I've been on a really long journey trying to find my way through the ins and outs of Hashimoto's thyroiditis and now somebody's insisting that I eat dairy-free chocolate of all things!
Here's the backstory: I was diagnosed 17 years ago and had to learn on my own that gluten was a huge trigger for my autoimmune condition. I've worked with a number of physicians over the years to try to narrow down what works, what doesn't, and what's harmful for me personally (straight T4 medications being one of them!) and I've made some progress but still struggle mightily with flare-ups. So I recently visited a naturopath who specializes in Hashimoto's. Her very first move was to put me on an allergy elimination diet to see what might be at the root of my troubles with gut health and overall inflammation. I already ate a healthy diet of organic veggies and fruits, nuts and seeds, grass fed/pastured meat, fresh eggs from our own backyard and lots of fermented foods, but I had never tried eliminating (SO MANY!) potential allergens before.
So here I am, looking toward Easter and thinking that it's time to find some dang dairy-free chocolate I can eat! Oh yeah…I also have a couple of nieces and nephews who are gluten-free and dairy-free too, so I really did this research and taste testing for them 😉 (#whatever!)
Never thought I'd write a “chocolate survival guide” but what's a girl to do when every chocolate in sight is loaded with milk and refined sugar?! Overall I've been pleasantly surprised to find so many amazing companies who make such delicious dairy-free chocolate that also happens to be gluten-free, vegan and made without refined sugar (some are made without cane sugar too – another form of torture my naturopath is using on me at the moment!).
Dairy-free Chocolate Made without Cane Sugar
I found this brand at my local natural foods store and decided to give 'em a whirl even though I was more than skeptical. Guess what? They tasted amazing and totally satisfied my need for chocolate!
INGREDIENTS: Organic coconut, organic cacao, organic coconut sugar, organic cacao butter, organic peppermint oil.
This simple yet exotic chocolate bar combines roasted nibs from the Dominican Republic with earthy, unroasted Bolivian beans and maple sugar from Bascom Family Farms in New Hampshire to create a classic chocolate I always look forward to.
INGREDIENTS: Organic cacao beans, organic maple sugar, organic cacao butter.
The combination of cacao and raspberry is a real treat for taste buds. And it doesn't hurt to have the added benefit of beetroot to boost the immune system with its antioxidants and essential minerals.
INGREDIENTS: Organic Raw Cacao Butter (Peruvian Criollo), Raw Honey, Organic Raw Cacao Powder, Raspberry Essential Oil, Organic Beet Root Powder, Organic Freeze Dried Raspberry, Himalayan Sea Salt, Vanilla.
I wasn't convinced that honey was capable of getting the job done in a chocolate patty, but Heavenly Organics has totally pulled it off! Their goodies are made with ingredients harvested from a cooperative of hundreds of organic, family-owned farms in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains and throughout Northern and Central India. And the honey is never heated either, so all the delicate enzymes and health-promoting qualities are preserved.
INGREDIENTS: Raw organic white honey, unsweetened 100% organic dark chocolate, peppermint oil (Manufactured in a facility that processes soy, milk, tree nuts, wheat & egg).
Freeze-dried organic raspberries + chocolate = scrumptiously sweet and tart. YUM!
INGREDIENTS: Organic Cacao Liquor, Organic Cacao Butter, Organic Cacao Powder, Organic Honey, Organic Freeze Dried Raspberries, Himalayan Pink Salt (Made in a facility that handles tree nuts. Products that contain raw honey should not be fed to children less than 1 year of age).
This unique, Swiss-quality chocolate come in array of low-sugar flavors including, dark chocolate, chili, blueberry almond, pomegranate and white peach.
INGREDIENTS: Cocoa Mass, Inulin, Erythritol, Cocoa Butter, Almonds, Blueberries, Sunflower Lecithin, Steviol Glycoside (97% Reb A), Natural Flavor, Vanilla Extract
Did you ever dream that a touch of rose that slowly gives way to a spicy, invigorating kick of fresh ginger could be so perfect in a chocolate bar? Me either! I love that they use ethically traded, unroasted heirloom cacao and coconut sugar for a low-glycemic treat we can all feel good about enjoying.
INGREDIENTS: Organic cacao, organic coconut sugar, organic coconut, organic cocoa butter, organic essential oils of ginger and rose.
These little powerhouses live up to their claim of being a mouthful and are packed with healthy, raw goodness.
INGREDIENTS: Organic Dates, Organic Cacao Butter, Organic Cacao Powder, Organic Agave, Organic Lucuma Powder, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Vanilla Bean Powder, Salt
The vegan caramel on the inside of this bar is seriously delicious!
INGREDIENTS: Organic raw cacao powder, organic raw cacao butter, organic coconut nectar, organic Grade B maple syrup, organic raw almond butter, organic raw coconut oil, organic vanilla, Himalayan sea salt. Contains tree nuts.
Dairy-free Chocolate Made with Organic Cane Sugar
Come on people, I can't pass up a rich, dreamy caramel especially when it's so magically made without milk!
INGREDIENTS: Organic coconut milk (organic coconut, water), organic brown rice syrup, organic cane sugar, organic chocolate (organic chocolate liquor, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, soy lecithin, organic vanilla extract), organic vanilla extract (water, organic ethyl alcohol, organic vanilla bean extractives), sea salt, xanthan gum
It's my educated opinion that you can't go wrong with toffee + minimally processed, bold dark chocolate!
INGREDIENTS: Organic cacao beans, organic cane sugar, organic toffee (organic evaporated cane juice sea salt, natural flavor, organic caramel color), organic almonds, organic cocoa butter, sea salt, organic vanilla beans. Contains almonds and traces of coconut and hazelnuts.
I needed (NEEDED, I tell you!) a good alternative for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and these little babies were the perfect substitute!
INGREDIENTS: Organic Cocoa Beans, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Peanut Butter (Roasted Peanuts), Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Powdered Sugar (Cane Sugar, Cornstarch), Organic Peanut Flour, Salt, Organic Rosemary Extract^ (Vegetable Oil, Rosemary Extract), Organic Ground Vanilla Bean
This crispy quinoa covered in smooth dark chocolate is a crunchfest for my mouth, but it thrills me to know that they're using cabbages, beets, and carrots for their colors, paying farmers fairly, and sourcing non-gmo, sustainable ingredients!
INGREDIENTS: Dark chocolate* (organic chocolate liquor*, organic cane sugar*, organic cocoa butter*, organic vanilla*), organic cane sugar*, organic quinoa crisp, colored with (beet juice, carrot juice, hibiscus juice, annatto extract, turmeric extract, red cabbage juice), tapioca syrup, sugar, gum acacia, carnauba wax, vanilla extract (Made in a facility that handles milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, wheat). *Fair trade certified by fair trade USA. 93% fair trade certified ingredients.
And a bonus cane sugar free candy you shouldn't miss!
Cocomels knows just how to make a mouth-watering coconut milk caramel! They do it up right in copper kettles using simple, organic ingredients.
INGREDIENTS: Organic coconut milk (organic coconut, water), organic brown rice syrup, organic coconut palm sugar, sea salt, xanthan gum