11 Surprising Vegan Foods to Celebrate World Vegan Day

Today, November 1, celebrates World Vegan Day, making the founding of The Vegan Society in November 1944.

Although the number of vegan Americans has grown over the years, according a 2012 Gallup Study, it's still a small group, representing just 2% of the adult population. 

As far as food, a vegan is someone who does not eat anything that comes from an animal, which includes meat, fish, eggs, milk and other dairy products, and even honey (which is made by bees). It also eliminates any animal-derived products like gelatin, which can come from the hides, tissues, or bones of cows and pigs.  Most refrain from wearing fur, wool and leather, which come directly from an animal.

But don't think that vegan food is limited to veggies, nuts, legumes and fruit! Several "surprise" brand name foods are actually vegan.  While not totally healthful or low calorie, no animals were harmed in the making of these foods. 

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Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Frosting (Classic Vanilla)  

The classic vanilla frosting flavor contains sugar, vegetable oil, water, and corn syrup, but no milk products.  Vegans generally have to be wary of homemade frosting, which may contain butter, milk, or heavy cream.  

Who knew? The Oreo is Vegan!  (Via)

Oreos

Milk's favorite cookie is 100% safe for vegans. The classic creme filling isn't made with milk products.

Fritos   

Classic Fritos contain just three ingredients: corn, corn oil, and salt.

Jell-O Instant Pudding Mix

Although classic Jell-O is made with gelatin, many of the instant pudding flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, lemon, pistachio and banana cream are vegan.

Del Monte White Corn Cream Style  

Despite its label, this corn product doesn't actually contain any dairy cream. When corn kernels are grated, they release some milky pulp. This food is thickened with sugar and corn starch. 

Hunt's Manwich Sauce  

You'll (obviously) have to use ingredients other than meat to make sloppy joes, but on its own, Hunt's Manwich Sauce doesn't contain any meat. It's a mix of tomato puree, sugar, and assorted spices.

Nestle Nesquick Syrup

Nestle Nesquick Syrup is meant to be added to milk or ice cream, but the chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors don't contain any dairy products. Why not use almond or coconut milk instead to make a tasty treat?

Newman's Own Light Italian Dressing  

Many salad dressings are made with lecithin, an emulsifier that keeps oil and vinegar from separating, which can come from egg yolks. However, several Newman's Own dressings, including Regular Balsamic and Olive Oil and Vinegar are just fine to smother on your salad. Newman's Light Italian Dressing is also safe, although regular Italian contains milk.

Smucker's Marshmallow Ice Cream Topping  

Marshmallows, like many forms of gummy candies (except for Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids) are made with animal-derived gelatin. Smucker's Marshmallow Ice Cream topping is thickened with cellulose gel, which comes from plants and is therefore vegan-friendly.

Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread  

Margarine is usually touted as a butter-free alternative, but it can still contain trace amounts of dairy products such as whey, lactose, or casein. Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread is non-dairy and gelatin-free.

Annie's Organic Worcestershire Sauce  

Traditional Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies.  Not Annie's Organic Worcestershire Sauce, which derives its flavor from garlic, onion, clove, and chili pepper.

{The original, and more extensive list, can be found here. }