Vegan chocolate is becoming a popular staple in the diets of people living a vegan lifestyle. Producing this delicious treat free of animal products is relatively simple compared to other recipes and foods converted to vegan requirements.
Vegan bars and other foods are not made with any animal products, nor products even partially derived from animals. The two non-vegan ingredients to traditional bars are milk and butter, usually from a cow.
Nearly all dark bars are already vegan because they don’t use milk and can be made with a cacao or cocoa butter with an oil base, such as coconut oil.
Some producers substitute plant-based milks into their recipes, such as oat, almond, or coconut milk, which give unique flavor sets and textures. Adding agave, a natural sweetener, can be a solid addition instead of using sugar.
Coconut milk will make the bar sweeter and light, while an oat milk will give a deep, rich taste. There are even some brands that now offer vegan white choc because of these milk replacements.
The root ingredient of every bar is cacao, which is a tree native to tropical climates. The fruit of the tree is yellowish orange, oval shaped and hard. It is cut open and the seeds are dried and later crushed into a powder or nibs (small chunks).
Pure cacao is very rich in antioxidants and other key minerals, such as magnesium, chromium and zinc. Many producers will roast the pure cacao seeds, which removes much of this healthy mineral content.
These roasted seeds are likewise ground into powder and serve as the base for the powder of the recipe. This refined version of cacao is called cocoa and most major manufactures use it because of its smooth texture and taste.
This is an important distinction because many health websites will claim there are critical health benefits for these foods we associate with dessert and sweetness. The claims are all based on the mineral content of pure cacao.
Since cocoa loses these benefits in the roasting process (exposing the seeds to high temperatures for a several hours), finding brands that explicitly state it is made from cacao or cacao nibs will be far healthier.
Because of the powdered base of a bar there are many possibilities for adding other powdered superfood ingredients, such as in the Lover’s Bar by Medicinal-Foods.com
It is made 100% organic stone ground raw cacao powder that has the full range of antioxidants inherent in the seeds. Within this powder is an original Shaman’s Blend recipe that was developed from native South American, Asia and African herbs.
The Shaman’s Blend includes:
Spirulina (blue-green algae)
Chlorella (green algae)
Ashwagandha Root powder
Organic Hemp Protein
Reishi Mushroom powder
Cordyceps Mushroom powder
Each of these superfoods provides unique health benefits, including vastly improved immune system functioning, cellular detoxification, cognitive improvement, and improved digestion.
The two mushroom ingredients have incredible health benefits and are highly prized neuron-generative superfoods, meaning they nourish the neurotransmitter cells become more efficient communicating with one another.
This results in high cognitive functioning, less stress, and an overall improved sense of well-being.
Combined with raw cacao and topped of by Himalayan pink salt and vanilla extract for taste, never before has eating devilishly delicious treat been so good for the body and not just a guilty pleasure.
The Lover’s Bar is an excellent option for vegans because every ingredient is plant-based and carefully sourced to be 100% organic and chemical additive free.
Vegan chocolate near me
Just reading these sentences can give arise to the hunger-induced thought “Is there some near me right now?”
Fortunately, it is inherently plant-based and can be produced at home with only a handful of ingredients. The key is getting the highest quality cacao that has not been roasted.
When researching the best producers of high quality cacao, an important consideration is whether the location is a monoculture plantation or a biodiverse habitat.
To build a monoculture plantation you need to clear out large areas of forest so that a single crop can be grown in a large quantity. Rows of plants are created and harvested for the singular use of that one plant.
In contrast, a biodiverse habitat does not cut down the forest or jungle, and instead maintains the rich variation of plants, animals and insects that all combine to nurture the environment where the crop is being grown.
In the case of cacao, the trees need shady, cool areas to grow. They thrive with many types of insects and other plant life around it and produce the best fruit in these conditions.
While monoculture plantations shoot for efficiency, the end result is that the fruit crop may be of a lower overall quality.
The cacao tree, when growing in its natural habitat, uses the diversity of life around it for nourishment and a strong foundation for producing better fruits.
What chocolate is vegan?
Answering the common question, “What kind is vegan?” is fairly simple: the bars need to be produced without the use of any types of animal products.
Many dark versions are considered to be automatically vegan because they do not contain milk. But even these will often use butter from cows, so it is important to check the label to see if a fat base (butter, oil) is being used.
Some of the best vegan options are mixed with varieties of nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts. The nuts are added to the creamy batter, and adding nutrient rich nuts such as macadamia can enhance the overall antioxidant content of the bars.
Fortunately, making this delectable treat that is treasured worldwide can be produced with a minimal amount of ingredients, all plant-based and done at home.
With the market for non-animal based products expanding at a rapid pace, it is possible to enjoy many of our favorite deserts without the burden of animals being a part of the process.
In the case of cacao-based products, the cow’s milk could have been boosted with hormonal chemicals, have lived in stressful conditions, or been in an unhealthy condition while producing the milk.
Vegan chocolates are becoming more and more popular as a rich source for nutrients inherent in pure cacao as well as the powerful superfoods that can be added to the mix rather effortlessly.
Never before has dessert been so healthy and humane!