What is vegan chocolate?
Although commercial chocolate products contain milk powder, chocolate is in fact a raw, natural, vegan product.
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans which have been removed by hand from inside cocoa pods (which were cut off their trees by hand).
These beans are then fermented, dried, roasted, shelled, chopped and pressed.
The shell of the cocoa bean is removed to produce cacao nibs. Next, the nibs are then ground to produce cocoa mass.
When placed under extremely high pressure, cocoa mass separates into cocoa powder (gives a chocolate flavour and colour) and cocoa butter (the melting property of chocolate).
Pure chocolate is then created by combining cocoa solids and cocoa butter via processes called conching, tempering, and finally moulding.
Furthermore, the rise of veganism has increased the demand for a greater choice of plant-based chocolate products.
Is dark chocolate vegan?
Dark chocolate is vegan! Dark chocolate contains 50-90% cocoa solids, with just cocoa butter, and sugar.
Additionally, dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants and minerals. Some studies suggest dark chocolate can lower the risk of heart disease and improve brain function.
Most dark chocolate bars in the supermarket are suitable for vegans, but make sure to check the ingredients.
Dairy-free milk chocolate is created using a lower level of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar, and plant-based milk.
Is white chocolate vegan?
Although white chocolate has a different production method to dark chocolate, it can be made vegan.
Instead of using cocoa solids, dairy-free white chocolate is made from cocoa butter, sugar, and a plant-based milk product.
Vegan-friendly white chocolate is readily available in most supermarkets, as well as a range of independent chocolatiers.
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