Nabisco’s Chips Ahoy is one of the most popular, best-selling brands of chocolate chip cookies in America. Since they first hit store shelves in 1963, they’ve remained a household staple.
They’re available at most grocery stores, big box stores, and convenience stores. Unfortunately, cookies can be a bit problematic when it comes to the vegan diet…
So, are Chips Ahoy vegan?
Sadly, Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies are NOT vegan. For one, they contain refined white sugar, which many vegans try to avoid.
They also contain palm oil and milk, which are two other non-vegan food additives that either come from animals or are responsible for the slaughter of innocent animals.
I know, you’re probably feeling a bit let down… However, there are plenty of great-tasting vegan cookies on the market! For example, did you know that most varieties of Girl Scout Cookies are vegan?
I don’t like to leave my readers without an explanation, though. So, in today’s post, I’m going to give you a full breakdown of all of the ingredients used to make Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies.
This will allow you to see exactly why they aren’t vegan and will help familiarize you with common food additives you need to watch out for.
Are you ready to learn more about what’s really in your favorite chocolate chip cookies?
Do Chips Ahoy Have Dairy?
Growing up, I had the pleasure of baking cookies with my grandma on numerous occasions. True to her old-school ways, she never used pre-made cookie dough.
Instead, she made her very own homemade cookie dough based on a recipe that her mother (my great-grandmother) taught her long before.
While the process of learning how to bake real cookies from scratch was rewarding, it certainly wasn’t vegan. Every time we baked homemade cookies, we used dairy-based ingredients like butter, milk, cream, or milk chocolate.
While Chips Ahoy may be more “modern” and processed than my grandma’s cookies, they still contain dairy. Chips Ahoy uses semisweet chocolate chips, which are a form of milk chocolate that’s made with real milk.
Unfortunately, these chocolate chips are the main reason why Chips Ahoy isn’t vegan, as it’s the only pure animal product on the list.
Do Chips Ahoy Cookies Have Eggs?
Eggs were another common ingredient that my grandma used to bake her cookies and brownies with. Unfortunately, eggs are not at all vegan, as they come straight from exploited hens.
That being said, Chips Ahoy cookies do not have any eggs. Instead, the company uses cooking oils and thick, syrupy high-fructose corn syrup to act as natural emulsifiers to hold the cookie dough together.
Of course, this doesn’t make them vegan, as they still contain milk. So, don’t get too excited.
On the other hand, you can always bake your own vegan chocolate chip cookies from home using simple, easy-to-find ingredients:
What Are Chips Ahoy Cookies Made Of? A Look At The Ingredients
For the most part, Chips Ahoy cookies are made with a fairly simple recipe. Unlike some of the other more processed cookies I’ve seen, Chips Ahoy contains just ten simple ingredients.
In a world where twenty-ingredient candies are becoming more and more “normal,” it’s nice to see that some companies are still sticking to basic, minimally processed recipes.
Although Chips Ahoy may not be quite as processed as their competitors, they’re still not vegan, though. Here’s the shortlist of the ingredients so you can see for yourself:
Now, let me take a minute to go through all of the ingredients with you! This will allow you to see which ingredients are okay and which ingredients should be avoided.
The more you familiarize yourself with reading (and understanding) food ingredients, the easier it will be to tell which products are vegan without having to resort to Google!
1) Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour
The number one ingredient in most cookies is wheat flour. Wheat flour is a plant-based vegan baking ingredient that’s made by drying, grinding, and filtering wheat until it’s a pure dry powder.
This powder is then mixed with water to create the dough, which can be used for bread, cookies, pizza, and more!
Chips Ahoy uses unbleached flour as well, which means that it’s minimally processed and isn’t bleached with chemical treatments. Additionally, the flour is enriched with natural vitamins and minerals, which improve the taste and make the dough more nutritious.
2) Semisweet Chocolate Chips
The semisweet chocolate chips are, sadly, the least vegan ingredient in Chips Ahoy cookies. Chocolate chips, in general, are a bit tricky when it comes to vegan diets.
This is because the most popular types of chocolate chips (milk chocolate chips and semisweet chocolate chips) are almost always made with dairy.
Even some forms of bittersweet chocolate chips contain dairy!
The only chocolate chips that are really safe for vegans to eat are the dark chocolate chips that are made with natural cane sugar and pure cocoa.
The semisweet chocolate chips used by Chips Ahoy are made with sugar, cocoa, cocoa butter, dextrose, milk, and soy lecithin. As you can see, the milk is the problem.
Sugar, particularly white sugar, is another common ingredient that more and more vegans are starting to boycott.
Although all sugar starts off as vegan-friendly cane sugar, it must first be filtered through animal bone char to remove the coloring and create the pretty white sugar crystals that are most often used in baking.
The reason why sugar is bleached is to create a more concentrated, less flavorful product. This makes it easier to blend into different recipes. Unfortunately, this process also turns what’s normally a vegan product into a non-vegan product.
4) Canola Oil
Canola oil is one of the most commonly used cooking oils in the world. This sustainable cooking oil is obtained by pressing the seeds of canola flowers to release their natural oils.
Canola oil is known for being a high-temperature cooking oil, which is why it’s often used in frying and baking applications.
It’s both affordable and sustainable, making it an excellent choice for vegans!
5) Palm Oil
Palm oil, on the other hand, is a very problematic cooking oil in the vegan community.
While palm oil is technically plant-based, the industry behind palm oil is very destructive to our rainforests and the diverse wildlife ecosystems within them.
Palm oil mostly comes from Indonesia and Brazil, where there are very few laws to protect the natural rainforests. As a result, animals are driven from their homes and slaughtered as their homes are burned down around them.
This is why most ethically-driven vegans avoid palm oil.
6) High-Fructose Corn Syrup
High-fructose corn syrup is an incredibly concentrated form of corn syrup that’s used in many processed foods. Unlike sugar, though, it isn’t filtered through any animal char. So it’s 100% vegan.
7) Leavening Agents
Leavening agents like baking soda are completely vegan and are made from natural elemental compounds. Leavening agents prevent the cookie dough from rising too much, allowing the dough to form into a crisp, low-profile cookie when baked!
Salt is almost always added to the dough used for cookies and bread. This is because salt makes the dough stronger. This, in turn, prevents the cookies from crumbling too much or falling apart in your hands.
9) Natural & Artificial Flavors
All Chips Ahoy cookies are made with both natural and artificial flavors. These are a bit of a trade secret, but I assume that vanilla is used based on the flavor of the cookies.
10) Caramel Color
If you’ve never noticed, Chips Ahoy cookies all have the same perfect color. This isn’t an accident. It’s the result of artificial caramel coloring that’s added to the dough. This food coloring is vegan-friendly and synthetic, though, so no worries there!
The Verdict – Are Chips Ahoy Vegan-Friendly?
Unfortunately, Chips Ahoy is not vegan-friendly, as they contain milk, palm oil, and refined white sugar. However, there are some great vegan cookies available to choose from. You just have to know where to find them.