As a vegan dietitian/nutritionist, I often get asked the question: ‘What candy can a vegan eat?’ It’s not surprising that people are curious about this topic. After all, who doesn’t love indulging in some sweet treats every now and then?
When it comes to candy, most people assume that it contains animal products such as gelatin or dairy. However, there are actually plenty of vegan-friendly options out there if you know where to look.
In this article, we’ll explore what ingredients to watch out for when choosing candy as a vegan, and provide you with a list of delicious sweets that you can enjoy guilt-free.
So grab your favorite snack and let’s dive in!
Animal-Derived Ingredients To Avoid
Common animal derived ingredients can be found in many candies, making it challenging for vegans to indulge their sweet tooth.
Gelatin is a frequent addition and is used as a gelling agent in sweets such as gummy bears, marshmallows, and jelly beans. This ingredient is made by boiling down the skin, bones, and connective tissues of pigs or cows – so not vegan-friendly!
Additionally, milk-based products like dairy chocolate are another no-go for those following a plant-based diet.
Luckily there are plenty of Vegan candy substitutes available on the market today that eliminate these common animal-derived ingredients. For example, instead of traditional gelatin-made gummies, try fruit snacks or jellies made with pectin obtained from fruits such as apples or citrus.
Look out for dark chocolate varieties that do not contain any dairy or honey as well – they’re often just as delicious but without the guilt!
Vegan-Friendly Candy Options
As we have discussed in the previous section, there are certain animal-derived ingredients that vegans should avoid when choosing candy. However, this does not mean that all candy is off-limits for those following a vegan diet. There are many delicious and satisfying options available!
Here are three vegan-friendly candy alternatives to consider:
- Vegan gummy alternatives – Instead of traditional gummy candies made with gelatin (which comes from animal collagen), look for gummies made with pectin or agar-agar as a binding agent. These can be found at health food stores or online.
- Dark chocolate – Many dark chocolate brands offer dairy-free options, making it a great substitute for milk chocolate. Just be sure to check the label for any potential cross-contamination with milk products.
- Fruit snacks – Dried fruit or fruit leather can satisfy your sweet tooth while also providing some extra nutrients.
When looking for vegan candy options, always read labels carefully to ensure there are no hidden animal-derived ingredients. And don’t be afraid to get creative! Try making your own vegan chocolates at home using coconut oil and cocoa powder, or experiment with different flavors of homemade fruit chews.
With these options and more, you’ll never feel like you’re missing out on indulgent treats as a vegan.
Diy Vegan Candy Recipes
Let’s say you are a vegan with a sweet tooth, and you are looking for some tasty candy recipes that align with your dietary choices. Fortunately, there are many ways to make candy without using animal products. Ingredient substitutions will be necessary when making vegan candy, but it’s easier than you might think.
For example, instead of using gelatin as a binding agent in gummies or marshmallows, try using agar powder or carrageenan. For chocolate-based treats, opt for dairy-free chocolate chips made from cocoa butter instead of milk solids. There are also plenty of vegan-friendly flavors to experiment with, such as fruit extracts, natural food colorings and spices like cinnamon or ginger. With just a few simple swaps and additions, you can create delicious vegan candy options at home!
When it comes to flavor variations in DIY vegan candy recipes, the sky is the limit! You can add different nuts, seeds or dried fruits to fudges and nougats. Try incorporating coconut flakes into your caramels or peanut brittle for an exotic twist on classic sweets.
Alternatively, use ripe bananas and dates to sweeten dessert bites naturally while adding fiber and other nutrients. By getting creative with ingredients and flavors while sticking to plant-based principles, vegans can enjoy all kinds of satisfying sweets without compromising their ethics or health goals.
Navigating Candy Labels As A Vegan
As we explored in the previous section, making vegan candy at home can be a fun and rewarding activity. However, if you’re not up for DIY-ing your sweets, reading labels is essential when navigating store-bought candies as a vegan.
Reading labels may seem like an obvious step, but it’s easy to get confused by unfamiliar ingredients and hidden animal products. Look out for common non-vegan ingredients such as gelatin (made from animal bones), carmine (a red pigment made from crushed cochineal beetles), and milk powder.
Additionally, some sugar suppliers use bone char (charred animal bones) during the refining process, so look for brands that explicitly state they don’t use bone char or opt for unrefined sugars like coconut sugar or maple syrup.
Avoiding confusion when reading labels also means being aware of sneaky ingredient names. For example, casein (a protein found in mammalian milk) might be listed under ‘milk solids’ or ‘whey.’ Similarly, confectioner’s glaze (used to make shiny coatings on candies) is often derived from shellac which comes from insect secretions.
By educating yourself about these different terms, you’ll have a better understanding of what to avoid when shopping for candy as a vegan.
As a vegan, it’s important to be aware of the animal-derived ingredients that are commonly found in candy. Gelatin, carmine, and beeswax are just a few examples of non-vegan substances used in many popular candies.
However, there are still plenty of delicious options for those with a sweet tooth. Some vegan-friendly candy brands include Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, Swedish Fish, and Twizzlers. Additionally, dark chocolate is often vegan as long as it doesn’t contain milk or other dairy products. And for those who enjoy making their own treats at home, there are countless recipes available online for vegan gummies, fudge, truffles, and more.
According to recent data from Google Trends, searches for ‘vegan candy’ have been steadily increasing over the past year. This indicates that more people are becoming interested in finding plant-based alternatives to traditional sweets.
As a vegan dietitian/nutritionist myself, I can attest to the fact that choosing cruelty-free food options not only benefits animals but also supports our overall health and well-being. So go ahead and indulge your sweet tooth – just make sure you’re doing so in a way that aligns with your values!