As delicious and nutritious as a vegan or whole-food plant-based diet can be, when making the switch, there are some foods which can be tough to leave behind. Which is it for you? Cheese, butter, bacon, or chocolate?
As someone who stopped eating meat and dairy around eight years ago, I can tell you that those cravings do diminish, but for me, never entirely. I have found plant-based replacements for most items, but finding a genuine alternative to milk chocolate is akin to searching for the holy grail.
In the last couple of years, there have been considerable leaps in the range of high-quality milk-chocolate substitute options, which, dare I say it, contend with the real deal. Indeed, when trundling my trolley around my local supermarket last week, I was delighted to see several vegan Easter eggs on sale. So, is it time to ditch the dairy chocolate egg this Easter?
The range of vegan chocolate options is greater than ever
The big manufacturers are very much in on the act when it comes to producing great-tasting alternatives to milk chocolate. Mars has recently announced an expansion of its vegan range to include Bounty and Topic. At the end of 2020, Swiss chocolatier, Lindt, launched its own vegan range, including Cookie, Hazelnut, and Salted Caramel. Lindt are using oat milk to replicate the creamy mouthfeel of normal milk chocolate. And to sweeten the deal (if you will pardon the pun), the packaging is fully recyclable. Add to these the planned new vegan Kit Kat (called Kit Kat V), Hotel Chocolat’s vegan selection, and the wide range of options from the vast number of smaller brands on the market, and it is easy to see vegan chocolate is likely to boom in 2021 and beyond.
Vegan Easter eggs all the rage for 2021
You know vegan Easter eggs are trendy when they are featured in. I won’t lie to you though, the prices for some of the eggs Cosmopolitan feature are not for the faint-hearted. Hotel Chocolat’s Dark & Vegan Mint Egg is a snip at £15, and Booja Booja’s Almond Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffle Egg is a mere £26. There are cheaper alternatives, however, such as ‘ Cluckie the Chocolate Chick’, at £3.50 from Tesco; clearly an attempt to emulate the popularity of named animals such as Colin the Caterpillar and Percy Pig (I suspect Mark’s and Spencer’s top brass won’t be losing much sleep over the rather uncharismatic looking Cluckie, I hate to say). If those choices aren’t enough for you, then consider the options from Moo, Nomo, Hotel Chocolat, Booja Booja, Doisy & Dam, Bettys (yes, the business behind the wonderfully elegant tea rooms in Harrogate).
The question on the minds of many at this point is, “yes, it all sounds lovely, but does it taste any good?” Ultimately, this is highly subjective, and this will be for you to decide. What we can say is that millions are being invested into making vegan chocolate into the ‘next big thing. The large manufacturers and artisan chocolatiers all know that they need to emulate the taste and mouthfeel of traditional chocolate, and they are getting closer to this aim with each passing year. So all we can say is, why not go vegan this Easter? You might just find your new favourite choccy brand and finally ditch the dairy for good at the same time.