Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans: Day 2 - The Sweet Tooth

I promise that this isn't a hint that I want people to buy me holiday presents -- I thought I'd offer a cheat sheet on how to approach holiday gifts for the vegans in your life. I've certainly had several confused friends and relatives when it comes to what I do and don't use as a vegan and I've had people shopping for other vegans ask me what to avoid so I figured a little overview might be helpful for those non-vegans (aka "civilians") who are shopping for my people (aka "vegans"). Don't worry, Civilians, I've also included some recommendations so you don't have to do a ton of extra work.

This will be a 5-day series and on Friday a post with links to all will be posted!

Questions?  Suggestions?  Comment away.

Treats: Chocolate, Marshmallows and More 

Who doesn't love getting chocolate? I wouldn't know because I refuse to admit these people exist. If you're buying treats for your lucky vegan pal, you want to confirm there's no dairy (milk, milk solids, butterfat, whey, etc.) or other animal products in the chocolate or treat fillings. (Yes, cocoa butter is fine.) Many dark chocolate options are vegan but not always, so don't assume without reading the label.

Okay, let's make this easy for you.  Here are some options!

Not exclusively vegan brands, but commonly found and have vegan options: 

Justin's Dark Chocolate PB Cups
they also have non-vegan milk chocolate cups and
even their dark chocolate PB bar has dairy
 + {on FEP's recommendation list} +

Alter Eco Bars - Dark Chocolate & Quinoa, 
Dark Chocolate & Almond, Dark Chocolate and Mint
*Made with fair trade chocolate!
 + {on FEP's recommendation list} +

I know quinoa sounds weird...
but it tastes like a rice crispy bar, I swear

alter eco quinoa

Terra Nostra Ricemilk Choco Bar
This was my favorite super-sweet bar...
until our food co-op stopped carrying it;
& I've found them at Whole Foods

Divine has a lot of dark chocolate
seasonal vegan stuff - even gelt!

Not sure you can vet the ingredients confidently? 

Don't worry - there are quite a few treat companies that blatantly label that they're vegan so you can feel confident picking from these!

Sweet & Sara 

I can't say enough nice things about Sweet & Sara.  
Sara is the only reason I can eat marshmallows again. 
Made in NYC!   



Other delicious vegan brands:

Rescue Chocolate - many flavors
(but the best is Peanut Butter Pitbull)

GoMaxGo Candy
Sweet knock-offs of all your favorite candy
from when you were a non-vegan kid!

Sjaack's - NOT exclusively vegan but have a vegan category, 
which is heavy on the seasonal items
 + {on FEP's recommendation list} +

I've only had a few of their items but I haven't been let down yet! 

*Note: some items in their vegan section say "milk chocolate"
but it's non-dairy and listed as suitable for vegans 

And a word on a seasonal favorite - HOT CHOCOLATE!  

There's often dairy in the hot chocolate mix and gelatin (origin: you don't wanna know) in the marshmallow bits! If you want to gift a hot chocolate set, Equal Exchange makes a nice vegan cocoa (although there are many others) and Sweet & Sara makes delightful teeny tiny marshmallows.   + {Both on FEP's recommendation list} +

Questions?  Other vegan favorites to list?  Pop on down to the comments.


Thank you to Katie, who commented to mention her post on the misnomer of some fair trade certified chocolate, which unfortunately includes horrific labor abuses for adults and children alike.  Please read Katie's post at Serenity in the Storm.  I've edited this post to contain this note:

to  indicate which products are on Food Empowerment Project's "chocolate we feel comfortable recommending" list (lined above).

Previous "Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans" posts:


  1. Great ideas! I do love chocolate, especially at the holidays. I just actually did a post today on vegan chocolate that doesn't use child slavery, using the Food Empowerment Project's recommends list. I was shocked to find that even Fair Trade Certified chocolate can use child slavery. Also, FEP has a petition to sign to urge Clif Bar to be transparent about where they source their cocoa. Link to the post about it, if you're interested:

    1. Thank you, Katie! I've linked to your post in a note at the end of this post and went back to edit which of these recommendations are on the FEP recommendation list! Very very much appreciate the information - great timing and thank you for writing about it!

    2. Awesome! Thanks so much for editing the post to include FEP's recommends!

    3. P.S. Just commented on your comment over on my post with a more lengthy response. :-)

  2. Oh man! I can't resist sweets. One year my mom sent me a sweet & sara marshmallow sampler box. I'm going to have to check out the other links

    1. I'm sure you could tell but I just love S&S. Mostly the s'mores and the bark. Let me know if you try anything!


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