Is Kashi Cereal Vegan?

Making breakfast for the family can be a lot easier when you have cereal you can rely on. As a brand that keeps appearing on lists for plant-based breakfast options, it begs the question – is Kashi cereal vegan?

The answer is that many of their cereals are, but not all. We’re going to take a closer look so you know which flavors you can enjoy.

Kashi Cereal Ingredients

As they are owned by Kellogs, it might come as a surprise that Kashi doesn’t use a lot of ingredients in most of their recipes. From a health perspective, this tends to be a good sign, but are they vegan?

The simple recipe in their Cinnamon Harvest cereal reads as follows:

Whole Grain Wheat (Organic), Cane Sugar (Organic), Cinnamon (Organic), Natural Flavor.

Seeing as it is organic, there is no risk of bone char being used to process their sugar. This is where brands use the charred bones of cattle and pigs to bleach their sugar and make it a more desirable white. There is no trace of animal product in the sugar once the process has finished, but it makes a lot of confectionery items, drinks, and indeed cereals unsuitable for many vegans.

It is good to see that all ingredients in this flavor are plant-based.

Are All Kashi Cereals Vegan?

No, they are not. But, they do make life a lot easier for vegans by marking their plant-based products as vegan-friendly on their website. 

This adds some clarity to an industry that is not often so transparent about where its ingredients are sourced. 

Non-Vegan Ingredients  

Some of the ingredients that many vegans will notice on the Kashi ingredients list are as follows:

Glycerin

A tricky ingredient as it is most commonly derived from animal fats, although there are plant-based sources available. 

Most brands do not specify where theirs is sourced, making it problematic for vegans who want to know if the food, soap, or cosmetic products they are considering are suitable.

Glycerin can be derived from coconut oil, soya, and even palm oil, although the latter will be one to avoid for many vegans. 

Natural Flavors

An ingredient used by many brands to enhance the flavor of their products, they can be derived from a variety of sources. The FDA specifies that natural flavors are created from both plant and animal sources such as the following:

  • Vegetables or vegetable juice
  • Fruit or fruit juice
  • Spices
  • Edible yeast, herbs, bark, buds, root leaves, or plant material
  • Dairy products, including fermented products
  • Meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Eggs

This means they could be from animal-based products, and food companies do not need to specify on the label.

As a vegan, you don’t have to worry about where Kashi sources these two ingredients from as long as they have labeled their products as vegan-friendly. This means they will be from plant-based sources. 

Honey

This is the one ingredient that makes some of their products unsuitable for vegans. Because this is an animal-derived ingredient that deprives bees of their food source, many plant-based diets will not allow it. 

Some vegans are not so strict, but it will be an ingredient that most will choose to avoid. 

What Kashi Cereal Flavors Are Not Vegan?

Because honey is the only ingredient that is worth looking out for, it is easy to find products that are not suitable for a vegan.

The following Kashi Cereal flavors are not vegan:

  • Honey Almond Flax
  • GO® Original
  • Heart to Heart® Organic Honey Toasted Oat Cereal
  • Heart to Heart® Organic Warm Cinnamon Oat Cereal
  • Kids Honey Cinnamon Cereal
  • 7 Whole Grain Honey Puffs Cereal
  • GO Crunch!

Which Kashi Products Are Vegan?

As a vegan-friendly brand, they make plenty of plant-based products. Here is a rundown of what you get to choose for your next breakfast:

  • Kashi GO Toasted Berry Crisp
  • Kashi GO Chocolate Crunch
  • Kashi GO Peanut Butter Crunch
  • Kashi GO Cinnamon Crisp
  • Kashi GO Coconut Almond Crunch
  • Kashi GO Dark Cocoa
  • Kashi GO Cinnamon Vanilla
  • Kashi Organic Blueberry Clusters Cereal
  • Kashi Cinnamon French Toast Cereal
  • Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits, Autumn Wheat
  • Kashi Organic Strawberry Fields Cereal
  • Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits, Dark Cocoa Karma
  • Kashi By Kids Berry Super Loops
  • Kashi By Kids Chocolate Super Loops
  • Kashi By Kids Cinnamon Super Loops

What’s Good About Kashi Cereal?

For a brand that is made by Kellogs, the number of organic ingredients is surprising. This can be everything from cane sugar to the whole grain wheat used in some recipes.

We also like the protein content. 

For example, in Kashi Go Peanut Butter Crunch, you can expect 10g of protein per serving and an ingredient profile that reads as follows:

Soy flakes, peanut butter (peanuts), brown rice syrup, whole grain oats, puffed whole grain blend (hard red wheat**, brown rice, barley, rye), cane sugar, expeller pressed canola oil, acacia gum, molasses, sea salt, peanut oil, rosemary extract for freshness.**Certified Transitional

What About Other Kashi Products?

Kashi makes a range of plant-based products, but in some of their recipes, they do use suspect ingredients that are not vegan.

For example, many of their granola bars contain honey, and some will have milk in their recipe. 

Kashi also makes a range of waffles. These contain eggs so are not suitable for vegans. 

Final Word

Whilst some flavors are unsuitable for vegans, a large portion of Kashi cereal is plant-based.This makes them a go-to brand for many vegans and it is great that they are widely available. 

Still, the inclusion of honey is a reminder that not every ‘green’ brand is as vegan as they seem, so be sure to check the label.

Featured image by Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

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