Popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks that one can eat and even healthier when it is vegan. Whether you’re on a restrictive diet or you just want a healthy snack, popcorn won’t disappoint. Even if you’re vegan, you can enjoy popcorn as it is vegan in its raw state. It only becomes non-vegan when it’s mixed with non-vegan additives. So, how do you make sure your popcorn is vegan? Well, I have several answers to that question so take note!
Checking the ingredients on the packaging is the first thing you need to do to make sure that the popcorn is vegan. Butter, oil, cheese, and milk are among the ingredients you don’t want to see on the packaging. The good news is many brands now carry non-vegan popcorn options.
To understand more about the ingredients you need to avoid, brands you should buy, and tips to cook your vegan popcorn, I have listed all the information you need to know. Let’s begin with the butter on the store-bought microwave popcorn.
Is Butter-Flavored Popcorn Vegan?
Most store-bought microwave popcorn comes in butter flavor. It’s an all-time favorite, which explains why it never leaves the shelf of a grocery. However, the term butter flavor is tricky. It either tells you that the popcorn has real butter or an artificial flavoring.
It’s obvious that popcorn that has real butter is not appropriate for vegans. But the artificially flavored popcorn may or may not be vegan. In this case, you need to read the label carefully.
Manufacturers of vegan butter-flavored popcorn use an oil that has an artificial flavoring. If the packaging says that it’s butter flavored, it means that the oil used has an artificial butter flavor.
However, you need to double-check the type of oil used because some oils are not vegan. To avoid potential problems, check the ingredients for any of the following vegan oils: avocado oil, coconut oil, light olive oil, rice bran oil, and canola oil. Any oil not included in this list should be avoided.
If you can’t find vegan butter-flavored popcorn in your local store, you can cook your own popcorn and use an artificial flavoring such as the Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil with Non-Dairy Butter Flavor. Its butter flavor comes from organic plants such as coconut, sunflower, and mint. It’s guaranteed to be vegan.
Apart from real butter and the type of oil used in the flavoring, you must also check if animal products have been added. Cheese, chocolate, caramel, and toffee flavoring can contain animal products so avoid these ingredients.
Check the allergen portion of the label to see if it contains milk or not. If it contains non-vegan milk, don’t buy the popcorn.
You should also avoid ingredients such as clarified butter, dried butter, butter oil, and dried butter because these are all non-vegan. Cheese is also non-vegan so skip varieties that include white cheddar, dried parmesan cheese, and dried cheddar cheese.
What Popcorn Brands Are Vegan?
Vegan popcorn brands have started to increase in number, making it more exciting to be a vegan. Manufacturers are now aware of the demand and they want to make sure their customers get the best popcorn. Let me share my favorite brands with you.
Ready to Eat Vegan Popcorn
Famous brands include Boom Chicka Pop, Skinny Pop, Smart Food, and Earth Balance. These brands have interesting flavor options that even a non-vegan will love.
- Boom Chicka Pop vegan flavors: Salted Caramel, Sea Salt, Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn, and Avocado Oil
- Earth Balance vegan flavor: Butter, and Aged White Cheddar
- Skinny Pop vegan flavors: Sea Salt and Pepper, White Cheddar varieties
- Smart Food vegan flavors: Sea Salt
Microwave Vegan Popcorn
There are many brands of microwave popcorn that are vegan. The selection of flavors ranges from sweet to salty to savory.
- 365 vegan flavors: No Oil or Salt Added
- Act II vegan flavors: Butter Lovers, Kettle Corn, and Llama Party
- Black Jewell vegan flavors: Natural, No Salt/No Oil, and Simply Sea Salt
- Boom Chicka Pop vegan flavors: Sea Salt Microwave Popcorn and Lightly Sweet Kettle Corn
- Jolly Time vegan flavors: Healthy Pop Kettle Corn, Simply Popped Sea Salt, and KettleMania
- Newman’s Own vegan flavors: Tender White and Sea Salt
- Orville Redenbacher vegan flavors: Kettle Corn, Smart Pop! Kettle Corn, Naturals – Simply Salted, Naturals Light – Simply Salted, and Avocado Oil Popcorn
- Pop Secret vegan flavors: 94% Fat-Free Kettle Corn, Sweet ‘n Crunchy Caramel, Pumpkin Spice, Popfetti, Sea Salt, Sweet ‘n Crunchy Kettle Corn, Kidz First Order Kettle Corn, and Kettle Corn.
- Skinny Pop vegan flavors: All of them
- Skinnygirl vegan flavors: Lime & Salt
How To Make Vegan Popcorn?
If you want to cook your own vegan popcorn, all you need to do is to cook the popcorn with a non-vegan oil like coconut oil. Use sea salt to flavor your popcorn because sea salt is also vegan. But if you want to add a cheese flavor, use nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is used in vegan cooking because of its cheesy taste. It’s also nutty and salty at the same time. You can find it in specialty or health food stores as it’s not common in local groceries. It comes in two forms: powder or yellow flakes.
You can also use herbs and spices to make your homemade popcorn taste like gourmet popcorn. You can combine agave nectar and cinnamon if you want sweet popcorn. You can also make a combination of smoked paprika and salt for a savory treat. You can also use maple syrup for another sweet option. The flavors are endless, you just need to be creative.
The next time you watch a movie, grab your popcorn and don’t feel guilty about eating unhealthy non-vegan food.
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