Chocolate is often referred to as the “food of the Gods,” and with good reasons. Not only does it taste good, but it also offers a myriad of health benefits.
While the base ingredient in all chocolates comes from cacao beans, the final taste and nutrient profile vary depending on the kind of chocolate. Dark chocolate contains 50%- 90% cocoa solids or cocoa butter, while vegan milk chocolate may contain 10%- 50% cocoa solids with plant milk and sugar. On the other hand, vegan white chocolate is primarily made of cocoa butter, vegan milk, sugar, and may or may not include cocoa solids.
Among the different varieties of chocolate, dark chocolate is considered the healthiest. It does not contain milk or any other dairy products and is perfectly vegan-friendly.
The sugar content is minimal with dark chocolate making it lower in carbs. It is one of the best brain foods that can also improve your physiological health. Being a vegan, you can consume dairy-free dark chocolate in various ways.
Here are some of the top ways to include dark chocolate in your vegan lifestyle!
Top 8 Ways to Use Dark Chocolate as a Vegan
1) Vegan Chocolate Cake – You can easily turn any cake recipe vegan by replacing butter with oil and eggs with vinegar. A foolproof vegan chocolate cake batter will need 1.5 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup raw sugar, ¼ cup cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt, ⅓ cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp distilled white vinegar, and 1 cup water.
Sift the dry ingredients and then mix in the wet ingredients to form a smooth batter. Pour into a baking tray and bake at 175 degrees C for 45 minutes. This chocolate cake can just be the kind of indulgent for your anxiety!
2) Vegan Hot Chocolate – Just imagine yourself on a cold winter with a mug of pure vegan hot chocolate…wOw…just what the doctor ordered, right? Dark chocolate is famous for its mood-boosting properties and works well in a vegan hot chocolate recipe. For this comforting beverage, warm some almond milk on the stove, then add cocoa powder, raw sugar, a pinch of salt, and some vanilla essence. Once the milk is warm, turn off the heat and add a few pieces of vegan dark chocolate. Stir the milk till the chocolate dissolves completely. And that’s it! You have a rich, creamy, and comforting drink for a cold and gloomy day!
3) Dark Chocolate Snack Bars – Most snack bars you buy from stores are loaded with sugar. Making your own no-bake dark chocolate snack bars is an excellent idea. For this quick recipe, toast your favorite nuts and rolled oats in a pan, add vegan dark chocolate chips to the pan as well, and set aside. In a separate pan, heat coconut oil and maple syrup till the mixture thickens.
Now, add the syrup mixture to the nuts and mix everything well to a gooey consistency. Spread the mixture flat on a baking tray and refrigerate for a few hours. Cut into small bars and enjoy! The best type of chocolate for this recipe is lightly salted vegan dark chocolate.
4) Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream – This vegan chocolate ice cream is one of the best-frozen treats to indulge in! To prepare it, heat water, coconut milk, raw sugar, and cocoa powder in a pan, whisking continuously. Then, remove the pan from the heat and add vanilla essence and vegan dark chocolate to the mixture. Whisk everything together till the chocolate melts. Chill this mixture in a cold bowl and then prepare the ice cream in an ice-cream churner, as per the instructions. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy this luscious treat. Interested in another vegan ice cream? Check this simple yet delicious vegan banana ice cream recipe!
5) Dark Chocolate Pudding – To prepare this delicious chocolate pudding, you can use your favorite type of chocolate with just a few ingredients. First, heat raw sugar, cocoa powder, and almond milk in a pan. Take the pan off the heat when the mixture is warm. Add chunks of vegan dark chocolate to the pan and whisk until it melts. Then, add corn starch solution to the pan and mix well. Put the pan back on low heat, continuously stirring the mixture. Once the pudding thickens, take it off the heat and let it cool. Serve chilled for the best taste!
6) As a Mood Booster – According to studies, dark chocolate can reduce the symptoms of depression. It contains brain-boosting ingredients like flavonols, caffeine, and theobromine that can improve your cognitive abilities. If you suffer from anxiety, stress, or depression, consuming a few pieces of dark chocolate daily can help you.
7) Dark Chocolate Face Pack – Apart from being a great alternative to boost your mood, dark chocolate is great for your skin too! It’s rich in potent antioxidants that brighten the skin and counter the signs of aging. For a simple DIY chocolate face pack, mix 1 tablespoon cocoa powder with an equal quantity of vegan honey and a pinch of cinnamon. Mix everything well and apply the paste to your face and neck. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water. This DIY mask can make your skin soft, supple, and radiant!
8) As an Aphrodisiac – According to studies, dark chocolate can act as an aphrodisiac. It contains various mood-enhancing ingredients, which can boost sexual stimulation. Not only does chocolate induce a sense of well-being, but it may also elevate serotonin levels that can enhance genital stimulation. If you have been facing issues like poor libido, dark chocolate may help you out.
What are The Health Benefits of Vegan Dark Chocolate?
Dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants called flavonols. It also contains iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. Studies have explored the various health benefits of dark chocolate in great detail. Here are the most prominent health benefits of the ingredient:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Improves brain function
- Can guard the skin against photoaging
- Fights against free radical damage
- May reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body
Whether you are looking to improve your health, maintain youthful skin or manage anxiety, vegan dark chocolate might be the answer!
Dark chocolate is a vegan-friendly food rich in antioxidants and nutrients. It has various health benefits that include better cardiovascular health and brain function. It also improves sexual stimulation and reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Similar to certain brain-boosting food or supplements, dark chocolate can be a great way to enhance your brain function.
Vegans can consume dark chocolate in several ways, including vegan baked goods, ice creams, candies, or snack bars. You can also use cocoa powder as a face pack to brighten your skin. Dark chocolate fits seamlessly into a healthy vegan lifestyle and offers a multitude of benefits. If you are someone looking to satisfy your sweet craving with something nutritious & healthy, make sure to add dark chocolate to your diet!
- Dark chocolate is a vegan-friendly ingredient with numerous health benefits
- It is rich in antioxidants, minerals, and mood-enhancing ingredients like caffeine and theobromine
- Vegans can use dairy-free dark chocolate in numerous recipes like vegan chocolate cake, hot chocolate, snack bars, ice cream, and pudding
- You can also use dark chocolate as a mood booster, aphrodisiac, and skincare product
- Some ways in which dark chocolate can boost your health are by lowering blood pressure, improving cardiovascular health, and reducing unhealthy cholesterol
- It can also reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Dark chocolate is a potent brain food