Pop-tarts are an absolute pleasure if you have a sweet tooth. However, if you practice veganism, you must be wondering, are pop tarts vegan?
Well, not all of the flavors are vegan. Most of them are made from non-vegan ingredients. Before you start feeling disappointed, let us tell you that there are three vegan flavors that can please your sweet buds.
Let’s get a glimpse into when pop tarts were invented, what they are made of, and if their vegan-friendly flavors are truly cruelty-free or not.
When Were Pop-Tarts Invented?
Kellog company launched the toaster pastries named as Pop-Tarts, in 1964. The idea was to introduce a breakfast treat or a snack that can be warmed in the toaster or eaten as it is. It has been a hit toaster pastry brand since then. Initially, it was named “Fruit Scones,” but they changed it to “Pop-Tart” after a famous movement, Andy Warhol’s Pop Art, emerged around that time.
Here is an interesting fact, during the 60s, pop-tarts didn’t come with frosting; all four flavors were unfrosted, namely:
● Brown sugar cinnamon
● Apple currant
At first, they launched only these four flavors, but they introduced new and exciting variations to keep things interesting as they gained popularity. Some of their most popular flavors are cookies & cream, banana creme pie, frosted cherry, and s’mores.
If you have been eating them for long, it might be challenging to swear off pop tarts when you turn vegan. However, here is a short synopsis of what the vegan and non-vegan flavors are made of. That way, you won’t have to give up indulging in the delectable toaster pastries that everyone loves.
What Are Pop-Tarts Made Of?
Pop-tarts are little toaster pastries stuffed with sweet fillings and topped with different flavors of stiff frosting. There are two main ingredients used in the frosting, gelatin, and milk whey. Gelatin is made using animal skin, tendons, and bones, clearly showing that frosted pop-tarts are not vegan. However, there are three flavors that you can fill your cart with the next time you go grocery shopping.
Three Vegan Flavors Of Pop-Tarts
All the frosted flavors contain gelatin, so any pop-tart with frosting is a big no for a vegan. But there are three unfrosted pop-tart flavors that are vegan-friendly, such as:
● Unfrosted Strawberry: Delicious strawberry flavor sandwiched between thin layers of pastry.
● Unfrosted Blueberry: Sweet yet tangy blueberry flavors stuffed inside the little pastry pockets.
● Unfrosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon: This pop-tart flavor is as vegan as it can get. Unlike other flavors, it doesn’t contain any food coloring. In terms of taste, it is sweet, but the hints of cinnamon’s spice sing through the snack. No wonder it is one of the top-selling flavors of the brand.
Although these flavors are cruelty-free, some of their ingredients might raise your suspicion. As strawberry and blueberry fillings have artificial food colors, a strict vegan might not find it a guilt-free snack.
While some food colors are produced using plants, many artificial colors are derived from “bugs,” which makes food coloring a questionable ingredient.
However, if you can let minor details like that slide, you won’t have any qualms about munching on the warm and sweet treats. In short, the most vegan-friendly flavor among them is Brown Sugar and Cinnamon. So, if you don’t want to take the risk, you can skip the Strawberry and Blueberry flavors and eat Brown Sugar and Cinnamon instead.
Four Questionable Vegan Ingredients In Unfrosted Flavors
Even though the brand claims to have three vegan flavors, some gray area ingredients are used in them that might put off a person following a cruelty-free lifestyle. The four ingredients are palm oil, sugar, food coloring, and natural flavors.
Refined sugar and brown sugar are filtered through bone char, which is an animal by-product. So, many vegans opt for organic sugar made from beets or coconut.
Nevertheless, there are brands that produce vegan sugar, so you can use that if you are baking a batch at home.
For some vegans, palm oil is a no-go ingredient. The reason is that palm oil farming is not environmentally friendly, making it difficult for wildlife to live in a sustainable environment.
However, Kellog follows sustainable practices to farm palm oil in accordance with RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). So, their toaster pastries are RSPO certified.
When the label on the package shows that the natural flavor is derived from milk or any other animal source, you will know to steer clear of that product. You might feel skeptical about the “natural flavors” used in the pop tarts unless the label mentions it. So, you can buy one with a package that doesn’t show any such sources.
Those who strictly follow a cruelty-free lifestyle don’t approve of artificial food colors, as some of them are made from crushed bugs. Whereas food dyes like Red 40 are made from plants but still tested on animals to check consumption safety concerns.
If you can’t look past these “uncertain” vegan ingredients, you can create toaster pastries yourself and enjoy them without a worry.
Make Boring Unfrosted Pop-Tarts Fun
Unfrosted pop-tarts might sound unappealing for frosting lovers, but you can make vegan icing at home to turn things interesting. You can play with different ideas to decorate a pack of unfrosted toaster pastries with exciting flavors. You can either make them from scratch or make frosting for the packaged vegan pop-tarts.
All you need is powdered sugar and non-dairy milk, mix them, and you have a vegan frosting to top your pop tarts with. You can also add the jam you made for the filling and a splash of lemon juice to the icing and bring a little excitement to the plate.
If you love cooking, you can have fun making vegan pop-tarts at home and store them in an air-tight container to munch on whenever you want.
Although pop-tarts are non-vegan snacks, their most popular unfrosted flavors are vegan-friendly. Now, you can please your sweet palate with everyone’s favorite and irresistible flavors like Unfrosted Brown Sugar & Cinnamon.
Have them as they come, make frosting at home or create vegan pop-tarts from scratch to have a complete guilt-free box of divine toaster pastries at hand to satisfy your sweet cravings.