A Vegan Halloween

Last year was our first year as vegans, and we struggled with what Halloween candy to hand out to the neighborhood kids.  The candy marked "vegan" was much more expensive than the regular candy, and we didn't want to spend the extra money on people who wouldn't appreciate it.  On the other hand, we didn't want to support the non-vegan industry with our purchasing dollars.  So we wound up buying bags of pretzels and boxes of raisins.  I'm sure the kids really appreciated that (sarcasm), but we don't get many trick-or-treaters anyway...

This year, Jane's come across Peta's list of vegan candy, and while none of these candies were our first choice when we weren't vegans, there are more than a few to choose from (and they won't break the bank).

  • Airheads taffy
  • Atkins peanut butter bars
  • Blow Pops
  • Brach’s Cinnamon Hard Candy
  • Charms lollipops
  • Chick-o-Sticks
  • Cracker Jack
  • Cry Babies
  • Dem Bones
  • Dots
  • Dum-Dums
  • Fireballs
  • Goldenberg's Peanut Chews
  • Hubba Bubba bubblegum
  • Jolly Ranchers (lollipops and hard candy)
  • Jujubees
  • Jujyfruits
  • Lemonheads
  • Mambas -- check for gelatin
  • Mary Janes (regular and peanut butter kisses)
  • Now and Later
  • Pez
  • Ring Pop lollipops
  • Smarties (U.S. Brand)
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Super Bubble
  • Swedish Fish
  • Sweet Tarts
  • Tropical Source mini chocolate bags
  • Twizzlers
  • Zotz

Caveat:  Occasionally vendors change their recipes, so make sure to read the labels.  You know what to look for -- casein, egg whites, gelatin, lard, pepsin, rennet, stearic acid, urea, whey...

Vegan Essentials also sells some vegan candy, and Amy, over at the VegCooking Blog has a few recommendations too (sorry, her contest is over).

Or, if you'd like, you can make your own.  But this is probably something you won't be handing out, especially to the kiddies you don't know.  Last year, Melisser of The Urban Housewife, came up with a recipe for vegan candy corn.  We haven't tried it (yet), but I've been jonesing for some candy corn.  So maybe, when Jane reads this, she'll feel kindly disposed towards me and try this recipe.  Especially since she wasn't here when I was in the throes of the flu.  (I know, I'm a bad husband for trying to guilt her into making me candy.  But hey, it's worth a try!)

Finally, if you have kid(s) and your kid comes home with some non-vegan candy... Jane remembers her mom sorting her haul and being quite ruthless about it.  She'd wind up having to bring in more than half of the candy to the school collection for the childrens hospital in her neighborhood.  If your kid comes home with non-vegan candy you might want to consider donating it to the hospital.  Or, if that isn't an option, you can always bring it to the office and fatten up your co-workers.  But if you take away some candy, you should consider giving something back in return... either a toy they've been wanting; a coupon to get out of a chore or more; a movie coupon; a coupone for an extra hour of television or internet time; or a coupon to stay up late one night.  It's a good way to teach that there are more important things than sweets.  (Remember, we don't have children, so take our advice here with a grain of salt.)

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Comments

  1. Along with whatever vegan candy I decide to give out – I intend to throw in a bit of vegan literature as well… simple cards with a vegan site or pamphlets are a great way to get the message out. Parents always look through the goodies and I’m hoping a few will get interested enough to investigate “vegan” further.

    I also get a lot of 16 & 17 year olds… they are definately getting some vegan literature as well. Hundreds come to my door… leafletting has never been so easy :)

  2. Thank you for the list!

  3. I made the vegan candy corn from that recipe a few weeks ago and it was surprisingly easier than I had expected. The candy corn was too sweet for me and the pieces never fully ‘dried’, thus sticking together and rendering them into a blob if they sat together in a dish, but they sure looked nice. (I can send you a pic if you’d like..)

  4. The best vegan candy in the world are Crispy Cat bars. They sort of remind me of what Mounds Bars tasted like.

  5. Swedish Fish! I’m coming to your door ; )

  6. God, I used to love Mary Janes!

  7. my daughter gives out chinese handcuffs– fingertraps–

  8. Michelle T. says:

    I will echo replacing your child’s candy with something else if you take a fair amount of it. I had braces as a child, so every Halloween I would have to give my sister all the toffee, nuts, & other braces-forbidden treats, but she never had to give me any of her braces-friendly treats in return. I always found it incredibly unfair that she was getting half my candy & I was getting nothing in return.

  9. PETA’s list is helpful because I’m almost certain that the candies listed are primarily produced by companies that do not test on animals.

  10. I made some printable literature (nothing graphic) to include with candy give aways…

    If anyone else has any to share email me & I’ll include them too… thanx :)

    http://mysite.verizon.net/res0jxzo/veganhumanehalloween/

  11. Have you been to NaturalCandyStore.com? They have an assortment of vegan candy assortments that are fun! As well as vegan candy making supplies.
    I was wondering – do they sell individually wrapped Oreo cookies?! They are vegan, and what kids doesn’t love an Oreo?
    I’ve been vegan for nearly 20 years, but get no trick-or-treaters :(
    Best of luck!
    Karin

  12. Hi Bea,
    Intriguing idea to hand out literature too. You’ve got an audience that might be more receptive to the message, the teenagers anyway.

    Hi Nicole,
    You’re welcome… Thank PETA too, they did all the work! ;-)

    Hi Kim,
    Interesting that you thought it was too sweet. Melisser writes that it’s not as sweet as the processed stuff you’d buy. Jane mentioned something about dusting with cornstarch or powdered sugar to keep the pieces from sticking together, but she’s not sure how that would affect the taste.

    Hi Karmanality,
    Jane googled Crispy Cat Bars and found that our local Whole Foods carries them. Guess we’ll be buying some later this week. Thanks for sharing! (Jane loves coconut)

    Hi Kara,
    Our local CVS has a combo pack of Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids on sale this week, so that’s probably what we’ll wind up with, along with a few of the Crispy Cat bars for us!

    Hi Destiny,
    Really, those were my least favorite, and I always wound up with so many of them!

    Hi Linda,
    So the kids are getting both a trick and a treat!

    Hi Michelle,
    Yes that does seem rather unfair. I hope you were able to make it up in some other way!

    Hi Alex,
    Agreed, although they don’t come out and say that explicitly on the site.

    Hi Karin,
    I hadn’t heard of them before. Thanks for the heads up.
    As for the oreos, I haven’t ever seen an individually wrapped oreo….
    We don’t tend to get many kids here either, but I’m thinking this year might be different, Friday night and all. We’ll see.

  13. Lemonheads is a candy that, unfortunately, goes back and forth between vegan and adding beeswax. I used to love Nerds until carmine popped up on their ingredients list. :( I would love for Skittles and Starburst to ditch the gelatin and go vegan.

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