While it may not be appropriate for some of us to Trick-or-Treat anymore, Halloween-loving vegans (of whom I am one) can still enjoy a Jack-O’-Lantern full of treats, if you know where to look. For that one night a year where you allow yourself a candy-induced sugar coma, there are more vegan Halloween candies than you might expect.
For some of the candy I speak of, one need not venture much further than the corner grocery to stock up. For other vegan treats, online might be the way to go. PETAKids.com has a definitive list of what’s vegan, what’s not and why. Here are some major brand names that you might be pleasantly surprised to find on a vegan candy list:
- Airheads taffy
- Jolly Ranchers
- Some Laffy Taffy varieties (this doesn’t mean the jokes will become funny)
- Sour Patch Kids
- Sweet Tarts
- A lot of dark chocolate
The thing to watch for is that many candies are laden with trace amounts of certain animal byproducts, so watch yo’ mouth and that ingredient list when getting your Halloween-candy groove on.
- Casein is an ingredient we already watch for in many savory foods, but some candies also include casein, an animal protein found in milk.
- Gelatin is the reason many gummy candies and Jello are off limits – it’s made from “boiling cows’ and pigs’ skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones,” according to PETAKids.com. Ew.
- Watch out for candy that is made using honey as a sweetener.
- Lard. A no-brainer on where it comes from, lard is used to pump up snacks and baked goods.
You can visit the Natural Candy Store for an even broader array of vegan candy online. The vegan candy section is all decked out for Halloween and features much more holiday-spirited treats like an “Invisible Ghost Pop” or a “Creepy Brains Strawberry Lollipop.” The Natural Candy Store would be the place to get all the gummy candies you can’t anywhere else. For those a little less selective, you can order a mixed grab bag of vegan treats for around $30.00. Natural Candy Store makes buying from them pretty easy for the vegan and gluten-free crowd with an easy-to-navigate shopping key. Each label is marked clearly above every candy item; a courtesy WalMart certainly doesn’t provide!
Rest-assured that even the non-”Special Diet” candy (under which vegan candy falls) from this candy store will never contain artificial colors, dyes, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives or hydrogenated oils, according to the website.
So I’ve got my candy sorted out… Now just to find a costume.