Is Ghirardelli Chocolate Gluten Free? Safe Brands and Recipe

  • Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is one of the oldest chocolate brands in the US. 
  • This brand manufactures a wide range of top-rated chocolate products. 
  • Many of the Ghirardelli chocolate products are made using gluten free ingredients.  
  • Ghirardelli products are not certified as gluten free but are widely trusted to be safe. 

Chocolate tastes like it’s a gift sent from heaven. It’s rich and divinely tasty- something that seems fit for no less than Gods! So what chocoholic doesn’t like Italian chocolates? One of the best-known chocolate brands in the world is Ghirardelli Chocolate. But is Ghirardelli Chocolate gluten free and safe?

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company offers a wide range of chocolates and chocolate products, from bars and squares to hot cocoa. They are available in different flavors, too. Some of the products offered by this brand are made using non-gluten ingredients. But the products are not tested or labeled gluten free. 

Is Ghirardelli Chocolate Gluten Free?

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Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is one of the most famous confectioneries in the world. You probably know about its chocolates for their fantastic Italian craftsmanship.

But if you have celiac disease or gluten allergy, you probably wonder if Ghirardelli chocolates are gluten free and healthy. 

In general, chocolate is a non-gluten product as it is not related to gluten grains, i.e., wheat, barley, and rye. So chocolates are usually safe for people with celiac disease or gluten allergy unless gluten ingredients are used as additives or there is a possibility of cross-contamination in the facilities. 

Ghirardelli mentions on its website that many of its chocolate products are free from gluten. This range includes the brand’s signature cacao chocolate. In addition to these, there are other chocolate varieties by Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, all of which are free from gluten.

Its naturally gluten free ingredients are:

  1. Cacao squares and bars (92%, 86%, 72%, and 60%)
  2. 60% baking chips and bars
  3. Semi-sweet baking chips
  4. Milk chocolate baking chips

Most people with celiac disease or gluten allergy can consume these products without worrying about allergic reactions. The brand assures that these are made using naturally gluten free ingredients. However, you have to be extra careful about your condition if you are severely allergic. 

The brand does not carry a “gluten free” label.

This means that neither the final product nor the facilities are checked for trace gluten due to cross-contamination. In addition, the brand mentions nothing regarding the facilities used to make products that may contain gluten-rich ingredients. 

If you are extremely sensitive and might get allergic reactions even from trace gluten, it is good to try the chocolate in a small amount to test how your body reacts to it. You can also talk to your doctor before you consume any of the products mentioned to discuss if it’s safe for you to eat.   

How Healthy are Ghirardelli Products?

Now you know that many of the chocolate products by Ghirardelli are made from naturally non-gluten ingredients only. Therefore, it is most likely safe for you to consume, though you should be careful if you are severely sensitive even to trace gluten. Let’s check out how safe Ghirardelli products are in general.

1) GMO in Ghirardelli Products

GMO, or genetically modified organisms, are often found in products made by several bakeries and confectionaries – but not Ghirardelli! It is one of those mindful companies that are shifting to non-GMO standards. So you don’t need to worry about allergies, possibilities of cancer, or environmental concerns.  

2) Peanuts and Tree Nuts in Ghirardelli Products

Ghirardelli bars and squares do not contain peanuts, nor do the melting wafers or chocolate chips. However, you have to be careful about these products if you are severely sensitive to tree nuts because they are produced in the same facility and on the same equipment used for nut-containing products.  

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3) Caffeine Level in Ghirardelli Products

Caffeine is found in chocolate but in a much lower quantity compared to coffee or tea. So the caffeine content in Ghirardelli is naturally low, though the exact amount will vary based on the cacao content. Dark chocolate will have higher caffeine levels than milk chocolate. It can also depend on the bean type. 

4) Palm Oil in Ghirardelli Products

Ghirardelli is mindful not only of its customers’ health but also of the earth’s health. It understands the effect of palm tree cultivation on rainforests and their biodiversity. So, it closely monitors the use of palm oil in its products. It also makes sure to use palm oil that is RSPO-certified and hence, sustainable.  

5) Cocoa in Ghirardelli Products

The percentage of cacao used in different Ghirardelli chocolates is usually mentioned on the package. If it is not, you can assume that the percentage is about 50%. The brand has formulated the perfect combo of beans: Forastero from Ghana with Criollo and Trinitario from around the world for a rich flavor.

So you can now understand that Ghirardelli Chocolate Company pays special attention to the health of its customers and tries to use sustainable products. What’s more, it has even taken the initiative to stop using gelatin in manufacturing its products. So you can consume Ghirardelli products without worrying. 

A Little about Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

Your favorite, healthy chocolate maker, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, is an American confectioner. But did you know that the Swiss company Lindt & Sprüngli owns this Ghirardelli? Interestingly, the chocolate brand was founded by Domenico Ghirardelli, an Italian chocolatier who was working in South America!

The company was founded in 1852, making it the third-oldest chocolate maker in the US. It is also one of the US chocolate companies to maintain complete control over every aspect of the manufacturing process. It doesn’t hesitate to reject 40% of the seeds that it receives – in search of the best quality.   

The manufacturing process involves roasting the cocoa seeds in-house after removing the outer shell. This reveals the seed inside, called the nib. After roasting the nib, it is ground finely to get particles of 19 micrometers. This helps Ghirardelli to give its products a smooth texture with a wonderfully rich taste. 

Is Chocolate Gluten Free?

Unsweetened, unflavored chocolate is free from gluten content and safe for people with celiac disease or gluten allergy. However, a lot depends on the ingredients used by a company to manufacture their chocolate products that determine the gluten-free status. The additives used might contain gluten.  

In addition, there is always a possibility of cross-contamination when chocolate products are made in the same facilities as other products that contain gluten. If the gluten content in chocolate bars or other products is less than 20 ppm, it is considered safe. But then again, not every brand chooses to get tested. 

Just because a brand of chocolate is not certified and labeled “gluten free”, it’s not necessarily unsafe. It’s possible that the brand uses naturally gluten free ingredients and avoids shared facilities to prevent cross-contamination. But it doesn’t undergo the certification process, and hence, it doesn’t carry a label.

Gluten Free Chocolate Brands 

Ghirardelli is one of the chocolate brands trusted by people who are allergic to gluten or have celiac disease. But it is not the only healthy chocolate brand. There are many other trusted chocolate companies. If you are looking for other gluten free chocolate brands, you can look into the following:

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a) Alter Eco

Alter Eco is a brand that is certified as gluten free, and all of its chocolate bars and truffles, except Dark Salt & Malt, are free from gluten. The products are tested, and the results show that they contain less than ten ppm of gluten. In addition, its firm sanitation policy helps prevent trace gluten from cross-contamination.  

b) Dagoba Chocolate

Dagoba vouches that its chocolate products are gluten free and manufactured following the standards set by the FDA. Its website says that the ingredients are tested for gluten content in separate facilities, and the suppliers provide letters to assure the same. The plant is also safe for gluten free production.  

c) Larabar Bar

Do you love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate? Then Larabar Bar is a must-have for you. The best part is that you do not have to worry about the product triggering allergic reactions. That’s because the product is free from gluten content. The package proudly flaunts that it is gluten free.

d) Kind Bars

Kind is a brand known for producing delicious chocolate bars of different flavors. Fruits, nuts, caramel, dark chocolate, and other tasty ingredients make this brand’s products one of the most coveted chocolate candies. The package also says that the products are gluten free, making them safe for you. 

e) Hu Chocolate Bars

Hu Chocolate makes its chocolate to ensure that your product is free from gluten content. It produces chocolate bars that are certified as “gluten free”. In addition, this brand’s products are also perfect if you want to go paleo, vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free, or sugar alcohol-free.

f) Luna Bar

Everyone knows about Luna Bars and its wide variety of flavors, including chocolate products like Nutz Over Chocolate, White Chocolate Macadamia, and Chocolate Peppermint Stick. They are safe for you if you’re allergic to gluten, as the packs of these bars indicate that the products are gluten free. 

g) Righteously Raw

If you love dark chocolate, Righteously Raw might be the brand you have been looking for. The product contains 83% pure dark cacao. It is certified as gluten-free and kosher, vegan, and GMO-free. In addition, it is pure and organic and free from refined sugar and all allergens. Hence, it is safe. 

h) Endangered Species

Endangered Species is a brand that offers a wide range of chocolate bars. These have a base of dark chocolate or milk chocolate, and some varieties have nuts, dry fruits, and more. These products are gluten free, as mentioned on the product packages. So you don’t need to worry when you eat them.

i) Vosges Haut Chocolat

Vosges Haut Chocolat is a brand that offers some incredibly mouth-watering flavors of chocolate. It has an assortment of bars, truffles, and more made of rich chocolate. All of these products are certified as gluten free. So, you can enjoy the luxurious taste of gourmet chocolate – without worrying about gluten. 

j) Wild Ophelia

Wild Ophelia is another brand that you can trust blindly if you want to consume certified gluten-free chocolate. It is a brand that offers various combinations of flavors. It is one of the most reliable brands for people with celiac disease or gluten allergy because the products of this brand are certified “gluten free”.  

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Besides, many chocolate brands are considered safe and free from gluten, even though they do not carry the “gluten free” label. These brands include Dove Chocolate, Lindt, Hershey’s, Scharffen Berger, and Nestlé. So, if you have a favorite brand, you can contact the company to learn about the gluten status.

Ghirardelli Gluten Free Fudgy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Do you love chocolate chip cookies? Unfortunately, you probably have to stay away from them because of your gluten allergy. After all, cookies are made with the primary source of gluten, i.e., wheat flour!

But today, we have a recipe for gluten free fudgy chocolate chip cookies – using Ghirardelli products! Let’s take a look at it! 

Ingredients

  • Pecans (finely chopped): 1 cup 
  • Cooking spray: As required
  • Powdered sugar: 3 cups
  • Ghirardelli Premium Baking Cocoa: 2/3 cup 
  • Salt: 1/4 tsp 
  • Egg whites (room temperature): 3 eggs (large) 
  • Vanilla extract: 2 tsp
  • Ghirardelli Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips (60%): 1 cup 

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350 F.
  2. Take a baking sheet and spread out the chopped pecans in a layer on this tray.
  3. Bake the pecans in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, after which they will be toasted and give off a lovely fragrance. Don’t forget to stir the pecans halfway through the process. 
  4. Once done, let the baked pecans rest and cool down for about 20 minutes.   
  5. Take two baking sheets and line them with parchment paper. Coat them lightly with cooking spray, taking care not to wet the parchment paper. 
  6. Take a large bowl. Sift powdered sugar, baking cocoa powder, and salt and mix them. 
  7. Take another bowl and put egg whites in it. Then, whisk them for about half a minute until they become frothy. 
  8. Add vanilla extract and the dry mix to the whisked egg whites and stir them gently without knocking out the air incorporated into the egg whites. 
  9. Once you get a thick batter, add the chocolate chips and toasted pagans. Fold them into the batter gently so that everything is combined. 
  10. Take a 1½- inch cookie scoop that can hold 2 tbsp of cookie dough. Using this, scoop some dough and place it on the baking tray. Maintain a gap of 2 inches from each scoop. 
  11. Place the baking sheets with the dough in your preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until the tops become shiny and then crack.   
  12. Once done, let the cookies cool down for 5 minutes as they sit on the baking sheet. Then, transfer them to wire racks and allow the cookies to cool down entirely. It should take about 15 minutes for that to happen. 

Your gluten free cookies are ready. This recipe involves gluten free ingredients, including Ghirardelli chocolate products.

We can assure you that these cookies will become an instant favorite with everyone in the house, whether or not they have celiac disease or gluten allergy. Store in a cool and dry place.

Final Lines

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is a trusted brand, well-loved by the people in the US. That’s not just because it is one of the oldest chocolate brands in the country.

The brand mentions that it uses only naturally gluten free ingredients to make some of the chocolate products that it manufactures. 

You have to remember that the chocolate products made by Ghirardelli are not certified as “gluten free”. However, most people who are allergic to gluten have never complained about getting allergic reactions from consuming Ghirardelli products.

You can choose certified “gluten free” chocolate brands instead.

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About the Author: Johnny

I am the senior editor and writer of Gluten Free Heroes, before that, I wrote for various well established online magazines about food and health. I love working out, traveling and eating healthy.