Are Pretzels Vegan?
A balanced diet, whatever it may be, is very important for the work of our body. It is very important how we feed and what our lifestyle is because these two factors represent as much as 90% of the causes of the disease unless we take care of them.
In order to be healthy and avoid various diseases, we need to know some basic things about healthy eating- and there are so many ways to eat nowadays, and we are not saying that one is better than the other, but it is for sure that some have more benefits than some others.
To begin with, there is a diet that is based on eating a lot of meat, and there are those that are based on vegetables, but also the ones that are vegan or vegetarian.
Maybe the vegan diet seems to be most restrictive because it does not allow usage of any product that comes from an animal, and even more, some ethical vegans do not approve food or any other item that was produced by the non ethical treatment.
But the benefits are enormous, as many like to point out, even if the struggle to eat some common items remains, although these days almost everything has a vegan alternative.
One of the most favorite bread products are pretzels, and they are loved snack, even breakfast, they are delicious and just like a perfect slice of bread they “love” when something is spread on top of them, they become even better.
But, are the vegan?
Pretzels are known for hundreds of years
Let us talk a bit about their history – that famous shape is known for so many years that it is easy to lose count. Some claim that the history of pretzels dates back to the 7th century BC.
In this early stage, the French monks baked salted dough, the shape of which was like baby hands folded and placed on their shoulders when praying. Each pretzel has three holes representing the holy trinity – it is amazing how we have forgotten about this origin.
Also, the fact that they could be consumed when the fasting time of the month or a year comes made them a perfect food for that period. The simplicity and absence of dairy or eggs made pretzels suitable. They were made just with the water and flour and then baked.
In some parts of the world, pretzels also had one hidden and significant meaning – where it was forbidden to practice your religion, housewives had been making pastries whose ends were intertwined to form a cross in the middle, and this pastry replaced the cake that was used in religious ceremonies.
Nowadays, there are numerous recipes for pretzel dough, but what is most important is to form the dough into this distinctive shape.
If you are making pretzels for the first time, we suggest starting with a classic pretzel recipe that you can’t go wrong with.
You can make pretzels by combining different types of flour. Also try pretzels with whole meal flour, rye flour pretzels, or corn flour pretzels.
The most famous type of pretzels is any Bavarian pretzels that are lowered into boiling water before baking. Interestingly, the world’s oldest preserved pretzel was found in the east of Bavaria and is more than 250 years old. On-site in Germany, in a wooden house, or what is left out of it, the remains of pretzels, rolls, and croissants are found.
What an amazing discovery that speaks so much about the time and the food and its impact on the human race. Even today, in Germany, a lot of pretzels are consumed – especially in southern parts of this country. Here, people eat it for breakfast, with sausages and sweet mustard.
You can find various versions of pretzels, they can the soft and hard, or you can buy them as a small snack in stores, in a mini version.
In many countries around the world, they have gained almost cult following, especially in New York, where it is believed that the best pretzels in the world are made. It is said that the pretzel that is sold in the big apple such that they will show you what the true breadth of the metropolis can be.
Their pretzels are both cooked and baked, and they are soft enough, crunchy enough, and sesame-like, and much tastier than in some other parts of the world. You can choose any topping to put on them, but the most common is mustard, a special New York kind.
You can find even sweet pretzels that do not have anything in common with regular ones, but their shape and these are smaller – this is another topic.
Of course, every country in the world has its own twist of them, and that is the beauty of food.
To learn are pretzels vegan, we must look at its ingredients, and we will take the simplest recipe, the easiest possible.
During the time, so many new recipes have surfaced, many twists and additions, and of course, the mass production made its own twist (that is maybe the worst version for all vegans out there).
They are made out of flour, water, and yeast, and yes, all of these three ingredients are vegan, in fact. The primary recipes call for regular flour, the white one, yeast, and regular’s water, nothing too fancy.
If you eat or make this simple recipe, without anything added to them, it is safe to say that Pretzels are vegan. But in stores, you can find so many kinds that have additions, and they are those that make them non-vegan.
Mostly we think on the added fats that are more or less very common, even in home-made cooking, and as you know, they are not all vegan.
Are Pretzels Vegan?
So, pretzel the most common kind, without any additions, made simply out of yeast, water, and flour of your choice is vegan.
Fat is the element that can make them non-vegan, and it is very commonly added (margarine or butter) to make them softer and sweeter.
Some recipes call for egg that is also unacceptable for vegans, because, it is used to cover the pretzel to make them shiny and more delicious.
Also, one thing to be careful when it comes to any pretzel and your vegan diet, it is truly important to keep it without any toppings – and it can be sugar, mustard, some sour cream-based toppings, or even honey that is added to give them a good glaze and taste.
Of course, honey is out of the question for vegans as well as white sugar (because of the process of production and bone char).
Additionally, we must add one more thing – on the market, and there are store-bought bags of small pretzels that are mostly not vegan, because they have, besides a large number of preservatives and additives, sugar, fat, and salt. Look for those that are labeled as vegan, and there are such on the market.
Are Pretzels Healthy?
The pretzels are practically made of flour and yeast, and this food that is made from refined carbohydrates has absolutely no good side and health impact.
We must say that they taste great and can fulfill you, but unless you eat those made of some whole wheat flour, there is nothing “useful” you will put in your body, besides the momentary energy.
Because of the accessibility (pretzel could be bought on every corner, they can eat along the way, and they can fill you up with your morning coffee), we eat such snacks more than ever, and this is a trend that will not change any time soon, that is for sure.
Some say that the non-simple version of pretzels has a lot of calories that are more or less enough for a fourth meal. Should we avoid them completely? Of course not, the key is in balance, and if you are able to make or buy some healthier options, the better.
What’s “dangerous” when it comes to snacking pretzels is the inordinate amounts of toppings (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, sour cream, whipped cream, cheese, butter, margarine,…), which usually contain little vitamin and minerals and too many additives as long as calories.
Extra calories from all types of foods, including snacks, contribute to an unhealthy weight unless calories are consumed for some physical activity – balance is mandatory even in a vegan diet.
Some suggestions for snacking pretzels in a vegan way
There are so many treats such as cakes, sweets, chips, which do not contain enough of the ingredients necessary for us (calcium, vitamin D, potassium, fiber…). Of course, do not allow yourself to nibble all day can spoil hunger signals, which can further lead them to overeat.
Despite the potential pitfalls, snacking can be good for vegans, but in limited quantities. Most of us are so busy that we have irregular eating habits, and healthy snacks can fill the gaps in eating. Snacking in the right way can improve energy levels.
Snacks should be seen as a small dish, not as something that will spoil a mean meal. In this way, snacks are a good way of eating, so it is not necessary to consider whether the child is hungry enough for the next meal.
When you are a vegan, you must include proteins in your diet – whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Some snacks are rich in carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
Generally speaking, this type of food can keep you satiated for an extended period of time and is packed with ingredients that are necessary for activity.
We have made some better options for snacking that is suitable for vegans – eat when you want pretzels that are specifically vegan (with some added vegan fat and seeds to make it healthier) or the simplest regular kind water, yeast and flour with a bit of salt on the top.
Always opt for less greasy and less salty pretzels or the ones that are made out of some healthier flour like whole wheat. What you can eat with them are some cooked or fresh vegetables.
Some people like to spread them with a vegan spread, just like incredibly tasty and nutritive hummus.
A long time ago, it was said that every element that we bring into our food and then in our bodies, build us up and change us.
Our food, the one that we consume daily, depends on our strength, health, and life. It can diminish it, or it can make it better, and this relates to all those food items we consume daily, including snacks.
It is also said that food can be medicine for us – this means that since ancient times, people have known that food ingredients are what can make us healthy.
Have this in mind when you are choosing, planning, or cooking or buying your next meal. Choose wisely, and it will pay off in many ways.
If you are not sure about the vegan status of the pretzel in your neighborhood pretzel stand, then make your own. The recipes are pretty simple, and the results are delicious.
Making pretzels yourself is usually far more nutritious, healthier, and more economical than relying on shopping packages, particularly if you are a vegan.
It can be a good breakfast, or it can be healthy snacks that are in your case vegan, so over time, they will learn to appreciate more.
Have in mind that your vegan family, if they choose to be, should be taught to appreciate their hunger and not always have to eat whatever is offered to them.
Lastly, pay attention to your snacks and be a role model for your children. As they grow up, children generally look up to you, so choose your snacks: they should be as healthy as possible and do not overdo it.
In this way, they will learn to eat pretzels in a vegan and healthy way – buy some simple version, or make your own.