Are Corn Nuts Vegan?

Corn nuts are the on-the-go snack for many people. But many vegans always have to go through the trouble of checking the ingredient list to ascertain whether it is vegan. You may also wonder, Are Corn Nuts Vegan? Let us look at the same in this article.

You may know it by various names like toasted corn, quico, crackers, etc. In Peru and Ecuador, corn nuts are known as Pancha and chili, respectively. These snacks are prepared by soaking corn kernels in water for around three days. Then they are deep-fried in oil until they are hard and brittle.

Fortunately, corn nuts do not contain any animal-derived product as the production process only uses corn, corn oil, and salt. Therefore, it is safe to say that corn nuts are vegan.

Best On-To-Go Snack

If you are a travel geek, this snack will come in handy due to its portability. They can be easily packed in a backpack to accompany you everywhere, from a bike ride to a day in the park. If the original flavor doesn’t excite you, there are plenty of other varieties for you to choose from.

Having different flavors on hand assures that the whole family gets their favorite snacks. When watching television or playing a board game, you won’t even realize when you ate up all the corn nuts.

Health Benefits

These delicious snacks come with various health benefits. They are rich in protein and fiber. Many people do not reach their daily fiber intake goals; hence, it is optimal to incorporate a snack that has high fiber content. Just eating 1/3 cup of corn nuts will give you the 4% of the daily value of fiber.

However, if you aim to lose fat, they may not be the best choice because they have high calories and are high in fat and sodium. 

The flavors used in corn nuts contain questionable ingredients such as monosodium glutamate and sucralose. Therefore, if this concerns you, you can switch to other alternatives.

Are Corn Nuts Vegan?

The traditional corn nuts are suitable for all vegans as it doesn’t use animal-derived products. But what about its varieties? 

These snacks come in five distinct flavors: Original flavor, Chile Picante, BBQ, Ranch, and Jalapeno Cheddar. The traditional recipe only uses corn, corn oil, and salt. The other varieties use many ingredients, but fortunately, all of them are vegan.

However, it also contains sucralose and monosodium glutamate. These may cause issues for the strict vegans. Many people do not consider sucralose vegan because much animal testing happened during its creation. Another questionable ingredient is natural flavors. It is a plant-based ingredient, but some manufacturers may use honey during its production. Therefore, strict vegans tend to avoid these products that include ambiguous components.

Gluten-free Corn Nuts

Fortunately, corn nuts are gluten-free and are suitable for most vegans. People who are gluten-sensitive or have celiac disease can easily consume this snack without any hesitation. However, it is worth mentioning that most brands use different ingredients in their products. Hence, you should check the label before buying anything.

Alternatives to Corn Nuts

There can be some questionable ingredients that may pull you away from corn nuts. On top of it, this snack may even include unhealthy ingredients such as MSG. Luckily, there are many healthier snack options in the market that you may choose for yourself. All these options are vegan; hence, you need not do extensive research about them.

Tiger Nuts

Similar to corn nuts, this alternative is not nuts at all. In fact, Tiger nuts are similar to carrots and potatoes. This snack will keep your taste buds satisfied and is also a healthier option. Furthermore, the brand produces its products with organic or supreme peeled options.

Ingredients:

  • Organic Tiger Nuts

Himalayan Veggie Chips

The brand employs some yummy vegetables like sweet potato and taro to work. The Himalayan pink salt will ensure that you get the most out of these chips.

Ingredients:

  • Sunflower and/or safflower oil
  • A mix of root vegetables like potato and taro
  • Pink salt (From Himalaya)
  • Beet juice concentrate

Enjoy Life Lentil Chips

The Enjoy Life Lentil Chips are a healthier option for people with allergies. For instance, its salt flavor is free from dairy, gluten, casein, wheat, peanuts, and other allergens. In addition, they sound delicious to your tongue.

Ingredients:

  • Lentil chips (including potato starch, lentil flour, salt, turmeric)
  • Sea salt 
  • Sunflower oil
  • Rosemary extract

Make Your Own Corn Nuts

The best alternative will be homemade corn nuts. This way, you can add all vegan ingredients to your recipe and eat them without any worry. Furthermore, you will know what exactly is going inside your stomach.

You will start by hydrating the corn kernels for at least 12 to 14 hours. You can do so by covering them with cold water and leaving them to sit overnight in the refrigerator. After that, you will be left with only two options.

1) You Can Bake Them.

Start by preheating the oven at 400° F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat. Now, mix the corn kernels with 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and salt. Afterward, bake it for 30 to 40 minutes and stir it well until the golden brown color comes.

2) Or, You Can Fry!

This time, heat enough vegetable oil that can cover the kernels. When the temperature reaches 350° F, step behind and dump in the corn. Make sure to work in batches as it will not create bobbing layers.

Fry until you see the golden-brown and crispy look on your snacks. It will take about 10 minutes to reach this stage. Finally, drain your snack on a paper-lined baking sheet, and sprinkle salt while they are still hot.

Take Away

Corn nuts are one of the most popular on-the-go snacks that everybody loves. Its ingredients are plant-derived, making it a suitable choice for vegans. However, the high fat, sodium content, and other ingredients may concern you a bit. Therefore, make sure you check the ingredient list before adding them to your diet. 

Brett White