Known for their crunchiness and sweetness, churros are a deep-fried delight we should all enjoy at least once in our lifetime. Originally from Spain and Portugal, it is still unclear how this popular dessert came to be.
Some people claim its recipe came to life thanks to new culinary techniques discovered by Portuguese sailors in China, others believe it is a modern recipe of an old Greek or Roman dish. What we know for certain is that churros have been around for centuries and are delicious! But are Churros Vegan?
In this article, we will discuss whether this snack contains animal products, give you tips on how to make your own vegan recipe and explore its commercial availability.
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Veganism & Churros
Whether traditional churros are vegan or not is a heated debate. Regardless of the answer, finding vegan churros can be challenging as many restaurants and brands include ingredients such as butter, eggs, and milk in their products.
Despite the difficulties, choosing vegan-friendly alternatives has tons of benefits both for animal rights and the environment. Not by chance, according to an article by the Guardian, limiting animal-derived products is the single best way to reduce our impact on the planet. Ok, so let’s dive into it. Do churros have dairy or other animal products? And if yes, how can we avoid them?
Churros and Animal-Derived Ingredients
Whether traditional churros are vegan or not is not clear. Some people claim the original recipe only included three simple ingredients, flour, water, and salt, while others claim these sweets are traditionally made from choux pastry, a dough containing butter and eggs. Regardless of how the churro dough is made, this is then piped through a machine called churrera, which gives it its distinctive shape, and later deep-fried.
On top of this, churros are sometimes filled up with sauces or pastes often made with milk. This is why it is extremely important to always ask your street vendor or waiter whether their churros contain animal-derived products or if they are suitable for a plant-based diet.
Make your own Vegan Churros
Another great option is to make your own vegan churros! Just choose whatever recipe you find online and substitute all animal products with vegan alternatives. Here are a few examples. Milk can be easily replaced with plant-based alternatives, such as soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk, or whatever other version you like. Eggs may be a bit trickier but are still easy to replace. Aquafaba and ground flax seeds are without a doubt the best substitutes. When it comes to butter simply check your closest store for a vegan alternative.
If this seems too complicated for you, you can opt for a vegan recipe to avoid confusion. Here is ours.
- In a bowl, mix ¼ cup of whatever vegetable oil you prefer, one cup of sugar, and two cups of water.
- Transfer to a pan and bring to a boil. It’s now time to remove the pan from the heat and add two cups of all-purpose flour.
- Mix everything until you get a thick dough. Fill up a piping bag with your mix and add a star tip to it to give your churros their traditional shape.
- Now you just need to deep-fry them and sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on top once they are golden brown.
This is our recipe but you can find plenty of vegan alternatives online, such as this version from Broke Bank Vegan, or this alternative published by All Plants. A quick research will give you plenty of results!
Vegan Churros on the market
But are churros easy to find on the market? Well, finding vegan desserts is getting easier and easier every day. Most churros from Spanish and Portuguese street vendors tend to be vegan but always make sure to double-check with the person selling them who may have added extra ingredients not suitable for a vegan diet. When it comes to supermarkets, most churros unfortunately contain animal-derived products. But there are now a few brands selling vegan alternatives such as Beyond Churros and M&S Plant Kitchen, just to mention a few.
Nutritional Values of Vegan Churros
You may now be wondering whether vegan churros are healthier. Well, this dessert is deep-fried and as such it can never be truly healthy. However, if we compare brands such as M&S Plant Kitchen to other churros, we can see how vegan options tend to be slightly less caloric with an average of 398 calories per 100 gr compared to the 425 calories of traditional churros. On the downside, the lack of animal products such as milk and eggs lowers their protein percentage. M&S Plant Kitchen churros have, in fact, 4 gr of proteins per 100 gr compared to the 7.3 gr of versions containing animal products.
What are your options?
So, if you want to enjoy vegan churros there are a few things you can do.
Travel to Portugal or Spain and opt for a street vendor, always making sure to ask in advance to be one-hundred percent sure their products are vegan.
Make your churros at home with our vegan recipe, or pick up your favorite from the web or any cooking book you have at home. In this case, make sure to replace eggs with aquafaba and milk with one of the many plant-based alternatives on the market.
You can also create your delicious chocolate dipping by simply melting your favorite vegan dark chocolate with a good amount of coconut milk.
Avoid chains such as Costco, Disney, and El Pollo Loco, which always use animal-derived ingredients in their products and, if buying from the store, always look for the vegan label.
So, are churros vegan? They can be, but not always are. While some claim the original churro dough is made from flour, water, and salt, other traditional recipes include ingredients such as milk, eggs, and butter. So, always ask street vendors if their products are suitable for your diet or simply make your own! Remember, vegan churros are just as delicious as non-plant-based ones but unlike those, they benefit the environment while helping reduce animal exploitation!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Costco churros vegan?
No, Costco churros contain eggs and milk.
Are Disney churros vegan?
No, Disney churros contain eggs and milk.
Are El Pollo Loco churros vegan?
Unfortunately, El Pollo Loco churros are not vegan even though it is unclear what animal products they include.
Are Jack In The Box churros vegan?
No, Jack In The Box churros contain eggs and milk.
Are Sam’s Club churros vegan?
No, Sam’s Club churros contain milk and eggs.
Are Sonic churros vegan?
No. Sonic churros are dairy free but contain eggs.