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Chocolate is made from roasted and ground cacao seeds, also known as cocoa beans, native to tropical regions where the hot and humid climate helps them to grow.
These beans are ground into a liquid form and either left as this or set into a block.
Chocolate can be eaten on its own as a sweet treat or used for flavouring for desserts, cakes and ice cream.
Milk chocolate is made from chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar, flavourings and either sweetened condensed or powdered milk and so, although it is delicious, it is unsuitable for anyone who is vegan or has a milk intolerance.
Chocolate can be traced back to the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilisations in Central America where it was consumed as a spicy drink made from roasted cocoa beans.
It was introduced to Spain in the 16th century but was very expensive and so could only be afforded by the very rich.
Chocolate was only for drinking until Victorian times, when a solid chocolate bar was created.
There are a number of reasons why you might be looking for foods which do not contain dairy.
Perhaps you are following a vegan diet, where you are unable to eat or use any products from animals. Or you might have a dairy intolerance or allergy.
If you are vegan or following a dairy free diet for health or other reasons, one of the foods which you may be missing the most is chocolate.
Luckily, there are plenty of dairy free chocolate bars which you will be able to snack on.
Nomo Chocolate offers a range of different flavoured lactose free chocolate bars which are also free from gluten, eggs and nuts and so can suit most restrictive diets.
Nomo aren’t the only brand who provide vegan chocolate bars. Vego Chocolate also has a few different options including a Hazelnut Chocolate Bar and White Almond Bliss. These chocolate bars are also organic, fair trade, gluten free and they don’t include palm oil, so they really are a guilt free treat!
Mummy Meagz offers a range of chocolate which has been specially developed for vegans who love something sweet.
Their Rocky Road bars come in a variety of flavours including Original, Sea Salt & Honeycomb and Orange and are free from artificial colours and flavours. Mummy Meagz has a secret recipe for the bars which includes gluten free crunchy biscuit, chewy vegan marshmallows and Belgian chocolate – just delicious!
An ideal option for friends and family who love chocolate but are unable to eat dairy is Cocoa Libre chocolate.
The Honeycomb Mini Slab. Not only looks great but this top quality chocolate is hand-made with rice drink which means that it is a creamy alternative to milk chocolate, and just as delicious!
This chocolate is also free from gluten, nuts, peanuts and wheat and is made on premises which are free from all of these things too and so there is no risk of cross contamination.
This means it’s a perfect chocolate gift for anyone that has these specific dietary requirements or allergies. Great for adults and children alike!
If you are looking for something that is a little bit extra, for a special treat, Booja Booja has an award winning range of chocolate truffles.
As well as being suitable for anybody following a vegan diet, these mouth-watering rich little packages are organic and free from dairy, gluten and soya.
A perfect on the go snack, or something to savour for an after dinner treat.