If you’re a fan of seafood restaurants prior to being vegan, you might have seen small deep-fried balls of cornmeal as a side dish. Well, those are called hush puppies. And now that you’re off-limits to seafood, you wonder whether you can just have them alone.
Unfortunately, you can’t, as they are basically non-vegan. By tradition, hush puppies use eggs as its main binder. Aside from eggs, it also uses buttermilk and milk. Eggs and milk are both animal products that are avoided by the vegan community.
Read on to know more about what makes hush puppies non-vegan and some alternatives that you can have instead.
What Are Hush Puppies?
No, hush puppies are not dog food. Its history, however, is something related to dogs. Hunters and fishermen often fry their cornmeal mixture, coat it in some breadcrumbs, and feed them to dogs to hush them when they are frying their meat or fish. Interesting, right?
Hush puppies are basically prepared using the following ingredients: yellow cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, buttermilk or milk, and eggs. Moreover, some recipes include scallions or onions as ingredients.
Hush Puppies Nutritional Contents
Hush puppies can be unhealthy because of the deep-frying process. If not eaten in moderation, it can give you an enormous amount of calories and fats. On a brighter note, hush puppies can also be a great source of calcium and iron.
For every 22 g of hush puppies serving, the following nutritional contents can be found:
|Contents||Amount in Serving|
|Calories from fat||27|
|Total Fat||3 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.5 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||1.6 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||0.7 g|
|Total Carbohydrates||10 g|
|Dietary Fibers||0.6 g|
Why Are Hush Puppies Non-Vegan?
Hush puppies are non-vegan because of two major ingredients, eggs and milk. One strong political advocacy of veganism is to fight against animal cruelty and violence. This movement also calls for not consuming any animal products, like eggs and milk.
If you eat a plant-based diet but you include eggs and milk, you are more of a lacto-vegetarian or a lacto-ovo-vegetarian, and not really vegan.
Eggs In Hush Puppies
Eggs are widely used in the world of baking. It contains lecithin, which is a good emulsifying agent. Eggs make it easier for ingredients with different consistency to be mixed. Its lecithin content absorbs water on one side, then the fats on the other side, combining them perfectly.
It’s no wonder why manufacturers and chefs use eggs as binders as they are very affordable and easy to use. Eggs are also a good agent for crystallization prevention, making it a good ingredient in pastry and quick bread preparation.
Eggs are significant in making hush puppies, in the following ways:
Due to its amazing characteristics, eggs are used in hush puppies to prevent the balls from deforming once they are being fried. The protein provided by eggs is stabilized which strengthens the foundation of the hush puppies. Other binding ingredients are coagulated when cooked in high heat, such as when you’re deep frying. Thus, eggs are really the best and perfect choice.
Eggs are not only for binding ingredients but are also for providing a nice golden color to the hush puppies. Once cooked perfectly, the eggs will give the hush puppies a good and appetizing color.
Emulsifying Liquid Contents
As I’ve mentioned earlier, eggs are best used when you’re combining ingredients with different liquid properties. Hush puppies contain milk and water which have different chemical compositions and the lecithin in eggs helps them to combine well.
Eggs As A Non-Vegan Item
What can eggs possibly contribute to animal violence and exploitation? Well, egg production tends to exploit the reproduction system of hens. Lots of chicken hens are being farmed for egg production, mostly under poor conditions. Most of them are also being slaughtered when they can’t lay sufficient eggs anymore.
This is one of the reasons why vegan folks condemn consuming animal products. They want to put an end to animal exploitation and violence.
What Are Vegan Alternatives To Eggs?
There are numerous vegan alternatives that we can use to replace eggs when baking or cooking. ProVeg International named some of the Vegan Egg Alternatives that have the same cooking and baking benefits eggs have.
The following ingredients provide the same binding properties of eggs. Aside from having lower calorie contents, they also add aroma and moisture to your food, like the apple sauce. They are readily available in the market and some can be manually done at home. Eggs might be a lot more affordable, but using the following alternatives is definitely worth a try.
Milk Or Buttermilk in Hush Puppies
You might have wondered why there is a need for milk or buttermilk in the hush puppies preparation. Well, it’s because they are patterned after the cornbread which traditionally includes milk. Though some recipes don’t include milk or buttermilk, it’s always safer to check them first.
Milk is included in food because they are rich in fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins, together with protein, carbohydrates, and minerals, ensure that the foods you are eating are not only delicious in taste but are also rich in nutrition. That is why hush puppies are rich in vitamins and protein.
Most seafood restaurants use buttermilk or milk in preparing their hush puppies. So, be careful and clarify first with their staff about their hush puppies ingredients.
Milk As A Non-Vegan Item
Milk is considered to be non-vegan because it is derived from animals, such as cows, goats, and buffalos. Aside from this, vegans believe that these animals are given poor treatment while companies generate huge profits from them. Most of the animals that are farmed for milk are being forced to impregnate and are being injected with steroids. The vegan community is strictly against these inhumane actions so they avoid drinking milk or consuming any dairy product for the same reason.
What Are Vegan Alternatives To Milk/Buttermilk?
Fortunately, there are lots of plant-based milk products that can be used for regular milk. So, the actual problem is what to choose as an alternative. Luckily, we found you some of the best vegan milk that you can definitely give a try. Just a reminder that each milk alternative has different tastes, textures, and consistencies that can affect your cooking.
- Almond Milk
- Soy Milk
- Oat Milk
- Rice Milk
- Hemp Milk
- Coconut Milk
- Flavored Milk
Almond milk, soy milk, and oat milk have the properties that are closest to the commercial milk we all know. They can be used as direct substitutes. Rice milk and hemp milk, on the other hand, have more watery consistency and can be only used in several cooking procedures. Canned coconut milk contains coconut meat which makes it creamier than the other alternatives. Moreover, flavored milk is the least favorable milk alternative and you should only use it when the recipe calls for it.
Are There Vegan Hush Puppies Available Commercially?
Well, it’s hard to find one. Most of the commercial hush puppies that are available include dried eggs. Dried eggs are basically dehydrated eggs. Because they are just powdered real eggs, all beneficial properties of the egg can still be found in them. They can also last for a very long time once stored properly.
Aside from dry eggs being visible in commercial hush puppies products, dry milk can also be found. The same concept of dry eggs applies to dry milk. So, finding a vegan commercial hush puppy can lead to a long adventure in supermarkets.
What’s easier is to make some at home.
Can I Make Vegan Hush Puppies At Home?
Of course, you can! What’s good about hush puppies is that it has a very simple recipe. You just have to combine all the vegan ingredients and use the following vegan alternatives for eggs and milk. You can also modify the traditional recipe by adding your favorite vegan ingredient. Remember, you rule your kitchen.
Just deep fry them and enjoy. You can eat them as they are, or pair them with your favorite vegan meat and drink!
Hush Puppies Are Not Vegan
As much as we want them to be vegan, hush puppies are not. We have discussed why some of their ingredients are off-limits and explained the alternatives you can try instead.
Finally, you can just modify the ingredients at home and enjoy your own hush puppies. So, the next time you crave hush puppies, you definitely know what to do!