Vegan Chocolate | Health Benefits & How It’s Made

We eat chocolate when we’re sad, happy, bored, and celebrating. Chocolate is extremely important in people’s lives all over the world. Chocolate makes feel us better and is good for our souls.

The first question that comes to mind in people when they find out that you are vegan: “oh you’re vegan! I don’t know how you can do it I can’t be vegan I love chocolate so much!” Well, so do I. I can reassure you; that you can be vegan and eat delicious chocolate. There are so many tasty Vegan Chocolate brands that are available to you.

Photo of multiple types of vegan chocolate.
Guide to vegan chocolate

How they make chocolates:

You can make chocolates from beans that grow on cacao trees. The cacao beans must go through the process of various stages such as harvesting, fermenting, drying, roasting, cracking & winnowing (removing shells from the roasted beans called nibs), and grinding & conching.

They grind the cocoa nibs with stone rollers to achieve a paste-like consistency.

The cocoa butter gives a smooth and glossier texture to the chocolate. Some chocolate makers add extra cocoa butter whereas others replace the extra cocoa butter with cheaper vegetable fats. Heads up! Read the ingredients of the chocolate you intend to buy.

They transfer the cocoa mass to a once for the mixture and refine them into cocoa solids.

Chocolate makers add sugar, flavourings, and milk powder afterwards depending on the type of chocolate being made. Vegan Chocolate is made by replacing the milk with a nut-based milk.

Three Major Categories of Chocolate

Photo of three major categories of chocolate stacked on top of each other.
Milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate

Milk Chocolate (“milk”)

As the name suggests it will contain milk. Sugar and dairy, milk, and milk powder are added to the cocoa mass to give it a creamier, softer, and mellow flavour. Dairy milk isn’t necessary for milk chocolate.

Photo of creamy looking milk chocolate bars
Milk chocolate

The creamy and soft texture can be achieved by using dairy-free options such as almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk and oat milk making it a vegan-friendly option.

White Chocolate

White Chocolate – is made with cocoa butter, sugar and milk powder. However, it doesn’t contain cocoa mass, therefore, it is not considered as true chocolate.

Photo of very rare vegan white chocolate
White chocolate

White chocolate is usually non-vegan-friendly chocolate unless it specifies that dairy has been replaced with plant-based milk. White Vegan Chocolate is less common, but I’ve found Moo Free Natural White Chocolate on Amazon UK – I’ve not tasted this myself.

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate – Rich and sophisticated and requires only 3 ingredients: cocoa mass (usually with a high percentage), cocoa butter, and sugar. This chocolate is usually the most suitable option for vegans.

Photo of vegan dark chocolate which has all the benefits without the nasty hormones
Dark chocolate

Which chocolate is healthier: milk chocolate, white chocolate or dark chocolate?

According to the Department of Agriculture’s nutrient database, a 100g standard bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cacao solids contains 600 calories and 24 grammes of sugar. On the other hand, milk chocolate contains roughly the same calories as dark chocolate but twice the amount of sugar.

Technically, milk chocolate may have a smoother and creamier texture, it usually has more sugar and less cocoa powder than dark chocolate. It’s lower in antioxidants (flavanols) than dark chocolate because of the low content of the cocoa powder.

White chocolate doesn’t contain cocoa solids, therefore people don’t consider it as real chocolate. The sugar content in white chocolate is even higher than in milk chocolate, 59 grammes in 100g of a bar and it has no flavanols at all.

Dark chocolate looks like the healthiest of them all as it contains less fat and sugar, but it is important to check the label.

The health benefits of chocolate

Chocolate is good for the heart

Scientists discovered in 2014 that dark chocolate is good for the heart. Dark chocolate helps restore flexibility in arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels. Ultimately, protecting from atherosclerosis.

Chocolate reduces stroke risk in men

Studies back in 2012 confirmed that men who consume the most chocolate tend to lower the risk of stroke by 17% compared to those who consume the least. Vegan Chocolate with low or no sugar gives all the benefits without any of the downsides of most chocolate.

Chocolate reduces LDL cholesterol in overweight people

According to the Journal of the American Heart Association, in 2017, a study was conducted on overweight and obese individuals. Findings show that eating combinations of raw almonds, dark chocolate and cocoa helped lower the cholesterol in people who are overweight thus lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. Choose vegan chocolate that’s low in sugar to get the benefits without all the bad bits.

Chocolate is good for brain function

The darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration of cocoa and the higher the level of antioxidants there will be in the bar. Flavonoids are antioxidants found in cocoa beans, fruits and vegetables. A compound of flavonols, a form of flavonoids has an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect.


The study has found that adults between the ages of 50 – 69 who have been taking cocoa supplements with high flavanol for three months, had better performance on tests of memory than those who took cocoa supplements with low content of flavanol.

How to spot vegan chocolate

The best way is to check for the ingredients. Be careful of the hidden ingredients such as whey and casein. Both are derived from milk. High-quality chocolates usually will contain the least amount of ingredients sugar, cocoa butter which is vegan, a small percentage of oil, and a few fruits & nuts.

Some chocolates will contain emulsifier which is normally derived from soy and will mention on the label as soy lecithin which is vegan-friendly. The other trick is to skip all the ingredients and check the bit where it says Allergen Information. If the chocolate contains milk or eggs, it will be mentioned on the label because both milk and eggs are classified as common allergens.

There are so many delicious vegan chocolate brands available in the market that we can all indulge in and it really tastes like regular chocolate.

Here are the most popular brands that make delicious chocolate

11 Best Vegan Chocolate brands to guarantee satisfaction

Source

Why dark chocolate is good for your heart.

Chocolate is good for brain function.

Chocolates reduces stroke risk in Men, and the LDL cholesterol in overweight people.

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About the Author

<a href="https://strongwithplants.com/author/inga/" target="_self">Inga K</a>

Inga K

Inga became vegan in March 2018. After a series of documentaries that hit hard, she and her husband switched to a plant-based diet within a week and vegan soon after. Inga has a UK Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Diet and Nutrition.

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Strongwithplants.com is a blog for anyone who strives for a healthy and happy life. We share 100% plant-based (and often healthy and oil-free) recipes and give you the best tips on finding vegan local food whilst travelling and living a plant-based lifestyle focusing on good health and spiritual wellbeing.

We like to consume food, products and services that don’t harm our bodies, animals, or the planet. Use as little as possible and recycle everything.

Each individual’s dietary needs are unique. Please seek advice from a professional nutritionist or your doctor.

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