Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips have long been a favorite “accidentally vegan” treat. But recently, the company quietly added whole milk powder to the ingredients, and the original dairy-free chocolate chips are disappearing from grocery store shelves.
The company claims that the addition of milk “does not impact taste or baking performance,” so why add it in the first place? And now that so many companies are making and changing products to be vegan, not the opposite, why would Ghirardelli go against the trend?
Dairy “products” are a leading cause of health problems and environmental pollution. Cows in the dairy industry are subjected to cruel treatment from the day that they’re born until the day that they’re slaughtered at an early age because they can no longer produce enough milk. Calves are torn away from their mothers within hours of birth and later dehorned with searing-hot irons, caustic chemicals, or crude blades. Males, deemed useless by dairy farmers, are often sold to the veal industry. Females are destined for the same miserable fate as their mothers, which includes being forcibly and repeatedly impregnated so that they’ll produce a steady supply of milk.
Companies listen to the public, so let’s tell Ghirardelli how much we loved its dairy-free chocolate chips and ask it to return to the original recipe.
Contact the company on Facebook and Twitter:
Please also e-mail Ghirardelli’s CEO and politely ask him to make the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips vegan again:
- Of Chocolate and Vegans
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Chips
- 2. Dark Chocolate Chips (68% Cacao) by Gerbs
- 3. Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips
- 4. Guittard Chocolate Baking Chips
- 5. SunSpire Carob Chips
- Non-Vegan Brands of Chocolate Chips
- Simply Delicious Morsels in Dairy-Free Dark, Semi-Sweet, and White Chocolate
- The Facts on Nestle Simply Delicious Morsels
- Get Dairy-Free Chocolate Recipes in Go Dairy Free!
- The Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Guide: Benefits of Dark Chocolate
- The Best Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
- Dairy-Free Labels
- The Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Guide: My Favorite Dairy-free Chocolate Chips
- Scharffen Berger Chocolate Chips
- The Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Guide: What to Look for in Dairy-free Chocolate Chips
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Brands for the Cruelty-Free Kitchen
- Enjoy Life
- Simple Truth
- Whole Foods
- Obsessive Confection Disorder
- Order Your FREE Vegan Starter Kit
- Top Posts in Vegan Lifestyle
Of Chocolate and Vegans
For people who need a health-based justification to indulge, studies show that dark chocolate is a great source of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that help increase heart health. As a naturally vegan ingredient, adding milk to chocolate is just not necessary.
While chocolate chips should be assumed to not be vegan due to their milk content, there are many vegan chocolate chip brands that do create a vegan-friendly treat to be enjoyed by all.
Some brands make dairy-free chocolate chips purely by chance, while others go out of their way to market towards this demographic. Whatever the reasons the company has, it’s important to remember that dark chocolate is what will be vegan, while milk chocolate is not. You’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for anything that is derived from milk, such as casein, whey, milk solids, and milk fat.
Sometime between the vegan cookie sampling and the hot chocolate taste-tests we took the plunge for science and tried a bunch of vegan chocolate chip brands when we came up with this list of 6 vegan chocolate chip brands that are not only cruelty-free but also undoubtedly delicious.
The Best Vegan Chocolate Chips
1. Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips chocolate chips are not only vegan, but also gluten, nut, and soy free. They are also verified as non-GMO and Paleo friendly. Enjoy Life Foods presents the best of both worlds with all of its products being free from the top 8 allergens without compromising on flavor.
What’s In These Chips?
Ingredients in these chocolate chips include:
- evaporated cane juice
- non-dairy cocoa butter
- non-alcoholic natural chocolate liquor
One tablespoon of these chocolate chips contains 7 grams of sugar.
Many people report that they love these chocolate chips even if they do not maintain a vegan diet. They are delicious while containing less sugar than other chocolate chips, making people feel a bit less guilty for enjoying them. These are one of the best vegan chocolate chips and have become extremely popular in recent years.
2. Dark Chocolate Chips (68% Cacao) by Gerbs
These dark chocolate chips are in line with the company’s pledge to never include trans-fats, chemicals, preservatives, GMO’s, or artificial ingredients n its products. The philosophy of Gerbs is that food should be eaten the way it was intended, which is made from scratch to benefit our health while tasting great.
These chocolate chips are produced in 100% dedicated packaging equipment so there is no chance for cross-contamination of any kind.
The ingredients in these chocolate chips include:
- organic sugar
- non-dairy cocoa butter
- unsweetened chocolate
Plus get this: each tablespoon of these chocolate chips contains 6 grams of sugar. One thing that people really appreciate about this product is that it contains very few ingredients, yet still tastes great.
3. Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips
Lily’s dark chocolate chips use Stevia as a sweetener, which means that calorie count is dramatically lower than what you find with other chocolate chips.
The ingredients in these chocolate chips are:
- unsweetened chocolate
- non-dairy cocoa butter
- natural vanilla
- soy lecithin
- stevia extract
While these are not as natural as some of the other vegan chocolate chips on the market, they are perfect for people who are trying to watch their sugar intake. You can throw these chips into your favorite baking recipes or just munch on them as a sweet treat throughout the day. According to the raving reviews, the chips have great texture and are well worth the higher price tag.
4. Guittard Chocolate Baking Chips
This is Guitard’s classic version of the chocolate chip that has a semi-sweet chocolate flavor with a few hints of vanilla. Guittard uses sunflower lecithin as an emulsifier when making their chocolate chips. This helps to create their smooth consistency. Often, lecithin is made from animal products, so the fact that sunflower lecithin is used in these chocolate chips makes it a great dairy-free option. This brand is affordable and accessible, as it can be found in most grocery stores.
5. SunSpire Carob Chips
SunSpire carob chips are all natural, containing no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. They are no hydrogenated oils in these chips and the company supports sustainable, chemical-free agriculture.
To make these chocolate chips, sun-drenched Mediterranean carob is mixed together with Sunspire’s signature malted grain sweetener and some palm kernel oil to help the chips maintain their shape.
These chocolate chips go down smooth and are easy to use in any recipe that calls for chocolate chips. The ingredients in these chips are malted corn and barley, carob powder, palm kernel oil, and soy lecithin. They are manufactured in a factory that does use milk in some of their other products, so cross contamination is a minor possibility.
Non-Vegan Brands of Chocolate Chips
- Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Hershey’s Chocolate Chips
- Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- See’s Candies baking chips
- 365 Everyday Value Chocolate Chips and Chunks
Do you have a favorite chocolate chip that is vegan-friendly but not listed here? Share so other people can enjoy your favorite sweet treat without having to search through lists of ingredients. Also, remember that some companies offer a vegan option of their traditional chocolate chip (such as 365 Everyday Value) so if you know that you love a certain brand, but want to eat vegan, you may still have that option.
Are you just not in the mood for baking? These 7 mouthwatering vegan cookie brands will save you time without any compromise on the taste.
Simply Delicious Morsels in Dairy-Free Dark, Semi-Sweet, and White Chocolate
The classic yellow packages of Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips still contain dairy. But the Simply Delicious line with the teal ribbon across the top (for food allergy awareness) is their full line of dairy-free, allergy-friendly morsels.
I have more details on these chocolate chips, but be sure to leave your own rating and review below and state which variety you tried. Your opinions help others make an informed purchasing decision.
White Chocolate Morsels
Ingredients: organic cocoa butter, organic cane sugar, organic tapioca starch, organic rice syrup solids, organic rice maltodextrin, salt.
Nutrition (per .5-ounce serving): 90 calories, 6g fat, 8g carbs, 0g fiber, 5g sugars, 0g protein.*
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
Ingredients: organic cane sugar, organic chocolate, organic cocoa butter.
Nutrition (per .5-ounce serving): 80 calories, 5g fat, 3g carbs, 0g fiber, 7g sugars, 1g protein.*
Dark Chocolate Morsels
Ingredients: organic chocolate, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter.
Nutrition (per .5-ounce serving): 90 calories, 6g fat, 3g carbs, 0g fiber, 5g sugars, 1g protein.*
Are They Allergen Safe?*
We are unaware of any potential allergen cross-contamination warnings on this product as of yet. But they are promoting it as “top allergen free.” And according to Haig Basmadjian, the Marketing Director for Nestle Toll House:
Simply Delicious Morsels are a great option for bakers who want to feel confident that the ingredients they are using are high-quality, taste great and are safe for all to enjoy, including those with any of the eight major food allergies.
The company has also confirmed the following:
Nestle Tollhouse Simply Delicious Morsels are made in a separate facility from our other morsels. Simply Delicious Morsels are made in a dedicated allergen free facility, with dedicated ingredient handling, along with specific allergen control procedures, to give us added confidence that these are safe for any or our consumers who are sensitive to any of the top 8 major food allergens.
The Facts on Nestle Simply Delicious Morsels
Price: $4.99 per 10-ounce bag
Availability: Nestle Simply Delicious Morsels are available at many mainstream supermarkets across the U.S., including Target stores. Look for them with the other chocolate chips in the baking aisle.
Certifications: Nestle Simply Delicious Morsels are Certified Organic and Certified Kosher Pareve.
For More Product Information: Visit the Nestle Toll House website at www.verybestbaking.com.
*Always read the ingredient and nutrition statement prior to consumption. Ingredients, processes, and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company or product. Contact the company to discuss their manufacturing processes if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. No food product can be guaranteed “safe” for every individual’s needs. You should never rely on ingredient and allergen statements alone if dealing with a severe food allergy.
Get Dairy-Free Chocolate Recipes in Go Dairy Free!
Average Reader Review
3.4 3.4 rating 3.4 out of 5 stars (based on 7 reviews) Excellent43% Very good14% Average0% Poor29% Terrible14%
Leave Your Rating & Review for This Product
1.0 rating December 22, 2019
Taste is horrible.
I just made white trash, and its ruined. Yucky white chocolate taste.
Only vegan chips
5.0 rating December 8, 2019
Only vegan chips I can find. They worked fine for me and tasted very good.
2.0 rating November 11, 2019
Not too good. The originals taste like chocolate chips- these are pretty bad- as in, I will never buy them again (and may have wasted some good ingredients on these). Different consistency and not the right taste. Plus, 10 Oz bag is not large enough to satisfy the original cookie recipe. Really not very good.
Simply Delicious White morsels
2.0 rating September 2, 2019
I melted them and used as a coating for truffles. It was a little gritty and the taste was off–maybe due to tapioca powder. And after melting, even at a very low temperature it started clumping somewhat after about 5 minutes.
Dark is better
4.0 rating June 26, 2019
I bought the dark and semi sweet today to mix in a bag of nut and cranberry trail mix (just to add some sweetness to the mix). Dark is definitely better. I can hardly tell the difference from other chips or dark chocolate bars. The semi sweet seemed to have an odd texture. I little gritty I thought. Will absolutely buy the dark again. I hope they don’t discontinue it.
No soy lecithin
5.0 rating June 2, 2019
For the people who search high and low for chocolate with no soy lecithin, this product hits the mark right in the middle. I just made the family some chocolate dipped strawberries. And I too can enjoy. Way to go!!
Nestle’ Simply Delicious dark Chocolate Morsels
5.0 rating May 2, 2019
OMG, these chips are amazing and totally VEGAN!!!! Recipe calls for vanilla, flour, brown sugar, sugar, salt and water…..that’s it! The cookies taste like regular chocolate chip cookies but no animal products! You have to try them. I found them at Walmart!
If you’re taking steps to remove dairy in your life and you love chocolate, you are going to want to read this Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Guide. You’ll find there really is life after milk chocolate.
If you’re used to milk chocolate, there are also some tips for making the adjustment to dark chocolate. Giving up milk chocolate was one of the most difficult parts of going vegan for me. I put it off to the very end.
Have you seen this video of kids trying dark chocolate for the first time?
That’s kind of what I thought about dark chocolate too.
But you know what? Our taste buds are malleable.
With a little time away from eating milk chocolate every day (insert embarrassed grin), my taste buds changed. Before long, I found some dark chocolate I actually liked, and then I started trying different varieties of dark chocolate. Next thing you know, something crazy happened. Now, I don’t even like milk chocolate anymore. It has a sour taste to it, that you can’t even detect until after you’ve been a dairy-free chocolate connoisseur for awhile.
So if you’re finding yourself resisting the plunge, this dairy-free chocolate chip guide will help you make the transition to milk chocolate to dark chocolate!
The Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Guide: Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Here’s one thing I bet you didn’t know bout dark chocolate. It’s actually good for you. Believe it or not, dark chocolate includes:
- Iron, magnesium and copper
- You’ll also find plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium
- Antioxidants like polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, and more
- Flavanols which can lower blood pressure and improve blood flow (See: Cleveland Clinic on Heart-Healthy Benefits of Dark Chocolate)
According to Dr. Greger of Nutrition Facts, Cocoa from dark chocolate can benefit conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome and issues with artery functions.
Of course, chocolate chips also include sugar and cocoa butter (fat). That means you want to consume them in moderation. The good news is that dark chocolate is rich, so it doesn’t take much to satisfy that itch.
If you’re interested in a delicious, dairy-free hot cocoa drink, check out my Tea Infused Hot Cocoa. It’s one of my favorite, chocolatey drinks!
Anyway, back to dark chocolate. Now that you know it’s good for you, the next question is where can you get some!
Vegan Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Best Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
When you’re buying dairy-free chocolate chips, you want to make sure you’re buying the best ones.
What’s my definition of best?
Affordable + Accessible + Delicious = BEST
You can’t go wrong with that formula!
To make my cut for the Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Guide, the product must meet these three standards: Affordable, Accessible, and Delicious (AAD). Here’s how I break that down.
Affordable. I’m not interested in paying $10 for a bag of chocolate chips. Oh, I guess if there were some super special occasion or if there were was something truly unique about the chocolate. But most often, I’m making chocolate chip cookies or adding these to a vegan cake. These are every-day kinds of uses for chocolate chips. So, for the most part, to make this list a bag of chocolate chips would need to be under the $5 mark.
Accessible. Being accessible means you can answer “yes” to one of these three questions: 1) Can you drive to your local grocery store and buy them? 2) Can you find them at Target or Wal-Mart? or 3) Can you find them at a local health food store? If not, they didn’t make my list.
Delicious. Taste is definitely subjective so you may need to taste a few and decide on your own personal favorites. But if you’re in a pinch and need to pick some dairy-free chocolate chips, these are the ones that I think are the tastiest. If they made my list it means I think they’re great in a cookie or straight from the bag.
Let’s spend a moment talking about your goals, regarding dairy-free chocolate chips.
If you are highly allergic to even trace amounts of dairy, you will want to choose products that are certified dairy-free. Some people will rely on the Kosher designations on products to determine if a product is dairy-free or not. However, it appears that Kosher designations do not indicate if a product has been processed on a machine or in a factory that also processes dairy. So, a product may have the circled “U” followed by a “D” on the front which indicates that it was processed on a machine or in a factory that has dairy products. As a result, for people with allergies, they should not rely on kosher labeling for dairy-free products. I suggest looking at the list of ingredients. and also looking for products that are labeled Vegan.
If you’re making lifestyle changes only (not motivated by an allergy), you may be more flexible in your purchases. For example, you may be open to products that do not have dairy in the ingredients but may be processed on machines or in factories that also process dairy products.
Vegan Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls
The Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Guide: My Favorite Dairy-free Chocolate Chips
So, without further ado, here’s my Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Guide. Try not to eat them all at once.
Guittard. This is one of my favorite brands of chocolate chips, especially the dark chocolate variety described below. I love that Guittard uses sunflower lecithin for their chocolate chips. Lecithin is used in chocolate chips as an emulsifier, to create a smooth consistency. Lecithin can be made from animal products unless otherwise stated. So the fact that Guittard uses sunflower lecithin makes it a wonderful dairy-free chocolate chip option. And it meets my AAD criteria, because I can buy Guittard chocolate chips at my local grocery store. So it’s Affordable, Accessible, and definitely so Delicious!
To find it near you, check out the Guittard Where to Buy page.
Guittard Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips. This is Guitard’s classic chocolate chip that delivers a semi-sweet chocolate with hints of vanilla.
Buy this: Our local grocery store carries this. You can also find it at Whole Foods. You can also buy Guittard’s Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips in packs of four from Amazon.
Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chips. This may be my favorite chocolate chip of all time. I just discovered these at our local grocery store (Price Chopper) and found these were delicious both in recipes and straight out of the bag. Sometimes dark chocolate can leave an unfavorable after-taste, but not these. They’re the perfect amount of sweet and chocolate.
Buy this: Our local grocery store carries this. You can also find it at Whole Foods. You can also buy Guitar’s Extra Dark Chocolate Chips in packs of four from Amazon.
Costco’s Kirland Chocolate Chips. The motherload of chocolate chips in a great big bag that encourages one batch of chocolate chip cookies after another! Kirkland makes their semi-sweet chocolate chips with soy lecithin.
NOTE: On 9/9/19 I saw an updated bag of Kirkland Chocolate Chips at Costco and the recipe indicated that it had milk-fat in it. This is a developing story so as soon as I can confirm, I will let you know. But it appears at this time that Kirkland may have changed its recipe and is no longer dairy free!
Buy this: At Costco. You can also find Kirkland Chocolate Chips on Amazon.
Scharffen Berger Chocolate Chips
This is a new addition to my Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Guide (added 10/20/16). I added this listing partly because of the recently Chocolate Desert experience, but also because I’m now able to buy Scharffen Berger Chocolate Chips at Target for an affordable price. And this is high-quality chocolate, folks. The fact that it’s also dairy-free is like chocolate frosting on a chocolate chip cake!
Learn more about Scharffen Berger Chocolate Chips
I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, however they can’t get a full AAD rating because they’re not as readily available. You can only buy them at Trader Joe’s. I take that back. You can buy Trader Joe’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (which are made with soy lecithin) on Amazon, but at the time I checked they were pricey. We have to Trader Joe’s in KC and whenever I’m near one I usually will buy a few bags at a time. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, I would opt for one of the brands described above.
I did what I did before Sprouts came to town. We just had a Sprouts move into town recently and I have to say, I’m in love. In addition to a wonderful produce section, Sprouts also offers lots of vegan products, including s Sprouts brand of semi-sweet chocolate chips which also happen to be dairy-free. In addition, Sprouts has an impressive bulk section that includes chocolate chips that are dairy-free (in addition to some pretty amazing dark chocolate covered fruits and nuts…all dairy-free).
Baker’s Semi-Sweet Bars. First, I have to say that I love chocolate chunks. They add a bit more texture to my chocolate chip cookies. These would definitely be on the list above if they were more accessible. I used to find them at our local grocery store, but then they stopped carrying them. You can buy Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks on Amazon, but at the time I checked they were pricey. Most grocery stores will carry 4 oz packages of Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bars and I have been known to purchase these and chop them up into brownies, cookies, and more. So this is a nice back-up option if you need it.
Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. These are another great dairy-free chocolate chip option, however, I don’t think they’re as easy to find as the ones listed above and when I have found them, they seem pricey to me. However, they are a fine option and usually available at most health food stores. You can also buy Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips on Amazon.
The Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Guide: What to Look for in Dairy-free Chocolate Chips
If you’re out and about and on the prowl for dairy-free chocolate chips, look for chocolate, cocoa butter, usually soy lecithin, vanilla, and sugar. You will see some chocolate chips refer to a cacao percentage. This is referring to the total amount of cocoa butter and cocoa solids from ground-up cacao beans. The other main ingredient is sugar. That leaves less than 2% of the remaining ingredients to be the lecithin (emulsifier), vanilla and sometimes salt. If you see milk fat, then you should pass.
Oftentimes you will see a statement like: “processed on equipment that also equipment that also packages products that may contain milk, nuts, wheat, etc.”
This simply means that the plant that manufactures these chocolate chips may also have dairy, nuts, etc. It’s a way of saying if you have a serious allergy and cannot tolerate any form of contact with dairy, then you should probably buy something else.
If you have a serious dairy allergy, you might want to stick with Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips, described above.
Well, that’s it for the Namely Marly Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Guide.
Do you have some favorite dairy-free chocolate chips? Leave them in the comments below so we can consider adding them as we update this page.
Need vegan chocolate chips?
Many options are available when you know where to look!
So where can you buy vegan chocolate chips… While most vegan chocolate chips brands are similar, I’ve separated them out into Baking and Snacking, as each brand’s chocolate chips come in different size packs. Here are my top picks.
Price: £15.50 Price: £9.95 Price: £8.00 Price: £6.20 Price: £11.27 Price: Out of stock
Vegan Dark Chocolate Chips
Some major UK supermarkets stock vegan dark chocolate chips (aka semi-sweet chocolate chips). Sainsbury’s Dark Chocolate Chips and Waitrose Cooks’ Dark Chocolate Chunks are both reliable dairy free options. Check the ingredients list if you’re not sure though. You’re unlikely to find milk listed, but it’s always best to check. For example, Tesco’s dark chocolate chips contain milk, so you can’t be too careful
Vegan Milk Chocolate Chips
D & D and Moo Free are the two main suppliers for vegan milk chocolate chips. I’m particularly delighted to see Moo Free diversifying into these, after launching in snack-size chocolate bars. Both brands have a subtle flavour, balanced out with a little vanilla. They are great for vegan chocolate chip cookies!
Vegan White Chocolate Chips
King David vegan white chocolate chips are a lifesaver; they’re the only supplier I know selling vegan white chocolate chips in bulk! Check out customer reviews for these and there are a few comments from non-vegans who didn’t like the taste or texture compared with dairy chocolate, but if you’re dairy free or vegan, you’ll just love to have vegan white chocolate that tastes so close to normal white chocolate!
Price: Out of stock Price: Out of stock Price: £1.99 Price: Out of stock Price: £1.95
Beyond Dark make the best dairy free dark chocolate chips around. Their ‘Moments of Pleasure’ are 70% chocolate in little bitesize buttons. They even have an dark chocolate orange variation!
You can also snack on the dark chocolate chunks listed above in the baking section, from Sainsbury’s or Waitrose for example. But why not treat yourself to something designed to be enjoyed on its own?
Moo Free, D&D and Choices are your three brands here. Each has their own quirky name – I personally love Moo Free’s ‘scrummy’ description:
- Moo Free Scrummy Organic Dairy Free Alternative to Milk Chocolate Drops
- D&D Dairy Free Chocolate Drops
- Choices Choc Buttons
Choices Dairy Free White Chocolate Buttons (Rondellos) are stocked in Sainsbury’s or available on Amazon. Vegan white chocolate is always slightly sticky and overly sweet, so these 25 gram bags are the perfect size in my opinion. Enough to satisfy a craving, without making you feel queasy!
It’s a tough call to say who makes the best vegan chocolate chips, as it’s such a new product range for most vegan chocolate brands. But there are plenty of vegan chocolate chips brands to choose from. Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed any of your favourites!
Enjoyed that? Check out The Best Vegan Chocolate Bars (that you can buy online today!)
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Question: Are semi-sweet chocolate chips milk chocolate or dark chocolate?
Answer: Semi-sweet chocolate does not contain any milk ingredients. It is made up of dark chocolate and sugar. Therefore, semi-sweet chocolate chips cannot be milk chocolate.
Of course, while semi-sweet is the closest thing to a standard type of chocolate chip, grocery stores typically also carry milk chocolate chips, along with many other types of flavoured chocolate chips. If you prefer milk to dark chocolate, you can typically substitute one type for another in cookies, muffins or granola bars where the chips are not melted before use. If the recipe calls for melting the chips, there may be unexpected results – beyond the flavour difference – when using a different type of chip when semi-sweet is called for.
Some other fun facts:
– Bitter and semi-sweet chocolate chips must contain a minimum of 35% cacao, but most popular chocolate chips available in stores now contain 50-58% cacao.
– Extra bittersweet or high-percentage chocolate contains more than the average cacao. The amount is usually listed on the label.
– Chocolate chips are made with less cocoa butter (or cocoa fat) than some other types of chocolate. This is so they hold their shape and do not melt as easily.
– If you want larger chocolate chunks for use in baking instead of chips – for turning chocolate chip cookies into chocolate chunk cookies – you can use chocolate bars that have been broken into small pieces, or you can use chopped squares of baker’s chocolate, which is typically found near the chocolate chips at the supermarket. The chocolate chunks will likely melt more freely than chocolate chips, so don’t expect them to hold their shape perfectly once baked – different chocolate bars react differently when baked depending on how they’re made. For something different, try turning special bars with flavours added – orange, mint, sea salt, etc. – into homemade chocolate chunks for your cookie baking needs.
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Vegan Chocolate Chip Brands for the Cruelty-Free Kitchen
Compassionate bakers know that chocolate chips are a crucial ingredient of some very special recipes, but not only is cow’s milk bad for you, it’s much worse for the cows who suffer on dairy farms.
Luckily, we’ve put together this list of vegan chocolate chip brands so you can have your cookies and eat them, too! Feast your eyes on these scrumptious morsels:
Semisweet Chocolate Chips
Where to find them
Dark Chocolate Morsels
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
Where to find them
Organic Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Where to find them
Dairy-Free Chocolate Dream Semi-Sweet Baking Chips
Organic Semi-Sweet Baking Chips
Organic Fair Trade 42% Cacao Semi-Sweet Baking Chips
Organic Fair Trade 65% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Chips
Where to find them
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
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Where to find them
365 Everyday Value Dark Chocolate Baking Chunks
Where to find them
Obsessive Confection Disorder
Handmade White Chocolate
Where to find them
Always be sure to check your local grocery stores, too, which may carry an “accidentally vegan” brand. Simply look at ingredients for milk or whey.
Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips have long been a favorite “accidentally vegan” treat. But recently, the company quietly added “whole milk powder” to the ingredients, and the original dairy-free chocolate chips are disappearing from grocery store shelves.
Sign our action alert telling Ghirardelli how much we loved its dairy-free chocolate chips and asking it to return to the original recipe.
Want to learn more about chocolate? Visit our Definitive Guide to Vegan Chocolate.
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I’m in shock. I feel completely betrayed. By a chocolate chip, of all things. It’s a sad, sad day for those of us avoiding dairy because I just found out that Ghirardelli changed their recipe, and it’s now made with whole milk powder. Horrifying, I know. I totally feel your pain. And now I find myself having to apologize to you, because for years, I’ve recommended Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips for my dairy-free and vegan recipes. So much sadness.
If you have packages in your kitchen, they might still be good. But if you go to buy new ones, you’ll see the new ingredient list and start sobbing. But before you melt into a puddle of chocolate-covered depression, there are tons of companies that do offer dairy-free alternatives. Try one of these:
- Enjoy Life Mega Chunks, Mini Chips, and Dark Chocolate Morsels
- Trader Joe’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Costo Kirkland Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Guittard Semisweet Chocolate Baking Chips, Akoma Extra Semisweet Chocolate Baking Chips, Extra Dark Chocolate Baking Chips, and Super Cookie Chips
Not only am I in mourning over the loss of these chocolate chips, but now I’m questioning all the food I eat. What other companies have changed their recipes to include dairy?! We spend a lot of time label reading, double-checking to make sure the foods we buy are healthy and safe for us to eat. Once we know a product gets the green light, we wouldn’t feel the need to check it again. But with this recent finding, I guess it’s a reminder that no product is 100 percent safe forever. The next time you hit the store, you might want to take a peek at some of your tried-and-true faves before throwing them in your cart.
On a happier note, I just found out that all of Kashi’s frozen waffles, crackers, and pita chips are now vegan!
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar
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Some people dream of a white Christmas. Others dream of fudge, peanut butter balls, and chocolate chip cookies. When you’re a vegan, finding dairy-free, cruelty-free ingredients for your holiday yummies can be a bit tricky. The good news: Vegan chocolate is available in some stores and online. The bad news: Vegan chocolate can be hard to find.
Mainstream Chocolate Brands
For obvious reasons, milk chocolate is not an option for vegans. Dark chocolate is more confusing. While some dark chocolates – usually the more expensive ones – contain nothing but cacao beans, sugar, and an emulsifier, others contain milk products.
Some examples of mainstream dark chocolates that violate vegan dietary rules are:
- Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips (contain both milk fat and milk)
- Nestle Dark Chocolate Morsels (contain both milkfat and nonfat milk)
- Cadbury Dark Chocolate Baking Chips (contain milk solids)
- Girardhelli’s Intense Dark Chocolate bar with 86 percent caco (lists milk fat in its ingredients)
Watch Out For Other Deceptive Ingredients
Vegans and vegetarians alike understand how important it is to read food labels. Even if you scrutinize the back of a chocolate chip bag, however, you might miss something important. Some ingredients, although they do not have the word “milk” in their name, still contain animal-derived byproducts.
When shopping for your vegan baking booty, look out for the following deceptive ingredients which are often derived from animal fat:
- Oleic acid
- Myristic acid
- Palmatic acid
Three Chocolate Chip Products to Consider
The following vegan chocolate chip products do not contain the above-mentioned ingredients. Furthermore, they have received great reviews and are definitely worth a try:
Amanda’s Own Confections Chocolate Chips: Nothing but evaporate cane juice, chocolate liquor, and non-dairy cocoa butter. This product was created in response to company owners’ daughter, Amanda, who has a life-threatening dairy allergy. Available online.
Enjoy Life Mini Chips, Mega Chunks, and Dark Chocolate Morsels: This brand advertises that they are “gluten free” with “no artificial anything.” Available online.
Trader Joe’s Semi Sweet Chocoalte Chips: These chips are 100 percent vegan and, if you’re lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s within driving distance, not too difficult to find.
Cruelty-free chocolate chips make your holiday baking extra delicious for two reasons.
1) The chocolate is of a higher quality than mainstream brands, with fewer chemical additives and other unnecessary ingredients.
2) Eating this chocolate doesn’t make you feel sick and sad inside.
Good food and good will – what better way to enjoy the sweetness of the holidays?
Flickr image courtesy of Andrea Goh