Sunday, 21 August 2016


There are lots of vegetarians and non-vegetarians who want to go vegan but just don't seem to be able to do so. So, I have decided to write a blog series called 'comparison conundrum' in order to put all the alternative products in one place for people to realise just how many options there are available, which ones are must-haves and which ones should be avoided. My good friend Aoife has been craving chocolate since she went vegan so I have decided to start with chocolate; I will also be doing one about milk alternatives, vegan cheese, and vegan ice-cream. If you know anyone who is going vegan, or says they cannot because they 'love chocolate too much', or 'can't live without cheese', send them over here and I'll sort them out! (Ha!)

So, I digress, today's post is focused on vegan chocolate. Obviously, vegans can eat dark chocolate, and I do love dark chocolate myself, especially the orange and mint kind. LIDL's do a very good range with these. I also love Green & Blacks dark chocolate with ginger. I'd like to take this opportunity to remind anyone, who may think all chocolate is bad for you, that dark chocolate is a great source of fibre, iron, magnesium, copper and manganese and it also contains plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. Sometimes they do say 'May contain milk' at the back and I do still eat these, however, I must say I do prefer a brand that is certified vegan.

Chocolate is chocolate though. Chocolate that isn't dark doesn't tend to be good for you, as it is essentially just a heap of sugar. So, I am not suggesting any of these should be a part of one's daily diet, I simply recommend these products for the transition period or merely as treat once in a while. As it should just be as a treat you may as well make it a slightly healthier and cruelty-free treat though, right?! 
VEGO BAR ★★★★★
This chocolate bar is the absolute creme de la creme of vegan chocolate options. They sell it in whole foods stores, online, v-bites cafes and in selected health food stores. It usually costs £1.50 for a small bar, and £3.00 for the larger bar, but it is absolutely worth every single penny. People always say veganism is expensive, and it is for alternatives, but I would rather pay a little extra and ensure I am not paying into the rape and torture of a cow whilst ensuring I am not manipulating my hormones with bovine growth fluid. Also, if the price puts you off, let's remember that chocolate is meant to be as a treat and not a daily thing, and also that it does not all need to be eaten at once. The 'Normal chocolate equivilant to this is Nutella (solidified).

Vego is made with sugar, whole hazelnuts (20%), hazelnut paste, cocoa powder, emulsifier: soy lecithin and vanilla extract. The fact that it is made primarily from hazelnuts is what makes it taste like a solid bar of Nutella. If you're vegan, and miss Nutella, get yourself a bar of this - you could even try to melt it if you really wanted your Nutella fix. This chocolate bar is 100% one of my favourite vegan chocolate bars and I would highly recommend it! I have given bars to many of my non-vegan friends to get feedback for this blog post and they also feel the same so why not give it a go?!
Speaking of Nutella, here is a little review about this chocolate spread. Personally, I'd avoid. It's disgusting; it's oily, bland and just does not hit the spot. I gave it one star because at least they gave it a try. I bought mine from Holland and Barrett for about £3.00, I tried it twice and it's been sitting in my cupboard ever since. The 'Normal' chocolate equivalent: a cheap, poor quality, own-brand chocolate spread

ingredients: sugar, sunflower oil, soya flour, cacao powder, (4%), palm fat, emulsifier, and sunflower lecithin. Due to those ingredients, I am not surprised that it tastes rank. I think they should add some vanilla extract or maybe they should take a leaf out of vego bars books and add some hazelnut paste. They could be the next vegan Nutella, in fact, I want to make the next vegan Nutella. 
These bars are AMAZING! They're dark chocolate bars with a sweet, creamy, fondant centre. The peppermint one is my favourite, but if you do not like peppermint, there are two other flavours to choose from - original and orange. They have a great taste, texture and the price isn't too shabby either. They only cost about 70p in certain newsagents. You can get them in Holland and Barrett too, although I believe them to be a little more expensive in there. Fry's chocolate creams were launched in 1866 and were one of the first chocolate bars to be produced. They have been dairy-free and vegan from the very beginning too, which is amazing - way before their time I'd say! The 'Normal' chocolate equivalent: they are the closest thing I have found to Cadbury's creme egg. The peppermint could be considered a sweeter version of after eights and the orange one is like the orange cream in quality streets!

Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa mass, glucose syrup, humectant (glycerol), vegetable fats (palm, shea), cocoa butter, emulsifiers (soya lecithins, E476), flavourings. (Eventually, I would like to cut out palm oil completely but, if this is not a concern to you, then these bars are perfect).
I love how I have tried almost the entire moo-free range as well (excluding the caramelised hazelnut and mint ranges), for no other reason than the fact I am an ultimate tank! (ha-ha). I'd like to take the opportunity here to point out that the great thing about moo-free products are that they contain all organic ingredients and taste beautiful. GENIUS! 

Out of all the moo-free range this isn't my favourite but it isn't my last choice either. It is easily accessible as they sell it in Holland and Barrett, Sainsbury's, Tescos and Waitrose, which is handy. However, I would choose the other flavours, if they were also available, as they taste better. They may just be my personal taste, as I have never really opted for the simple chocolate bars - I like the ones with a little something-something you know. It is a lot better than some of the home brand 'free-from' chocolate bars I have tried and I do love using it for baking! The 'Normal' chocolate equivalent: Cadbury's dairy milk original bar.

The ingredients: cocoa solids (45%) (cocoa butter, cocoa mass), sugar (35%), rice powder (20%), emulsifier (sunflower lecithin) & natural flavouring. Organic ingredients. (YAY to no palm oil here!)

My goodness, this chocolate bar and egg were simply amazing. It tastes exactly the same as 'terry's chocolate orange' and when I say exactly the same, I mean it. This leads us to the question: Why the f*** have so many innocent, beautiful female cow's been tortured to deliver an abundance of terry's chocolate oranges every Christmas when you could make it taste exactly the same without the torture?? Mindless ingredients, mindless production and mindless consumerism must end! Speaking of Christmas, I've just realised just how much terror and disgusting conduct there is, behind that one day alone, just...  Jesus! (LOL). The 'Normal' chocolate equivalent: TERRY's chocolate orange.

The ingredients do differ slightly from the original bar. They consist of, Cocoa solids (42%) (cocoa butter, cocoa mass), sugar (32%), rice powder* (19%), orange (10%) (sugar, ethically sourced palm oil, natural flavour), emulsifier (sunflower lecithin) & natural flavouring.
WOW! Just, WOW! This one took me by surprise as I had only tried the original, banana chip and the cranberry and hazelnut bars before this one. I expected this to be standard in quality, but, alas, I was wrong. It is AMAZING! Both Ben and I enjoyed our bars thoroughly with a nice cup of tea. It has a fabulous taste, with the added bonus of a fun crunch, and I would eat this every day if I could. The 'Normal' chocolate equivalent: Cadbury's honeycomb CRUNCHIE.

The ingredients are as follows: Cocoa solids (39%) (cocoa butter, cocoa mass), sugar (31%), rice powder (18%), honeycomb (12%) (sugar, glucose syrup, sodium bicarbonate, contains SULPHITES), emulsifier (sunflower lecithin) & natural flavouring. Once again, no palm oil. Obviously, these chocolates are high in sugar, but so are the ones that use cow pus liquid. 

I was super excited to try this as I love banana chips, like chocolate and I hadn't tried anything like it before. Whilst I love the crunch the banana adds to the bar, it doesn't do much for flavour. I couldn't taste the banana at all and, if I'm completely honest, the bar itself is just bland. So, for that reason, I rank it quite low as taste is poor. However, the texture is good though so, with a bit more flavour, this could have been amazing. All of these bars range from around £2.50-£2.75 which, in comparison to the one's that contain dairy, may seem expensive, but, as I said earlier, they are only meant to be a treat and when it comes to health, it's pay now or pay later. In all honesty, this chocolate bar is like no other commercial bar I have tried.

Ingredients: Cocoa solids (41%) (cocoa butter, cocoa mass), sugar (31%), rice powder (18%), banana chips (10%) (banana, coconut oil), emulsifier (sunflower lecithin) & natural flavouring.

Choice's do a white chocolate bunny, egg and rondellos. Oh My Goodness, Gracious, Giddy Aunt in a tree wrapped in rainbows. I ate about twelve of the bunnies in a week last Easter (I used to work for Holland and Barrett and they were just staring me in the face so don't judge, ha). I loved them but some may not as you can really taste the soya. It tastes a lot like soya milk so, if you're not a fan of soya milk, then this is not the bar for you. I love soya milk though so this (clearly) wasn't an issue for me! The texture is also slightly claggy in comparison to other vegan chocolate's I have tried so this may also be a big issue for some - I always have mine with tea. The bunnies cost £1.25, however, they were on deals often. The Easter egg with the buttons cost around £3.00 and I believe they sell the rondellos in sainsbury's for 65p. I gave this chocolate four stars because I have since discovered a vegan white chocolate that is far better and deserves five stars as it's taste and texture is just amazing. The Normal' chocolate equivalent:  milky-bar or caramac. (In fact, it tastes like a direct cross between the two and dunks beautifully in tea!)

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier (soya lecithin), peppermint oil, Cocoa solids 60% minimum)

Not a fan, I repeat, not a fan, at all. This chocolate bar left me feeling like a very unhappy bunny. It had an oily texture, a bland taste and lacked sugar. It cost £1.25 so for 25p extra you could get yourself a nice big, tasty vego bar packed with hazelnut goodness. I do not recommend the Easter bunny brings this one to any child next year. Yucky is the most fitting word and that is the technical term. The 'Normal' chocolate equivalent: Cadbury's Bournville (although that is actually slightly better(.

Ingredients: Cocoa butter, Cane sugar, Rice powder (rice syrup powder, rice starch, rice flour), Chicory root extract cocoa mass, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin). 
My boyfriend and I tried these the other evening as my friend bought me a few packs for my birthday. They are lovely. They have a good texture and taste. You can get them for 65p in Sainbury's and some H&B stores and they are the perfect replacement for chocolate buttons for little one's who may be dairy intolerant. The 'Normal' chocolate equivalent: munchies or rolos chocolate (without the caramel).

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocao butter, emulsifier (soya lecithin), peppermint oil, cocoa solids 60% minimum.

These chocolate bars are to DIE for (whilst ensuring animals don't have to). I plan on writing a separate blog post reviewing these because they deserve a special mention and shout out from the rooftop. They're made out of rice milk instead of cow's milk and they are seriously the tastiest and best-textured bars going. My uncle bought me six of these for my birthday and they've blown everything else out of the water! They have fabulous ingredients too that seem to work far better than fellow brands. GENIUS is an understatement for these bars. I have done a full review of every flavour here.
My sister and I tried the sainsbury's own bars the other week. Hideous, just hideous. I told my sister that I was going to give it one star and she was adament that I should give it zero stars. They were claggy and basically just tasted like a mouth full of oil. I would not recommend this to anyone and I especially wouldn't recommend it to someone who is thinking of transitioning into veganism. They are only 40p which makes them the same as, or maybe even less than what you would pay for a 'normal' chocolate bar - the expression 'pay peanuts and you'll get monkies' springs to mind in this case. I'd rather spend a few more pennies for much better quality. The 'Normal' chocolate equivalent: a really cheap bratz/ barbie style cheap Easter egg

Ingredients: Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Rice Syrup, Inulin, Coconut Oil, Rice Flour, Flavourings, Emulsifier: Soya lecithin.

Now, this was exactly the same price and story as the above own brand - it disgusted me. However, there are two other options in Tesco that I have not tried. They have an alternative to white chocolate and a milk chocolate style bar with crispy bits in. I have a feeling they'll be far better than this one as the one with crispy bits in will have texture and white chocolate seems easier to replicate being as it is mostly sugar anyway! I am going to bake with the white chocolate bar in the near future so I shall write another blog post or add it into this one and let y'all know. The 'Normal' chocolate equivalent: a hideous cheap type of chocolate in a strange wrapper that thoroughly disappointed you as a child. 

I hope this post was somewhat helpful to at least a few of you. I've thoroughly enjoyed testing all of these chocolates, but I may not eat chocolate until Christmas now given that I've mysteriously packed on a few pounds recently! Ha!

Peace out Potatoes xo

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