Vegans can have fun Halloweens too with all that vegan friendly halloween candy out there (for real!).
Vegan Friendly Halloween Candy
Do you love a good scare? The Plenty Vegan Theater (is a laptop a theater?) is always screening a scary movie. These days it’s the scary series Penny Dreadful (such amazing writing – and it’s on Netflix!).
Halloween is not necessarily a holiday that is a real hurtle for vegans. Thanksgiving and Christmas can be a challenge because meal traditions are often not vegan.
Because Halloween doesn’t involve gathering around the dinner table, the main thing to veganize is, obviously, all that candy.
Homemade or Store-Bought Candy?
You have a couple of options here. You can focus on already vegan packaged candy or you can create some of your own vegan treats. Or… both!
Homemade candy for trick-or-treaters is not the best option. Unless you already know all the kiddos who come to your door, you can’t expect the parents of unknown kids to be ok with them eating homemade candy. In fact, you’d probably be worried if they did.
However, for your home and for your kids’ friends, your neighbors’ kids and/or the other kids you know, treat them to your kitchen creations.
For pre-made vegan candies, here are some tips for determining their vegan-ness and some examples of known vegan candies.
Packaged Vegan Candy
Like many packaged foods, unless you know something to be vegan, you will have to read some labels. And, like many packaged foods, a candy can contain no animal products and still not be labeled vegan. This might be because it wasn’t produced in a vegan facility. If that is a stopping point for you, buy only candy that is labeled vegan.
Mainstream candies have some common ingredient red flags. Most popular vegan halloween chocolate is milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate. Even if the kind you are looking at is dark chocolate, it might still contain milk fat, so scan the label. As for hard candies, they are mostly vegan unless they contain an insect-derived coloring agent like carmine. Gummy candies often contain gelatin, which is made from animals.
How to Tell if a Candy is Vegan
It’s handy to have a checklist for determining if a candy is vegan, rather than trying to compile a comprehensive list of all vegan candies. Here are handy tips for selecting vegan friendly Halloween candy:
How To Find Vegan Candy
- Choose dark chocolate (vs. milk chocolate).
- Scan for milk fat in chocolates even if they are dark chocolate.
- If it’s a gummy candy, scan for gelatin.
- Is there carmine (used for coloring)?
- Does it contain honey?
- Avoid caramels or toffee unless marked vegan.
- Buy only vegan-labeled candy if you object to non-vegan sugar (some sugars use bone char in the refining process – this might be ok or not for you).
Examples of Vegan Candies
Now that you know what to look for, you are armed to buy some vegan friendly halloween candy. Still, it’s helpful to at least have a small list of known vegan candies.
It’s worth noting that even if a candy contains no animal products, it still might contain way too much sugar or preservatives. If we’re being honest with ourselves, candies are basically not real food. But, we all like to indulge every now and again so we’re putting that aside. Just… take it easy.
This list answers your questions like:
Are Smarties vegan? Are Sour Patch Kids vegan?
The candies below aren’t necessarily certified vegan but they don’t contain any animal products:
Examples of Packaged Vegan Candies
- Sour Patch Kids
- Swedish Fish
- hard candy like lollipops (sometimes the coloring will be insect-derived, like carmine)
- dark chocolates (unless they still contain milk fat)
If some of your favorite candies aren’t on this list, check out their ingredient label. If they have some food coloring or milk in them, that’s probably why they are not in this list.
What is your plan for Halloween? Are you making some homemade vegan treats or do you have some packaged candies in mind? Share your vegan Halloween fun with us by commenting below or tagging your pictures with #plentyvegan on Instagram.
Trick or treat!
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