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Is Quaker Oats Vegan? Can Vegans Eat Quaker Oats?

Is Quaker Oats Vegan? Can Vegans Eat Quaker Oats?

Answer: It depends.

Is Quaker Oats Vegan? Can Vegans Eat Quaker Oats?

Is Quaker Oats Vegan?

Quaker Oatmeal has been around for over 140 years. People prefer oat porridge over other porridges like maize, wheat, millet, cassava, rye, and sorghum.  

Oatmeal is a favorite for most porridge lovers because it has an irresistible nutty flavor, chewy texture, and rich nutrients. 

Another plus for Quaker Oatmeal is its high fiber content and low-calorie levels. Not forgetting the relatively low price and quick but straightforward way to prepare it. 

Though the significant ingredient in all Quaker products is oat, which is plant-based, vegans still need to make sure whether a specific line or flavor of Quaker Oatmeal is vegan or not vegan. 

Types of Quaker Oatmeal

At the time of harvesting, oat grain has a tough husk cover. You need to remove the outer shell before you can eat it. What remains is the oat groat.

The oat goat goes through different processes to make it faster to cook and more comfortable to chew. Various terms for types of oatmeal are based on the methods of preparing hulled oats for cooking.

Quaker Old Fashion Oats are whole oats rolled flat after removing the husks and steaming. The end product is whole grain and vegan because it is an organic plant product. Quaker Steel Cut Oats are whole grain oats cut into thirds but not rolled. They are healthier than rolled oats because of their dense texture. Instant Quakers are cut finer and rolled thinner than steel-cut and rolled oats. They cook very fast. Quick Quaker Oats are whole oats that have undergone chopping into smaller pieces to make them cook faster.

All these types of Quaker Oatmeal are whole and vegan.

The extras might be animal products like milk, honey, and butter. Added vitamins may come either from plants or animals. An example is vitamin A which may originate from fish, egg yolks, or synthetic.

Let us look at the common ingredients in Quaker Oatmeal.

Standard Quaker Oatmeal Ingredients 

  • Reduced iron
  • Caramel color
  • Guar gum
  • Vitamin A palmitate
  • Thiamin mononitrate
  • Natural flavor
  • Sucralose
  • Sugar
  • Artificial flavor
  • Pyridoxine hydrochloride
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Salt
  • Whole grain oats
  • Riboflavin
  • Folic acid
  • Niacinamide

Which Quaker Oatmeal Are or Aren’t Vegan?

From 1877 when Quaker Mill Company acquired the trademark for Quaker Oats, they introduced many lines and flavors, some outrightly vegan and others non-vegan. Still, there are some flavors whose veganism is questionable.

Plain Quaker oats are vegan, but the ones with additives may or may not be vegan. Eight out of ten Quaker oats flavors are vegan except honey and cream, which have animal products.

Most of the Quaker Oat flavors of the Instant Oat line have additives whose veganism status is questionable. 

I have grouped them into 100% vegan, non-vegan, and potentially not vegan or not vegan-friendly ingredients.

Quaker Oats That Are Vegan

  • Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
  • Organic Instant Oatmeal

Quaker Oats That Are Not Vegan

  • Quaker Honey & Almond
  • Quaker Peaches & Cream Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker Blueberries & Cream Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker Honey Bun Instant Oatmeal

Questionable Quaker Oat Flavors and Lines

  • Quaker Cinnamon & Spice Instant Oatmeal 
  • Quaker Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker Apple & Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker Super Grains Instant Hot Cereal
  • Quaker Oatmeal Squares
  • Quaker Cinnamon Swirl
  • Quaker Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker Lower Sugar Apples & Cinnamon
  • Quaker Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker Lower Sugar Maple & Brown Sugar
  • Quaker Banana Nut
  • Quaker Raisins & Spice Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker Adventure Animals, Strawberry
  • Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar
  • Quaker Apple & Cranberries Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker Cinnamon Roll Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker Banana & Maple Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker Raisin, Date & Walnut Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker Protein Instant Oatmeal
  • Cranberry Almond
  • Quaker Protein Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker SuperGrains Instant Hot Cereal
  • Quaker SuperGrains Instant Hot Cereal

Controversies Around Quaker Oatmeal

Some ingredients in Quaker Oatmeal flavors are neither vegan nor non-vegan. Though plant-based, these ingredients could be contaminated with animal products while processing at the source manufacturer’s levels and not at Quakers Mill Company.

White sugar is one such ingredient. Although it is from sugarcane, a plant source, white sugar is filtered through cow bone char to bleach it. And the bone char is from cows. The presence of natural flavor in the oatmeal flavors is also controversial. Quakers probably use synthetic natural flavors, but some may be questionable.  

Another controversy regards ethical questions. Even though artificial colors are synthetic and therefore are not animal-based, they are animal-tested, and vegans avoid artificial colors on the grounds of animal cruelty

Is Quaker Oat healthy?

Whole grain oats prevent diabetes and lower cholesterol. Studies also show that it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. The fiber in oatmeal is good for the digestive tract. Oats are also an excellent source of vitamin E, vitamin B, and minerals such as magnesium. Eating oatmeal, the main ingredient in Quaker Oatmeal can help you lose weight.

However, not all types of oatmeal have the same benefits. Instant Oats have the least amount of nutritional value. Steel-Cut Oats and Old-Fashioned Oats are less-proceeded and have higher nutritional value.

Alternatives To Quaker Oats

An alternative to Quaker Oatmeal for vegans is to brew homemade oatmeal using plain oats. For flavor and nutrients, you can add other ingredients like spices, other grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Besides ensuring that your oatmeal is 100% vegan, drinking home-brewed oatmeal has the added advantage of having more nutrients because it is not processed. Another beauty of home-brewed oatmeal is that you can concoct your fresh flavors by adding other ingredients, such as fruits or spices.

For more nutritional value, avoid quick-cook oats because they have been processing a lot. Choose the long-cooking oatmeal that is more whole.

Last Thoughts

The best way to know vegan versus non-vegan Quaker Oatmeal is the list of ingredients on the package. Old Fashioned and Steel-Cut Oats are less processed. Instant Oatmeal is highly processed and is full of several artificial ingredients.

Avoid flavors that indicate cream or honey. You also need to check out all ingredients on the pack of every Quaker product you want to buy.

Where you are not sure of an ingredient, inquire first to be sure of its vegan status.