There are many meals and snacks in our culture which are hard to categorize as vegan-friendly.
They might look perfectly safe from a distance, but when you look at the packaging you see that milk powder has been used in the ingredients.
Worse still, some of the non-vegan ingredients are hidden under scientific names like gelatin, carmine, and casein.
When you first attempt a vegan lifestyle it can be difficult to understand all these terms, and for many of us, it doesn’t get easier as we become more experienced.
That’s why we want to take away any confusion or doubt.
Today we will look at saltines and ask if they are vegan. The answer? Yes, Saltines are vegan.
Are Saltines Vegan?
Saltine crackers are vegan as their only ingredients are yeast, barley flour, salt, baking soda, and enriched flour. No animal part or animal creation is included in the recipes.
Of course, not every brand will have the same ingredient list, which means you still need to look at the packaging to make sure nothing strange is going on.
Buttery saltines may actually contain butter, but crispy and delicate saltines are probably vegan.
What Is A Saltine Cracker?
Saltine crackers originally came from Massachusetts, USA. They were created in the mid to late 1800s as a quick snack to fill up soldiers and sailors.
When the army would return home, they wanted to continue eating this snack, but with a few tweaks.
Because army personnel couldn’t take fresh ingredients with them on the road, they made bread that was dense, dry, and hard.
With more time and resources bakers tried to recreate this army food, but make it lighter. Baking salt was included along with baking soda, which instantly improved the cracker.
From dense and hard, the cracker became light and crispy, and yet it could still travel well. Perfection!
Fantastic Saltine Brands
There are multiple saltine brands for you to choose from, each with its own textures, flavors, and salt levels.
As we said before, some of these brands will add butter for a smoother texture. Those are the brands you need to avoid.
To help make it easier to spot a vegan saltine brand, we’ve created a list of our favorites. Next time you’re grocery shopping, keep these brands in mind.
Nabisco Premium Saltine Crackers
Nabisco saltine crackers are probably the most popular, and definitely the most recognizable saltine brand out there. You’ll be happy to learn that all of their crackers are vegan.
There are three different types of saltine crackers that they sell. The first is the original, the second is whole grain and the third is “unsalted tops”.
The unsalted tops doesn’t mean that there is no salt at all in the cracker. Instead, it’s referring to the added salt rocks which normally lay on top of the final layer. They are a less salty version for people who need a low-sodium diet.
If you’re from Canada, you should know that this brand goes by a different name in your country – Christie’s Premium Plus Crackers.
They are the same crackers which mean they are still vegan. They are simply under a different product name.
Keebler Zesta Original Crackers
Second in line for Miss Popular is the Keebler’s Zesta. Just like Nabisco, Keebler also has a wheat and a reduced salt version of their original box.
Both Keebler and Nabisco have been confirmed as vegan by Peta, and you can check this status on their website.
It’s found under their “Accidentally Vegan” list which shows you all of the food and snacks in the US which happen to be vegan without needing to change anything.
For example, an apple is accidentally vegan. Sellers of apples might not be aiming for a vegan customer demographic, but their product will happily end up in a vegan’s kitchen.
Sunshine Krispy Saltine Crackers
Sunshine Krispy Saltine Crackers are vegan just like the other two brands, but they have another thing in common with Keebler.
Both Keebler and Sunshine are brands that share the same parent company – Kellogs.
This leads us to a slight issue. Well, not an issue, but definitely a level of confusion. Both Sunshine Krispy and Keebler Zesta have the same ingredients list:
“Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Soybean Oil with TBHQ for Freshness, Salt, Contains Two Percent or Less of Corn Syrup, Yeast, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin.”
They might be baked differently, as their method isn’t shown on the labels, however, if you think these two brands are indistinguishable, then don’t worry, you’re not going crazy.
Target’s Market Pantry Saltine Crackers
The last brand on our list is Target’s own saltine collection. They don’t have the same variety as the other brands on our list, however, they tend to be a lot cheaper than their rivals and taste just as good.
If you want, you could buy each of these packets and blind taste them. Figure out which brand you prefer, so when you next go shopping you can pick up your favorite knowing that it’s not just vegan, it’s the best vegan choice out there.
Watch Out For Palm Oil
Before we say goodbye, we need to quickly mention palm oil. Being vegan doesn’t just mean avoiding meats and dairy products, it also means avoiding products made by animals too.
Some people like to go the extra mile and also avoid products that contribute to harming the world.
If that sounds like you, make sure to look for ingredients that include palm oil. Palm oil is a massive contributor to deforestation, killing natural habitats, endangering animals, and all for an easy-to-replace oil.
So there you have it. Saltine crackers are vegan and many of the best brands keep it that way.