Gluten-Free Chocolate: a Special Treat for a Special Day
Out of all days of the year, why enjoy gluten-free chocolate on July 7th? While any day is a good day for chocolate, eating it tomorrow is an even better idea than usual because… it’s World Chocolate Day! To make sure you get to celebrate in style, we’ve curated a selection of some tasty gluten-free artisan chocolates in Canada! We promise you won’t even be able to tell they’re gluten-free…
What’s Gluten Got to Do with It?
Less gluten in chocolate may actually be an indicator of its quality! Did you know that in its purest form, chocolate is naturally gluten-free? That is, unrefined, unsweetened chocolate derived from roasted cacao beans. However, due to its bitter taste, most people prefer to snack on the refined chocolate version.
Dark chocolate, especially when made with high-quality cocoa beans, is often gluten-free (Adorable Chocolat)
But fret not – refined does not necessarily mean low quality, or bad for your health! Likewise, chocolates with minimal processing are not always gluten-free. Think chocolates with crispy textures and ingredients, which often contain wheat or barley malt. Thankfully, there are plenty of excellent chocolates that use only a few quality ingredients. These include liquid cacao, cocoa butter, and some sugar. Best part? They’re also gluten-free!
Now, time to get into our selection of only some of the best gluten-free craft chocolates in Canada!
- Solasta Chocolate, Vancouver
Solasta Chocolate is an artisan chocolate company based in Vancouver. Their name, Solasta, means “bright” or “illuminous,” echoing their chocolate designs inspired by West Coast scenery. If your chocolates remind you of bits of ocean, mountains, beaches, or forests, you know why! Made exclusively with high quality ingredients, their chocolates are free of unnecessary refining and gluten. What’s more, the West Coast chocolate makers have sustainability and community at heart. Solasta Chocolate only uses cacao produced and sourced ethically. They also give back to their community by sharing a percentage of their profits with local charities. Talk about a bright initiative!
2. Galerie au Chocolat, Montréal
Galerie au Chocolat is a Montreal chocolatier who uses only the finest ingredients, a lot of which are raw and local. These include Quebec maple syrup, Ontario cream, and Canadian butter. Founded in 1985, the Canadian fairtrade chocolate maker also uses premium ingredients sourced ethically like California roasted almonds and Italian sea salt. Galerie au Chocolat prides itself on the simplicity, quality, creativity and integrity of their chocolate making process and confections. Their chocolates are all natural, kosher, and free of GMOs, too!
A tropical cream egg chocolate bonbon with passion-pineapple caramel and coconut filling (Chocolat de Kat)
3. Chocolat de Kat, Toronto
Speaking of chocolate… how does an artisan cream egg sound? If you ask Chocolat de Kat, it sounds tropical! Yes, the chocolate bonbon above is the Toronto chocolate maker’s own creative version of the iconic Cadbury Cream Egg, with melty passion-pineapple caramel poured on top of a soft and fudgy coconut meltaway layer. Best part: the bonbon is vegan, and Chocolat de Kat do everything they can to ensure their confections contain no traces of gluten. Chocolatier Kata Ambrus founded her own chocolate company after completing the Classic French Pastry Arts program at the International Culinary Centre in NYC. With one other employee, Ambrus hand paints, shells, fills, and caps each bonbon with care and passion.
4. The Organic House, Oakville
Like its name indicates, The Organic House chocolate is organic, as well as vegan, gluten/dairy-free and made without refined sugars. Cherry on top: their confections bear some highly unique motifs that make for a pleasant gourmet experience for both mouth and eyes! Importantly, The Organic House is passionate about clean eating. Yes, indulging in some decadent chocolate does not have to come at the expense of our health! And for The Organic House, it sure doesn’t: they bake all their products from scratch and infuse them with rich natural flavours. Their ingredients are also fairtrade, locally sourced, and handcrafted in small batches to ensure the highest quality.
5. Dwarf Stars, Calgary
What happens when two longtime best friends with a passion for food and desserts get together to create something? In this case, the answer is Dwarf Stars, a brand of healthier chocolates containing a combo of vegan chocolate and organic pumpkin seed butter. Their gourmet chocolate is made in Alberta and all their products are nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan. An allergen-free alternative to peanut butter cups, Dwarf Stars’ pumpkin seed butter cups are a healthier spin on the well-loved classic. What’s more, the chocolate makers use ethically sourced cocoa butter, organic pumpkin seeds, and sugar derived from beets!
6. Blooms, Ottawa
Dried fruit in chocolate? Yes! You might have had this combination in a trail mix before, but these chocolate medallions by Ottawa-based Blooms are sure to take the mix to the next level. Blooms’ chocolates are completely natural, vegan, and gluten-free of course. The slightly tangy taste of the dried fruit brings a perfect balance of flavours to the smooth chocolate treats. The chocolate makers also use no sugar or preservatives in their chocolates. Did you know that dried fruits contain more fiber and phenol, an antioxidant, than fresh fruit? Another reason to enjoy these health-conscious chocolates, as if you needed one!
We hope that this selection of gluten-free chocolates simplifies the task of making your choice of treat for the holiday. Gluten-free and even dairy-free chocolate has evolved so much in the past couple of years. The treats are becoming ever tastier and more creative. Furthermore, the healthy ingredients in a lot of the goodies above make eating chocolate both enjoyable and nutritious. Happy World Chocolate Day to all!