High quality chocolate is one of the rewards awaiting vegans. While chocolate in its raw form is vegan, many chocolate products end up with animal products in them.
Can chocolates be vegan?
Chocolates are prepared primarily from the pod of the Cocoa tree. This makes it vegan – at least in the initial stages of its production.
The procedure that follows in order to prepare the final product involves adding additives including milk or milk fat. Even the refined cane sugars that may be used are made using charcoal which may be a product of animal bones.
How vegan chocolate is made
Although many chocolate brands contain the above mentioned additives, there are a few brands that prepare chocolates without them. And these are the some of the highest quality chocolates in the market since the chocolate must stand alone flavor wise.
What to look out for to ensure that the chocolate is vegan
- Brands with vegan certification
Many organizations offer vegan certification and license using their logo to food manufacturers, shops and restaurants. Look for the logo on the product you are purchasing as with any vegan food item. Some food manufacturers also provide their own certification and label their products as vegan.
- Brands without certification or labels
Does that mean that those brands that do not have such a certification or label on them are all non-vegan? Not necessarily and this is where your normal vegan due diligence comes in.
Health benefits of vegan chocolates
Being animal product free, vegan chocolate offers substantial health benefits associated with dark chocolate. Following are some of the prominent ones.
- The rich aroma of chocolate facilitates theta brain waves that brings a comforting and relaxed feeling
- Phenyl ethylamine, present in chocolate, helps improve mood and decrease depressive feelings
- Cocoa butter, present in chocolate, contains oleic acid, which helps increase ‘good’ cholesterol
- Flavonoids present in chocolate help blood vessels stay elastic
So next time you’re looking for a sweet treat, don’t think that vegan chocolate is lacking. In fact, it is probably some of the highest quality chocolate anyone will ever eat!
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