Ahh, Valentines.. Pink and red as far as the eye can see, heart shaped everything - a little bit of love sprinkled over the city, and festive candies galore, of course!
It may surprise you to know that MANY classic Valentine's candies you'll notice at your local supermarket or drugstore this time of year actually happen to be vegan! Accidentally vegan is what I like to call these guys! From conversation hearts to double lollies and twizzlers, theres plenty of vegan treats to satisfy your sweet tooth this Valentines!
I used to love prepping for Valentines as a kid - picking out festive candies and making cards, cutting out all those paper hearts to stick up on the wall, banners and tissue paper crafts and creations to no end.. I made a Valentine for nearly everyone I knew and even didn't know! Oh, and you better believe every single one had a piece of candy taped to it!
There was always something about this time, and being able to contribute a little bit of extra love into the neighbourhood.. We can sometimes interpret this time as a time only for couples and sweethearts, BUT it doesn't always have to be romantic to spread some love! For some of us, spreading that little extra bit of love - to friends, family, acquaintances, coworkers orrrrr significant others, might be expressed with a little help from some sweet confections - so let's talk about all the vegan Valentines candy you can get your hands on this month!
1. CONVERSATION HEARTS
My personal favourite.. There's something about HOW adorable these are, the pastel colours and the nostalgia combined. I love decorating with these, filling up an appealing dish or jar, maybe even topping some themed cupcakes or baking with them! I love reading the messages too, best part. You do have to be careful with these ones as not all varieties are vegan suitable. Make sure you read the packaging ingredients as some brands do contain animal derivatives such as milk!
2. CINNAMON HEARTS
These spicy little cinnamon treats can often be vegan! Be careful with cinnamon hearts, however, as some do contain insect derivatives and colour. I am happy to report that the "McCormicks" brand ones ARE vegan friendly!
Ahh.. Pure sugar. So nostalgic and so simple, what's not to love about Rockets!? (also known as Smarties in the U.S. !) Halloween, Easter, Valentines, Birthdays, Christmas Stockings - Rockets are definitely not holiday specific and the sky is the limit, so go ahead and pop them in a Valentine!
4. SWEDISH BERRIES
Another classic candy here, did you know that most Maynards candies and gummies are totally vegan?? Swedish Berries are one of those, along with; Sour Patch Kids, Fuzzy Peaches, Swedish Fish, Sour Cherry Blasters.. and more! They're gelatin - free! Swedish berries make the Valentines list as, well, they are pink! Hehe.
5. RING POPS
If this doesn't take you back.. When was the last time you had a Ring Pop? I can't even remember myself! Now this one is a shocker, for me especially. I always figured with all the bright, extreme colours and shiny, glossy coating there was bound to be insect derived ingredients in Ring Pops, but surprisingly, there aren't!
Ring Pops use artificial food dye. Dyes such as red 40, Red 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Blue 1 can be found in Ring Pops, which are all coal tar dyes known as "Azo Dyes" (except for blue 1, which is still synthetic, however.) It's many "natural" dyes and colourings that actually come from bugs, but Ring Pops don't use these types! Red 4, or Carmine which is apparent and common in many red and bright coloured candies as well as cosmetics actually comes from beetles! So steer clear of those dyes in your #vegancandy endeavours.
As for their fairly glossy appearance, Ring Pops don't actually have an any added edible coatings! Woohoo!
6. TWIZZLERS - Strawberries 'n Cream
Though all Twizzlers are vegan, I specifically would like to bring your attention to the "Strawberries 'n' Cream" Flavour for Valentines.They are extremely delicious and Vegan Valentines suitable! When I tried these for the first time, it instantly reminded me of livewires, which I used to LOVE!! Who else? My friends and I would walk to the gas station after school and stock right up.. haha. I remember a good friend of mine got me an entire case for my Birthday one year, and it was one of the best gifts I had ever received! Haha.. Thank you, Sophie!
7. RED VELVET OREOS
If you didn't already know, most Oreos are vegan. Thats right, almost every flavour! So far, that is, with the exception of the chocolate coated ones. You may not expect them to be suitable with such a seemingly milky icing, but they are! Considering every commercial associated with Oreos displays someone dipping the cookie into a glass of milk, it's certainly misleading.. But, fear not and feel free to indulge in Oreos! (Do always read your packaging to make sure though, of course!)
The Red Velvet ones are delightful and a classic Valentines flavour - annnd colour! The "Cream Cheese" Flavour is entirely synthetic, and these make the perfect, easy sweet festive treat.
8. HEART SHAPES LOLLIPOPS
You probably remember getting a few of these in your Valentines back in the day! One of the most prominent Valentines candies around I think.. Ever so simple and basic, but timeless. I will say, however, these are not and were noooot my favourite.. haha. I was never a huge fan, personally.. but if you were, you're in luck! Ingredient wise, these guys usually consist of sugar, glucose syrup, citric acid, glycerin, canola oil and some variety of red dye. WITH THAT SAID, make sure the dye in these is NOT listed as carmine or red 40 for them to be vegan friendly!!
9. PURDY'S VEGAN DARK CHOCOLATE CUPID
This is a SPECIALLY MADE Vegan Chocolate, so you have nothing to worry about in terms of ingredients. Purdy's recently came out with fully vegan chocolate just last year! They offer a vegan dark chocolate bar as well as Seasonal & Holiday shaped varieties such as this Cupid for Valentines, Santa Clause at Christmastime.. and so on and so forth!
I can tell you from experience that it's super yummy! It has a velvety and sweet flavour thanks to a vegan's good friend, cocoa butter. Nooo dairy required. Much of the vegan dark chocolate around is, well, very dark.. but this one is delightfully creamy and light! Now, I love a square or two of very dark and slightly bitter dark chocolate, but the Purdy's option is sure a sweet and pleasant break every here and there! If you're typically a milk chocolate fan, I especially encourage you to try this one!
10. DOUBLE LOLLIES
I can feel the tang of these just looking at them! Taking a trip down memory lane over here.. So chalky (in the best way), sour, sweet.. sugary enough to make your gums sting juuust a little bit too! Hahaha.. This is another one that surprises me a little, to know that there are no animal or insect derived ingredients. I think something about the texture and well, chalky-ness always made me feel like there was some sort of dairy or milk powder involved.. Not the case! Yay!
11. STARBURSTS - All Pink
**This one is a hit or miss because they are only SOMETIMES vegan.. and I will elaborate on this shortly!** Who DIDN'T love Starbursts.. Starbursts are totally vegan in the UK, BUT in the United States, they contain gelatin! Starburst manufactures two different types of the candy, the difference being the addition of gelatin.. If you are in the U.S., these are not vegan suitable, unfortunately. If you're here in Canada, you're out of luck as well.. If you're in the UK, go ahead and grab a bag for Valentines!
Well, there you have it! Shoot me a message about your favourite Valentines Candy and why you love it!
**SWEATER PICTURED IN COVER IMAGE: CHICWISH**
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this article!
Until next post! xx
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