10 Holiday foods you'd be surprised vegans can't eat

by Justina Huddleston
Dec 17, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. ET

These classic holiday dishes are surprisingly not vegan — but luckily they can be.

1 /20: Sweet potato casserole

1/20 :Sweet potato casserole

It's de-li-cious, but all those marshmallows? Nope. Gelatin is made from protein of animal byproducts.

2 /20: Vegan sweet potato casserole

2/20 :Vegan sweet potato casserole

Try this streusel-topped vegan sweet potato casserole instead.

3 /20: Royal icing

3/20 :Royal icing

Spectacular holiday cookies decorated with royal icing contain meringue powder made of dried egg whites. 

4 /20: Vegan icing with aquafaba

4/20 :Vegan icing with aquafaba

A vegan icing made from powdered sugar and aquafaba (chickpea brine) will work just like the real thing.

5 /20: Stuffing or dressing

5/20 :Stuffing or dressing

Cozy stuffing seems like just bread and veggies, but it's usually made with poultry stock, butter and eggs.

6 /20: Yummy vegan stuffing

6/20 :Yummy vegan stuffing

Luckily it's super easy to make a totally delicious vegan stuffing.

7 /20: Mincemeat

7/20 :Mincemeat

Mincemeat pies scream Christmas but often contain suet and even chunks of meat.

8 /20: Vegan mincemeat

8/20 :Vegan mincemeat

9/20 :Tamales

Tamales are truly amazing, but even those filled with veggies often have dough made with lard.

10 /20: Vegan tamales

10/20 :Vegan tamales

You can still enjoy hearty tamales — just swap the lard for vegan shortening, margarine or oil.

11 /20: Candy canes

11/20 :Candy canes

Commerical candy canes are a favorite, but some can contain carmine, a dye made from beetles.

12 /20: DIY vegan candy canes

12/20 :DIY vegan candy canes

Make your own! Use vegan sugar and food coloring, and enjoy the minty sweet fruit of your labor.

13 /20: Crackers

13/20 :Crackers

From butter to whey to cheese, crispy crackers often contain non-vegan ingredients.

14 /20: Vegan olive oil crackers

14/20 :Vegan olive oil crackers

All you really need for totally vegan crackers is flour, olive oil and seasoning.

15 /20: Irish cream liqueur

15/20 :Irish cream liqueur

Unlike other booze that use artificial flavoring, Irish cream liqueur, like Baileys, actually contains dairy.

16 /20: Vegan Irish cream

16/20 :Vegan Irish cream

You don't have to miss out on the luxurious taste of Irish cream liqueur thanks to this vegan recipe.

17 /20: Hot chocolate mix

17/20 :Hot chocolate mix

Even if you don't add it to a mug of warm milk, dry hot cocoa mix often contains powdered milk.

18 /20: Vegan hot chocolate mix

18/20 :Vegan hot chocolate mix

Nix the powdered milk, and opt for this simple but still decadent vegan cocoa mix instead.

19 /20: Salted caramels

19/20 :Salted caramels

Chewy caramels flaked with salt are an essential holiday sweet — but are usually made with cream and butter.

20 /20: Vegan caramels

20/20 :Vegan caramels

Thank goodness for coconut milk — it makes these vegan caramels just as creamy-delicious as the originals.