A pretzel is one of the most popular America’s comfort food. You can find it almost everywhere-theaters, stadiums, parks, and many more. Because of its wide availability, it has become the go-to snack option wherever you are. But are pretzels vegan?
If you are a vegan, then you may be having some doubts whether or not a pretzel is suitable for your diet. Does it contain animal byproducts? Does it have any ingredients that you should shy away from? Well, let us break down the answers in this short article!
The Two Types of Pretzels
Before we get to answer that simple question, let us first take a sneak peek at the two types of pretzels and their differences.
1. Soft Pretzels
This is also known as the traditional pretzel as its manufacturing process follows that of the traditional German recipe. This pretzel is mainly composed of three ingredients-yeast, water, and flour. These ingredients are mixed together to create the dough.
Afterward, the dough is shaped into a pretzel. It will then be dipped into a lye solution and topped off with crunchy slat before baking. In some traditional recipes, the dough is flavored with sweeteners, malts or beers but these ingredients are not required so you can skip this part.
2. Hard Pretzels
The hard pretzel does not follow the traditional German recipe. Instead, this is more popular as an American comfort food. Many people claim that hard pretzels come into play as a result of overbaking, which makes it harder in texture.
With this in mind, the ingredients of hard pretzels are the same with that of the soft pretzels-yeast, lye, and flour. The only difference is that the recipe for hard pretzels contain a lesser amount of water and the cooking time is much longer.
Are Pretzels Vegan?
Considering that pretzels only have three main ingredients-yeast, flour, and water, which are all vegan-friendly ingredients, we can say that pretzels are vegan.
But before we make a fast judgment, there are also other considerations that you need to think about the additives and its toppings. If you plan on eating pretzels anytime soon, you should take a look at the tips that we have in the next section of this article.
A Vegan’s Guide to Eating Pretzels
To ensure that the pretzels that you plan on eating are vegan, here are some tips to keep in mind:
These days, adding fats to pretzels has become a norm. Most bakers use lard for this purpose, but some modern recipes employ butter or margarine.
This is because the addition of margarine or butter can make the pretzel softer. It also gives the pretzel a richer taste.
However, these added fats may contain dairy and other animal byproducts so you should shy away from pretzels that have added fats.
#1 – Skip the flavorings and toppings.
The basic recipe for a pretzel will not pose any concern for a vegan diet. But the addition of toppings and flavorings might be.
Some sweet pretzels are coated with sugars while others come with sweet dips which may contain ingredients that are not suitable for your vegan diet. This is also the same concern with savory dips, like mustard, as it may contain honey which is also not suitable for vegans.
To be safe, it will be best if you would avoid adding flavorings or toppings to your pretzel.
#2 – Check the ingredients label.
To ensure that the pretzels do not contain any animal byproducts, the best thing that you should do is to check the ingredients label.
#3 – Make your own.
If you really want to ensure that the pretzels that you are eating are vegan-friendly, then it is recommended that you make your own pretzels. Lucky for you, there are now plenty of vegan-friendly pretzel recipes that you can try.
The best thing about pretzels is that these last for a long time, especially when these are stored in a cool and dry area. With that in mind, you can bake pretzels in bulk then store them later on so you can have pretzels any time you want or need!
With the various restrictions in your diet, it can be difficult to find a snack that you can get anywhere and everywhere. Are pretzels vegan? Well, if we only take a look at the usual ingredient of the pretzel dough-lye, yeast, and flour-we may assume that pretzels are vegan.
But more than the usual ingredients, we should also take a look at the nature of the toppings and other add-ons of the pretzel to determine if it is suitable for a vegan diet.
We hope that this article has helped you determine if pretzels are good for a vegan diet or not. Please do share this information with your vegan friends so you can help them out too!