Becoming a vegan can be a huge commitment. If you’re a person that loves sweets, finding out that candy can include animal derived products can be heartbreaking. The great news is that many companies produce food that is totally vegan — on accident! If you’re newly cruelty free or just looking to buy a gift for your vegan friend, these tips will help you find the right sweet treat that is animal product free.
What is a vegan diet?
The first important thing to know when starting your search is what makes this diet different. Vegans do not eat any animals or animal by products. This means that they abstain from meat, milk, eggs, and anything else that may use a part of the animal in production or processing. Most vegans also do not eat honey or anything that is derived from insects.
Why wouldn’t candy be vegan?
Even knowing what a vegan diet is, it’s still hard to understand why treats may not be vegan. Right off the bat, if a product includes milk (like milk chocolate) or honey it would be off the table for animal based products. The new fad of bacon covered sweets would also be a bad choice.
What many people don’t know is that there are several ingredients that are not vegan in many widely marketed foods. Gelatin is produced with the bones from animals; this means that it’s not the right ingredient for vegan treats. Carmine color is made from the shell of the carmine beetle (which may stop even omnivores from wanting to eat it). Strict vegans will also want to avoid confectioner’s glaze which can use sugar that has some resins from insects used as binders.
What candy is safe?!
The great news is that there are still hundreds of options for the vegan sweet tooth. The easiest option for finding vegan goods is to go to a specialty store. Many times grocery stores that sell primarily organic products will have entire sections of vegan friendly snacks and sweets. If they do not have a section, a store clerk should be able to point you in the direction of the shelves and products that you need.
If you can’t find anything in a store, try online! The internet is full of options for gifts and indulgences for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike. Many stores online sell a full vegan gift basket specifically for your sweet tooth. This option works well for buying in bulk — which helps if your local store doesn’t carry the products that you need. You can also use the internet to find lists of treats that are accidentally vegan.
The last, and most impressive way, to find the vegan candy that your heart desires is to make it yourself. While this may seem like a daunting task, there are tutorials all over online. They will walk you through the process step-by-step. This is the best way to ensure you know exactly what is going into your food. The added benefit of this option is that you get to eat along as you finish up the recipe.