Ahhh…chocolate! For many, their favorite food on earth! Unfortunately, most of these chocolate treats obviously contain large amounts of gluten. So, when you adopt the gluten-free diet, you naturally expect to give up chocolate treats forever. It was very hard for me to face the fact that I might never get to eat chocolate desserts again…
Chocolate is the best thing ever! And, I’m sure that the majority of you who are reading this article will agree with me. I can’t recall meeting any person who didn’t like chocolate! Chocolate is the major flavor of so many amazing desserts: ice cream, cake, cookies, cupcakes, pastries, drinks, candy, brownies and muffins.
Consequently, we did a little research on chocolate and discovered that it does not essentially contain gluten. In fact, pure, unsweetened chocolate, made by crushing and liquefying cacao beans, is totally gluten-free. However, the mixture of chocolate, cacao butter, sugar, milk and corn syrup is what makes chocolate taste good. It is these ingredients that cause gluten-related problems to occur.
Chocolate products and, even pure, unsweetened chocolate can contain traces of gluten if it has been subjected to cross-contamination. Sadly, the chances of it being cross-contaminated during the harvesting and processing is fairly likely. It is extremely possible that the equipment used to process chocolate has been contaminated with all kinds of gluten products.
Some chocolate treats feature gluten-filled ingredients, either in the form of wheat chocolate cookie-confections, or in the form of barley malt. But, the main reason that most chocolate is not considered gluten-free is that it is almost always made in the same facilities as other flour-based food items, such as cookies or cake.
Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with Celiac or are greatly sensitive to gluten, you will want to avoid all chocolate products that are not specifically labeled “gluten-free.” The good news for all of us chocoholics is that there are more and more certified gluten-free chocolate treats being put on the market now.
Some delicious gluten-free chocolate products include
These brands are completely gluten-free, though some will not always have this specifically stated on the label.
Other brands of chocolate will write on the label whether or not the treat contains any traces of gluten. Most are not made with gluten-filled ingredients and some of these are even made on special gluten-free equipment.
However, these factors all depend on the particular brand and flavor of chocolate. These types of items include, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar and Milk Chocolate Bar with Almonds, Nestle Milk Chocolate Bar and Ghirardelli Chocolate.
Only you will be able to ensure which is the best kind of chocolate for you. Knowing which kinds of chocolate are safe for your consumption will not necessarily mean that they are safe for other people to eat.
Do some research based on your own or your family members’ allergies and you should be able to find delicious chocolate treats which your household will be able to enjoy without suffering any side effects afterward.
Image courtesy Muffet