Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vegan Valentine's Chocolate!


Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and what do we vegans like to receive on Valentine’s Day more than anything else?  Chocolate, of course!  But not all chocolate is vegan, so how do you find out what the best chocolate is for your vegan sweetheart?  Keep reading!

White chocolate and milk chocolate are not vegan, but dark chocolate often is, so it’s easy to find vegan chocolate without going to a specialty store.  Just look for dark chocolate and read the ingredient list to make sure there is no milk, butter, eggs or other dairy products.  Keep in mind that cocoa butter does not come from a cow, so it is absolutely vegan!  The higher the cacao percentage (usually around 75% and higher) the more likely the chocolate is to be vegan.  Lower percentages often mix a little bit of milk in them, so check to make sure.

I’ll start with my personal favorite – Brook Le’amohala at Mama Earth CafĂ© on Maui makes the hands-down, best-I’ve-ever-tasted, chocolate.  Notice I didn’t say best “vegan chocolate” … I said best “chocolate!”  Her Cardamom Chocolate Aphrodesia will stun you.  Filled with unique ingredients like cardamom, cashews, ginger and cayenne, this chocolate is sweet, nutty, gingery and spicy all at the same time – the flavors will burst in your mouth!  Contact Brook at www.MamaEarthCafe.com to find out how to order it.  It’s made on Maui and must be refrigerated, so expect a higher-than-normal shipping fee if you want to order it.  Or just plan your next vacation for Maui!

My husband is a major fan of Theo’s brand chocolates, many of which are vegan.  His two favorite flavors are the Madagascar chocolate and the Spicy Chili Chocolate.  Theo’s is located in Seattle, WA, and is the first and only organic and Fair Trade chocolatier in the U.S.  You can find it at many grocery stores, or go to www.TheoChocolate.com for more information.  Their factory tours are a must when you go to Seattle!

My friend, Suezy Proctor, likes Whole Foods brands of chocolate, and when she wants a little chocolate fix, she simply has a handful of their chocolate chips.  But if you don’t want to buy your Valentine chocolate chips, she recommends their Whole Foods Dark Chocolate candy bar with Almonds.  She says the almonds intensify the chocolate flavor.

For other ideas, the internet is full of chocolatiers selling vegan chocolate.  Simply google “vegan chocolate” and you’ll find dozens of sellers.  However, let me tell you about my favorite.  www.RescueChocolate.com sells 100% vegan chocolate, and 100% of the proceeds go to helping Animal Rescues.  Buy the “Peanut Butter Pit Bull” and your money goes to Pitbull Rescues.  Buy the “Bow-Wow Bon Bons” and your money goes to help shelter dogs find a home.  Perfect for Valentine’s Day, buy the heart-shaped, raspberry ganache-filled “Wild at Heart” chocolates and your money goes to helping wild animals, such as those in circuses or research labs.

So, vegan readers, what is your favorite vegan chocolate?  Comment here and let us know!

2 comments:

  1. Another option for those who like the taste of vegan chocolate chips but want something a little fancier-looking -- you can buy candy molds in just about any shape you want at craft or cooking supply stores. If you melt down vegan chocolate chips, or any other kind of chocolate you like, you can pour it into the molds and let it cool and make cute, shaped candies to give as gifts. It is super fast and easy (the only part that isn't fast is the cooling down- you do have to leave them to cool for several hours) I do this for my kids' Christmas stockings and Easter baskets. It's much cheaper than buying vegan chocolate!

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  2. I like endangered species chocolate bars. Fair trade is important to me.

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