Using Soy Free Chocolate For Baking: The Complete Guide
Whether you have a soy allergy or you're just looking to cut inflammatory ingredients from your diet, there are a plethora of reasons why you should only bake with soy-free chocolate.
Unfortunately, it's not easy to find soy-free chocolate these days. Because it allows manufacturers to maintain high efficiency and consistency, you'll find this questionable ingredient in just about any chocolate in your local grocery store.
With that said, there are a few high-quality brands that sell chocolate that is perfect for baking - entirely free of soy lecithin. You just have to know where to look!
In this article, you'll find everything there is to know about soy-free chocolate. We'll cover what it is, how it's made, why you should use it, and how you can use it in baking. Then, at the very end, we'll share our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe that contains no soy!
What Is Soy-Free Chocolate?
Soy-free chocolate is exactly what you think it is. It's chocolate with zero soy content. Only products that have zero soy content and are not made in a factory where soy is present can be labeled as "soy-free".
Maybe you are already aware that a majority of chocolates contain soy. This is especially true of the chocolates you see stacked in grocery stores. That can be dangerous, especially for people with a soy allergy. If you're wondering why soy is being used in chocolates in the first place, it's basically to speed up production.
Most mass-produced chocolates contain a compound called lecithin. Lecithin is a naturally occurring fatty substance that can be found in both animal and plant tissues. Soy lecithin is one of the most common types of lecithin available and is used as an emulsifier or lubricant in all kinds of food—but it is most commonly used in chocolate.
Soy lecithin ensures that the cocoa butter and cocoa powder don't separate while they're being blended. It also helps chocolate achieve that smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture without having to blend the chocolate for so long.
But, soy lecithin isn't a necessary ingredient in chocolate. You can still achieve that melt in your mouth texture without soy. You just have to blend the cocoa butter and cocoa powder longer to achieve the perfect chocolatey texture.
How Is Soy-Free Chocolate Made?
All chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao tree. These seeds are taken from the inside of the cacao pods. They are then fermented and dried for a couple of weeks at which point they are roasted. After this, the cacao nibs are separated from their shells. When the nibs are de-shelled, they are put into a blender to create a cocoa powder.
The cocoa powder and cocoa butter are then blended in a special machine. This is to create liquid raw chocolate, more commonly known as chocolate liquor. While the two ingredients are being blended, the machine also heats the mixture. This method of heating and blending is called conching, which is an essential step in creating soy-free chocolate. The chocolate has to be blended for long periods in order to achieve the perfect smooth chocolatey texture. Yes, it's more work - but you are able to forego the use of an emulsifier, such as soy lecithin.
It is during the conching phase when other ingredients, such as milk and sugar, are added to the chocolate. Once the chocolate liquor is perfectly smooth, it is poured into molds where it will harden and turn into chocolate bars.
Unsweetened chocolate and dark chocolate contain little to no sugar and milk. That makes them perfect for baking. Why? Because they make it easier to control the sweetness of your desserts. Semi-sweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate, on the other hand, have some amount of sugar and milk—about 50% to 60%. As such, unsweetened chocolate is actually the preferred choice for baking among professionals.
Why Should You Use Soy-Free Chocolate Chips For Baking?
There is a lot of controversy surrounding soy products and soybeans in general. Ask different people their opinion on soy, and you'll get varying answers. To some, this is considered a staple for a healthy and balanced diet. To others, though, this inflammatory ingredient creates issues in the human body. As such, it should be avoided at all costs.
That is why baking with soy-free chocolate chips is such a great idea. Here are some of the major benefits of using soy-free chocolate chips when baking:
If you have a soy allergy, then it's pretty obvious that the number one advantage of using soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free chocolate chips is to avoid allergic reactions.
Soy has been declared one of the eight major food allergens by the Food and Drug Administration. That doesn't just mean that it's one of the most common food allergens. It also means that it can cause some of the most severe allergic reactions.
No More GMOs
Another problem with soy is that it's one of the common genetically modified organisms (GMO) in our food supply. Soy only became a GMO around the 1990s. Coincidentally, the number of food allergies has spiked since then.
However, there is no solid scientific evidence showing that GMOs are fully responsible for this spike in food allergies. It is only an assumption. But if you want to err on the side of caution, it's best to stay on a soy-free diet.
Your Hormones Won't Be Affected
Certain studies showed that consuming soy could affect your hormones. In men, it is said to reduce testosterone levels and prostate weight 1. It is also said that consuming soy could affect one's thyroid, causing it to produce more thyroid hormones than usual 2. People with thyroid problems are often advised to limit their soy consumption.
It's Better For The Environment
Soy is one of the most in-demand ingredients in agriculture. And unfortunately, one of the most important tropical savannas in the world is being destroyed to make space for soybean plantations.
Brazil's Cerrado is home to 5% of the world's biodiversity. Over 10,000 different plant species can be found here, some of which you won't find anywhere else in the world. The Cerrado also plays a huge role in fighting climate change, absorbing about 13.8 billion tons of carbon we produce. Now, it is being destroyed because of soy.
The worst part is, some of these deforestations are completely unnecessary. A study showed that there are more than 25 million hectares of degraded, abandoned land that could be used for growing soybeans without having to cut down the trees in the Cerrado 3.
Is It Difficult To Bake With Soy-Free Chocolate?
Nope, not at all. Baking with soy-free chocolate chips is no different from baking with regular chocolate chips. You use them the exact same way you would with traditional semi sweet chocolate chips.
Not convinced? Why not try things out yourself! Here's a soy-free and dairy-free chocolate chip cookie recipe that you can try:
Soy & Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Serves: 3 dozens or more
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Crisco
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups or 350 grams of dairy-free soy-free chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bars
Start by preheating your oven to 375°F. Grab a small bowl and combine flour, baking soda, and salt, then set it aside. In a large mixing bowl, add the Crisco, sugars, and vanilla extract and mix until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then, grab your flour mixture and gradually mix it into the cream mixture. Once the dough has formed, stir in the chocolate. Make sure that the chocolate is evenly distributed in the dough.
If you have an ice cream scoop, you can use this to easily proportion your cookie dough. Drop as many scoops of cookie dough as you can onto ungreased cookie sheets. Make sure that there is enough space in between each cookie as the dough will flatten and expand.
Bake the cookies for 8 – 9 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden. Allow the cookie to cool for one minute on the cookie sheet before removing and placing it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Where Can You Get Soy-Free Chocolate For Baking?
One of the biggest challenges for people with soy allergies is to find chocolates with zero soy. Luckily, we know just the place to find high-quality chocolate. You can use it as a substitute for regular semi-sweet chocolate chips when baking, or you can eat this chocolate as a snack. Because as you'll soon discover, this isn't just any unsweetened chocolate - it's the most functional chocolate bar on the market.
Find The Best Soy-Free Chocolate For Baking At MidDay Squares
MidDay Squares is hands down the best place to find soy-free chocolates. Our Fudge YAH bars are the perfect soy-free alternative for regular baking chocolate. You can add this to any baked chocolate dessert. Just chop up the pieces on a cutting board and throw them in your mixing bowl! Or, to be honest, it can be the desert itself. It's that good.
We also have two other delicious flavors for you to try—Peanut Butta and Almond Crunch. The best part is each bar is not only free of soy. They're also certified gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, diabetic-friendly, allergy-friendly, and vegan-friendly. Plus, they're super tasty too!
Every MidDay Square is made from 100% organic ingredients. Our eight main ingredients are raw chocolate, yacon syrup, pink salt, pumpkin seeds, cocoa butter, sacha inchi protein, maca powder, and cocoa powder. If you want to know more about what it exactly means for chocolate to be organic and why organic chocolate is better for you, you can read all about it on our blog.
Get your own pack of MidDay Squares today and enjoy soy-free baking that's good for you, and tastes even better!