Published On: April 7, 2021Categories: Chocolate

Did you know that natural and pure chocolate does not contain dairy?

That’s right. Even though the phrase “milk chocolate” is so familiar, it turns out that the popular chocolate brands you grew up with only add dairy ingredients to their chocolate after the fact, and are not an essential element in pure or natural chocolate.
So, if natural chocolate does not contain dairy, what is dairy-free chocolate made from?

The Origins of Natural Chocolate

Chocolate comes from the cacao bean. The beans are harvested from trees in places far and wide, from West Africa to Latin America and beyond. After being roasted and de-shelled, the beans can be cold-pressed to produce cacao powder and still contain their natural properties.

Alternatively, the beans go through a different process when they’re used to make chocolate:

  1. The beans are harvested

  2. The beans are roasted and de-shelled, leaving the cacao nibs to be blended.

  3. The blended nibs are grounded up at a mill and pressed into a paste.

  4. The cocoa butter in the nibs is removed and the remaining nibs are heated into a cocoa liquor.

  5. The liquor and cocoa butter is solidified.

  6. Additional ingredients are added to the liquor and cocoa butter, such as flavourings, sugar, and milk powder.

Since pure chocolate is actually dairy-free, does that mean vegans are stuck with only dark chocolate and baking chocolate when they need to satisfy their chocolate cravings? No, of course not! Not everyone likes the taste of dairy-free dark chocolate, after all, and there are many other types to choose from on the market today.

What Kind of Chocolate is Dairy-Free?

Whether you want chocolate chips sprinkled on your desserts or white chocolate candy bars, you can enjoy dairy-free versions of these treats.

BAKING CHOCOLATE

When you’re at the grocery store, you’ve probably noticed baking chocolate and wondered how it’s different from a regular chocolate bar. Baking chocolate is usually similar to dark chocolate because it’s dairy-free and contains cocoa butter, but contains little to no sugar so is much more bitter. But always read the label to guarantee that it is indeed, dairy-free.

DARK CHOCOLATE

Since dark chocolate doesn’t naturally contain milk or other other additives, it’s the go-to option for most dairy-free people and vegans. Instead, dark chocolate only contains cocoa butter, sugar and cocoa solids. Don’t worry, the butter is not made from dairy; it’s a vegetable fat extract from the cacao bean.

Consumers must read the package details of their dark chocolate products. Some brands will add milk solids, which means the chocolate contains dairy.

Dark chocolate products, such as ours, do have a “may contain” warning on them because they are made in a factory that also produces milk chocolate. Therefore, cross-contamination is possible.

MILK CHOCOLATE

Yes, we know. “Milk” is in the title, so how can milk chocolate be dairy-free? Instead of using cow’s milk, this type of chocolate can be made with:

  • Oat Milk
  • Almond Milk
  • Hazelnut Milk
  • Cashew Milk
  • Soy Milk
  • Rice Milk
  • Banana Milk

People have gotten creative with producing milk from sources other than cows, allowing more consumers to indulge in chocolate delights.

WHITE CHOCOLATE

Regular white chocolate is made with sugar, cocoa butter and milk products.. Since this type of chocolate does not contain cocoa solids—a defining ingredient of chocolate—the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provided other chocolate requirements. Companies can easily make white chocolate now and label it as such.

If you’re looking for dairy-free white chocolate, make sure to check the ingredients. It should contain:

  • Cocoa butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • A dairy alternative or a non-dairy milk powder

It’s essential to always check the ingredient list on all of your chocolate products and, in some cases, it’s a good idea to contact the manufacturer to learn about their allergen protocols. Our online vegan chocolate shop proudly offers vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free chocolate treats. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. As a family-run business, we care about our customers and want them to share our love of chocolate.

What are the Health Benefits of Going Dairy-Free?

More and more people are embracing a dairy-free lifestyle whether it’s out of necessity or choice. From chocolate to cheese to ice cream, people are eating healthier with other alternatives. Vegans avoid animal products and by-products because they want to save the planet, protect animals, and live better in general.

A dairy-free diet has health benefits:

  • Cow’s milk can contain growth hormones or antibiotics, which can enter their milk and negatively affect consumers.
  • Studies show that dairy is a factor that can affect people’s skin since it contains a type of sugar called lactose. Sugar can cause inflammation and lead to acne breakouts.
  • Animal products contain cholesterol and harmful fats which can negatively affect the heart and other organs.

Most baking chocolates have a higher percentage of cocoa solids than milk chocolate, but it’s a healthier choice since it has less sugar, fat, and additives. Dark chocolate is similar and includes healthy nutritional value, such as antioxidants and essential minerals.

Whether you avoid dairy products because of allergies or a vegan lifestyle, you can still have a variety of chocolate in this day and age.

What is the Best Dairy-Free Chocolate?

All of Pure Lovin’s dairy-free chocolate options are the best! But as the owners and producers, we’re biased, so we recommend trying them for yourself. Treat your tastebuds to more than milk, white, and dark chocolate; we offer a myriad of adventurous flavours, from peppermint cremes to chocolate-covered candied orange peel to hazelnut chocolates.

Contact us to learn more about our dairy-free chocolate selection, or start shopping!

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