Answering your question: Your sweet tooth is calling!
What choice do you have but to answer, right? Unfortunately for vegans most traditional sweets aren't an option. Animal products seem to have found their way into anything and everything. Now you find yourself daydreaming about a tall glass of almond milk, sweetened with your childhood favorite, Nesquik. Wait a minute, is Nesquik vegan? After investigating the nutrition label, well, sorry to burst your bubble folks, but it looks like a no. Don't let the nostalgia distract you, take a look at the ingredients yourself.
- cocoa (processed with alkali)
- soy lecithin
- natural flavor
- vitamins and minerals: sodium ascorbate (vitamin C), ferric pyrophosphate (Iron), niacinimide, zinc oxide, thiamin hydrochloride, copper gluconate, manganese sulfate, and biotin
At first glance this list may seem innocent. Unfortunately, the first offender is sugar. Although, depending on your views, you may allow yourself refined sugar. Sugar itself does not contain, nor does it come from, any other animal products, so what's the problem? Many companies use bone char as a decolorizing filter to get refined sugar to that crisp white color. Nesquik does offer a "no sugar added" version of their powder, but as you may have noticed, sugar isn't the only bad guy here. That's right, just as you were getting excited making your way through the list, hiding in the "Vitamins and Minerals" is biotin. The tricky part about the nutrition label is figuring out what all the other "stuff" is and where it comes from. You may skim over all the bits at the end of the label, but many of these vitamins and minerals are derived from animal products. Of course, one could argue that it is possible the biotin in Nesquik is a plant product, biotin is found in all living cells. However, biotin is also found in things like milk, eggs, and chicken. Not to mention the little disclaimer at the end of the label, "may contain milk and wheat". Judging from that, it's probably safe to assume the biotin in Nesquik is coming from a dairy product or wheat germ. Now, before you give up all hope on satisfying that craving, check out some of the vegan alternatives.
Vegan Alternatives to Nesquik
You can easily make a sweet, chocolaty, powder using Hershey's, Ghirardelli, Navitas or another cocoa powder and a vegan friendly sugar like Sugar In The Raw or Wholesome! sugars. Just combine equal parts of each and you're on your way to a delightful treat that will have you forgetting all about Nesquik. For those of you that aren't into mixing up your own, however, there are plenty of products out there to sate you, like Big Tree Farm's Drinking Chocolate, which is an amazing option made from cacao powder and coconut sugar. Or, if you're looking for something a little more well rounded try Vega One's Chocolate Shake Powder or Shakeology's Chocolate Vegan Powder as protein shakes or meal replacement options.
Like so many other seemingly innocent foods, it's time to kiss Nesquik goodbye. With animal products sneaking their way into unexpected food products everywhere, it's best to avoid any uncertainty and stick with the options you know are vegan friendly. It's also probably a good idea to get familiar with some of the strange sounding ingredients that you often glance over, and learn where they come from. Now, don't fret over the loss, curbing that sweet tooth will be no problem when using one of these awesome alternatives. You'll love the simplicity of cocoa powder and a bone char free sugar, not to mention that it just tastes better. Then you'll get your sweet fix and feel good about what your putting in your body.
Is Nesquik vegan? Look at the ingredients: sugar and biotin, both associated with animal products. Stick to simple vegan friendly options!