There’s nothing quite like a chocolate truffle! Biting into a fluffy, perfectly smooth chocolate center and enjoying the snap of the outer shell or the texture of a cocoa powder coating can make anybody’s day a little brighter. When you go to a party and see truffles on the table, you probably can’t wait to get your hands on a couple of them!
But what do you do if you’re worried about watching what you eat?
That’s where vegan chocolate truffles come in! If you’re concerned about the nutritional value of your sweet treats, try a vegan truffle next time you want to satisfy your craving. You might be worried about the flavor, but don’t be afraid to do a taste test and see for yourself just how delicious they can really be!
Throughout this article, I’ll teach you everything you need to know about what makes a vegan chocolate truffle, as well as how to tell whether or not truffles you buy online are really vegan and which ones may not be disclosing their true ingredients. You’ll also learn how vegan truffles are different from traditional truffles, and of course, how healthy you can be if you try out vegan chocolate recipe truffles next time you’re looking for a great dessert treat.
If you’re looking for information about what makes vegan truffles such an excellent healthy alternative, then read on. By the time you’re done with this article, you’ll be ready to make the switch to vegan sweets right away!
What Makes Food Vegan?
Before you can learn about vegan chocolate truffles, it’s important to first understand what makes food vegan to begin with! If you’ve never tried eating a vegan diet before, you may be surprised to find out about all the restrictions that come along with a true vegan label. Don’t let this scare you, though! You can do a lot with the ingredients available to you even if you’re trying to stick to a vegan recipe. Read on to find out about the basics.
No Animal Products
You’ve probably heard of vegetarian dieting, which usually eliminates meat completely. Most vegetarians still eat eggs and dairy, while seem even continue to eat fish and shellfish (although this isn’t widely recognized as a true form of vegetarianism). When it comes to being a vegetarian, the most important factor is to keep animal flesh out of your daily diet.
A vegan diet, however, takes things a few steps further. When eating vegan food, you must avoid all meat, as well as anything else that comes from an animal. This includes honey, eggs, and anything that’s been produced in the same place as animal-based ingredients. It can be really difficult to figure out what types of foods are vegan and which ones aren’t. When it comes to vegan sweets, you don’t have to worry about meat, but you do need to pay close attention to other ingredients.
No Dairy, Even in Baking
One of the most difficult aspects of eating vegan sweets and confectionaries is the lack of dairy available to you. You simply can’t use heavy cream, cream cheese, or anything else that came from an animal when making vegan truffles. This cuts back significantly on what you can use to make your truffle fillings!
However, there are plenty of options for people looking to stick to vegan dieting with their sweets. You can always use soy milk or almond milk, both of which taste good in sweet treats, and there are plenty of vegan alternatives to heavy cream and cream cheese as well. It takes a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, you can pick and choose vegan treats easily!
Chocolate itself is vegan, since it’s derived from cocoa, which is a plant. However, most types of chocolate you can find in stores have been put through several different processes that no longer make them vegan.
Most of the time, chocolate in stores has had sugar, milk, or milk fat added to it, and none of these ingredients are vegan. Even high-quality baking chocolate—like the kind you would use in a truffle recipe—isn’t completely cocoa. Most truffle recipes call for 50% to 70% cocoa chocolate, which still leaves plenty of room for non-vegan ingredients.
So what types of chocolate should you look for to stick to your vegan plans? Check the label. If your chocolate contains any type of casein, dairy, or whey products, then it isn’t vegan. If you’re lucky enough to find a type of chocolate that doesn’t have any of these ingredients, congratulations! It’s perfect for a vegan diet.
Cocoa powder and carob powder are also vegan, automatically. They don’t have any other ingredients added, so you never have to worry about what might be hiding in your powders. If you choose a low-quality cocoa powder, however, be sure it hasn’t got powdered milk as a filler. Most don’t, but a few brands might.
Vegan Sugar Solutions
Some vegans avoid sugar, and others don’t worry too much about it. However, a lot of the time, sugar is processed with char made from animal bones. This is most common in refined white sugars and less common in natural raw sugars. To be a true vegan food product, a chocolate truffle should not contain sugar that’s been processed using animal products.
Honey is also not vegan. Sweetening your cooking with honey isn’t an option if you’re looking to avoid products that come from animals. To be truly vegan, you’ll want to choose an option like raw cane sugar or coconut sugar. You can also opt for beet sugar, maple sugar, or date sugar, or even Stevia if you’re looking for something a little easier to find in your local market.
What Is a Chocolate Truffle?
Now that you know what makes a food vegan, it’s time to learn a little bit about what makes a real chocolate truffle! A truffle has a few similarities that carry over from one example to the next, so even if you’re dealing with a candy with a unique flavor filling or type of coating, you can still easily identify it as a truffle. Check out this list to see what makes a chocolate truffle so recognizable.
- Filling. All chocolate truffles have a filling. Usually, it’s a type of ganache that can either be piped into balls or rolled out from a chilled mixture. In traditional truffles, this is made from heavy cream and good quality chocolate, but in other types of truffles, it might be more liquid or even made of cream cheese.
- Coating. French truffles are coated simply in cocoa powder or confectioner’s sugar, leaving them soft and smooth. American truffles and some other variations are dipped in melted chocolate and tapped to remove the excess, leaving a smooth, thin coating that hardens up when left to sit.
- Flavor. Classic truffles are chocolate flavored, inside and out. More modern truffles are often available in many different flavors, and may include a few other ingredients or toppings to tie it all together. They may have nut flavors, liqueur flavors, or even something more unique like herbs, berries, and more.
How to Tell if a Truffle is Really Vegan
When you’re shopping in a store, it’s a little bit easier to tell if a food is vegan. Most of the time, vegan foods are grouped together in markets, and if you’re lucky, your favorite place to buy groceries might even have its vegan section clearly labeled. You don’t have that kind of luxury if you’re shopping for chocolate truffles online, though! You’ll need to learn how to look for keywords to show you whether or not the chocolate truffles you’re looking at are really vegan.
Is it labeled vegan? If so, that’s a pretty good sign!
If a product is labeled as vegan, that means it’s been put through a series of specific tests to be sure it can legally be called as such. You might be surprised to find, however, that a lot of foods that aren’t labeled vegan still fit well into this category. Unfortunately, some people just aren’t as inclined to buy something if the label says vegan, so companies are less likely to put it on the packaging. When you’re buying something online, however, a product may be described as vegan and still not actually be free from animal products. It’s important to take a closer look when you’re buying food online.
Is it labeled vegetarian?
Truffles and other types of food that are labeled vegetarian are a good place to start when you’re looking for vegan food, but they aren’t necessarily the same thing. Vegetarian foods can still include eggs, dairy, whey, casein, and other types of animal products. They may also contain honey or processed white sugar.
Can you find the list of ingredients?
When you’re shopping for truffles online, you’ll need to learn how to find the list of ingredients. If you can’t find the ingredients, the website or supplier you’re buying from may not be the best choice. You’ll need to be sure of what’s included in your truffles if you’re really serious about sticking to vegan options. If you’re having trouble finding the ingredients list, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the sales page and check the fine print. You can also email the company if all else fails.
What if it says “may contain dairy?”
If a food product is made in the same place as dairy products (or nuts, eggs, and other types of allergens), it’s legally required to state that it could potentially contain these ingredients. That doesn’t mean the food actually has any dairy in it at all, but it does mean that if you have a dairy allergy, you might get sick from eating it. Many times, truffles will have this warning even when they don’t have any dairy in them at all.
What specific ingredients should I avoid?
There are several types of ingredients you might not realize come from animal sources. Although there are plenty of others that could be on this list, below I’ve compiled the few you’ll potentially encounter when shopping for chocolate truffles online:
- Casein, a milk-based protein
- Lactose, a milk-based sugar
- Whey, a milk-based powder
- Carmine, a food coloring that comes from beetles
- Beeswax or honey, both of which come from bees
- Albumin, which comes from eggs
- Gelatin, which comes from animal bones
How Healthy and Nutritious Are Vegan Chocolate Truffles?
It’s one thing to be told vegan truffles are healthier than standard truffles, but it’s a different matter entirely to understand why! Vegan truffles are made up of a much different set of ingredients than other types of truffles, and these ingredients are what give them their nutritional value. When you understand what makes these components so healthy, you’ll see why vegan truffles are such a great alternative!
- Coconut oil and coconut milk. It’s no secret that coconut oil has tons of health benefits, and coconut milk is no different. The more coconut products you get on a daily basis, the better off you’ll be. It can help make your skin look and feel smoother, and can even improve your hair and fingernails too. Better still, coconut products can help you lose weight, by improving your ability to digest complex foods. It can even help you cut back your risk for heart disease! Since most vegan truffle recipes include coconut oil, you’ll be doing your body a lot of good every time you indulge in your new favorite sweet.
- Dairy-free chocolate and cacao. Dairy-free chocolate has a high percentage of cocoa, and pure cacao is even better for you. If you choose one of these types of chocolate for your vegan truffles, you’ll enjoy all the health benefits they can provide. Both of these ingredients are widely recognized as great natural ways to combat depression and help you keep your moods under control by increasing serotonin production. Cacao, too, has a minuscule amount of sugar when it’s in its raw form, so you can really make a difference in your weight loss and healthy living plans when you use it in place of traditional types of chocolate.
- Date sugar. Not all chocolate truffles utilize date sugar, and some rely instead on Stevia or coconut sugar. However, date sugar is quickly becoming a more and more popular way to sweeten confectionaries without using animal products. Date sugar has tons of vitamins that come from the dates themselves, as well as minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium, as well as plenty of others. This ingredient also helps keep your blood flowing, since it’s packed with potassium. Best of all, it’s a low-calorie sugar substitute, so you don’t have to worry about sabotaging your diet when you chow down on vegan truffles with date sugar included!
- Toppings. Finally, vegan truffles can include just about any type of ingredient or topping that you might find in non-vegan options. These can include chopped nuts, cacao nibs, shredded coconut, or cocoa powder. Confectioner’s sugar isn’t vegan, but you can always go for raw sugar or coconut sugar for a tasty topping instead. These fun additions add a few extra vitamins and nutrients to your vegan truffles, particularly if you choose to top them with nuts. If you do, go with unsalted, natural nuts that come in their shells. This way, you’ll have access to all the health benefits of these ingredients too!
How do Vegan Truffles Differ from Standard Truffles?
There are a few differences between vegan truffles and non-vegan truffles, and they don’t all necessarily have to do with the ingredients used in the two. It’s important to understand the difference between the two types of truffles before you go shopping for the perfect sweet treats to satisfy your craving. Below, I’ve outlined a just a few of the unique aspects that separate these two categories of decadent chocolate delights.
- Vegan truffles have a lower calorie content than non-vegan truffles. A single vegan chocolate truffle usually has anywhere from 30 to 50 calories per piece, where a traditional chocolate truffle may have up to twice that many! If you’re looking for a way to enjoy all the flavor and texture of a truffle without having to worry about destroying your diet along the way, you’ll find exactly what you want in a vegan truffle.
- Vegan truffles may not be as smooth and creamy as standard truffles. Although you can get a great texture from a vegan truffle, it likely isn’t going to be exactly the same as what you might expect from a non-vegan version. Because of the higher cocoa content in vegan truffles, and the lack of dairy products, the ganache inside the candy is more likely to be crumbly in comparison. But don’t worry! If the creamy smoothness is what you love about truffles, you won’t have to sacrifice too much of it. Many companies that commercially produce vegan truffles have perfected the art of keeping them as smooth as possible.
- Vegan truffles may be more frequently made French style than American style. French style truffles are softer than American style ones, and they don’t feature the hard outer coating that some people automatically associate with the truffle. Because the melting chocolate used to make these coatings is unavailable in vegan form, it’s much harder to find vegan alternatives to American style truffles. Again, however, commercial truffle companies may have some available. You’re less likely to find a vegan chocolate truffle recipe that gives you instructions for how to make hard coated vegan truffles at home since it usually requires a lot of experience!
- Vegan truffles are often square. This may seem like a strange distinction, but it’s true! Although round vegan truffles are definitely available from certain stores, you’re a lot more likely to find them in square variations. Of course, this doesn’t really change the flavor or the texture of the truffle, but it is worth noting!
- Vegan truffles may be more expensive than standard truffles. Although chocolate truffles are definitely not known for being affordable snacks and are actually a delicacy in the world of candies, vegan truffles cost even more than their standard counterparts. Be ready to spend a good chunk of money if you’re planning to order a box of vegan truffles for yourself or to give as a gift, but remember that making them at home is likely to cost you just as much.
Where Can I Find Vegan Chocolate Truffles Online?
You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to picking up the perfect vegan chocolate truffles online! It can be tough to find premade, gourmet vegan truffles in local stores, so you’ll want to look to the Internet to take care of your craving for a healthy sweet treat. Below, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite places to pick up tasty vegan chocolate truffles without ever having to leave home to find them!
- Allison’s Gourmet – Allison’s offers a variety of different chocolates, and not all of their selection can be classified as vegan. However, this company is very open and honest when it comes to reporting their ingredients, so you never have to worry about whether or not they’re actually telling you the truth when they call their truffles vegan. Choose the twenty piece set of artisan truffles for a delicious combination of orange, vanilla, raspberry, and coconut vegan truffles that are coated in a hard outer shell and topped with beautiful decorations.
- Rose City – This company specializes in vegan chocolates, so even though they also offer non-vegan options, you can rest assured that they really know what they’re doing when it comes to their dairy-free candies! They have a lot of vegan chocolates available to order, but their box set of vegan chocolate truffles Genevieve is the way to go if you’re looking for some of the most exquisite vegan truffles on the market. They come in several unique flavors, including acai berry, green tea, pomegranate, and peach ginger. The truffles consist of both American style and French style options so you can please your taste buds no matter which type you prefer!
- Booja-Booja – Unlike the other suppliers listed here, Booja-Booja is committed to offering an all-vegan line of products. There are plenty of different options to choose from when ordering your truffles from Booja-Booja, so whether you want to sample just a couple of bites or you want a selection of twenty truffles to choose from, you can find all that and much more when you check out this great shop. I recommend the Special Edition Gift Collection, which comes in a variety of different flavors. Bear in mind that Booja-Booja is a UK-based company, so you’ll definitely need to order online. Several online marketplaces offer this company’s products around the world.
- Amazon.com - When it comes to online shopping, you can find just about anything if you check out Amazon, and vegan chocolate truffles are no exception! Check out what Amazon has to offer, and you’ll find a wide selection of flavors, styles, and more to choose from. You can even find vegan dark chocolate truffles here, which are a little bit harder to find than you might expect. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll have no trouble discovering it among the options on Amazon. Remember to check the ingredients lists for any truffles you buy from here, however. Some sellers may incorrectly list the name of their products, especially on those not fulfilled by Amazon.
Pros and Cons of Vegan Truffles
So, what does all this information mean? Basically, when it comes down to it, there are pros and cons to vegan chocolate truffles. In the end, you’ll have to make the final decision on whether or not they’re the right choice for you, but remember that the pros far outweigh the cons! Check out this list I’ve put together for you below, and use the information to help make your own decision.
- Vegan chocolate truffles are much healthier than their non-vegan counterparts. They’re lower in calories, carbs, and fat, and they include a lot of healthy plant-based ingredients that are easier for your body to digest than the fats and dairy products included in non-vegan truffles.
- If you’re concerned with animal rights, you can feel great knowing you’re doing your part to help cut back on the use of animal-based products every time you bite into a tasty vegan chocolate truffle. This isn’t a concern for everyone, but it’s definitely a bonus if you find yourself wondering what you can do to make a difference.
- Vegan chocolate truffles are made with plant-based ingredients, so it’s a lot easier to avoid allergens when making them yourself or buying them from an online supplier. For example, if you have an allergy to dairy, you might be looking for a way to enjoy a sweet treat without having to worry about milk-based ingredients. Vegan truffles are a great way to avoid these types of contaminants.
- Many types of processed foods aren’t good for your body. They can cause problems with your skin, digestive system, and even mental clarity if you consume a lot of them regularly. Since vegan truffles are made from healthier ingredients, you’re doing your body a favor when you choose to snack on them instead of other, less healthy sweets!
- Vegan truffles probably aren’t going to taste the same as traditional chocolate truffles. This is simply because they don’t contain the same ingredients. It may take you a little while to get used to the idea of eating vegan truffles, but once you’ve tried them, you’ll likely not have a problem with them anymore!
- The cost of vegan truffles may be higher than traditional chocolate truffles. The ingredients are usually harder to find, so making them yourself may be more expensive. Buying them premade from a store usually means spending a little more, too.
- Flavor options may be more limited in vegan truffles than in non-vegan options. Many syrups, liqueurs and other ingredients used to flavor truffles aren’t vegan. You’ll still be able to enjoy certain types of flavors but may not encounter as many unique takes on the vegan truffle.
Are you ready to switch to vegan chocolate truffles? By now, you should have all the information you need to understand how much better for your health vegan truffles really are, and how delicious they can taste, too. You should know how to tell the difference between a vegan truffle and a standard truffle, even when buying online, and you’ve got access to some of the best places to find vegan truffles when you’re ready to buy.
I’ve also explained for you just how nutritious a vegan chocolate truffle really can be, and what kind of pros and cons you can expect from this change in your snacking plans. You should be ready to try this type of truffle right away!
But are they really the best choice for you? If you’re a big fan of truffles or of any kind of sweets, you’re likely to want some option when it comes time to treat yourself. When that happens, a vegan chocolate truffle is truly the best option. If you’re very health-conscious, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see what a different it can make to replace your usual indulgent snack with vegan chocolate truffles instead.
All you have to do now is pick your favorite online store, choose a flavor, and bring home a delectable box of truffles today. You’ll feel better eating healthier sweets, and you’ll love the rich and intense flavor that comes with every bite of these delicious goodies. Happy snacking!
Attribution: flickr photo by Veganbaking.net https://flickr.com/photos/vegan-baking/4354590679 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license
Attribution: flickr photo by unk's dump truck https://flickr.com/photos/18789396@N00/3185990025 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license
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