The Top 10 things to Know About Dairy Free Chocolate
I'm going to let you in on a little secret that most people just don't know: you don't have to give up chocolate
to be dairy free! In fact, dairy-free chocolate can be one of the richest, most satisfying sweets that you can
enjoy. And it's even healthier than chocolate containing dairy.
There are many reasons for a dairy-free diet. Maybe you
have an allergy to dairy, are lactose intolerance, or you have chosen to be vegan. Or maybe you just want to
be healthier and love the taste of dairy-free chocolate!
Whatever your reason, here are the top 10 things you should know about dairy free chocolate and how it fits into
1. Chocolate is good for you.
In its purest form, chocolate is actually good for you. The health benefits of chocolate are indisputably proven
by the scientific community. Cacao beans contain catechins, antioxidants that help lower the risk of cancer and
heart disease. Raw chocolate is also proven to boost heart health, fight diabetes, and help protect you from
strokes. Chocolate's flavanols also make people feel more alert and awake.
Chocolate is good for you, but it gets a bad reputation as a guilty pleasure or junk food. Why? Because of all
the unhealthy additives mainstream chocolate manufacturers often put into their chocolates. They are often loaded
with not only dairy products, but with white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils – which are all
known to cause health problems that far outweigh the healthy benefits of the raw cacao bean.
2. Real chocolate is naturally dairy-free.
That's right, you heard me. Chocolate – real chocolate – doesn't contain one hint of dairy. Chocolate comes from
the cacao bean, a raw ingredient. Cacao trees, mostly grown in Brazil and Ghana, grow fruits called cacao pods.
Inside the pods are cacao beans: the raw ingredients for the chocolate treat you and I think of when we get a
On their journey to becoming edible chocolates, cacao beans are then fermented, dried, cleaned, roasted, and
shelled in order to become raw cacao nibs. The nibs are ground and liquefied, and usually processed into one of two
things: cocoa butter and cocoa solids. Both of these are still dairy-free, despite the misleading word
3. Commercial chocolates add dairy during processing.
So if cacao beans, cocoa butter, and cocoa solids don't have any dairy in them, how does dairy get into the
candy bars and chocolate chips we see in the grocery store? Commercially sold chocolates are more than just ground
up cacao beans. Mainstream chocolates, especially white chocolate and milk chocolate, are highly processed to
contain dairy products like whey, lactose, powdered milk, milk fats, cream, casein, and caseinate.
Milk is used mainly to achieve a rich, creamy texture – but when you can't or don't want to include dairy
products in your diet, it's just not an option for you. Luckily, there are many ways to replace the traditional
dairy products used in processing many commercial chocolates.
4. Dairy Free Chocolates are Better for You
Did you know that dairy free chocolates combine the best of both worlds: the health benefits of pure chocolate
without all the added bad stuff? It's true: popular mainstream chocolates are more heavily processed, while dairy
free chocolates are more likely to be made in small batches using quality, organic ingredients and less
So it isn't just the dairy products in mainstream chocolates that are bad for you – it's all the other stuff
that gets added in during processing. Dairy free chocolates eliminate a lot of that. People who shop for special
dairy-free chocolates obviously care about what they're putting into their bodies, and that's why milk-free is
usually a good sign of high-quality chocolate that is less processed and better for you.
5. Dairy free chocolates are friendly for other allergies.
Do you have other dietary requirements besides being dairy-free? If you care about what you're really eating,
chances are that you have a good reason. Dairy-free chocolates are not only delicious, they're good for satisfying
a number of other dietary concerns.
A quick look online will show you that dairy free chocolates are more likely to also be vegan, nut-free,
gluten-free, or soy-free. If you have other ingredients that you want to avoid, dark or cow milk free chocolates
are likely to be your best bet.
6. Dairy free is a smart health move in itself
If you are lactose intolerant or milk allergic, it's obviously best to avoid dairy. But even if you don't think
you have medical issues about dairy in your diet, you may want to think again. Lots of people are lactose
intolerant without even knowing it. People only began drinking cow's milk a few centuries ago – and it's clear that
the human body just isn't made for it. Dairy is linked to some very serious issues including:
• Sinus problems
• Ear infections
• Type 1 diabetes
• Childhood anemia and behavioral problems
Dairy can also aggravate irritable bowel syndrome and is linked with heart disease. Simply put, dairy poses many
serious health risks – and the kicker is that it isn't really necessary for you in the first place. You can get the
right amount of calcium and Vitamin D from a healthy animal-free diet, from many sources of food and vitamin
supplements. People who go off of dairy say they feel better and it's even easier to control their weight.
7. You can find it at the “normal” grocery store.
It used to be that you had to go online, or drive to a faraway specialty health foods store to find the dairy
free chocolate that you were looking for. Not anymore! So many more people are discovering the benefits of dark
chocolate that you can often find it right in the baking aisle of the grocery store you shop at every day!
Have you been wheeling right past the chocolate in the baking aisle at the grocery store, assuming it all
contains dairy? Turns out that you might be missing a great place for dairy free chocolate, and it was
right under your nose the whole time. Next time you go shopping, you should stop and read a few of the labels to
see what products are surprisingly dairy free, especially on the chocolate chips and the dark chocolates.
8. Dark chocolate is often naturally dairy free.
As we discussed before, it's usually milk chocolate and white chocolate that contains dry milk, milk fats,
cream, or other dairy products. You may need to look for dairy-free versions of your favorite “milk” and white
chocolates in specialty stores, but you might be surprised to find that the “regular” dark chocolate sold in your
everyday grocery store is naturally dairy-free.
Dark chocolate in general is usually better for you, containing less additives and higher-quality ingredients.
Of course you should never assume and always read the label of any dark chocolate, but you'll be surprised to find
that many mainstream dark chocolates are dairy-free already. For those with severe dairy allergies, make sure to
watch out for the possibility of cross-contamination. Some dairy-free dark chocolates might be processed on the
same equipment used on dairy-containing chocolates, and the label should alert you to that.
9. Even specialty chocolates are dairy free.
Thanks to the rising number of people who care about what's really in the foods they eat, we've uncovered a lot
of tasty ways to replace the milk ingredients we often encounter in even our favorite specialty chocolates.
Seriously, the number of specialty chocolates available now amazes me. The demand for dairy-free products beyond
just the basics has risen every year, and now there's basically no chocolate you can't find dairy free
These days, it's easy to hop online and find specialty dairy-free chocolates – like “mylk” chocolate Easter
bunnies, for example – that look and taste just like their dairy-containing counterparts. You can even get
personalized dairy-free chocolates to give away as wedding favors or party goodies. There is virtually nothing you
can't find animal-free, which should make you take heart! Even at holidays and special occasions, there is
chocolate for you.
10. Homemade dairy-free chocolates are easy.
Even with the ease and convenience of ordering chocolate online or simply finding it in the baking aisle at the
grocery store, sometimes it's nice to make it yourself at home. It eliminates any worries you might have about
cross-contamination allergy issues, and besides, making your own dairy-free chocolate at home can become a really
fun tradition to look forward to!
All you need to get started is some cocoa powder or raw chocolate. With your choice of sweetener and a candy
mold, you can make any type of bars, bon bons, or chips you're craving. But don't stop there – also experiment with
making your own dairy free cakes and cookies, hot chocolate drinks, and even melted dipping chocolate for fruit.
Recipes are easy to find for dairy-free chocolates, and the best thing is that your guests won't even know the
difference – unless you want to tell them that they're eating dairy-free, that is.
The best thing about dairy-free chocolate is that it gives you all the natural health benefits of pure
chocolate and all the tastiness of chocolatey treats, without all the preservatives and unhealthy additives you
normally find in mass-produced mainstream chocolate bars. There are so many more options now than there were even
five years ago for those looking for milk-free chocolate.
And because people who seek out dairy-free chocolates care about what's in the food they eat, you can relax
knowing that your chocolate is going to use high quality ingredients with none of the highly-processed
ingredients known to cause harm. Dairy free chocolate is also compatible with a lot of other allergies and dietary
When I tell people I don't consume dairy, I'm always surprised by their first reaction – which is usually
something along the lines of: “Oh, I could never give up chocolate!” And then I tell them that sometimes there are
certain sacrifices involved in eating dairy-free, but chocolate never has to be one of them!
Dairy-free chocolates are delicious and better for you than “regular” chocolates. In fact, if I ever did go back
to a dairy diet (which I wouldn't), I'd still continue getting my chocolate dairy-free. It's just better tasting
and better for you.
Decadent Dairy Free Chocolates, The Perfect Gift to
Buy for Your Loved Ones...
If you've got a holiday, anniversary, birthday, or other special occasion coming up – or if you just want to
surprise someone close to you with a gift “just because” - nothing is a better gift to give than chocolate. And if
your loved one is dairy free, it goes without saying that only the most decadent dairy free chocolates will do.
Whether your loved one is dairy free because of a milk allergy, a lactose intolerance, or general health
consciousness, dairy free chocolates are the way to go. Chocolates can be a gift all to themselves, or they can be
a wonderful complement to practically any gift.
You might want to start by just checking out the amazing assortments of chocolates available to
you in gift boxes or baskets. There's the delicious purity of dark chocolate, and if you like filling then you
could get lost in the variety of velvety truffles filled with raspberry, rum, espresso, amaretto, or cherry.
Chocolate-covered tasties like pretzels, almond clusters, or peanut butter or coconut balls are also favorites
that your loved one will be sure to love.
Chocolates can also be given with other favorites to create a gift basket they'll never forget. How about an
assortment of decadent dairy free chocolates with some of their favorite fruits? The combination of juicy fruit and
sweet chocolate can never be outdone. Or how about a basket with everything you need to say “I love you,” like a
romantic video, some massage lotion, a bottle of good wine, and a box of assorted dairy free chocolates?
No matter how you give it, dairy free chocolate is the perfect gift. Did you know that many people who
avoid dairy can feel the difficulty of finding their favorite sweet indulgence? Many commercial dark chocolates are
naturally dairy free, but what about those who really loved the now-forbidden milk and white chocolate? Well,
specialty dairy free chocolate can even substitute out those harmful dairy ingredients and give you a tasty “milk”
chocolate that's even tastier than the real thing – and without the disadvantages of dairy products.
Chocolate is a perfect gift for anniversaries and birthdays. Moms and dads love it for Mother's Day and Father's
Day. It even makes a nice care package to ease the homesickness of a loved one who's away at college or camp.
Chocolate tells people “I'm thinking about you,” and when you make it dairy free it also says that you're thinking
about their health and well-being.
Once upon a time, dairy free chocolates used to be dry, unappetizing, and the selection was pretty limited. But
there is so much quality and variety now in the world of dairy free chocolate that you can truly say without
reservation that you don't have to miss out on anything just because you don't eat dairy products. Decadent dairy
free chocolates are a perfect way to tell someone just what they mean to you, and there is something that will
appeal to the taste buds of everyone one your list.