If you were the 80s or 90s baby like me, then you probably grew up eating Eggos as part of your breakfast routine.
I know that my family always had a box of Eggo frozen waffles in the freezer for mornings when we didn’t have time to cook a homemade breakfast. Unfortunately, though, most waffles aren’t vegan.
So, are Eggos Vegan?
Sadly, Eggo frozen waffles are NOT vegan. All varieties of Eggo waffles contain both dairy and eggs, which means that they’re non-vegan.
Additionally, most Eggo waffles also contain white sugar, which is a non-vegan sweetener due to the fact that it’s filtered through animal bone char.
Below, I’ll answer some of the most common vegan-related questions about waffles and show you exactly why Eggos (and most waffles) aren’t a vegan-friendly breakfast food.
Do Waffles Have Dairy?
Waffles have been around for a long time. Some historians date the first waffles back to ancient Greece, where thin cakes were pressed between metal plates and baked over an open fire.
Although the exact recipe and the iconic “waffle” shape have changed over the centuries, one thing has remained the same – most waffles contain dairy.
In ancient times, raw milk straight from a cow was used. Today, whey or milk powder is more commonly added to processed waffle brands like Eggo.
Dairy is often added to bread-based foods as it provides extra protein and makes the waffle more filling. Milk also contains natural sugars, which makes for a sweeter-tasting bread!
Unfortunately, vegans do not consume milk and dairy, as the dairy industry is immensely cruel to captive cows.
That being said, you can easily make your own homemade vegan waffles! Check out this simple, easy-to-follow recipe from SweetPotatoSoul:
Can Vegans Eat Frozen Waffles?
Now, you might think that frozen waffles are a bit different from homemade waffles. After all, they’re frozen. So, why would they contain real milk?
Although most frozen waffles don’t contain liquid milk, they usually contain dried, powdered milk products such as milk fat, powdered milk, whey, or casein.
Additionally, most frozen waffles also contain eggs, which are never vegan. The poultry and commercial egg industries are quite cruel and the chickens are often abused and kept in horrible conditions for the short duration of their lives before they die of disease or stress.
Are Eggo Waffles Dairy-Free?
When Eggos first hit store shelves in 1953, they were designed to taste like the real thing and used a simple, authentic recipe. Like traditional waffle recipes of the day, Eggos contain real dairy, which means that they are NOT dairy-free.
This means that Eggo frozen waffles aren’t suitable for vegans or lactose-intolerant eaters.
Do Eggo Waffles Have Eggs?
As a kid, I always wondered how Eggos got their name. Nobody I asked knew either. Once I learned how to start reading ingredients labels, though, it all made sense…
All Eggo waffles are made with real eggs, which makes them non-vegan.
What Are Eggo Waffles Made Of? Ingredients Listed
Ultimately, waffles are very rarely ever going to be vegan. Unless you’re making your own homemade vegan waffle mix with a vegan egg substitute or visiting a vegan breakfast joint, then they’re almost always going to contain dairy and/or eggs.
I don’t just expect you guys to take my word alone for it, though. I’m always encouraging my readers to learn more about the ingredients in their food, so they can start answering these types of questions for themselves.
So, with that in mind, here’s a look at the ingredients used in Eggo frozen waffles:
All of the other varieties of Eggo waffles use pretty much the same ingredients. The only difference is that some varieties contain added fruit, chocolate chips, or buttermilk. This means that no flavors of Eggo waffles are currently vegan-friendly.
Now that you’ve had a chance to read through the ingredients list, here’s a more detailed explanation of each ingredient, so you can tell which ones are problematic.
1) Enriched Wheat Flour & Water
Like most bread products, all waffles start with a simple dough mixture that’s made from wheat flour and water. Wheat flour (and all other forms of flour) is always vegan. It’s a pure, plant-based baking powder that’s made from dried wheat.
2) Vegetable Oil
Traditional waffle recipes often use butter, which is a dairy-derived ingredient. However, Eggos are made with vegetable oil instead.
The company doesn’t exactly specify which type of cooking oil they use and states that it could be soybean oil, canola oil, palm oil, cottonseed oil, or a mixture of multiple oils.
While most of those cooking oils are sustainably sourced and vegan-friendly, palm oil is not. Palm oil is very destructive to our rainforests and has nearly driven orangutans to extinction. Therefore, palm oil is not considered vegan, even though it’s technically plant-based.
Sugar is always traditionally added to both processed and homemade waffles. Although sugar starts off as a vegan-friendly sweetener, the refining process used to turn natural cane sugar into white sugar isn’t exactly vegan.
To filter the brown color and malt flavor out of the raw sugar, it must first be filtered through animal bone char, a special type of charcoal used to process sugar.
For this reason, many vegans have started boycotting any and all products that contain white sugar. Instead, we try to consume foods that are naturally sweetened with raw cane sugar or plant-based syrup-like rice syrup or corn syrup.
4) Leavening Agents
Leavening agents like baking soda are added to waffles to create a stronger, firmer dough. This prevents the dough from rising too much and having a cake-like consistency. Leavening agents are made from natural minerals and organic compounds, so they’re always vegan.
A bit of salt is added to the waffle dough to strengthen the mixture. When added to the raw dough, salt makes for a chewy texture, which is evident in most waffles.
Salt is always vegan, though, and it’s only unhealthy when consumed in large, excessive amounts. Most waffle recipes only call for a small amount of salt, though, so it’s nothing to worry about!
Dextrose is a simple starch that’s typically derived from corn or potatoes. This simple starch sometimes serves as a mild sweetener. However, in this case, it’s used as a mild preservative to keep the waffles dry and moisture-free.
Eggo uses a signature blend of natural spices to give its frozen waffles a unique and iconic flavor. Unfortunately, this is a trade secret, so nobody’s really sure which spices are used.
Whey is powdered milk protein, which is why vegans don’t consume whey protein powder. This adds texture and flavor to the waffles, but it also makes them very non-vegan.
Like most traditional waffle recipes, Eggo waffles are made with real eggs, which makes them non-vegan, since eggs are a product of animal cruelty.
10) Soy Lecithin
Soy lecithin is a soy-based preservative that’s added to Eggos to help increase the shelf life and maintain a good texture and consistency.
11) Added Vitamins & Minerals
Like many other breakfast kinds of cereal, Eggo waffles contain a blend of added vitamins and minerals. This allows them to market their products as a “healthy” breakfast meal.
Unlike many cereal brands, which contain animal-derived vitamin D3, Eggos are made with a vegan-friendly mixture of vitamins and minerals.
The Verdict – Eggos Aren’t Vegan-Friendly
Although waffles have been around for a long time, they usually aren’t vegan. Most waffles traditionally contain both dairy and eggs, which aren’t vegan. Many also contain white sugar, which is a non-vegan sweetener.
If you’re looking for a healthy, delicious vegan breakfast, then I recommend checking out my post on the best vegan cereal brands next!