It’s no surprise that the Latin name for the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, means “food of the gods.” Smithsonian Magazine explains that chocolate may be more than 2,000 years old, and throughout history, it has been used in a variety of ways, from brewing it for a bitter tea to fermenting it for an alcoholic beverage.
Studies suggest that dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties and can increase cardiovascular function. Adding milk to this wondrous food just seems silly, doesn’t it?
To stay on chocolate’s “good side,” always look for a high percentage of cacao, between 55 and 85 percent—the higher the percentage, the purer the bar. Also, be sure to check the ingredients, as some brands’ dark-chocolate bars still contain dairy “products.” Avoid chocolate that has a long list of ingredients, because chances are that some of them are fillers. And make sure you avoid ingredients that are derived from milk, such as whey, casein, milk, milk fat, and milk solids.
© Adrian Mueller
Our Favorite Vegan Dark Chocolate Bars
- Hershey’s Signature Oat Made Classic Dark
- CASSE-COU Espresso Dark Chocolate and Almond Bar
- VGAN Chocolate Vegan Dark Chocolate with Grapefruit & Chia
- Purdys Chocolatier Vegan Dark Chocolate Bar
- Divine Treasures Chocolate Bar (a PETA Business Friend)
- Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate
- Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Bar and Ricemilk Chocolate Bar
- Whole Foods’ Organic Dark Chocolate and Dark Chocolate With Almonds
- Chocolove Orange Peel in Dark Chocolate
- Equal Exchange (This company offers many vegan varieties, so check label for info.)
- Chocolate Inspirations’ Artisan Raspberry Bar
- Endangered Species’ Natural Dark Chocolate Squares
- No Whey! Foods’ Milkless Chocolate Bars
- Alter Eco (This company offers many vegan varieties, so check label for info.)
- Theo Chocolate (This company offers many vegan varieties, so check label for info.)
And check out the PETA Shop for our vegan chocolate!
Accidentally Vegan Chocolate Products
- Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Bars (Dark Chocolate, 72% Dark Chocolate, and Bittersweet With Almonds)
- Trader Joe’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- These alternatives to Nutella
- Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value Dark Chocolate Baking Chunks
- SunSpire’s Organic Semi-Sweet Baking Chips
- Dream Dairy-Free Chocolate Dream Semi-Sweet Baking Chips
- Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate
(70%, 85%, 90%, and 99% cacao varieties)
- Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, 680g Container
Try our incredible Vegan Chocolate Lava Cake recipe!
With all of these indulgent vegan chocolates, there’s really no reason to opt for milk chocolate. Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do—to nourish their young—but calves on dairy farms are taken away from their mothers when they are just 1 day old so that their mothers’ milk can be sold to humans. For the real story on where your milk chocolate comes from, check out our harrowing Milk in Reverse video:
If this article is making you question your current lifestyle, then we have just the thing for you: our free vegan starter kit, with tips and information about going vegan. For animals, the environment, and your health, order one today.
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