07 February 2012

Indulgence without cruelty: Sweet vegan treats for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is supposed to be a celebration of love, but let’s get real -- it’s about chocolate. Many people think that vegan chocolate doesn’t exist, and that couldn’t be further from the truth! (Chocolate does come from a plant, after all.)There are plenty of sweet vegan treats on the market today, so let your sweet tooth (or teeth) rejoice this Valentine’s Day (or any other day).

Got Money?
Even though many candies on the market are not vegan, don't think for a second that vegans can't have a sweet Valentine's Day. If you want to get real decadent, check out the vegan chocolate assortments available to purchase through Vegan Essentials and Pangea.

Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates has a line of vegan chocolates in a variety of forms: heart-shaped boxes, truffles, chocolate-covered cherries and nuts, bars, and even almond butter-filled chocolate bunnies. (But it’s too soon for that… or is it?) Check out their selection HERE.

Allison’s Gourmet has a beautiful selection of decadent truffles, caramels and barks in interesting flavors. You’ll be drooling over her cookies and brownies, too.

If you want to make your sweet treats even sweeter, check out Rescue Chocolate’s line of vegan chocolates for a cause. As stated on their website, 100% of their net profits go to animal rescue charities around the country. They offer many delicious flavor combinations: peanut butter + chocolate, bon bons, spicy dark chocolate, chocolate + mint, fakin’ bacon… Yep, you can get a vegan bacon-chocolate bar! They also offer gift sets.

Got Time?
Of course, making your own vegan candy is another fun way to spread the sweet vegan love.
VegWeb.com has an entire candy recipe category. Try out user-tested recipes for peanut butter cups, truffles, caramels, vegan versions of popular candy bars, and more.

Lickin' the Beaters 2: Vegan Chocolate and Candy by Suie Moffat sounds promising.
Hannah Kaminsky has oodles of sweetness in her books and on her blog, My Sweet Vegan.
Chocolate-Covered Katie has nothing BUT sweetness on her blog.

And you can always count on any of Isa Moskowitz's recipes to yield fabulous results. Check out her sweet recipes in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and Vegan Pie in the Sky.

Got No Money and No Time?
There are plenty of vegan chocolates and candies available at your local health food stores, and even some mainstream sweets you can find most anywhere happen to be vegan, such as:
Ghiradelli dark chocolates (but only some – check the labels)
Newman’s Own Sweet Dark Espresso and Sweet Dark Orange bars
Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate (check labels on other flavors)
Ritter Sport Marzipan (red wrapper)
Some varieties of Endangered Species chocolate bars (check labels)
Dagoba chocolates (check labels)

And don’t forget Oreos and Newman-O’s, vegan ice creams (Purely Decadent’s coconut milk-based line is creamy and delicious), Tofutti ice cream sandwiches, and Larabars for other easy-to-find sweet treats.

There are plenty of sweet options out there to make your vegan Valentine’s Day extra sweet!

Amanda Just | Blog | Facebook
Tampa Bay, FL Amanda stopped eating meat in 1995, the moment she learned what meat was: dead animals. She was 11 years old. Her passion for vegetarianism and animals grew as she did and she eventually went vegan in 2004. Amanda blogs at Hungry Vegan Traveler, posting about vegan eats she encounters everywhere she goes, near and far. Amanda currently resides in the Tampa Bay, Florida area. She works full-time with at-risk youth and is also an active volunteer for animal and human causes.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/danmoyle