Monday, February 17, 2014

Gluten-Free Chocolate Lover

Hey Lovelies!

I love chocolate.  This should not come as a shocker, since I love sugar and often post about it.  And while eating chocolate every day is probably not your best bet, there is no reason we can't enjoy it on occasion.

So what chocolates are gluten-free?  Having Celiac Disease or any allergy requires us to always read the ingredients and do the research online.  Often enough the ingredients may look safe, but in actuality are not.

With that said, I would hate for you to buy a brand that doesn't suit your gluten-free needs.  I cannot bear to see another person get glutenized.  I cannot bear to see another fellow celiac feel deprived and cheat because they can't find a suitable chocolate brand that is gluten-free.  It's just so wrong.

I'm always on the hunt for great chocolate.  And I have been doing a lot of taste testing, maybe a bit too much.  So now it's time to report.  Buckle your seat belts!  You are in for a wild chocolaty ride.

Gnosis Raw Chocolate-One of my favorite Raw Chocolate Brand Bars!! What is raw chocolate?  It's chocolate that has not been heated over 118 degrees.  It's higher in antioxidants!, non GMO, dairy-free, soy-free and this brand is gluten-free.  This chocolate is certified Organic, Kosher, Vegan, Gluten-Free, FSC Packaging, Raw and Dairy.  The taste of raw chocolate is different then regular dark chocolate.  I favor the flavor.  It's richer.  Less sugar content.  Fresher.  It almost tastes smoked.  And they have a bunch of different types of bars that are made with organic natural ingredients to choose from.  My favorite bar is the Superchoc which has ingredients like superfoods Goji Berries and another favorite bar is Fleur De Sel which has ingredients like the floral sent of dried Fleur De Sel and Pink Himalayan Sea Salt with a beautiful balance of dark raw chocolate.  They also have chocolate Elixirs and delicious body butters!!  And guess what?  This creator is a graduate of my nutrition school IIN!  These chocolates are guilt free by the way because they are sweetened with natural sweeteners that won't affect your body the way other artificial sweeteners do.  And this is huge.

ChocoAlive-And these are my dairy-free favorite truffles!! Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan and Raw.  Made with only the finest organic ingredients and no refined sugars. Again, these are raw, and raw means that the chocolate from the Cacao bean has not been heated over 118 degrees, which keeps the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in higher content.  Their ingredients include but are not limited to organic raw cacao, organic raw cacao butter, organic raw cacao powder, coconut oil, agave nectar, organic nuts (if covered in nuts), organic dates, organic cacao nibs and sea salt.  

Endangered Species-Certified Gluten-Free
These chocolates are uber creamy.  My favorite bar for baking, and eating.  They have both organic chocolate and regular chocolate, both milk and dark, but i favor the dark!! They have a range of dark and milk chocolate varieties and they are all oh so good! It's really like a creamy taste of heaven.  Tests their chocolate at 10PPM or less of gluten.  Their equipment is shared with tree nuts, milk and peanuts.  All dark chocolates are Non-GMO. 

Hu Kitchen Chocolate Bars-made with unrefined organic coconut sugar, (no refined sugars), raw cacao, no soy, no lecithin and no emulsifiers.   The best part about Hu is that everything is gluten-free.  Gluten doesn't even enter their kitchen.  And there are tons of bars to choose from!  Whether you desire Almond, Fig, Plain, Crunchy Banana, Puffed Quinoa, Crunchy Mint, Hazelnut and more.  These are unique bars that are similar to the raw chocolate I have discussed above and also only sweetened with natural sweeteners.  The idea behind Hu Kitchen is get back to Primal and Paleo ways.  Human Kitchen.  These kinds of chocolates bring you back to what chocolate is really supposed to taste like.  Open up your Palate!!

Scharffen Berger Chocolate- (owned by Hershey's) Tests their chocolate at 20PPM of gluten. Great for baking and eating.  Their bars are super rich and delicious.  But again, not super safe for those that cannot tolerate the 20ppm of gluten.  There is Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate and everything in-between to suit your chocolatey needs.  The taste is really nice.  These are not my go to bars because of the 20ppm testing standard, but they are definitely amazing for a grand taste.

Vosges Haut Chocolate-Tests their chocolate at 20PPM of gluten.  These chocolates are Gourmet.  She takes the unconventional and turns it into chocolate!!  Definitely worth a taste!  Have you ever had a chocolate bar with pieces of bacon in it?  Or Chilies and Chocolate?  How about Cheese and Chocolate or Chocolate and Champagne?  Need Vegan chocolates?  No worries, she has those too!  These are definitely worth a taste, but for those Celiac bellies that can't handle the 20ppm of gluten these bars are not for you.  These are not my go to bars because of the 20ppm testing standard, but they are definitely amazing for a grand taste.

Dagoba-All bars are gluten free.  I am not a huge fan of Dagoba, as the taste is not as Authentic as most gluten-free chocolate brands out there, but I have used them for baking.  And these chocolates are 100% gluten-free, made on gluten-free equipment and known for no cross contamination.  So I felt compelled to write it here on this list.

Enjoy Life-All chocolate rice bars are Gluten Free and so are their chocolate baking chips.  Actually Enjoy Life is Allergen free.  Free of peanuts, dairy, soy, gluten, Casein, potato, wheat, tree nut, fish, sesame, egg, shellfish and sulfites.  Their chips are great for baking.

Toblerone Chocolate-is gluten-free and all of their bars do not contain any gluten, however I am not sure of the cross-contamination.

As for the chocolates you should stay away from, I'm sorry to report there are quite a few.  But I'd rather you know ahead of time, then figure it out later.  So many people tell me they never realized chocolate could have gluten.  I actually get that all the time.  As with any product you must read the ingredients.  There are many chocolate brands that in fact use barley malt, or barley flavoring and even wheat, or wheat starch.

So naturally I also have the Unsuitable chocolate list.  

Russell Stover's and Whitman's Chocolates-A whole lot of cross-contamination.  Where the ingredients on the box may not say gluten in obvious forms, there cross contamination is really great.  So great that their websites cannot confirm 100% gluten-free.  It's risky.  Use your judgement.

Cadbury Chocolate-Not always gluten-free.  Their website clearly states that they cannot guarantee that gluten is 100% absent from the bars they promote to be gluten-free.  Some chocolates are and some are not.  Their websites identifies which are and which are not.  PLEASE keep in mind that their regular chocolate plain bars are not gluten-free.

Godiva Chocolate-Not gluten-free.  Their message on gluten-free is that all of their chocolates may contain gluten and anyone with a gluten-allergy should not consume their products.

Lindt Chocolate-Not gluten-free.  Lindt states that the form of gluten found in their chocolates is by Barley.  And although some chocolate versions do not contain barley, there is gluten traces in all of their products.

Are you feeling the chocolate love?  

xx Julie

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