Bagels are a breakfast food that you can serve with a variety of dishes, from salads to oatmeal and pancakes. But if you’re vegan, you might be wondering if bagels are safe for you to eat.
The answer is yes — but there’s more to it. Although bagels are usually made with flour, water, and sugar, many brands add eggs or other animal products to their recipes. It makes some bagels safe for vegans and some unsafe for other vegans to eat.
This article is all about bagels and whether or not they’re safe for vegans to eat. Let’s dive right in.
What Are Bagels?
Bagels are a type of bread made by boiling and then baking dough, often in the shape of a ring. They are traditionally made from flour, water, and yeast, but some brands may contain additional ingredients such as eggs, milk, and lard.
Bagels come in different sizes and flavors, so there is something for every taste. You can also eat them with toppings like cream cheese or butter to create a variety of tastes.
SEE: Walk Into These Restaurants to Eat Gluten-Free Fast Food for Breakfast
Are Bagels Vegan?
The answer is yes and no. Some bagels are vegan, while some are non-vegan. The reason for this is that some of the ingredients in bagels fall into categories that vegans avoid.
Regular bagels contain only flour, water, yeast, and salt—all of which are vegan ingredients. Some bagels, however, have additional ingredients like sweeteners, dairy products, and eggs—all of which are non-vegan ingredients.
So be sure to check the ingredients list on your bagels before buying them if you’re following a vegan diet plan.
SEE: The Difference Between Bagels & Donuts
Vegan Ingredients in Bagels
Flour is a key ingredient in bagels, and it’s usually made with wheat or other grains that contain gluten. Gluten gives bagels their elasticity, allowing them to hold their shape when cooked.
Water is another key ingredient in bagels. It helps hydrate the dough so that the baker can knead it properly before boiling and baking it in an oven at high temperatures.
Yeast is a type of fungus that converts sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol through fermentation. It is also a key ingredient in bagels because it makes them rise while cooking.
Sugar and salt
Sugar is the most common sweetener in bagels because it’s cheap and easy to find. Most commercial bakeries use granulated white sugar or brown sugar to sweeten their bagels. Salt helps flavor bagels while inhibiting bacterial growth during cooking processes such as boiling or baking.
Agave nectar is a vegan natural sweetener with a low glycemic index rating, which means it won’t cause spikes in your blood sugar levels like other sugars.
Vegetable shortening usually contains hydrogenated vegetable oil or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Bakers often use it in bagels as a vegan substitute for butter or margarine.
Cornmeal (for gluten-free bagels)
Cornmeal is a gluten-free ingredient that bakers often use instead of wheat flour in bagels. It’s just as delicious as wheat flour and contains many nutrients, including proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
SEE: Benefits of Gluten-Free Diets That Will Change Your Life
Non-Vegan Ingredients in Bagels
Dairy products and eggs
Dairy products (such as milk and cream cheese) and eggs are common ingredients in bagels because they help give them their soft texture and sweet taste.
Lard (also known as pork fat) is a common ingredient in bagels. Bakers often use this ingredient as an alternative to shortening when baking.
Honey is a common natural sweetener in bagels. It’s popular because it’s inexpensive and has a rich flavor that compliments the other ingredients in a bagel recipe.
Bagels may also contain l-cysteine, a dough softener that usually comes from human hair or poultry feathers.
Meat and fish
Meat and fish are often used as binding agents in bagels. So if you’re on a vegan diet, be sure to avoid any bagel that contains beef, ham, salmon, etc.
SEE: How Long Are Bagels Good For In The Fridge?
Bagel Brands That Offer Vegan Options
Trader Joe’s offers a few different vegan bagels, including plain, onion, and everything. You can find these bagels in the bread aisle of your local Trader Joe’s store.
Bruegger’s Bagels also offer an array of bagel flavors, including plain, cinnamon raisin, and everything. The company has confirmed all varieties as vegan-friendly.
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market offers several types of vegan-friendly bagels, including plain and everything. They also offer blueberry and cinnamon raisin swirl flavors.
Einstein Bros. Bagels
Einstein Bros. Bagels offer vegan bagels in several flavors, including everything, cinnamon raisin, blueberry, onion, and garlic sesame. You can even get them gluten-free.
Amy’s Bread also offers vegan bagels available in plain, cinnamon raisin, and everything flavors. They’re made with organic flour and water and contain no animal products. You can find these bagels at most grocery stores and supermarkets in your area.
You can find several types of bagels at Panera Bread, including cinnamon raisin swirl and maple pecan pumpkin spice. The company has confirmed all these flavors as vegan-friendly.
Kettleman Bagels is another popular brand that offers some great options for vegans. Their bagels contain organic flour and once featured on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”
SEE: Organic Foods Facts That Will Surprise You
Why Should You Go for Vegan Bagels?
They’re healthier than regular bagels
While both types of bagels contain carbs and calories, they differ significantly in nutritional value. Vegan bagels tend to have fewer calories per serving than traditional ones because they don’t contain eggs or dairy products.
They’ll fill you up
Vegan bagels have higher fiber content than regular ones, so they’ll keep you feeling full for longer periods.Consequently, you’ll be less likely to overeat than if you were eating non-vegan bagels.
They help prevent cancer
Vegan bagels also help prevent cancer because they do not contain meat and other animal products. Studies have shown that people who consume meat every day are more likely to get certain types of cancers, such as colon cancer or breast cancer.
Vegan bagels are delicious
In addition to these benefits, vegan bagels also taste delicious. They come in a range of different flavors, including rosemary and garlic, cinnamon raisin swirl, and everything with seeds.
SEE: Can You Cook Bagel Bites In Microwave?
How to Tell if Bagels Are Vegan
Look for “vegan” on the packaging
Some companies produce vegan bagels specifically for those who follow a plant-based diet and label their products accordingly. For example, Whole Foods makes an assortment of vegan bagels that you can find in most locations around the country.
Look at the ingredients list
To make sure that your bagels are vegan, you must read the ingredients list on the package before buying them. The ingredients list is usually on the back of the package, near the nutritional information.
If there is no mention of animal products or byproducts in the ingredients list, then the product is likely safe for vegans to eat. If you’re unsure about what an ingredient is, look up its definition on Google or ask someone to help you identify it.
Contact the company
You can also contact the company directly and ask if their products contain any animal products or byproducts. Some brands may also have a website where they list which of their bagels is vegan-friendly.
Read reviews online
If you’re still unsure about whether a product is vegan-friendly, check out online reviews. You can do this by simply checking out the comments on the brand’s social media posts.
SEE: Here’s Your Chance to Get a Free Meal At Checkers & Rally’s
How can you make vegan bagels?
To make vegan bagels, simply replace the non-vegan ingredients in a bagel recipe with vegan alternatives. For example, you could use rice milk instead of cow’s milk, coconut oil in place of butter, and agave nectar instead of honey.
What is a vegan diet?
A vegan diet is a type of diet that excludes animal products and by-products such as meat, milk, eggs, and butter. Vegans adhere to this diet for a variety of reasons, including concerns about animal welfare, the environment, personal health, and religious beliefs.
Where can you get vegan bagels?
You can get vegan bagels from many supermarkets, health food stores, and bakeries around the country. If you can’t find one near you or if they’re too expensive to buy, consider making them yourself.
Bagels are traditionally vegan, but sometimes they can contain non-vegan ingredients, such as eggs and dairy products. When purchasing a bagel, look for a vegan label on its packaging to make sure it doesn’t contain any animal products.
If you can’t find a vegan label, simply check the ingredients list for animal products and by-products. You can also check online reviews, or give the company a call to ask if their product is vegan-friendly.
Thanks for reading.
Visit Cheffist to find out more about vegan-friendly foods.