Popcorn is one of the great foodie joys of life. Nothing quite beats sitting down to watch a movie and gleefully enjoying a tub of popcorn while you watch. At first glance, you would assume that popcorn is indeed vegan, after all, it is just corn right?
Well, yes, technically it is. However, it does depend on how the popcorn is prepared, as it is the preparation that will dictate how vegan a popcorn is.
With this painful fact in mind, it is time to find out, is popcorn vegan?
Is Popcorn Vegan?
Can vegans have popcorn? Popcorn is basically just kettle corn that is made with oil and then seasoned with salt and sugar. Although it does depend on the ‘flavor’, this is traditional popcorn. Therefore, it is typically vegan.
Most brands of popcorn will still make it this way. However, adding a flavor to the popcorn can make it no longer vegan.
So, it does depend quite heavily on the flavoring, and what is added to it.
Can Vegans Eat Microwave Popcorn?
Microwave popcorn can be vegan, however, this only applies if the popcorn is plain, wherein the seasoning is only salt. Salted popcorn is vegan.
That being said, things change when the popcorn is accompanied by other additives such as butter and so on, these popcorn flavors contain animal products. So while salted popcorn is vegan, flavored popcorn is something to watch out for because it may not be vegan.
Is Popcorn Healthy For Vegans?
We cannot say that popcorn is healthy. Plain it is not unhealthy, it is just popped kernels. That being said, it is oiled, which means that it is about as healthy as anything else that is cooked using oil, and is about as good for you as a packet of potato chips.
However, the flavorings do have a part to play as well. Salted popcorn won’t be very healthy, but buttered popcorn is worse. So, eating vegan popcorn will be better for you than non-vegan popcorn. However, it is very far off being as good for you as a salad.
Popcorn is not exactly nutritious either, but it is high in fiber, so if you do need something to get your bowels moving, popcorn is not a bad idea.
Is Popcorn Gluten Free?
You might worry that popcorn is not gluten-free, however, it is. This means that if you are on a vegan diet and require a diet that is also gluten-free, popcorn is a good option for you. It is high in fiber, has a low-calorie count, and has a low energy density too, but this is before flavorings are added.
Plain or salted popcorn will be gluten-free though, so these are ideal flavors for vegans and those with a gluten intolerance alike.
However, do watch out. Always make sure you read the ingredients list if you are buying pre-packaged popcorn. Certain flavoring may contain a form of gluten.
Is Movie Theater Popcorn Vegan?
You’d probably think not. However, a lot of theaters across the United States actually offer ‘accidentally’ vegan snacks. In fact, the buttery popcorn flavoring in many theaters is likely actually vegan, containing no actual butter.
A lot of theaters will also provide flavorings after the popcorn is handed to you, so you can just have it plain.
Do not assume it is vegan straight-up though, always ask. Plain popcorn will be vegan every time as vegan-friendly oil is used to pop the popcorn, but when it comes to flavorings it is best to be a skeptic and ask.
What Popcorn Brands Are vegan?
What popcorn is vegan? That is the question. If you decide you can’t be bothered to put in the effort of popping corn yourself, who should you buy it from to feel comfortable that it is vegan?
Well, there are actually plenty of sellers that sell vegan popcorn, but here are my favorites.
- Boom Chicka Pop: Flavors- Sea salt, avocado oil, salted caramel, light kettle corn, sweet and salty kettle corn. Microwave flavors- Sea salt and lightly sweet kettle corn.
- Skinny Pop: Flavors- Original, white cheddar, sweet and salty kettle, sea salt and pepper, a twist of lime. Microwave flavors: Sea salt, butter.
- Smart Food: Flavors- Smart50 sea salt.
- Earth Balance: Vegan buttery flavor, vegan aged white cheddar puffs, vegan aged white cheddar flavor.
- Orville Redenbacher Popcorn: Flavors- Naturals simply salt, kettle corn, Naturals Light simply salt, SmartPop! Kettle corn.
- Pop Secret: flavors: Kettle corn.
- Newman’s Own: Flavors: Sea salt, tender white.
- Act II: Butter lovers, kettle corn.
- Jolly Time: Flavors: Kettle mania, simply popped sea salt, healthy pop kettle corn.
Need to know more? I have got all the FAQs for you answered right here!
Can I Eat Popcorn On A Plant-Based Diet?
You can eat popcorn if you are on a plant-based diet, all you need to do is make sure that you are careful with the flavorings. Toffee, cheese, and some butter-flavored popcorn will not be plant-based, so just keep an eye on the ingredients.
Is AMC Popcorn Vegan?
AMC’s popcorn is popped in canola oil which is a great start. Their plain popcorn that comes without butter is vegan, so technically, yes.
Is Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Vegan?
Orville Redenbacher has many popcorn flavors which are vegan. These include Naturals Simply Salt, SmartPop Kettle Corn, and Naturals Lightly Salted Simply Salt.
Is Smartfood Popcorn Vegan?
Smartfood Popcorn has 7 flavors of popcorn, many of which are not vegan. In fact, 6 of their flavors are not vegan, their only vegan popcorn is their Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn Smartfood Popcorn.
Is Caramel Popcorn Vegan?
Normal caramel is packed with butter. While some companies can make caramel vegan, most do not so it is best to stay away from caramel popcorn unless you make it yourself.
Is Disneyland Popcorn Vegan?
All of the so-called ‘buttered’ popcorn at Disney will actually be vegan. They use artificial butter that is free of dairy to flavor the popcorn!
Summary: Most Popcorn Is Vegan!
All and all, it’s good news! The majority of popcorn is vegan. However, always make sure you read the labels and the ingredients, to ensure there are no animal-based ingredients used. Often, this will be in the form of dairy butter.