Tortilla chips are an anytime bite. You can snack on them while watching a good movie, as a travel snack, or during midnight munchies. If you love this treat, you may be wondering are tortillas vegan? Read on to find out!
Tortilla chips are a small-sized snack made from maize flour that is either baked or fried. They have many different flavors and can be eaten plain or with dips like guacamole or pesto.
The Aztecs developed the first tortilla chips, called totopochtli, as a convenient food (shelf-stable and light, suitable for voyages). In Central America and Mexico, tortillas are still made by ancient Aztec technology. The traditional preparation involves corn, lime-cooked in pots over a fire and steeped, to form masa (maize flour)
For the most part, tortilla chips are vegan. The ingredients used are all plant-based. The main ones include:
- Corn (Coarse masa)
- Vegetable oil
- Calcium hydroxide
Extra ingredients are usually added. These are preservatives, emulsifiers, gums, and acidulants. Mainly to improve shelf life and to maintain certain properties of the product. Take extra caution when choosing the flavors because some may contain animal-based products. An example would be cheese flavored tortilla chips.
Are They Vegan?
Good news. There are many brands that are vegan.
However, not all tortilla chips are vegan. Some contain flavors and colors that are not vegan-friendly.
A wide range of these chips use animal-based products, such as cheese and buttermilk. On top of that, the colorings used to give them that fried/baked golden look may have been tested on the small furry animals like rats and mice.
Furthermore, big brands that make other non-vegan snacks might not align with vegan values. Kraft Heinz sells both the tortilla chips and meat. So even though their chips are vegan, the values of the company do not necessarily align with the vegan lifestyle. This is up to the individual to decide. Once you clearly define your boundaries, you will know which brands to go for.
If you are an avid snacker and a vegan, there are plenty of vegan-friendly options for this snack. There’s a long list of vegan-friendly chips, included in it are tortilla chips. Examples include:
- Taco Bell Tortilla Chips
- Spicy Sweet Chilli Doritos
- Fritos original corn chips
Still, as a general rule, look out for tortillas that are plain and organic. This eliminates any chance of animal flavors and colors being present in the snack. Always check the packaging for extra information about the food you are consuming.
Another option and a great reason as to why these are such great snacks is they can be made at home. Even beginners can easily whip this up in their kitchens. They can be baked, microwaved, or fried, depending on what you want.