Veganuary has arrived once again and now is the time when many questions come to mind as we consider the global movement and what it means for those of us who are curious about taking part. Many of us find ourselves scrolling vegan accounts and articles for inspiration, and scratching our heads at the sight of vegan recipes… Why is there beetroot in this cake recipe? What’s quinoa? How do I pronounce it?
We also find ourselves seeking the advice of vegan friends and colleagues to uncover the truth about how hard it is to make the switch from their normal lifestyle to one without animal-derived ingredients, particularly where our tummies are concerned. For many, it’s easy to feel turned off by the idea with the misconception that you have to sacrifice good food and sweet treats altogether for the duration of the month. But don’t fret - we have good news! Turns out, this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth with the number of meat alternatives, vegan chocolate treats, desserts, and goodies which are now available following the years of increased demand for vegan products.
So, if you’re still on the fence about whether to dip your toes into the vegan world this January, don’t write it off just yet.
We’re going to explore some of the popular questions surrounding a plant-based diet and help you to identify what’s on the menu for you this Veganuary (and it’s not just vegetables, phew!). But first let’s explore some of the best vegan chocolate in the world before we get to the questions because chocolate should always come first, right?!
COCOBA'S BEST VEGAN CHOCOLATE TO TRY THIS VEGANUARY!
OUR SIGNATURE DRINKING CHOCOLATE FLAKES
Our award-winning 55% dark Belgian chocolate shavings make a smooth and rich hot chocolate that is elegant, decadent and vegan, of course. Pair the shavings with vegan milk for the ultimate hot chocolate. Or use them for cooking up some plant-based foods that are sure to be a family favourite in no time.
VEGAN DARK CHOCOLATE HOT CHOCOLATE BOMBS
These rich and flavourful vegan hot chocolate bombs are made with 55% dark Belgian chocolate and have mini vegan marshmallows hidden inside. While this might not be the vegan option that holds the most health benefits, it is certainly one of the most delicious and should be celebrated.
VEGAN COOKIES AND CREAM MILK CHOCOLATE BAR
This is our vegan 'milk' chocolate bar that we are very proud of. As we're sure you know, Oreos are vegan. So what better topping for our amazing cookies and cream milk chocolate bar that is free from animal cruelty and lovely and tasty too.
If you aren't sure what plant-based milks to pair with our hot chocolate bombs or flakes, we'll let you know how to make the best vegan hot chocolate below!
WHAT IS VEGANUARY?
The wave of veganism has given the month of January an entirely new meaning. The annual challenge of Veganuary inspires people from all over the world to partake in the pledge to stop eating animal products and start eating a plant-based diet throughout the first month of the year. The core focus of the non-profit organisation is to protect both animals and the environment by championing a vegan diet, but also to improve personal health for all participants.
The first Veganuary campaign began in 2014, and the event now achieves thousands of sign-ups every year from those who are eager to join the plant-based revolution, stop eating meat and make a difference by making compassionate food choices throughout the month of January. As a result of the annual challenge, there has been a surge in the accessibility of vegan food, with meat-free alternatives acquiring their own section in the supermarkets and healthy vegan recipes becoming highly demanded by web users and cookbook fanatics alike.
However, contrary to popular belief, a more eco-conscious diet doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of sweet treats altogether. You can still enjoy many things which are naughty but nice thanks to the ongoing development of plant-powered treats to satiate the sweet-toothed amongst the vegan community. There is now an incredible variety of sweets and snacks available on the market, including biscuits, chewy sweets (think Starbursts and Skittles!), protein bars, plenty of chocolatey treats and other delicious vegan options. Many of these confectionery products are made using organic and natural ingredients only, so they’re perfectly suitable for vegan diets, and they’re equally popular amongst non-vegans too.
WHAT CHOCOLATE CAN YOU EAT IF YOU’RE VEGAN?
It might surprise you, but many non-vegans have more than likely already enjoyed vegan chocolate without realising it. In fact, many high percentage cocoa products are often vegan because they do not contain dairy products, such as milk, which is a key ingredient in milk and white chocolate. Therefore, a number of dark chocolate bars are naturally suitable for vegans because they are free from animal products. However, it's always worth checking a product for the Vegan symbol, and you should double-check the ingredients on any dark chocolate product to ensure it is vegan-friendly before consumption.
Although dark chocolate is the first type of chocolate that comes to mind when we think of Vegan-approved confectionery, we know it’s not for everyone. Its intensity can be a little overwhelming for those who prefer their treats on the sweeter side. Fortunately, the chocolate wizards of the world (including our very own here at Cocoba) have invented the vegan ‘milk’ chocolate bar.
Vegan milk chocolate is still a term that’s unfamiliar to some, so if you haven’t heard of it yet, you might be wondering how any milk chocolate can be vegan. So, allow us to explain!
Given the increased demand and subsequent popularity of vegan chocolate, our expert chocolatiers have crafted a delicious selection of Vegan Chocolate Bars, taking extra care to use vegan-friendly ingredients only*. Our vegan ‘milk’ chocolate bars have been refined using a dairy-free alternative and tempered carefully to replicate the smooth texture of milk chocolate, without compromising the subtle sweetness or flavour that is offered in our Belgian chocolate bars. Since launching our latest additions to the range, our Vegan Chocolate collection has grown in popularity, with many fanatics including our chocolate bars in their homemade vegan recipes.
Take a look at our 4 Must-Try Vegan Chocolate Recipes blog for meal prep inspiration this Veganuary. We've got delicious recipes for the one-pot meal plan, plant-based alternatives to some of the best brekkie bowls and a great deal more!
If you're after something sweet that vegans eat, you could explore our Vegan Chocolate Bars collection to discover our ever-growing range of treats. Or explore our best vegan chocolate below!
CAN YOU DRINK HOT CHOCOLATE IF YOU’RE VEGAN?
Absolutely! If you're a hot chocolate lover like us, you won't need to miss out on your favourite hot drink if you want to try a vegan lifestyle this January. It's possible to achieve a delicious hot chocolate with a creamy texture without any of the dairy ingredients, and it’s actually easier than you might think.
Our team here at Cocoba are dedicated to delivering exceptional quality drinking chocolate, and that includes vegan drinking chocolate too! So, we've developed a selection of vegan hot chocolate products that are dairy-free and no less delicious, including Vegan Hot Chocolate Bombes, and a number of Vegan Hot Chocolate Spoons too.
Plus, you can pick up some of our Signature Drinking Chocolate Flakes to create a luxurious hot chocolate that's tailored to your own intensity preference.
HOW DO I MAKE A VEGAN HOT CHOCOLATE?
We want you to get the most out of our Vegan Hot Chocolate. So, we put each of our hot chocolate types to the test to explore the best milk alternative and method for each kind. You can read the full blog on How to Make the Perfect Vegan Hot Chocolate to learn the art of making hot chocolate like a true barista, but for now, here’s a quick breakdown for making vegan hot chocolate at home using one of our vegan hot chocolate bombs.
We found that oat milk was the best milk alternative to pair with your hot chocolate bomb. This gave us the creamiest consistency and most indulgent mouthfeel in our tests. You can, of course, use any other milk alternatives you'd like, but oat milk gave us the best results.
You can heat the milk on the stove over a medium heat. Oat milk and other plant-based milks have a tendency to split when heated quickly, so go slowly and keep stirring. You can use a microwave, but this makes it difficult to keep an eye on it.
Once the milk is heated, place your hot chocolate bomb in your favourite mug, pour the milk over the top and watch it melt. Once the mini marshmallows start rising to the top, give it a stir and enjoy. Top with some vegan whipped cream and chocolate shavings get ready to enter ultimate stratification mode!
IS THE VEGAN LIFESTYLE HEALTHY?
Despite us focusing on all of the sweet treats that vegans can enjoy during January (and the rest of the year), the vegan diet is very healthy for you. In fact, going vegan means less saturated fat, an increase in minerals and vitamins and more fibre because you'll be eating more fruits and vegetables.
Of course, not all vegan food is healthy for you Some food brands are offering vegan products that aren't too healthy. So if you're looking for a healthier alternative to your diet right now, you still need to be careful within the vegan world.
GET YOUR VEGAN DIET STARTED RIGHT!
We hope these answers help you to enjoy your chocolate treats this Veganuary as you navigate your way through the month-long lifestyle change. Or if you're still on the fence about whether to take part, we hope you feel clearer about where you stand when it comes to getting your chocolate fix (and feel a sense of relief that you don't have to go without it!).
Try vegan this January! You can still enjoy most of the foods you love right now, and you may just improve your health and global health too. Veganism is helping with climate change, changing animal agriculture and animal foods for the better.
Whether you're a life-long vegan or want to give Veganurary a try, we know that vegans and non-vegans alike adore our vegan hot chocolate range and chocolate bars, and we hope you will too!
*Please note: Although we believe our dairy-free milk chocolate alternative is suitable for vegans, it is worth noting that it is made in the same environment as our milk chocolate, so we therefore cannot guarantee it is free from milk traces.