If you’re vegan, you already know to scrutinize labels for hidden animal products. (Hello, sneaky additions of eggs and dairy.) Some foods are pretty clear-cut—that handful of raw almonds is a solid bet. But others…not so much. Take pretzels for example—are they vegan? Well, the short answer is: yes. And the longer answer is: sometimes they’re not. Confused? Let me explain…
How are pretzels made exactly?
Okay, here’s the deal, pretzels are made with refined flour, sugar, oil, and salt, as Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant Powered Dietitian, explains. (Hard pretzels are simply drier than soft. And generally much, much smaller.)
If you’re DIYing the whole pretzel thing at home (for the ‘gram), you may notice that some recipes call for butter and eggs (which would obviously disqualify them from the vegan realm.) But these ingredients are often just used as a wash that’s brushed on top, to encourage browning.
So, are pretzels vegan?
At their core, yes, pretzels are technically vegan. But you should still be careful about checking labels, and asking the right questions before you buy the salty snack.
“Many store-bought brands of both hard and soft pretzels do not contain eggs or milk, so they would be considered vegan,” says Palmer. This generally goes for plain, hard pretzels.
But here’s where it gets complicated: If you’re going for any of the fun pretzel flavors, like cheddar cheese, those are often made with various milk ingredients (e.g. pasteurized milk, milk fat). Honey wheat pretzels are, indeed, made with honey. You may even be surprised to know that Goldfish Pretzels contain milk, too. (Gasp!) Case in point: Never assume packaged pretzels are vegan; you should always read the label, just in case.
And if you’re in a bakery or buying from a pretzel shop, some of these may use butter, milk, or eggs, says Palmer. Always double check. For instance, the creations from popular soft pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s are not vegan, since the pretzels are brushed with butter. You can easily ask them to leave this butter off, but you may also want to ask the company if they have a food allergen chart available.
For instance, Auntie Anne’s notes that some of their pretzels, even without butter, still contain milk. Cross-contamination is also possible. And it goes without saying that if you’re dunking the doughy goodness into, says, cheese or caramel sauce, those dips aren’t vegan either.
Watch Olivia Munn taste-test vegan ice creams:
Which packaged brands are DEFINITELY vegan?
Want to grab for a snack pack without a worry? These pretzel brands are definitely vegan:
Source: Read Full Article