Veganism shuns meat and all animal-sourced products. Everyday items like milk, eggs, and honey are not a part of the vegan lifestyle.
When it comes to packaged food, it is not always easy to decipher if they are vegan-friendly or not.
Through this article, we will explore the question: Are toaster strudels vegan?
Traditionally, toaster strudels are not vegan. They contain milk by-products and may have eggs as well. The food color and flavoring are also derived from animal sources. Hence, toaster strudels are not considered vegan.
Dive in to find out more about toaster strudels, their ingredients, nutritional information, and vegan alternatives.
What Exactly Are Toaster Strudels?
First, let us understand what strudels really are.
Strudels originated as an Austro-Hungarian party. They are made with thin sheets of dough, generally with a sweet filling.
Modern-day toaster strudels are a much more convenient version of traditional pastries. They are stored frozen, and preparing them is pretty simple. All you need to do is heat them in a toaster and spread the icing on top of them.
Toaster strudels were first made in the United States under the Pillsbury brand. Today, they are available in an extensive range of flavors, such as apple, blueberry, cherry, strawberry, cinnamon roll, raspberry, wildberry, and chocolate.
Toaster Strudel Ingredients
Let’s examine the main ingredients of toaster strudel.
Enriched Bleached Flour
Although technically all flours are bleached, enriched bleached flour is highly treated with chemicals. These chemicals speed up the aging process of the flour while simultaneously affecting its grain and color. They are whiter and finer-grain flours, fit for baking.
Certain chemical compounds in enriched bleached flour have been linked to harmful effects in animal and test-tube studies.
Palm Or Soybean Oil
Palm oil and soybean oil are commonly used cooking oils. Both are said to reduce the risk of heart diseases and have an overall positive effect on your health.
Palm oil comes from the fruit of oil palms. When it is unrefined, it has a reddish-orange color. At room temperature, palm oil is semi-solid, much like coconut oil. It has a high smoking point, which makes it an excellent oil for frying and sauteing. It is also used as a stabilizer in nut butter.
Soybean oil is extracted from the seed of the soybean plant. It is rich in omega-6 fats and should be consumed in moderation.
This, too, has a high smoking point, making it an ideal choice for high-heat cooking techniques. It is loaded with polyunsaturated fats that are linked to lower cholesterol levels and a diminished risk of heart ailments.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
High-fructose corn syrup is an artificial sugar made with a blend of glucose and fructose in corn syrup. It is vegan but quite unhealthy. It adds an unnatural amount of fructose to your meals and increases the risk of fatty liver diseases.
It also makes your body prone to weight gain, obesity, and diabetes. Essentially, it has no nutritional value.
Sugar is an essential ingredient in sweet treats. It is high in calories and should only be consumed in small amounts. It can be found in the most unexpected of products.
While consuming sugar, moderation is a must. Excessive intake may lead to weight gain or diabetes. It also increases the risk of heart diseases and cancer.
Cornstarch is a white and powdery substance generally used as a thickening agent. It is a vegan and gluten-free ingredient derived from corn.
Although it is rich in carbs and calories, it lacks nutrients such as fibers, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It may increase blood sugar levels and harm heart health.
There is some controversy over the vegan status of yeast. Some argue that yeast is a living organism and hence not vegan. However, yeast does not have a nervous system like animals do. Since no animals are harmed or exploited, yeast is considered a vegan food.
Egg yolk is a pretty common ingredient when it comes to baked goods. However, it is derived from eggs, making it a non-vegan product.
Apart from these, toaster strudels contain a lot more ingredients such as lactic acid, baking powder, preservatives, etc.
Nutritional Overview Of Toaster Strudels
We love toaster strudels for their taste, but do they provide any nutrition? Time to examine their nutritional value per piece.
- Calories: 190
- Total Fat: 9g
- Saturated Fat: 3.5g
- Cholesterol: 5mg
- Carbs: 25g
- Dietary Fiber: 0.5g
- Sugars: 9g
- Protein: 2g
Clearly, toaster strudels do not have great nutritional value.
Are Toaster Strudels Healthy?
No, they are not. Toaster strudels are very high in sugar and fat. They are also extremely low in fiber.
Toaster strudels are pumped up with fat, sodium, sugar, and calories. While this may make them taste delectable, they are not good for your health. These toasted delights are empty calories with unhealthy fats.
Even the flavoring in toaster strudels is not healthy. It is made from artificial substances and preservatives.
All said and done, toaster strudels may be a convenient food choice, but they lack any nutritional value.
Commercially, there are no alternatives for toaster strudels. However, we can look at substitutes for a significant component of toaster strudels – eggs.
While there is no direct substitute for eggs, here are a few common alternatives and where you can use them.
Chickpea flour does an excellent job of binding as well as leavening. You only have to mix it with water to create a paste. It is a perfect replacement for baked goods.
Chickpea flour is high in fiber and protein. It also contains B vitamins and minerals. It helps control blood sugar levels, supports healthy bacteria, and is gluten-free. It promotes heart health and keeps you satiated for a long time.
Non-Dairy Yogurt And Silken Tofu
Yogurt and tofu are perfectly flavorless substitutes. They are useful for binding and thickening in cakes. They do not have leavening properties.
Silken tofu is an excellent source of protein for vegans. It has iron, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus. It also contains all nine essential amino acids. Furthermore, it contains copper, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B1. All in all, it is incredibly healthy.
Non-dairy yogurt is also rich in essential nutrients. It has a high protein content and enhances digestive health. It strengthens the immune system and promotes heart health.
Flax Seeds And Chia Seeds
These seeds are a fantastic substitute for baked goods. They are entirely plant-based and do not add any additional flavor. Faux eggs are obtained by mixing them with water. These “eggs” are excellent binding agents used for making loaves of bread, cookies, and cakes.
Flax seeds are loaded with nutrients. They are high in omega-3 fats and decrease cholesterol levels. They help lower blood pressure as well as reduce the risk of cancer. Flax seeds are also rich in dietary fiber.
Chia seeds are nutritional bombs. They pack a massive amount of nutrients with very few calories. They are a great weight-loss food as they have high fiber and protein content. In addition to that, they also contain a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
Fruit And Veggie Puree
Purees are excellent binders and thickeners for dense and moist baked goods like muffins, bread, and doughnuts. Some good puree choices are banana, sweet potato, and pumpkin. Apple sauce is also a good replacer.
Fruit and vegetable purees are high in vitamins and minerals. They pack a lot of nutrition, even in small quantities. They are excellent antioxidants and limit cell damage within the body.
Vegan buttermilk, another flavorless alternative, is a fantastic substitute for binding and thickening. It also helps cakes, muffins, and pancakes rise. All you have to do is curdle some vegan milk with apple cider vinegar, and your buttermilk is ready.
Buttermilk improves oral health and is easy to digest. It lowers blood pressure levels as well as cholesterol levels. It also promotes strong bones.
Toaster strudels are not vegan.
Unfortunately, there are no popular brands that produce vegan toaster strudels. You may hit up local supermarkets and bakeries to find vegan toaster strudels or even fresh strudels.
You could even make your own toaster strudels with vegan alternatives. We’ve already discussed the alternatives of eggs in this article. You can find vegan milk and butter on grocery store shelves easily.
If you find some different toaster strudels and want to check if they are vegan, do a quick scan of the ingredients at the back. The most common non-vegan ingredients you would find are butter, milk, and eggs.
If the packet is free of these ingredients, enjoy your toaster strudels!