Are Chocolate Chips Vegan?
Is chocolate in any of its forms (chips, in a bar, on ice cream, in a cookie, cake, biscuit, in whatever form you like to eat it when you crave that delicious sugar that comes from chocolate) vegan and, if not, how to identify who it is? This issue is very important to resolve, having in mind that chocolate is one of the staple foods, for those who enjoy sweets, vegan, or non-vegan.
We all love it, in a smaller or greater extent; you can find some cheap version, as well as the ones that are very expensive and high quality. The same thing comes in the case when vegan chocolate is in question, or here, chocolate chips.
The fact is that on the market, you can find so many kinds that you can literally lose your mind before you choose one kind that is good for you in some health sense and, of course, that completes vegan status that you are striving for.
Chocolate chips are chocolate that comes in smaller or bigger bags, and it is already “cut” into a small size, so it ready to use. It melts faster, and it can be served for topping cakes, decorations, and most commonly for cookies, as a star ingredient.
Are chocolate chips vegan is a question that often arises in the minds of newly acquired vegans because the one that has been following this diet already know what to buy and consume on a daily basis when the crave for some sweets or when they want to make a vegan chocolate chip cookie (you can find so many great recipes online).
Today we are here to solve the mystery of vegan chocolate chips (is there such thing). Can you find chocolate chips that are vegan on the market?
Chocoholics all around the world – gather!
Chocolate, in its present form, can be considered a recent invention, believe it or not. Traditionally, chocolate has been consumed as a beverage for many years, long before it became a firm bar as we know it today.
Even the Aztecs drank cocoa drinks during the rituals of birth, marriage, and death – in all important stages in their lives. This just proves how important the cocoa bean had for the most advanced civilization in the whole world, it was just like gold today, not anyone could have it, only some did, and it was pretty valuable.
Milk chocolate only became popular during the 19th century, and today it is the most popular and widespread form of chocolate.
However, with the increasing number of non-dairy populations, vegan chocolates without animal products have begun to appear on the market, and they are as tasty and as quality as any other chocolate on the market.
Milk (and milk powder) is added to chocolate to make it creamier and less intense than dark chocolate. Such chocolate gains a lot of popularity, but of course, this was not the concrete that vegans could consume.
Because of the high content of cocoa chocolate makes it more brittle, milk chocolate is softer compared to dark. It is tasty there is no doubt about it, but the fact is when you look for the chocolate chips that are made out of the milk chocolate, you, as a vegan, cannot eat it.
So far, many vegan chocolates have appeared in the world, both dark and milky and white, and the situation in the global market is moving in the right direction.
We agree that there should be as many choices as possible as that all of us can have a choice of what suits us best, regarding a vegan status, health status, and of course, the taste.
To do this, we must take a deep dive into the ingredients list, and find out what chocolate chips you can eat, and what kinds you should avoid if you are a vegan.
In order for some chocolate chips you want to you use to bake some of your favorite vegan cookies or other sweets, to be vegan, they must not have any dairy product and some chocolate chips, especially the one that is milk has, or in some cases, they have eggs (not a whole egg, but there can be traces of it in some cases, most notably, in cheaper versions).
Another big issue for some vegans is this – the presence of sugar. The problem with it is the fact that in the production of white sugar that is used mostly in the USA, the bone char is used to make the sugar whiter. Many vegans have an issue with it.
Now, we will take good look at the most common elements in chocolate chips, so we can determine what kind you can eat, and what kind you should avoid.
Normally the ingredients in chocolate chips are – some percentage cocoa mass and cocoa butter. Other ingredients of black chocolate are sugar, vanilla, soy lecithin, and if soy is absent and sugar is replaced with raw cane sugar, you get the highest quality chocolate.
Now in the case of bitter, unsweetened chocolate chips, it does not contain sugar and milk powder but consists only of ground cocoa beans. As such, it is not particularly convenient for consumption but is used in the bakery industry and for making various other treats and sweets. So, for vegans, this may be the best choice. And we must add that this may be the healthier option.
Next, in some “regular” chocolate chips, you can find as much as 50% sugar, and in addition to cocoa butter, it also contains powdered milk, flavors, vegetable fat… which generally neutralizes the true taste of chocolate and because of the presence of milk, it cannot be vegan.
And in the third case, we have white chocolate chips that are not considered by many to be real chocolate due to its white color and lack of cocoa mass, and however, as a rule, it contains a minimum of 26% cocoa parts, i.e., cocoa butter. It has no pronounced chocolate taste but usually tastes of vanilla or some other added aroma.
What you should pay particular attention when buying this type of chocolate is the label with the composition, because unless the fat inside the candy is cocoa butter you have bought something that contains a lot of sugar and vegetable oil, and only the aroma of chocolate.
Many people love it, but our suggestion is to avoid this chocolate, because, besides its name, it is hardly chocolate, and usually has many additions, that you cannot be determined are they vegan or not.
As you can see – some chocolate chips are vegan, and some are not, but on the market, you can find so many chocolate chips that are declared as a vegan.
Are Chocolate chips vegan?
Now, if you want to consume some vegan chocolate chips, you should opt for the ones that do not use sucrose, but fructose, a fruit sugar that is healthier and easier to absorb in the body. In doing so, some manufacturers make such chocolate chips to be available for people with diabetes.
In addition, some of them do not contain genetically modified ingredients, preservatives, artificial flavors, or hydrogenated fats.
There should be at least some vegan chocolate in virtually every store. They are most commonly referred to as “black chocolate” and sometimes as “cooking chocolate” or “eating and cooking chocolate.” The composition is usually cocoa (cocoa powder, cocoa mass, and cocoa butter), sugar, and soy lecithin. Sometimes there are additional emulsifiers.
In some cases, you will find chocolate chips with a high percentage of cocoa mass that is sweetened with stevia.
This is also a reasonable option, and in some cases, vegan chocolate chips come with cranberries, cherries, or other fruits. Some vegans like to add this mixture to their oatmeal, etc., or to put in the cookie mixture.
If you read on a label “powdered milk,” “whey powder,” and the like on the label beside these items, you know that you must avoid such chocolate chips; if the milk is not listed in the composition but says that the product can trace it, so-called, and our suggestion is to avoid these chocolate chips as well.
One more thing is important here – allergen info that manufacturers are required to indicate if there is a theoretical possibility that the product contains minimal amounts of something that causes allergy in certain people, such as milk, peanuts, hazelnut, wheat, etc. Be extra careful when you are buying vegan chocolate.
This practically means that something is manufactured in the same plants where other products containing these ingredients are made, and therefore it cannot be completely ruled out that some particles may inadvertently end up where they were not intended, regardless of the fact that the machines are cleaned and wrapped—prescribed actions.
The vast majority of vegans find these products acceptable because buying them does not imply supporting the exploitation of animals.
As usual, we must tell you to buy some renowned brands after you are well informed about the product.
Are Chocolate Chips healthy?
Eating too many sweets is never a good idea, of course – and this is not changed by the fact that you can find the ones that are declared as a vegan.
In the case of chocolate chips, the idea is to use them not as a regular bar of chocolate but to use it mostly in cooking, because they are very easy to use (small, bite-sized, great as a topping, sprinkle on the cake, etc.). Regardless, it is never recommended using them abundantly, just like any other food, moderation is the key.
Vegan chocolate is a chocolate that contains most of the cocoa parts but does not contain milk – this is very important to know. Cocoa itself is a fruit of the plant, and it is certainly a plant product that does not add milk during production, which is present in most cases when it comes to classic chocolate products.
Very often, such chocolates have a higher proportion of cocoa parts than other chocolates, over 75%. Vegan chocolate chips are highly regarded in the world, primarily for its nutritional value and healthy ingredients. The most quality kind is the dark one, and the dark, bittersweet chocolate chips are the best.
Just to remind you – cocoa is a chocolate-based plant that is very bitter in taste and in which large quantities of additives, flavor variations, and white sugar are used. Before that, the fruits of this plant are left in the meadows of large farms in “third world” countries where fermentation processes take place, as well as pollution by rodents and insects that are exposed to the whole process.
Cocoa is very healthy, we all know it, and often vegetarian or vegan chocolates do not contain sugar at all, which makes them very interesting for people with diabetes. Some chocolates use the extract of the stevia plant, which is three times sweeter than regular sugar, and far healthier, instead of sugar.
Dark chocolate, more precisely, a snack daily (and we must say that chocolate chips may come in handy for this purpose, maybe with some fruit, as a perfect sweet snack), helps lower blood pressure without gaining weight, according to some research that was conducted in Germany recently.
Polyphenols (chemical compounds believed to be beneficial for health) are found in dark chocolate, and as well in dark chocolate chips.
In the end, when you are buying chocolate chips, look for the ones that are labeled as vegan, choose dark ones, with the high percentage of cocoa, and a small amount to of sugar (in recipes you can substitute it with some stevia, or organic coconut sugar)
So are chocolate chips vegan? It depends – not quite and not always, but the market is so wide that every major brand of chocolate (and some smaller ones that are dedicated to vegan food only) has a line of vegan chocolate, including chocolate chips.
As a matter of fact, the tendency is for so many companies to fulfill their part of the market that is expanding daily. As a consequence, you can find almost all imaginable kinds of chocolate chips that taste great and are vegan. Many of them are organic also, which is a good thing always.
As you were able to see, the problem with a vegan status of chocolate chips is this – namely, during the production of chocolate, various ingredients are added to the chocolate, which gives it a better aroma and taste, and often these ingredients contain a certain percentage of milk fats and additives of animal origin.
Vegan chocolate is specific in that it has absolutely no additives of its kind. There is no milk fat, no milk, and no milk parts in it. There cannot be any even in traces, and this often occurs, especially in cheaper versions of chocolate chips.
Many chocolate chips, although labeled as dark and bittersweet, contain milk fat to a greater or lesser extent. So be extra careful when you buy them!
Always try to buy those kinds that are, even a bit expensive, surely vegan, and above all, have great quality that you will be able to taste for sure.