products, commercially-produced chocolate isn’t most likely to provide a great source of calcium, either.
There are a number of studies that demonstrate the benefits of chocolate for health. These benefits are typically due to polyphenols, which are found within cacao as well as darker chocolate. 4 Since dairy products are not linked to polyphenols, vegan chocolate may provide the health benefits of chocolate.
May Improve Heart Health
In particular, polyphenols present that are found in chocolate have been demonstrated to reduce both systolic as well as diastolic blood pressures by encouraging vasodilation as well as enhancing the vasoprotective and anti-inflammatory functions of the body. Certain studies have demonstrated the connection between chocolate consumption and a reduced chance of suffering from heart attacks and heart disease. Other studies have revealed no connection or correlation, and a few studies have found an even more negative connection. 5
May Help Manage or Prevent Diabetes
Chocolate could provide some benefits in the prevention or treatment of Type 2 diabetes however the connection between them is complicated. Flavanols and cocoa (a kind of polyphenol) have been proven to increase glucose sensitivity, decrease insulin levels in serum and also improve homeostasis.
These results suggest that cacao could be a natural and affordable method of preventing or possibly aid in treating the type 2 form of diabetes. However, the benefits come with the flavonoids present in cocoa. The majority of commercially made chocolate contains very low levels of flavonols or none at all. 5
May Help Prevent or Manage Other Diseases
In addition, cocoa could be used to treat neurological conditions, including stroke. Cocoa is also being studied for its potential role in the prevention or management of weight gain and some forms of cancer, however the results are usually controversial and contradictory. 5
Using Vegan Chocolate
There’s a good chance that there are a lot of delicious chocolates made from vegan ingredients in the market. Find out what you should look for while shopping and learn how to make use of these treats.
Brands and Shopping Tips
Always take note of carefully the smaller print of the product, and specifically those listed as ingredients when looking for a chocolate that is vegan. Certain brands include the words “vegan” front and center on the label of their product. Some brands don’t even mention “vegan” at all on the packaging, however, they’re free of dairy products and other animal products.
Chocolate brands that are vegan include:
- Alter Eco
- Beyond Good
- Evolved Chocolate
- Fine and Raw
- Hu Kitchen
- No Whey Foods
- Rad Chocolate
- VGAN Chocolate
Experts and chocolate enthusiasts generally recommend searching for chocolates with greater percentages of cacao when you are looking for chocolate. Typically, it is between 55% to 55% to 85%. Cacao is the purest version of cocoa. A higher amount of cacao can enable you to benefit from the benefits of polyphenols that promote health. 4
Recipes, Preparation, and Storage
It is possible to use vegan chocolate in any recipe calling for premium baking chocolate, or enjoy it as its own. Make use of it in recipes for cookies cakes, brownies, smoothies, sorbets or puddings. In order to prepare chocolate bar to use in recipes it is likely that you will require them to be melted. To do this, employ one of the following methods:
- Microwave Chop chocolate bar into pieces uniformly sized and place the chocolate in an oven-safe dish. The microwave should be on for approximately 1 minute at 50 percent power. Stir and remove. Repeat if necessary.
- Stovetop Double cooker to melt chocolate over the stovetop. If you do not have one, create yourself by setting a glass heat-safe bowl over the saucepan that is that is filled with several inches of water. However, ensure that your bowl does not get in the way of the water. Melt the chocolate while constantly stirring over a low heat.
Whatever method you employ, make certain that the water doesn’t get into the chocolate. The water reacts with the oil in cocoa and causes it to become tough and lumpy.
If you want to store your package or opened chocolate, wrap the container with an airtight seal. store it in a dark, cool location. Avoid storing your chocolate in the fridge. It could absorb moisture and odors of other food items, causing it to be tasteless or appear unappealing. Chocolate can be stored in a freezer for up to six months.
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