They are perfect for baking and making desserts, but are chocolate chips vegan?
Most chocolate chips are not vegan as they contain dairy, enzymes, natural flavor, among other non-vegan ingredients. Although, it’s entirely possible to both buy and make vegan chocolate chips, with same taste and texture. Look for vegan labels or read the nutritional label, to determine vegan, from non-vegan.
So it’s not as easy as some vegans may have you believe. However, you can easily find some vegan options, if you do a little research. There are even some brands that have accidentally vegan chocolate chips, which you can see further down.
Are Chocolate Chips Vegan
There are many different recipes, brands and flavors of chocolate chips, as they are no different from milk, white, or dark chocolate. So this makes it quite difficult to answer exactly if chocolate chips are vegan, or not, as it depneds.
Chocolate itself is primarily made of the cocoa bean, meaning it’s essentially a plant-based snack. That being said, many companies use recipes that contain dairy products, as well as sugar made with bone char. So while chocolate chips can be vegan, most of them are not, as most of the recipes have animal-based ingredients.
However, there are many vegan chocolate chips out there, but it’s essential to know which are. One key takeaway is that most brands of chocolate chips contain animal-based ingredients, making them non-vegan.
Therefore you’ll have to buy from brands that are specifically vegan, or contain the vegan symbol. Now, some brands are not exclusively vegan, or have the vegan symbol, but still sell entirely plant-based chocolate chips. Meaning you’ll have to look at the ingredients for yourself.
Non-Vegan Ingredients In Chocolate Chips
Chocolate is mostly a problematic snack for vegans, despite there being many vegan options out there. That’s because most of the brands use non-vegan ingredients. Now, the easiest method of buying vegan is to look for vegan symbols or brands. Although, looking at the ingredients for yourself will expand your options a lot.
The following are some of the most typical non-vegan ingredients in chocolate chips.
- Dairy (Milk, Whey, Enzymes, etc.)
- Natural flavor
- Sugar made with bone char
- Animal Enzymes
Some of these can be a bit problematic. For instance, how do you know what sugar is vegan and what’s not? The same goes for natural flavor, which is an umbrella term that’s used to describe numerous ingredients -some vegan, some not.
The easiest way to avoid animal-based ingredients in this regard is therefore to buy from vegan brands. Although, I’ll say this. Avoiding non-vegan sugar usually means avoiding white refined sugar, while the natural flavor requires asking the company.
Are White Chocolate Chips Vegan
White chocolate chips may not be as popular as the regular and dark option, but it’s still quite common. So the question is quite valid, though the answer is not that great.
White chocolate chips are rarely vegan, as they rely heavily on milk products. In fact, white chocolate is not even considered “real” chocolate. That’s because they lack certain chocolate solids, and these are most commonly replaced by dairy products.
So it’s actually quite difficult to find vegan alternatives to regular white chocolate chips. That being said, almost anything can be made vegan. It’s even possible to buy vegan M&M’s. You can easily make it yourself, it’s just not that easy to find for purchase.
Are Dark Chocolate Chips Vegan
Most chocolate chips are not vegan, but many dark chocolate chips are actually vegan, entirely by accident. It’s simply because the use of animal-products is less needed when producing dark chocolate. Thus it’s much more available than white or milk chocolate.
So while many dark chocolate chips contain animal-based ingredients, not all do. Making it quite easy to find vegan kinds. It makes a lot of sense to have a look at the ingredients when buying dark chocolate chips.
That’s because many recipes are vegan by accident, so they don’t have a vegan label or anything like that. Although, buying vegan brands is still the easiest option.
What Are Vegan Chocolate Chips
Most of us associate chocolate with dairy products, partly because one of the most popular kinds is milk chocolate. So it’s no surprise that most of us think that chocolate somehow requires dairy to have the correct taste and texture.
Vegan chocolate chips are actually quite similar to the regular kinds. The only difference is that vegan chocolate chips use other ingredients instead of milk. An example of that is adding more cocoa butter, instead of diary butter.
This adds the same texture and taste, so there’s actually not that big of a difference in terms of vegan and non-vegan chocolate. It mostly comes down to proportions and the exclusion of dairy products.
Where To Buy Vegan Chocolate Chips
There are quite a lot of places to buy vegan chocolate chips. In fact, some of the brands you already know are most likely already vegan. Not all of them, but some of them are bound to be, as there are many accidentally vegan chocolate chips brands.
One of the best and most convenient places to buy vegan chocolate chips is online. This gives you all the time you need to have a look at the ingredients and find the best prices. It can be quite hectic having to look up all the ingredients while in the store.
The other, although less convenient, place is regular stores. Any big chains such as Walmart will have at least some vegan options. For instance, Enjoy Life have vegan chocolate chips, and that’s a widely available brand. So you won’t have any issues buying it in a store, but a piece of advice is to check the ingredients before going, as to not buy something non-vegan by accident.
What Chocolate Chips Brands Are Vegan
The Enjoy Life brand actually has quite a few vegan options. You can choose from anything among the following flavors of chocolate chips. Dark chocolate morsels, Semi sweet, Semi sweet mega chunk, Semi sweet mini chips.
So regardless of your taste preference you’ll find some vegan chocolate chips you like. Some like them bitter, while others prefer them sweet. This brand actually gives you a nice little selection. You can buy them in many stores, or on Amazon.
Nestle is generally not considered the most moral company out there. Many vegans avoid the brand altogether or this reason -and their chocolate chips is not a reason to come back. I have read numerous ingredients lists of Nestle’s chocolate chips, and none seem to be vegan.
The one you see above contain both milk fat and natural flavor. It’s not known what exact ingredients natural flavor covers in this regard, although the milk it not vegan. Meaning Nestle chocolate chips are not suitable for vegans.
Many vegans claim that Trader Joe’s has vegan chocolate chips. It’s true that some of them don’t have actual animal ingredients, but it seems that all have trace amounts. Most of their chocolate chips are produced in the same facility as milk-containing products.
This means that Trader Joe’s chocolate chips contain trace amounts of dairy, making them non-vegan. Their sugar is entirely vegan, so it’s the only issue. Some vegans don’t believe trace amounts to be a large issue. So this really depends on your stance on the topic.
That being said, there may be some options without trace amounts of dairy. Please have a look at the ingredients to determine for yourself.
Kirkland’s semi-sweet chocolate chips, don’t actually have non-vegan ingredients. The ingredients seem to be entirely vegan, but they do have trace amounts. Meaning they are produced in the same facility, as milk containing products.
The issue with this is that it leaves trace amounts of dairy on the chocolate chips. This means that they are not actually vegan. You may have another belief, but they are not considered truly vegan, for this reason.
Most chocolate chips are not vegan, as most of them contain dairy. Some have milk in the ingredients, while others have trace amounts. This means that you cannot assume that chocolate chips are vegan.
You need to read the ingredients for yourself, or look for vegan labels. Vegan labels are the easiest way of identifying vegan, from non-vegan products.
Hey, I’m Gus! I have been vegan for quite some years now, and have collected a lot of knowledge about the subject in this time. My goal with this blog is to spread the vegan message and make it easy to know exactly what’s vegan and what’s not.