Dark chocolate is one of those wonderfully, accidentally vegan treats. But how can you tell if your dark chocolate is vegan? We're here to help.
In this blog post, we dive into reading labels to determine if a product is vegan, our favorite vegan chocolates, and even share some of the best vegan chocolate recipes. Let's jump in!
How to Tell if Dark Chocolate is Vegan
To determine if dark chocolate is vegan, you can follow these simple steps as you're browsing through the isles:
- Check the Ingredients List: Start by examining the ingredients listed on the packaging. Look for any animal-derived ingredients such as milk, milk solids, milk fat, or any other dairy-related components. If you find any of these, the chocolate is not vegan.
- Look for Dairy-Free Labels: Some dark chocolates are specifically labeled as "dairy-free" or "vegan." These labels can be a clear indicator that the chocolate does not contain any animal products.
- Check for Cocoa Percentage: Dark chocolate typically contains a higher cocoa content than milk chocolate. The higher the cocoa percentage, the more likely it is to be dairy-free. However, this is not a foolproof method because some high-cocoa dark chocolates may still contain dairy.
- Contact the Manufacturer: If you're unsure about the chocolate's ingredients, contact the manufacturer directly. They can provide information on whether their product is vegan or not.
- Look for Vegan Certifications: Some chocolates may bear vegan certifications or symbols from organizations like Vegan Action or the Vegan Society. These certifications indicate that the product meets vegan standards.
- Be Cautious of Cross-Contamination: In some cases, chocolate may be processed in facilities that handle dairy products. If you have severe allergies or strict dietary preferences, you might want to check for potential cross-contamination warnings on the packaging.
Remember that while dark chocolate is more likely to be vegan than milk chocolate, it's essential to read labels carefully, as some dark chocolates do contain dairy or other non-vegan ingredients.
Our Favorite Vegan Dark Chocolates
Pascha Organic Semi Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips
All of the Pascha chocolate chips and chocolate chunks varieties are vegan and delicious. Varieties from barely dark to very, very dark chocolate. Non-GMO, Vegan, Organic, Gluten-free and Fair Trade certified.
Guittard Chocolate Extra Dark
Guittard chocolates have been the gold standard for baking. Stock up when you find them on sale. Non-GMO and Fair Trade certified.
Trader Joe's 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Chips
The go-to Trader Joe's option is amazing and comes in at about half the price as the others. Dairy-free and Gluten-free.
Image from Caramel & Cashews.
70% Dark Mendiants
Just beans and sugar from Woodblock. Their double origin discs are made from Ecuadorian and Peruvian cacao. Perfect for melting to make your own fancy chocolates.
Ranger Oregon Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar
The Oregon Sea Salt Chocolate Bar from Ranger Chocolate is a harmonious blend of rich, dark chocolate and Jacobson sea salt.
JUSTIN'S Organic Mini Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Justin's dark chocolate peanut butter cups are a staple in our pantry. Sometimes we get wild and go for the almond butter cups instead.
Dark Chocolate Bonus: Dark chocolate is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which can help combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.