Chocolate chips are small chunks of sweetened chocolate that are often used in sweets, biscuits, cakes, and other desserts, as well as in trail mix and sometimes in breakfast foods like pancakes and waffles. Today they come in milk, white, semi-sweet, and dark chocolate assortments; plus, one that has been gaining traction is the butterscotch kind.
Nestle Toll House is one of the most popular brands for chocolate chips and most of us grew up consuming them. Since you’re likely to run into Nestle chocolate chips in your day-to-day food products, you might be wondering if you should include them in your current diet.
Are Nestle Chocolate Chips Vegan? Well, most Nestle chocolate chips are considered non-vegan because they contain a variety of animal-based ingredients, which I will cover later on. But in a major win for vegans and people with allergies everywhere, the company unveiled a new line of vegan-friendly chocolate chips. While there are just a few options, it’s a good step forward.
Chocolate, which is the base ingredient in chocolate chips, is vegan as it’s made from cacao beans. But companies often use recipes that contain dairy, which makes most chocolate chips non-vegan. Food companies have been heeding the vegan community’s needs by producing plant-based alternatives to popular animal-based foods, and chocolate chips are no exception.
The easiest way to identify vegan from non-vegan chocolate chips is if they have the vegan label. Even so, it’s still important to read the ingredients list to be 100% sure. In this text, we are going to cover what makes some Nestle chocolate chips non-vegan and what vegan options you have so you can start enjoying this delicious treat.
The Vegan Status Of Nestle Chocolate Chips
There are many flavours of Nestle chocolate chips and as I had mentioned earlier, most contain animal-based ingredients with just a few being suitable for a vegan diet. It is essential to know which ones fall under what category so you don’t consume the non-vegan ones accidentally.
The easiest way to shop for these chocolate chips is to keep in mind that the classic yellow packages of Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips are considered non-vegan. This includes:
- The Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: These are the most popular variety of Nestle chocolate chips and the kind that’s often synonymous with the brand.
- The Dark Chocolate Chips
- The white chocolate chips
- Milk chocolate chips
- Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Morsels, etc
What Makes These Nestle Chocolate Chips Non-Vegan
These chocolate chips contain several dairy products, including nonfat milk, whole milk powder, casein, whey protein, as well as milk-derived fat (milk fat, cream, butter, and butterfat). These ingredients are often used in food production, including making Nestle chocolate chips, to provide thick and creamy foods with a pleasantly smooth mouthfeel.
Vegans don’t consume milk derivatives for the simple reason that they are gotten from animals. The truth about dairy farming is cows are treated as machines; they are repeatedly artificially inseminated so they get pregnant and begin to lactate. Once they give birth, their young ones are taken from them almost immediately, causing distress to both the mother and the calf. As if that wasn’t enough, factory farming is conducted in unfavourable conditions where cows spend their entire lives in confined, small spaces never to see the light of day. There’s no happy ending for these female cows either as they are discarded (slaughtered) once their level of milk production goes down.
I know most of us don’t think about the amount of cruelty that these animals go through just so we can satisfy our appetites. The worst part is animal-derived foods are avoidable as there are several plant-based alternatives. Perhaps after reading this text, you’ll think twice before consuming Nestle chocolate chips that contain dairy products.
Sugar is another common ingredient in these Nestle chocolate chips. While it’s derived from a plant, the production process may not sit well with stricter vegans. Manufacturers often use bone char, which is derived from charring animal bones, to bleach sugar and give it a pure white colour. Brown sugar is then derived from the white sugar.
Vegans who avoid sugar say that its production contributes to the exploitation of animals, however minimal it may seem. While more plant-based filtering agents are emerging that can be used to purify sugar, it’s hard to tell what filtering agent was used to process the sugar in your Nestle chocolate chips.
Last, but not least, these nestle chocolate chips contain natural flavours, which can be sourced from both animals and plants. The only way to be sure is to contact the company and ask about their source of natural flavours.
Vegan-Friendly Nestle Chocolate Chips
For vegans who want to indulge in delicious chocolate chips, Nestle Tollhouse has you covered with their full line of dairy-free, allergy-friendly morsels. The Simply Delicious line is available in the following varieties:
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
Consisting of only three ingredients: organic cane sugar, 100% real chocolate, and organic cocoa butter, these chocolate chips allow you to add a vegan chocolate twist to your favourite desserts.
Dark Chocolate Morsels
These chocolate chips also contain organic cane sugar, 100% real chocolate, and organic cocoa butter. They are perfect for snaking, melting, and baking vegan foods.
White Chocolate Morsels
Nestlé Toll House has released these vegan chocolate chips as the newest addition to their Simply Delicious line. They are made with six ingredients, including cocoa butter, tapioca starch, rice syrup solids, cane sugar, rice maltodextrin, and salt, all of which are organic. These are great for making brownies, dips, and cookies.
Every pack is certified USDA Organic, made with no GMO ingredients, vegan, and free from all eight major allergens, including milk, soy, peanut, tree nut, egg, wheat, fish, and shellfish. Nestlé Toll House allergen-free morsels offer the same great taste as the company’s traditional chocolate chips without artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives.
The vegan-friendly Nestle chocolate chips are available in new and updated packaging for easy identification. They feature a teal ribbon across the top –a colour widely recognized as a symbol for allergen-free foods.
Concerns in Otherwise Vegan-Friendly Nestle Chocolate Chips
While these chocolate chips are vegan-friendly in the sense that they don’t contain any obvious non-vegan ingredients, there are a few grey areas that may be of concern to some vegans.
The first and major concern is the risk of cross-contamination or cross-contact. Vegan Nestle chocolate chips are made in the same facilities as the non-vegan kind. For this reason, there’s likely to be trace amounts of animal-based ingredients in otherwise vegan chocolate chips. Most vegans don’t judge such products harshly as it’s difficult to find 100% vegan food products unless you are making them at home. However, for some vegans, this slightest possibility that this can happen is enough to disqualify a food product as being vegan.
Sugar is also a common ingredient in otherwise vegan chocolate chips. And as I already said, it’s considered non-vegan by some due to the use of bone char during processing. The good news is this is not the case for the above vegan Nestle chocolate chips as they make use of organic cane sugar. I just thought you should know in case you buy other vegan chocolate chips that might contain refined sugar.
There are different levels of veganism, which is why I must give you every bit of information so you can make an informed decision about including these chocolate chips in your current vegan diet.
Are Nestle Chocolate Chips Healthy?
There are different reasons people adopt a vegan lifestyle and one of them is for health purposes. A vegan diet mainly constitutes of wholesome plant-based foods, which are generally healthier than meat, dairy, and other animal-based foods. If you have gone vegan for its health benefits, let’s see if you can still include these chocolate chips in your diet.
Chocolate contains an impressive ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value. The powerful antioxidants in Nestle chocolate chips have been found to increase the good cholesterol, thus contributing to better heart health. Some research says that these antioxidant benefits are prevented when chocolate is combined with animal milk. This makes vegan chocolate chips healthier than the non-vegan kind. Chocolate is also rich in flavanols, which helps to increase blood flow and, in turn, improve brain health.
Indulging in Nestle chocolate chips offers a multitude of health benefits but moderation is key. That’s because they still contain a significant amount of sugar and fat, which can be bad for your health when consumed excessively.
Nestle chocolate chips have been part of several different foods and baked products for years. As such, finding the right kind is imperative to a tasty and ethical final product. That’s it for today and I hope this text helps you make the right decision about this product.