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Are Oreos Vegan?

Oreos – A vegan sweet tooth’s dream

The vegan lifestyle isn’t easy. Perhaps it’s tricky to eat out with friends. Maybe you find yourself explaining “vegan” to your Grandma for the twentieth time. And, sometimes, you just get a craving for something sweet—but can’t find a vegan version. While we can’t do a thing about Grandma, we can tell you about a yummy treat that fits right in with the vegan lifestyle—the oreo cookie.

Oreo-style cookies weren’t always a vegan dream. For years, they contained whey, which is the liquid leftover after milk has been curdled and strained. As a result, oreos were a vegan “no-no” for many years. Many of today’s recipes, however, omit whey.

What’s more, although the filling looks deceptively dairy, it no longer contains animal lard, which was removed from the brand-name recipe in the 1990s to make the product kosher. These days the filling is made with a blend of vegetable oils. Some vegans still avoid oreos because they believe oreo recipes still contain those animal-based ingredients. Luckily for vegan chocolate lovers everywhere, that’s no longer the case.

But, what about the chocolate, you ask? The fact is that only milk chocolate contains dairy products. Pure chocolate, the kind used to create that delectable oreo-style flavor, is made from the beans of the cacao tree.

Even though many oreo recipes are vegan, it’s always smart to check out the ingredients list before you indulge. Some brands that currently have vegan-friendly recipes include Newman-Os and Country Choice Organic.

Be aware that oreo-type recipes can differ from country to country. Whey and lard are still commonly used in recipes marketed in other countries. So if you plan to spend time outside the U.S., make sure you read the package’s ingredients before you break open the bag.

Oreos aren’t just a yummy snack food. Crumbled-up oreos also make a tasty addition to vegan muffins, truffles, cakes, cupcakes, and other baked goods. In addition, you can even find recipes for making homemade vegan oreos.

Remember that Oreos do have sugar, so if you’re going vegan for strictly health reasons you’ll want to make this kind of cookie a “sometimes” food. Otherwise, feel free to indulge, guilt-free.

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