From vegetarian potato chips to an array of other forms of chips, vegan chip lovers often wonder if their favorite delicious snacks are vegan. Vegan chips have become very popular, and I found a variety of tastes and textures in my favorite health food store. However, there may be chips for vegans lying in wait at the supermarket as well as the health food hangout. And for those on the go- you can find some of these choices at the nearby gas station!
I felt there was a need to clarify this situation for myself as well as the (sometimes) rare breed of chip aficionado who is a vegan. But first, I want to differentiate between a vegan and a vegetarian, since some chips may say “vegetarian” on the package.
What is the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian?
A vegetarian, as you probably know, does not eat meat. No pig, chicken, cow, goat or other kinds of animal. That includes fish and seafood.
A vegan, in addition to those items, does not eat dairy products, which includes cheeses, milk or any eggs. The idea is not to eat anything that comes from an animal source. You probably are well aware of this if reading this blog, however, new vegans or those-to-be may not fully be knowledgeable of the difference.
Are Doritos/Cheetos/Takis/Pringles vegan?
If you are a fanatic muncher of junk foods and want to know if they are vegan, here are some answers that may help you the next time you go grocery shopping:
Doritos – Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos are new and are vegan.
Cheetos – Cheetos have cheese (duh!) in the recipe and are not vegan.
Takis – Some flavors are vegan; choose Fuego, Nitro and Salsa Brava which do have not animal products. Some of the others do contain dairy products.
Pringles – BBQ flavor are a spicy vegan treat as well as the original, which was fine for vegans.
I kept wondering what chips are vegan?, so I did my homework, looking up these popular brands and what is in the package.
Are Fritos vegan? asks the snacker who loves to eat these by the handful and hopes to remain a true vegan. Well, the answer is yes. The original corn chip version is vegan. This delicious and popular chip is the go-to brand in vegan corn chips when shopping in the supermarket.
Is that delicious Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos vegan or should they be crossed off the list and added to the no-no column? The answer is yes, they are vegan!
Vegan Chip Brands
Some of these are found in the health food store or in the supermarket; they may or may not proudly display the fact that they are for vegans. PETA has some recommendations when it comes to brands; they have an extensive list of flavors as well as brands that are great for vegans. You probably didn’t realize that the chips you buy at the local 7-Eleven, when getting gas, are a great treat for the vegan.
Kettle Brand Jalapeño Potato Chips
7-Eleven Brand -Barbecue, original and others
Cape Cod Sea Salt & Vinegar and more
Garden of Eatin’
These are the brands, but each brand has a variety of flavors that may be vegan-friendly. Vegan chips come in all sorts of flavors, according to the list. Here are more brands to choose from:
Here are some more. Serious snackers and those seeking a plethora of tastes and textures in vegan chips will want to check out these brands as well:
Sun Chips original
Santitas Totopos de Maíz
Wise Onion Rings
The good news is that that there are abundant choices of chip snacks for the vegan.
Now you have a start to find your favorites, whether they are the tried-and-true classics of your childhood or the spicy and tasty poppin’ hot version for the foodie who loves their spicy snacks but needs them to be vegan. If there is a favorite brand of chips that you adore and are in doubt, read the label. If whey or cheese is an ingredient, they are not vegan.
With all those brands to choose from, you will be in chip heaven. But what about those of us who like to make our own? I enjoy eating food that has as little chemicals added as possible, so when it comes to vegan chips, I make them at home. I have a few recipes that I would like to share; they are simple and quick as well as tasty. Since I can control how much salt is in the recipe, they are probably healthier for me as well as vegan. The following recipes can be made simply right inside your kitchen and will be fun to make; get the whole family involved in making these simple snacks:
Vegan potato chips
Vegan Potato Chips
I have often baked these easy-to-make vegan potato chips at home, and they are a delicious treat. I have a weakness for potato chips and enjoy making them the vegan way, not hurting animals in the process. By making my own chips, they have less salt and less oil than store-bought, so are better for my health as well.
By putting them in the oven and baking them, these chips are tasty and they’re also easy. This recipe calls for several kinds of spices; you can actually spice them the way you want. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. You will need the following:
Other optional seasonings, such as curry powder, cumin powder, chili powder. Vinegar can also be added.
Oven has been preheated to 400 degrees. Slice the potatoes to approximately 1/8 inches thick, leaving the skin on. At this point, they can be soaked for about 10 minutes in a warm bowl of water. Drain the water and pat the sliced potatoes dry.
Lay the slices on a baking sheet; you might need two baking sheets with this many potatoes. They should only be in one layer, not overlapping. Drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil or if you want to use cooking spray, spray on both sides of potatoes.
Bake for 20 minutes. You can flip the chips about 10 minutes through. They will be soft in the center of the slice and golden color on the outside. Sprinkle with salt to taste and other seasonings that your prefer. Serve to delighted folks.
These have the oil that I love, but what about chips that don’t have oil and are even healthier as well as vegan. Veggie lovers, unite and crunch on the following snack.
Veggie Chips for the Vegan
These delicious chips are also considered gluten free and paleo as well as vegan. If you decide to omit the oil, bake at a lower temperature for longer. I always feel healthier after snacking on veggie chips; they are a good way to get more vegetables into the diet, especially if you are not a fan of root vegetables.
Choosing the vegetables you prefer, slice with a mandolin or knife. A mandolin slicer will make the best and most uniform slices. This sharp utensil can be used to cut potatoes as well and is a handy tool to have in your kitchen. From waffle fries to veggie chips, it is a go-to tool for the cook.
1 medium size zucchini
1 large carrot
1 small sweet potato
1 medium size beetroot or turnip
salt and pepper to taste or 1/2 teaspoon of each
olive oil – optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice vegetables with a knife or madoline. Put slices in a bowl and toss them with a bit of the oil, salt and pepper.
Lay chips flat on baking pan. Use parchment for non-stick. Be careful not to overlap the slices. You may need more than one baking sheet to do this.
Bake for 10 minutes and then turn over the veggie chips. Bake for another 10 minutes. (If you did not use the oil, bake at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes longer.) Remove from oven and let cool, then begin to munch.
This recipe is a great way to get those kids to eat their veggies. You can decide which vegetables to use as well as which favorite spices. You can also make them a bit sweeter by using some pre-melted coconut oil.
Let’s talk about tortilla chips. Most of the chips in the supermarket have loads of added ingredients and are not great for the health conscious. You can make your own tortilla chips by first making homemade tortillas. They are simple to make; these are the basic for making your own chips.
If you combine such ingredients as whole-grain flour, olive oil, water, and salt and maybe sprinkle with a bit of extra flour, you can have your own tortillas for wraps and and abundant Mexican-style vegan dishes that you create. These tortillas also form the basis of great tortilla chips. Once you have the tortillas, whether made with whole wheat or corn flour, making the chips is easy.
Vegan Tortilla Chips
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tortillas into wedges, 8 chip-size pieces per tortilla. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil mixed with a bit of lemon juice.
Sprinkle on the spices and salt that have been previously mixed together.
Bake 5 to 7 minutes, then turn the pan and bake approximately 8 minutes more. Watch carefully so that they do not get too brown. Let cool after they are removed from the oven.
Serve with guacamole, salsa or a vegan cheese dip. They are so delicious and are perfect as an appetizer for a Mexican style meal as well as for snacking. What’s more, they are free of many of the processed ingredients that a bag of store-bought chips might contain. You can also make them as spicy or mild as your taste buds prefer.
Final Thoughts on Chips
These homemade chips that are ideal for the vegan are delicious. You know that they will be fresh as well as what they contain. I make them in batches and keep around for snack times, adjusting the recipes as taste gives me “feed-back”.
If you don’t have the time to make your own chips, you now know that there are abundant choices out there to choose from. Buy vegan chips at the health food store, supermarket chain or even at the gas station when you fill up. And when you have a bit of time, make your own. Who says that chips for vegans have to taste healthy?
Luisa Davis is a freelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.