Vegans avoid products that come from animals, including meat, eggs, dairy, and any other animal-derived foods or additives.
However, it’s not always clear which foods are vegan, particularly baked products that may contain ingredients that are not immediately recognizable.
Bagels are popular, doughnut-shaped breads that come in a variety of flavors, ranging from plain to sweet to savory. Plus, they can be filled with an almost endless array of toppings.
This article explains how to determine whether a bagel is vegan.
Depending on its ingredients and fillings, a bagel may or may not be vegan.
A basic bagel contains the following vegan ingredients (1):
Vegan bagel recipes may call for additional ingredients to add flavor, color, and texture, such as fruits, seeds, grains, nuts, vegetables, berries, herbs, and spices (1).
Some bagel recipes or store-bought products may include non-vegan ingredients, including:
Additionally, many bagel fillings or toppings are not considered vegan, including:
Essentially, any ingredient that’s derived from an animal will make a bagel unsuitable for vegans.
Summary Regular bagels are vegan, but some types may include extra flavors, additives, or fillings that are animal-derived and thus not vegan. These include honey, eggs, or dairy in the dough, as well as cheese, meats, or fish in the fillings.
There are a few ways to ensure your bagels are vegan-friendly, including making them yourself, checking ingredient label, and looking for a vegan certification.
Most recipes for bagels are vegan-friendly, and by making them yourself, you can control exactly what goes into them.
Plus, innumerable vegan ingredients can add flavor and variety to your bagels.
A basic dough recipe can be improved by adding seeds, nuts, onions, garlic, spices, fresh or dried herbs, and grains, such as rye and oats.
Vegan toppings include vegan cream cheese, nut butters, vegan patties, meat substitutes, tofu, avocado, hummus, leafy greens, vegetables, berries, and other fruits.
If you’re buying bagels from the store, check the ingredient list for any non-vegan items.
The most important ones to look out for are eggs, honey, honey powder, L-cysteine, milk, and milk products like casein, lactose, and whey.
If you’re in doubt about a particular brand, contact the manufacturer to verify the product’s vegan status.
Most countries don’t regulate the labeling of vegan products by law.
Still, many independent organizations, such as Certified Vegan, offer vegan certification of products.
If you find a bagel with such a certification, it’s a good idea to check out the requirements of that organization to see whether they meet your expectations.
Keep in mind that a product may be vegan, despite not being labeled as such. Thus, it’s still a good idea to check the ingredient list when deciding whether the product is right for you.
Summary You can ensure your bagels are vegan by making them at home or checking the label for vegan certification and the ingredient list for non-vegan items. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer to ask whether the product is suitable for you.
Basic bagels are vegan and made from flour, water, yeast, sugar, salt, and sometimes vegetable shortening.
Still, some include non-vegan ingredients, such as eggs, milk, honey, or L-cysteine.
To ensure your bagels are vegan, make them yourself or check the package for vegan certification or the ingredient list for non-vegan items.
Overall, with a little attention to detail, you can continue to enjoy your favorite morning or lunchtime bagel on a vegan diet.