As a vegan, there is no need to just stick to eating vegetables. You would be surprised at how many of your favorite snack foods are actually vegan. This means no animal or dairy by products are used in the process. Indulge in your lifestyle goals and go for these wonderful snacks.
Some would say that of course, POPCORN is vegan. It’s made with corn kernels which are vegetables. Not when you put slathers of melted butter topping on your popcorn, then it is no longer considered vegan. Butter is a dairy product and a by-product of fermented cream or milk from either cows, sheep, or goat’s milk. Even artificial flavored butter topping has some content of dairy by products. Corn instead is like gold, discovered and used as far back as 10,000 years ago in Mexico. It is a staple in many cuisines. Popcorn came to America in the 19th century, it became popular as a way for an inexpensive snack. Charles Cretor invented the popcorn machine and introduced popcorn at an exposition back in 1893, the rest is history. Popcorn was served everywhere in the US in its simplest of forms. It has always been considered a healthy snack. With the invention of steam driven machines requiring oil, the regular popcorn cooking method of using clarified butter or lard were bypassed. It was during the same expo, that the Rueckheim brothers also introduced, molasses and caramel flavored candied popcorn, and the Cracker Jack popcorn as we know it was born. Brands of snack foods, like popcorn and corn chips that are considered vegan are Cracker Jack, Skinny Pop White Cheddar Flavored Popcorn, Fritos , Earth Balance and Orville Redenbacher Skinny Girl Lime and salt popcorn. Most AMC Theatres serves popcorn made with coconut oil, and do not contain any dairy products. Just don’t add the butter topping please.
9. Chocolate Cake Mixes, Brownies and Frosting
If it sounds like a nursery rhyme, maybe it’s because it reminds us of our youth when mom would bake a Duncan Hines Cake in minutes. Cake mixes were a new standard thing in the 70’s It was a quick Go To product that made the perfect dessert with very little fuss. It was not only cost-effective; it is basically formulated to be foolproof. Lately Duncan Hines cake mixes have made a resurgence amongst the vegan community because they can be made vegan. Granted you don’t add eggs and milk. If you think it won’t taste good, as a substitute you can add carbonated water to replace the eggs and oil and water for the milk. The Angel Food Cake mix that requires eggs can be processed in the same way. To boot Duncan Hines is Kosher and most of the varieties are milk free, but check labelling first. The Brownie Fudge Mix and Frosting sold for a buck, are also vegan and are dairy free. Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie mix sold at any Costco, is vegan as well, just sub the egg with chia seeds, almond milk or apple sauce for delicious gooey vegan brownies. Lindt Excellence Cocoa Bars in 70%, 85% and 90% are also dairy free and vegan. But most dark chocolates are.
8. OH OH Oh Oreo!
Oreo cookies, the Best-selling cookies on the planet are actually vegan. Yes, you heard me right. The cream centers are not actually made with cream, and neither is the rest of the cookie. The back of a package of Oreo cookies lists the following as ingredients: sugar, unbleached enriched flour, high oleic canola palm or canola oil, cocoa, corn syrup, leavening, cornstarch, salt, soy lecithin, vanillin, and chocolate. Oreo Sandwich Cookies were introduced in 1912, by the American Biscuit and Manufacturing Company (Nabisco) which initially was started by two brothers Jacob and Joseph Loose, in New York City. Joseph, joined forces with his competitors the New York Biscuit company and United States Baking company to form Nabisco. The modern Oreo cookie filling was developed by Nabisco’s principal food scientist, Sam Porcello, who retired from Nabisco in 1993. He created five different patents for the Oreo Cookie, he also created a variety of Oreo cookies that were covered in dark chocolate and white chocolate. In the 90s, health concerns prompted Nabisco to replace the lard in the crème filling with hydrogenated vegetable oil. Oreo cookies are popular with vegans because it does not use any animal products whatsoever. However, there is still a risk of cross-contamination from other dairy-containing products made in the same production areas. The company is very careful to warn that cross-contamination is possible, but the amounts would be minute. Oreo’s are also kosher since 1997 when lard was removed from the ingredient list.
7. Jell-O Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
Jell-O, a registered trademark of Kraft Foods makes a variety of fruit flavored gelatin, pudding and desserts, like no-bake cream pies. The brand began in N.Y., by Pearle Bixby Wait and his wife May. The dessert was especially popular till the 1950s. Unfortunately gelatins are an animal by product, a protein produced from collagen extracted from boiled bones, tissues, and other animal products and are therefore not vegan. But the Jell-O puddings are. Jell-O Pudding can be made with almond, soy or rice milk, to be considered vegan. Keep in mind that only certain flavors of the actual Jell-O powder are completely vegan and gluten free, these are vanilla, chocolate, lemon, pistachio, and banana. If you’re a big fan of puddings and flans, Goya Food Inc, the largest Latino food company in the US, has a great product called Spanish Flan Style Custard. Royal also has an egg free Flan with Carmel sauce, Substitute coconut milk or condensed milk and flan mix to create a dairy free dessert. Top it with Smucker’s Marshmallow Ice cream topping instead of whipping cream to make it even more delicious. If you really must have gelatins, you can always make your own home brew with agar. Agar is a jelly-like substance, obtained from red algae. Agar is used as an ingredient in many Asian Desert desserts .Agar has many purposes, it can be used as a laxative, an appetite suppressant, a vegetarian substitute for gelatin, a thickener for soups, in fruit preserves, ice cream, and other desserts, as a clarifying agent in brewing.
6. Cracker. Cookies, Bars & Breads
There is lots of products in this category that fall under vegan. Some of the most popular Nabisco brands you would never think of as vegan, are Ritz Crackers, Wheat Thins, Grahams and Triscuit. Because of the buttery taste of Ritz crackers, one would imagine that they must contain dairy, or some other form of animal fat. In fact, they’re made with oils and fats that come from soy beans. They have a variety of flavors like roasted vegetable, whole wheat and bacon. Yes, you guessed it. Thee bacon flavored Ritz have no animal products either! There are is a whole lots of o cookies, that are also vegan, as we saw earlier, Oreo is one, Famous Amos Chocolate Cookies, Nutter Butters, Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookies, Snickerdoodles and Pound Plus made by TJ, and Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter cups, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups rivals are the darlings of vegan and health food fans from Maine to Oregon. In the Breakfast bar category, Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, are another contender with favors such as Apple Crisp, Cinnamon, Maple Brown Sugar, Peanut Butter, Pecan Crunch, and Roasted Almond which are all plant-based. Bel Vita Breakfast biscuits, are ideal for those on the go vegans, these crunchy biscuits provide lasting energy and come in flavors such as Toasted Coconut and Cinnamon Brown Sugar. Unfrosted Pop-Tarts Pop-Tarts can be a vegan’s best friend if they are the unfrosted. the icing does actually contain real milk products.
5. Aunt Jemima Original Pancake Mix & BC Bisquick
Along the same line of Breakfast Foods, if you’re craving something hardier, Aunt Jemima Original Pancake & Waffle Mix and Bisquick contain no animal products and are fit for consumption by vegans. Do not add eggs and milk as per directions, instead find substitutes, such as almond milk or replacing the eggs with bananas or apple sauce . These mixes consist mostly consist of flour, corn flour, wheat flour, sugar, leavening mixture such as bicarbonate sodas and salt. With the exception of Buttermilk mixes which have eggs or milk products added, so vegans stay away. Betty Crocker Bisquick has multiple uses and can be used to make corn dogs with vegan hot dogs instead of regular one. Use the same directions as above, sub milk for almond or soy and eggs with fruit purees. Bisquick Heart Smart is formulated with canola oil resulting in less saturated fat and trans fat. Bisquick also comes in a gluten-free variety, which uses rice flour instead of regular flour. If pancakes are not for you and you want something quicker like breakfast cereal, the brand that is truly perfect and made for vegans is Quaker Life Cinnamon or Plain Oats. Again, do not add milk, but instead substitute with your favorite pureed fruit. For a Continental breakfast, Pillsbury Crescent rolls are vegan. It contains Enriched Flour Bleached wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, water, eoybean and palm oil, and sugar and have a longer shelf life.
4. Candies, Skittles and Gummies and more
For all those vegans with a real bad sweet tooth, you can regale in eating as much of these as you want and the list is long. So will your check-up at the dentist. From Lolli pops such as Dum Dums to almost every major gummy candy mix on the market. Many of these candies do not contain animal products because they are not made with gelatin but lots of artificial ingredients, such as sugar and coloring. They are also gluten free to boot, so no tummy aches guaranteed. Skittles is another popular brand that is vegan. They used to contain animal products, so check the packaging to make sure your getting the vegan free ones. Sour Patch Kids, is definitely a surprise on the list. Gummy candy is typically made by using gelatin, but if you check the ingredients, it states otherwise. They contain mostly sugar, corn syrup, corn starch, tartaric acid, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, and food coloring. Even though they come in a variety of flavors, they all contain the same ingredients, including watermelon. Other candy brands that are Vegan are Nerds, Airheads, Lemonheads, Haribo Sour S’ghetti Gummi Candy, Swedish Fish, Jolly Ranchers, Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum, Dots, Ju Jubes, Twizzlers, Gummies by Squish Candies, Surfs Sweets Candy and Smarties.
3. Fruit by the Foot & Roll Ups
Everyone remembers these in their lunch box as kids. We thought we were getting candy instead of that boring apple or fruit. Introduced in 1991, in North America by General Mills, under the Betty Crocker Brand, Fruit by the Foot and Fruit Roll -Ups are very similar, but differs in look, taste and size. They are often confused and are referred to by each other’s name. The snack is approximately 3 feet long, like their logo says “3 Feet of Fun!”. There is controversy amongst vegans that in fact they are not truly vegan. Since many sugars are processed using bone char. Bone char is an animal product. Used to give sugar its white color. Vegans try to avoid refined sugar, but added sugar is found in everything and the fact is there is no way to know for sure if a sugar brand uses bone char or not. Whatever the controversy, Foot by the Foot ‘s ingredients are free of any animal product and are gluten free. They do contain lots of artificial ingredients such as Maltodextrin, Corn Syrup, Carrageenan, Citric Acid, Monoglycerides, Sodium Citrate, Acetylated Monoglycerides, Malic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Citrate, Flavoring and color. Fruit by the Foot contains no protein, fiber, iron, calcium, or Vitamin A, not really good for any healthy snack.
2. Chips, Doritos & Pretzels
Seems to be a recurring theme, most chips are made with spuds, but these days you never know what is used to prepare them for the mass market. Let’s start with some vegan friendly brands, Pringles, the stackable snack seems artificial, that’s because they are highly processed, they combine dried potato flakes with water and corn starch. Pringles Original are vegan-friendly, Barbecue is not and contain dairy products. Doritos -Spicy Sweet Chili-flavored tortilla chips are a safe bet. Ruffles Potato Chips
Classic Original and All Dressed are two dairy-free flavors. Lay’s Classic Potato Chips, Barbecue, Salt & Vinegar, and Lightly Salted Barbecue flavors have no animal by products. Maple Bacon Kettle Chips are vegan, what! Yes, the Maple Bacon and Sweet & Salty chips from Kettle Brand have cause a bit of a stir, specifically the Maple Bacon ones. Yes, some Vegans are upset that “bacon” is a Vegan flavor, if it says “bacon” in the name then they can’t be animal free? Its simple, the ingredients are smoke avor, salt, and paprika, mostly. Avor can contain the suspicious “natural avors,” but if PETA claims they are willing to eat them, then they are safe. Other brands of your favorite snacks that are vegan are Multigrain Sun Chips, Herr’s Onion Rings, Cape Cod, Takis- Takis Fuego and Takis Nitro. A true staple of American Culture, Pretzels are always a reliable option for vegans, Snyder’s of Hanover Jalapeño Pretzel Pieces fall into this category. Snyder’s Pretzel Sticks in Oat Bran and Pumpernickel & Onion are also vegan-friendly. However, as some producers add butter or margarine to their dough, especially for the soft type pretzels, so stay away.
1. Bean burritos
All these foods are fine, but for those with bigger appetites what can you get quickly to satisfy the hungry man and pack in the protein. Beans! Bean Burritos, are totally vegan friendly. Here is a list of fast food restaurants where you can pick up vegan friendly bean burritos. Taco Bell Bean Burritos, are great, minus the cheese, sour cream and eggs. There are so many ways to veganize your Taco Bell order, any bean burrito fresco style, or 7-Layer Burrito. Del Taco also makes another great option if you are on the West Coast. Del Taco has seriously upped its vegan game. They offer vegan Beyond Meat crumbles in place of meat. Try the 8 Layer Veggie burrito without cheese or sour cream. Chipotle Sofritas are also another great option. Chipotle offers organic tofu braised with peppers and spices. Which come in a bowl, burrito, taco, or salad. Option include black or pinto beans, brown or white rice, a selection of vegan toppings, including mixed veggies, salsas, lettuce, and guacamole. If you are more the type who likes to cook for yourself, life is easier when you can control what you put into your burritos. For vegan burritos, the filling consists of salsa, ½ cup any type of your favorite beans, ½ green onion, finely chopped, salt, pepper, cayenne,2 tbsp cooked brown rice, ½ sliced avocado,2 tsp corn kernels shredded lettuce. A healthy animal free meal fit for any die- hard vegan.