Last Updated on October 18, 2021 by admins
When hunger strikes and you’re stuck on the road without food, a ready-to-eat pitstop is next on the to-do list. Depending on where you’re at, it can be really hard to find something fast, healthy, and vegan. The menu at McDonald’s has a few vegan features, including its oatmeal, that can curb your roadside hunger. If you are wondering how to order vegan at Mcdonald’s and the vegan options they have, keep reading.
McDonalds Is Everywhere
Have you ever thought about how many McDonald’s chain restaurants there are? I’m always spotting the famous Golden Arches from afar. With over 39,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide, they really are everywhere!
Is McDonald’s Healthy?
There are many items on the menu that don’t necessarily fall on the healthy side. Think: high in fat, salt, and added sugars. With that being said, you can enjoy McDonalds occasionally or in moderation without it affecting your personal health drastically.
Because McDonald’s is such a huge company, all of their ingredients and nutrition facts can be found on their website. Checking the nutrition facts before ordering can help you plan to choose healthier menu items. You can use this tool to make sure your favorite McDonald’s vegan option is still vegan before you go.
Vegan Options at McDonalds
Full disclosure – vegan options are extremely limited at McDonald’s. If you follow a vegan diet, there are still a few things to choose from, and new plant-based options coming soon.
Fruit & Maple Oatmeal
The oatmeal at McDonalds is vegan and probably the healthiest item on the menu. The catch with this item is remembering to make it vegan by asking the cashier to add water instead of cream. Otherwise, it’s topped with dried fruit and fresh apples. Of note, the dried fruit is sweetened with non-organic cane sugar, which may not meet your definition of vegan.
McDonald’s oatmeal is 320 calories and 6 g of protein, but it would be lower in both calories and protein if you’re ordering it without cream. If you’re going to order this breakfast item, plan ahead and bring some nuts and seeds to add to the toppings for more protein. If you like your oatmeal on the sweeter side, add maple syrup to your order or bring some agave.
Oatmeal provides a variety of nutrients to give you a good start to the day, including whole grains and fiber. Fiber keeps you fuller for longer and is important for your digestive system and the health of your gut. It also helps slow down the breakdown of sugars, preventing a sugar spike and crash.
As simple as it may be, the only vegan salad at McDonald’s is the side salad. Other salads include meat and cheese by default, but they can always be removed when you order. Salads offer fiber and a serving or two of vegetables, both of which are good to include in a meal. Pack your favorite salad toppings to add some extra flavor and texture to the side salad.
McDonald’s partners with Newman’s Own for their dressings. The two vegan salad dressings are Creamy French and Low-Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette. If you’re not a fan, consider packing a portion of your favorite vegan or homemade salad dressing instead.
Pre-sliced and ready to eat, McDonald’s apple slices are vegan. Unfortunately, this is the only fruit item available a la carte on their menu. Add these to a McDonald’s salad or pack some nut butter to dip them in.
Apples make a nutritious snack or part of your meal. McDonald’s unfortunately peels their apples, removing some of the fiber content. Either way, you can’t go wrong with adding apples to your order.
Baked Apple Pie
Surprisingly, this mouthwatering dessert is vegan-friendly for the most part. Made with 100% American-grown apples and topped with sprinkled sugar, the Baked Apple Pie slices can satisfy a sweet tooth on the road for 240 calories. The only non-vegan ingredient is the refined cane sugar, which may not meet your definition of vegan.
McPlant Burger – coming soon!
McDonald’s is way late to the plant-based sandwich game, but not for long. Made with Beyond Meat, the McPlant burger will be vegan-friendly, with a vegan sesame bun, mustard, ketchup, vegan Sauce, fresh Onion, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and vegan cheese. McDonald’s is even cooking this burger, with separate utensils, away from its other sandwiches.
To top it off, the McPlant has been Certified Vegan by the Vegetarian Society. This new plant-based burger is currently available in the UK and Ireland with plans to expand to other markets in 2022. After spending three years doing research, this completely plant-based option may be a game-changer for vegans.
Before the McPlant burger, McDonald’s worked with Beyond Meat to release a special edition P.L.T. (Plant, Lettuce Tomato) at restaurants in Ontario, Canada. There are so many sandwiches McDonald’s can incorporate the plant-based burger patty in. Which sandwich will they vegan-ize next?
Not that there are a ton of menu items to use them with, there are a few vegan-friendly sauces available. These single-serve sauces can be nice to take home and use later. They include:
- Spicy buffalo
- Sweet and Sour
Most of the drinks at McDonald’s are vegan, with the exception of their shakes. Their sugary slushies and sodas depend on whether or not you allow non-organic cane sugar in your diet. To keep it vegan, be sure to order coffees and teas without any dairy products.
- Hot or iced coffee
- Iced tea
- Orange juice
- Apple juice
What About the Fries?
McDonald’s fries are not vegan-friendly, as they have milk and are fried in beef fat. The hash browns share the same fate and are not vegan-friendly either. This is true for McDonald’s in the United States but may be different in other countries.
While vegan options at McDonalds are pretty limited, there are a few things you can order. Planning ahead and bringing some foods from home can help achieve a healthier meal. With the new plant-based McPlant sandwich on the horizons, hopefully, this vegan-friendly sandwich trend will expand to all of the Golden Arches insight.
Read more about Vegan Menu Items At Panera Bread.