Bagels are amazing; there is no doubt about that. The round yeasted wheat dough food is a staple for bread eaters worldwide. They are delicious, combined with both sweet and salty fillings. But are bagels vegan? We decided to find out.
So, are bagels vegan? The short answer is yes. TRADITIONAL plain bagels are vegan. But because bagels come in a whole range of flavors, there are variations that are not vegan. Some recipes contain non-vegan ingredients such as honey, eggs, milk, and L-cysteine. If you don’t know what that last ingredient is, don’t worry, we’ll explain it later in the article.
Whether you have recently become vegan or are a seasoned veteran, new recipes come and go. It can become confusing to know which bagels have a vegan-friendly recipe. Here we will tell you what ingredients to look for, which brands are vegan-friendly, and where you can shop for the best vegan bagel.
Are Most Bagels Vegan?
The best way to make sure your bagels are complete vegan is by making them yourself. Thanks to the internet, there are tons of recipes online. You can find vegan-friendly bagel recipes for different flavors and styles too. But, let’s face it, who realistically has the time and patience to make their own bagels? It is far more convenient to go out and buy some. Most bakeries, fresh markets, and even supermarkets sell vegan bagels. The problem you might encounter is the fillings.
The advantage of making your own bagels is that you can also put your own fillings in. Buying a ready-made bagel from your local sandwich store is a risky ordeal. For many, bagels are filled with cream cheese, deli meats, or sweet fillings containing milk and/or eggs. Not ideal for vegans. When buying a bagel from a supermarket or store, you want to look out for these ingredients:
Honey can be used instead of sugar or malt. Some vegans might eat honey while others don’t. This is a personal choice.
Eggs can be used in bagel recipes for flavor and color. In some cases, the bagel might be glazed to give it a shine, and that glaze may also contain eggs.
Milk is sometimes used instead of water.
L-cysteine, when not synthetic, can be taken from human hair or duck feathers and has been a common ingredient in many bagels. It’s a controversial ingredient. Many vegans boycotted certain brands and restaurants that used non-synthetic L-cysteine. Although some companies responded right away, others did not.
You can also check your bagels for vegan certification. While it is not the law in many countries, many independent organizations, for example, Certified Vegan, offer certifications to companies. If you do find a certified product, it doesn’t go a miss to check the certifying body’s policies to see if it is right for you. However, the best and easiest way to ensure if a bagel is vegan or non-vegan is to check the ingredients list.
Do Bagels Have Oil?
Again, almost every type of bagel is vegan. This includes Everything bagels, cinnamon and raisin bagels, blueberry bagels, and onion bagels. But most do contain oil. Some vegans do not consume oils of any type. The best way of knowing if a bagel has oil is to read the ingredients on the package or check the company’s website. Some brands label the front of their packages as oil-free.
May vegans don’t consume oil for different reasons. It’s much like why they became vegan. Some do it for health reasons because certain oils increase cholesterol in the body. Others don’t want to consume excess calories or alter the flavor of the foods they eat.
Are Vegan Bagel Varieties Healthy?
As we have seen, bagels can come in different shapes and sizes, flavors, and toppings. They can be store-bought or homemade. Homemade bagels range from 150-230 calories. They are also free of preservatives and additives because you made them yourself.
Bagels purchased at your local store or cafe can range from 200-400 calories — for example, a plain bagel from Starbucks range around 280 calories.
Plain bagels can be very healthy if topped with the right plant-based ingredients. Also, people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease should avoid bagels that are not labeled gluten-free.
Are Everything Bagels Vegan?
In most cases, they are. The bagel itself doesn’t contain animal products or by-products. It is free from eggs and milk. As long as it isn’t topped with dairy products or salmon, it is vegan. What makes this variety of bagel so unique is its blend of savory ingredients such as pungent dried onion and dried garlic. You can top your bagels with something simple like vegan butter or vegan cream cheese.
Are Tim Hortons Bagels Vegan?
Some options are while others are not. Referring to the company’s allergen guide is among the best ways to know what to order while dining at Tim Hortons. All of the Classic Bagel varieties such as 12 Grain, Blueberry, Cinnamon Raisin, Everything, Plain, and Pretzel are vegan. None of the Specialty Bagels including Maple Cinnamon French Toast, Sundried Tomato Asiago Parm, and Jalapeno Asiago Mozzarella are dairy-free. You’ll also want to avoid all of the spreads because they contain milk or butter in them. Most jams and jellies are safe to eat as long as they have fruit-based pectin in them.
Are Einstein Bros Bagels Vegan?
Formerly thought to contain l-cysteine which contains duck parts and feathers, Einstein Bros Bagels are confirmed vegan by company representatives. Some of the flavor varieties you’ll have to choose from including Plain, Everything, Blueberry, Pumpernickel, Cinnamon Raisin, Garlic, Chocolate Chip, Cranberry, Onion, Poppy, 9-Grain, Sesame, Potato, and Pretzel. Gourmet bagels and bagel rolls that are dairy-free include Apple Cinnamon, Potato Roll, Power Protein Bagel, and Multigrain Roll. Keep an Einstein bagel vegan by skipping the schmear.
Are Noah’s Bagels Vegan?
It’s natural to ask, “Do bagels have eggs?”. Another question is, “Are Noah’s bagels vegan?” It’s important to know these things before sinking your teeth into a bagel. To answer the question, some of Noah’s bagels are vegan. The ones that aren’t are Good Egg, French Toast, Asiago Cheese, and Chocolate Chip.
Are Bruegger’s Bagels Vegan?
Most of Bruegger’s Bagels baked goods are vegan. For example, the following varieties of bagels are dairy-free. They are Blueberry, Sundried Tomato, 12 Grain, Cranberry Orange, Cinnamon Sugar, Garlic, Everything, Plain, Onion, Poppy, Pumpernickel, Pretzel Bagel, Pumpkin, Salt, Sesame, and Rosemary Olive Oil. Vegan toppings include fresh veggies, vegan hummus, peanut butter, strawberry jelly, grape jelly, and Dijon mustard. You can easily experiment with your favorite flavor combinations because there are so many options to choose from.
Are the Bagels at Dunkin Donuts Vegan?
You may want to know if Dunkin Donuts bagels have dairy in them. The ones that don’t are Cinnamon Raisin, Plain, Everything, Sesame, and Multigrain. You may want to ask that your bagel be prepared with fresh gloves and on a clean surface, however, to avoid cross-contamination. The company cannot guarantee that it won’t be because non-vegan and vegan menu items are prepared in the same area.
Are the Bagels at Panera Vegan?
Panera does offer many vegan menu items. Some of their bagels are included as tasty treats for herbivores. The vegan varieties include Plain, Everything, Blueberry, Cranberry Walnut, and Sesame. Requesting bagels be sliced and prepared in an area that has been sanitized or is away from animal products is recommended by the company.
Are Starbucks Bagels Vegan?
There are four types of bagels vegans eat at Starbucks. There is the Sprouted Grain Vegan Bagel as well as Plain, Raisin, and Blueberry. Any other option isn’t certified vegan. You’ll find this information readily available for you to reference on Starbucks’ website. Enjoying a vegan bagel with your vegan beverage of choice is easy as Starbucks has many plant-based kinds of milk to choose from including almond, soy, and coconut.
Vegan Bagel Brands You Can Buy from Various Retailers
Each retailer carries its own house brands as well as other vegan bagels brands. To better understand what you’ll find from each store, we’ve listed some of the brands you’ll find at Walmart, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes. That way, you won’t lose valuable time shopping for brands that meet your dietary needs.
You’ll also learn which flavors of Thomas New York Style Bagels and Sara Lee bagels are vegan. Possessing this information makes it easier to shop for and prepare dairy-free bagels at home to enjoy. It helps you know which brands to add to your ‘safe list’ and which to avoid.
Are Thomas bagels vegan?
Some flavors are. The Thomas New York Style Bagels that are included Blueberry, Cinnamon Swirl, Everything, Plain, and Cinnamon Raisin. These baked goods have low-fat content, zero cholesterol, and no trans fats. They’re an option that you can prepare at home to eat wherever you choose to have a meal.
Are Sara Lee bagels vegan?
The “Soft & Smooth” varieties are not. The rest of the brand’s bagels are dairy-free. When in doubt, read the ingredient label to be sure. Some deceptively vegan-looking bagels are anything but.
You’ll find these plant-based diet-friendly bagels at Walmart. They are Arnold, Cobblestone, Thomas New York Style Bagels, and Sara Lee. Not all flavors are vegan. It’s important to learn which are and to read labels for animal products and by-products. That way, you can take your bag of bagels home and enjoy them guilt-free. Walmart stores in different locations also carry different products. You may find one region provides greater selection than another based on demand. Checking the company’s website for a store in your area allows you to see in advance what your store carries.
Whole Foods knows a thing or two about being vegan. It offers a better selection of vegan bagels than most retailers. The brands that you’ll find free of animal products and by-products include the 365 house brand in Plain and Whole Wheat. Like with Walmart, the selection offered is based on demand. Whole Foods in your area may carry other vegan-friendly brands of bagels. Contacting the store directly by phone or visiting its webpage is an excellent way of saving yourself a trip.
Like Whole Foods, Trader Joes is the bomb for people eating a vegan diet. They carry safe-for-vegan-consumption bagel brands such as their house brand which is cleverly named Trader Joes and comes in Plain and Whole Wheat. You’ll find a lot of vegan-friendly toppings for your bagels at Trader Joes, too. The retailer carries many types of hummus, nut butter, and even dairy-free cream cheese and butter for you to choose from.
How to Make Your Own Bagels That are Vegan
Making your own vegan bagels can be addictive. You may find a recipe you prefer over the store-bought bagels you buy. If you haven’t yet tried making your own delicious baked goods, it’s worth a shot.
Not only does it save you money, but it also guarantees that your bagel is 100 percent vegan. You’re not stuck wondering if there is an ingredient in your baked good that you shouldn’t eat. You’ll know exactly what you’ve added to it and the quantity of the ingredient, too.
There are many recipes online for you to choose from. Among the simplest to make, is the one we’ve included down below. You can do whatever you want to make it your own. You can add ingredients to the bagels before cooking them or topping them with whatever you want.
A really simple oil-free vegan bagel recipe from Sweet Simple Vegan requires the following ingredients:
- 2 TSP of active dry yeast
- 1 ½ TBSP of granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups of warm water
- 3 ½ cups of bread flour (extra for kneading)
- 1 ½ TSP of salt
The full recipe can be accessed here. The bagels can be topped with almond milk and Everything bagel seasoning to make it more authentic. The bloggers also recommend making vegan carrot lox. It is similar in color and appearance to salmon but completely cruelty-free.
Some ingredients you can add to the mix if you don’t want an Everything bagel include dried fruits such as blueberries and cherries. You can also add dried herbs such as rosemary and chives, spices such as salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion powder. You can even go with cinnamon and vegan chocolate chips. Each enhances the sweet, salty, or savory aspect of the bagel.
To make your own Everything bagel spice, you will need the following ingredients:
- Poppy Seeds
- Toasted Sesame Seeds
- Dried Onion
- Dried Garlic
Once the appropriate quantities of each have been mixed, the spice should be stored in an airtight container to maintain its freshness. Empty spice shakers make it so that the blend is evenly distributed on top of the cooking bagels. That way, you get an assortment of flavors in every bite.
How to Freshen a Stale Bagel
After one to two days of being exposed to air, bagels dry out. You can avoid the problem by storing them in a bag that is tightly sealed and eating them within the next few days. You can also pop the bag into the freezer for three to four months. But, if you’ve forgotten to do this, don’t fear! There are two methods available for freshening a stale bagel.
The first involves the oven. By running a whole bagel under warm tap water for a few seconds and placing it on an oven-safe pan, you’re able to restore its chewy texture. Turning the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cooking the bagels for five minutes is all it takes to restore them to their former glory.
The second can be done in the microwave. By placing the baked good on a microwave-safe plate and putting a damp paper towel over the top of it, you’ll be able to restore its moisture content at 15-second intervals. Once the bagel feels soft to the touch, you know that it’s ready to eat.
What to Put on a Bagel That is Healthy
There are many items that you can top a vegan bagel with easily. For example, vegan cream cheese is one option. Some other delightful toppings include nut butter such as peanut butter and almond butter, hummus, slices of avocado, tomato, and bell peppers, sprouted seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin, brown sugar and cinnamon, jellies, jams, and dried fruits such as raisins and cranberries.
Experimenting with different flavor combinations allows you to enjoy your bagel even more. You can add fresh sprouts, radish slices, cucumber, carrot coins, spinach, kale, arugula, and banana on your bagels as well. Each packs a nutritious and delicious punch for you to enjoy. You can also experiment with different spices to bring out the flavor of your toppings. Sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and even Nutritional Yeast are delicious options for you to enjoy.
Can vegans eat bagels? Yes, they can. It’s important, however, to confirm that the bagels being eaten are dairy-free and void of animal by-products such as honey. Otherwise, they’re considered vegetarian and not vegan. The best way to know if there is dairy in bagels is to ask or to read labeling very carefully.
This guide serves as a starting point in your quest for the perfect dairy-free bagel. Are plain bagels vegan? If most cases, they are your safest bet. What you top them with, however, can turn them non-vegan fast. Avoid butter and margarine made with milk and stick to nut butter, vegan cream cheeses, mashed avocado, fresh fruit, and slices of veggies as toppings.
Are Bagels Gluten-Free?
Generally speaking, traditional bagels are not gluten-free. There are gluten-free brands, however. These bagels are free of wheat for people with sensitivities and celiac disease.
Does Vegan Cream Cheese Go Bad?
Yes, it does. It is made of tofu and should be used by the ‘Best Used By’ date to maintain its freshness. If it is homemade, making smaller batches ensures that it won’t go to waste.
Can Vegan Cream Cheese Be Frozen?
Vegan cream cheese can be frozen. It is important to allow it to thaw entirely in the fridge before spreading it onto a vegan bagel. That way, it maintains its density best before being slathered onto a hot bakery item.