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Pop-Tarts are one of the most popular snacks or breakfasts thanks to their delicious taste and ridiculously easy prep and cook time. They are simply placed in a toaster for a bit and then you get to enjoy a nice sweet snack that is sure to keep you happy, energized, and full for the next few hours. With such a delicious sweet treat, you may have some worries about if it matches any sort of diet requirements, so are pop tarts vegan?

Are pop tarts vegan_alice's kitchen

What is veganism?

Veganism is the philosophy and lifestyle choice of excluding and avoiding all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty and instead promoting the use of animal-free products as more sustainable and harm-free alternatives. These alternatives can be a range of products varying from materials such as faux leather, or ingredients such as soy milk and other animal-free food items.

A vegan diet is also said to be all about maintaining your health and living a balanced life with healthy food, exercise, and a good mindset. It proves to go further than just the diet and instead focuses on a lifestyle of health and care for yourself and everything around you. There are many reasons to go vegan, but it is also quite a difficult transition as you are more limited to what food and products you can consume, as well as vegan food, tends to be more expensive than the non-vegan alternative.

What are pop tarts?

As you most likely know by now, pop-tarts are a type of toaster pastry meal that is known for being sweet and not savory. The pastry is in the shape of a rectangle and the inside is filled with flavorings. The top side is iconic for being covered in a gorgeous-looking frosting but it is possible to buy an unfrosted pop tart.

They can be cooked in a toaster oven, oven, or microwave and only need a few seconds to a minute of cooking to heat them up as they are quite thin. They can be eaten straight away before heating up but they are much nicer when warm. Although, the flavoring in the middle can get super hot so be careful when eating it straight out of the toaster.

What ingredients are used in pop tarts?

The ingredients in pop tarts are subject to change with the flavors, however, a lot of the same ingredients are used in each flavor for the pastry and natural flavorings. The majority of the ingredients are vegan-friendly and can be eaten freely but some of the ingredients used in different flavors are not at all friendly for vegans. Most pop-tarts contain ingredients such as glucose and food colorings that come from bugs. These are used in the frosting, which is a pretty big part of every pop tart except for some flavors that do not have it.

The different flavors of pop tarts

Pop-tarts come in all different flavors now and the list keeps expanding, some of these are vegan friendly and some are not. The main issue for a lot of the flavors is the gelatin it uses for the frosting.

The non-vegan flavors

The ingredients used in the non-vegan flavors tend to be gelatin, whey, milk, or egg whites. Some of these flavors have multiple of these ingredients in them whereas some of the other ones will only have gelatin in them, either way, they are not vegan-friendly. The list of pop-tart flavors that vegans should exclude are;

  • Cherry
  • Strawberry
  • Hot fudge sundae
  • S’mores
  • Strawberry Milkshake
  • Gone Nutty peanut butter
  • Cinnamon roll
  • Brown sugar cinnamon
  • Blueberry
  • Vanilla milkshake
  • Chocolate fudge
  • Chocolate chip
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough

That might seem like a lot of flavors and that is because it is a lot of flavors, unfortunately. However, on the bright side, there are three flavors that are considered vegan-friendly.

Are pop tarts vegan_alice's kitchen

Vegan Pop-tart flavors

The three flavors that are the most likely to be vegan friendly are;

  • Unfrosted Blueberry
  • Unfrosted Strawberry
  • Unfrosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon

As you can see the unfrosted flavors are the ones that are vegan-friendly as they do not have the same ingredient the frosted ones have; gelatin. That being said, the unfrosted versions do have a couple of ingredients that can be seen as problematic and stricter vegans may want to stay away from them. The main issues are palm oil and artificial colorings such as red #40, blue #1 and #2, and yellow #6. These flavors are considered a bit of a grey area as the controversial ingredients themselves, especially the artificial coloring, are vegan-friendly but can be linked to animal testing.

Palm oil is also another personal choice as it does not directly harm any animals but farming it is not the healthiest thing for the planet.

The unfrosted blueberry flavor is tagged with ‘natural flavors’ which can cover a very long list of different things. Most of them are vegan-safe but some are not, so it is your choice to consume them or not. These natural flavorings are not used in the unfrosted strawberry flavor or the unfrosted brown sugar cinnamon. The unfrosted pop tart flavors are considered vegan by some but strict vegans would exclude all pop tarts entirely. Especially the frosted pop-tarts, despite how good they look.

Vegan pop-tarts brands

If you are looking for a 100% vegan-friendly brand that makes pop-tarts, or something incredibly close, then you will want Bobo’s. They are a vegan-safe brand that makes so many different recipes and snacks that are all safe to eat. They have a line of ‘Toaster pastries’ that are pretty close to pop-tarts. The flavors are not as diverse but there is still an impressive variety of flavors. Surprisingly enough, they are also quite cheap compared to pop-tarts, which is nice as most vegan alternatives tend to be more expensive.

If you are looking for other vegan-friendly pop tart alternatives then you can always try to make them at home using either a strictly vegan recipe or a non-vegan recipe and just swap out the dairy products and animal products for plant-based ones.

So what pop-tarts can vegans eat?

If you are a very strict vegan, then you should most likely avoid all pop-tarts due to even the most friendly flavors having palm oil and artificial coloring in them, as well as natural flavors. However, if you are a less strict vegan then you can eat any of the unfrosted flavors, which are all quite tasty. The main ingredient that stops vegans from eating the frosted pop-tart flavors is gelatin.

FAQ Are pop tarts vegan?

Do pop-tarts have animal in them?

The frosted pop-tart flavors all have gelatin in them, and a lot of the flavors have more animal products in them too such as dairy. The unfrosted flavors are generally clear of any animal products.

Do Pop-Tarts have animal gelatin?

Yes, the frosted pop-tart flavors use gelatin in them.

Are strawberry Pop-Tarts vegan UK?

The frosted strawberry flavor is not vegan, however, the unfrosted strawberry pop-tart is vegan.