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21 Foods You Didn’t Know Were Vegan


Vegan diets are becoming more and more popular because of their health benefits and sustainability. Turning yourself into a vegan might seem like a daunting task, but you’re probably already eating foods that are vegan without even knowing it. This is a list of foods you didn’t know were vegan (and that you can keep enjoying even after you give up animal products).


Photo: Nabisco

Typical cookie recipes require at least a few eggs, so you would think that all cookies have eggs in them. Right? Wrong! Oreos are not made with eggs (which begs the question — what are they made with?), so they’re often the dessert of choice for practicing vegans.

Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Photo:  Hillary/via FlickrDelicious Pillsbury Crescents may seem like they’re packed butter, but you’ve been fooled! That buttery taste actually comes from salt and vegetable oils.


Duncan Hines Buttercream Frosting

Photo:  Kate Sumbler/Flickr/via FlickrButtercream frosting with no butter or cream?! It’s true! This sweet cake topper uses vegetable oil shortening instead. Actually, most Duncan Hines frosting flavors and cake mixes are vegan.

Un-frosted Pop-Tarts

Photo:  Pop TartsPop-Tart frosting contains gelatin, but the un-frosted varieties are vegan. Maybe you can take some vegan Duncan Hines frosting and spread it on there instead!

Sour Patch Kids

Photo: Szapucki/flickr/CC-BY 2.0Since Sour Patch Kids are gummy, you might think they’re made using gelatin. But these little candies are actually completely plant-based.

Ritz Crackers

Photo: wintersoul1/Flickr

Yet another food that touts its buttery taste without actually containing any butter! The grease that gets all over your fingers when you eat them is actually completely vegan!


Jell-O Instant Pudding

Photo:  Jell-ORegular Jello-O contains gelatin, which is an animal product. But Jello-O instant pudding does not contain any gelatin. It’s thickened by ingredients called tetrasodium pyrophosphate and disodium phosophate. Good luck figuring out what the heck those are. But hey, at least it’s vegan!


Trader Joe’s Soft-Baked Snickerdoodles

Photo:  Trader Joe’sHere’s another store-bought cookie that is surprisingly vegan. No eggs are needed to make these sugary morsels. Of course, that doesn’t exactly mean they are part of a balanced diet…


Chocolate Teddy Grahams

Photo: Jason & Megan Mills/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0Vegans rejoice! The cinnamon and chocolate varieties of Teddy Grahams contain no eggs or dairy products. Pour a whole bunch in a bowl with your favorite soy or nut milk for the most satisfying breakfast/dessert ever.


Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix

Photo: Mike Mozart/flickr/CC-BY 2.0When you make regular pancakes, you’re probably used to putting in an egg and some milk, but Aunt Jemima’s mix alone is actually vegan. It only contains flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt. You can substitute in nut milk and flax seed eggs to make your own vegan variety at home. 

Nutter Butter Cookies

Photo: Arielle Fragassi/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0Butter might be in the name, but it’s not on the ingredients list! These snack sandwiches contain no butter. Ok fine, the word “butter” could be referring to peanut butter, not dairy butter. Anyway, it’s vegan!


Campbell’s Mushroom Gravy

Photo:  Campbell’sYou can’t make gravy without animal juices, right? Wrong. It may not be the gravy your grandmother knew, but Campbell’s Mushroom Gravy achieves the richness of regular gravy using only flour and water. No animal fat or cream required.

Krispy Kreme Fruit Pies

Photo:  theimpulsivebuy/via FlickrKrispy Kreme doughnuts are made with eggs, but their fruit pies don’t need any eggs because the pie crust is a completely different product (and texture) than the doughnuts.

SuperPretzel Soft Pretzel

Photo: Jennifer Bailey/flickr/CC-BY-ND 2.0

Many soft pretzels are made with eggs, or they at least get an egg wash when they’re baked. But SuperPretzel brand soft pretzels are egg-free. Gluten, yeast, and soda give the pretzels their puffy, chewy texture.

Life Cereal

Photo: Freebase/CC-BYThe original and cinnamon versions of Life are two of a handful of vegan cereals on the market. Also in the vegan cereal club are Cap’n Crunch, Reese’s Puffs, Fruity Pebbles, Rice Krispies, Puffins, and Kashi Vanilla Whole Wheat Biscuits (no surprise there). Just don’t enjoy them in a bowl of dairy milk!


Marie Callender Dessert Pies

Photo: Caitee Smith/flickr/CC-BY-ND 2.0Because pie is baked, you would think that it requires eggs. But you actually do not need any eggs in order to make a pie crust. (Although, to be fair, you usually need a lot of butter.) Marie Callender’s frozen fruit pies leave out the eggs and all dairy products. The only two flavors that aren’t vegan are pumpkin and pecan, which contain gelatin.


Walden Farms Dressing

Photo:  Walden FarmsPrepare to be impressed: even Walden Farms’ blue cheese, ranch, and bacon flavors of dressing are vegan! They add cellulose gel to make the dressing thick and some mysterious “natural flavors” to achieve the desired taste.


Potato chips

Photo: Freebase/GNU Free Documentation LicenseMost potato chips are vegan — they’re just potatoes fried in oil. Of course, not all varieties are created equal. Sour cream-flavored potato chips aren’t vegan because sour cream is an animal product, but but many other flavors are. Even Kettle’s maple bacon-flavored ones!



Photo: Freebase/GNU Free Documentation LicenseNot all bread is vegan, but most is. Because it’s baked, you might think that making bread requires an egg, but it doesn’t! Still, you probably want to check the ingredients, because some breads might be made with honey or milk products. If you’re buying bread at a bakery, just ask whether they use eggs and dairy.


Stacy’s Pita Chips

Photo: Russell Mondy/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0Since most bread is vegan and most potato chips are vegan, it makes sense that Stacy’s Pita Chips are vegan. Stick to the plain salted chips, though. The Parmesan-flavored ones are made with real cheese.



Photo: Freebase/Public domainMost bagels are vegan, except for egg bagels. Thomas brand New York style bagels are all vegan (again, except for the pesky egg-flavored ones). Most bagels in bagel shops are probably also vegan, but you should ask just to be sure.


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