The rundown: Oreos are generally considered vegan, although certain flavors and variations are not. Check out these 100% vegan & organic version of Oreos, or read on for more!
What Ingredients to Look Out For in Oreos
The most simple tip while scanning a box to see if the product is vegan is to look at the allergen information. Because several animal products are in the top eight allergens, if a product has milk or eggs, it will state that fact. This helps when you are trying to see if a cookie has dairy or eggs. When it comes to animal by-products, these can be tricky because there are so many names for them. This comprehensive list may be overwhelming, but it can usually be simplified depending on what type of product you are looking to buy.
Some of the most common animal by-products that are found in processed cookies are albumen, butter fat, bone char, carmine, gelatin, casein, lactose, vitamin D-3, lard, shellac, l-cysteine, and whey powder. People who are vegan are often wary when products claim that they “may contain traces of animal products” or are “processed in a facility that manufactures animal products”. These statements mean that while an animal product is not an ingredient in the product, there is a possibility that a small amount of an animal product possibly came in contact with the product. This warning is mainly intended for those who have severe allergies, where just a trace amount of an allergen may induce a reaction. Companies that actually do not even use certain allergen ingredients will label their products saying “may contain “X” ingredient” in order to completely cover their bases when it comes to the health of their customers.
Oreo Ingredient ListBeing one of the most popular cookies in America, what makes up an oreo and is it a good cookie choice for someone who is vegan? Although there are several varieties of Oreos, a traditional Nabisco Oreo contains:
- unbleached enriched flour(wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
- palm and/or canola oil
- cocoa processed with alkali
- high fructose corn syrup
- leavening (baking soda and/or calcium phosphate)
- soy lecithin
- artificial vanillin
These Oreo ingredients contain wheat and soy.
Are Oreos Vegan?
Oreos are vegan-friendly in the sense that they are free from any animal product ingredients. However, Nabisco has many production lines and plants that are not necessarily isolated or separated from other ingredients, so an Oreo possibly may have trace amounts of animal products that were used in creating other products in the same area, such as milk chocolate. If this line of thinking is applied, however, then any food product could be at risk for not being vegan, even vegetable products. Unless you grow your food yourself, there is never a full guarantee that a product is 100% vegan.
What About the Refined Sugar in Oreos?
While refined sugars do not have any animal products, and are therefore technically "vegan," some refined sugar is processed with the use of animal bone char. The animal bone char is used as a filter to remove any impurities, color, and minerals from the sugar. This means that by a process-based definition of a vegan product, those that contain refined sugar are not always considered to be vegan. However, if you accept this definition of vegan as being true, then you must rule out many other everyday products as not being vegan. For example, animal fats are used in the production of steel rubber and often groundwater is filtered through animal bone charcoal filters. However, according to this type of definition, it would be very challenging to find any products that can be considered to be vegan. So, are Oreos vegan in the sense of a processed-based definition? Probably not, but this is a very strict method of thinking.
Are All Oreos Vegan?
While Nabisco makes many different flavors of Oreos and various varieties of the treat, most of the ingredients are the same for every flavor. Even varieties that claim to include "cream cheese" actually only include a man-made ingredient that makes the center tangy. The company actually uses the word creme rather than "cream" on their packaging in order to keep people from thinking that some flavors include the ingredient of milk. However, it is important to remember that many dessert recipes that include Oreos are not necessarily vegan. One of the most famous things to do with an Oreo is to dip it in milk or drink a tall glass of milk after enjoying the cookie. It is important to note that any alterations or additions that are made to an Oreo may make it no longer vegan.
Can I Make Vegan Oreos at Home?
You can certainly make vegan oreo-like cookies at home. In this video, a recipe for raw vegan oreo-like cookies is explained. To make these cookies, you will need to start with a food processor to create the chocolate cookies. First, soak about ten dates overnight in water. Add them to the food processor with about one-quarter cup of powdered dried white mulberries. Then, add two tablespoons of raw carob powder to this mix. Add three small bits of a vanilla bean and a hint of the leftover water that the dates were soaking in and process this mixture together. Once processed, form the dough into cookie-like shapes. Put the cookies on a sheet that is covered in wax paper and freeze them for about three hours.
To make the filling, take one young coconut and remove the meat. Put the coconut meat into your food processor. Add a tablespoon of dehydrated shredded coconut to make the filling into a smooth texture that will stick to the cookies. Blend this until it becomes a frosting-like consistency, and place it on top of each frozen cookie before topping the frosting with another cookie. Freeze these full cookies for an hour so they will stay in their form and enjoy!
This vegan oreo cookie recipe is also very easy and only has three ingredients in the cookie. To make the cookies, combine one-quarter of a cup of maple syrup, six tablespoons of brown rice flour, and one-half cup of cacao powder. Mix these ingredients together with a spoon or spatula. Add one more tablespoon of maple syrup once these ingredients are mixed together to make the consistency of the batter into a dough. Roll this dough into little balls and press down on each to form a disc and bake them for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Let these cool while you are making the filling.
For the filling, take the cream from a can of coconut milk and mix it with a little bit of cane sugar or powdered sugar until it has the consistency you desire. This will probably be about two tablespoons of sugar. Pipe the filling on top of the cookies and top them with another cookie. Place these in the refrigerator for an hour to harden them up like a classic oreo.
Oreos are surprisingly among the processed foods that are safe for people who are vegan. While they seem from the outside that they would certainly at least include milk as an ingredient, they don't, so people with many different food preferences can still enjoy this classic cookie. Do you have another Oreo recipe that you love? Post it below so people who love Oreos can make them at home, while still maintaining their vegan lifestyle.