Vegan Girl Scout Cookies? In Demand or Not?

It's the first day of March and I found myself googling to find out if Vegan Girl Scout Cookies exist. Markers that spring is near: sun, birds, bunnies, bees, flowers and...Girl Scout Cookies. But not if you're on a special diet (vegan, gluten-free), right? Here is the answer...

Cookies on the Brain? Really? Really. All day my ears and eyes have been ringing with cookies. No, I'm not really a cookie monster - but Girl Scout Cookies are a prime marker of springtime! Thus the excitement when they start to pop up in neighborhoods, at supermarket entrances and community markets. Warmth and sunshine isn't far behind...

It seems that like bunnies hopping and birds chirping on the first day of spring, everyone is a buzz with the topic of Girl Scout Cookies. "I saw Girl Scouts today! Where are they? Did you buy any? What is your favorite cookie? Thin Mints! Those peanut butter ones! o.m.g." It's hilarious how excited the chatter can become. But I get it. I used to be a Girl Scout. Or maybe I was a Brownie. Hmm, same thing I guess..sort've..anyways..

I actually really wasn't that fond of Girl Scout Cookies was a kid, but nowadays I definitely understand the nostalgia. And I love how cookie selling brings out the competitive streak in even the sweetest and shyest of Girl Scouts - it's like The Apprentice, only with smiling, pig-tailed little girls peddling stacks of chocolate-covered, coconut-crusted sugar disks.

Vegan Girl Scout Cookies. So every season, I check to see the updates in Girl Scout cookies. I'm always hoping for a vegan cookie with a few 'healthy features'. Perhaps a dairy-free dark chocolate cookie with a gluten-free cookie crust and a few nuts, seeds or dried fruit blended in. Natural sweeteners like maple syrup, date sugar, brown rice syrup or agave instead of HFCS. I'd love some healthy delicious Girl Scout cookies! Yes, healthy and delicious IS possible. So are there vegan cookies available now? A few clicks of your mouse and you will find this answer to my vegan question:

Are Vegan Girl Scout Cookies Available?

Via the Girl Scout website, FAQ's:

Q: Why don't you offer cookies that are whole-wheat, wheat-free, non-dairy, dairy-free, vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, organic, low-carbohydrate, low-calorie, low-fat, non-fat, fat-free, etc.?

A: The demand for specialty cookie formulations is simply not great enough to make it economically feasible to offer a variety of specialty types. Of all the different possible formulations, sugar-free seems to be the most popular, yet in the past, even the sugar-free Girl Scout cookies that have been offered have had to be discontinued due to lack of demand. Our bakers continue to experiment and develop formulations that balance the best tasting cookies using the healthiest ingredients.

Now interestingly, if you take a peek at the ingredients of the cookies, you will find four milk-free and egg-free cookies: Lemonades (lemon flavored white cookie), Thanks-a-Lot (white cookie with a thin fudge bottom layer), Peanut Butter Patties (peanut butter covered by chocolate) (note: some 2010 guides show that PBPatties DO contain MILK) and Reduced-Fat Daisy Go Rounds (a cinnamon-vanilla cookie made for 'calorie counting). So I was a bit confused why the FAQ page says they don't make vegan cookies. These seemed vegan after reading the ingredients list - but they are not certified vegan, so you never know if certain ingredients are derived from animal products or use them in processing. And really, are you that excited about white flour, high fructose corn syrup and saturated fat in cookies?

I Support Girl Scouts. My heart kinda breaks because I really want to support the Girl Scouts and their cookie selling - but what do I do with cookies I don't really want to eat?

Demand Cookies! If you want. The Girl Scout website says the demand isn't 'high enough' for a healthier/vegan/gluten-free cookie. Well if you want, send an email or tweet them: @GirlScouts or on their Facebook page - and let them know you want a healthier cookie! Animal product free. Here are a few of my flavor ideas:

*Dark Chocolate Cherry Chocolate Crisps
*Vanilla Bean Walnut Cookies
*Be Kind Cookies - vegan shortbread
*Apricot Vanilla Pinwheels
*Almond Butter Chewies
*Spelt Cinnamon Crisps
*Chocolate Peanut Nut Cookies
*Pure Choco-Vanilla Gluten-Free Cremes
*Coconut Vanilla Almond Balls
*Vegan 'Snickerdoodle' Chewy Cookies

...just a few ideas off the top of my head...

If you need some text for our email here, ya go:

Hi Girl Scouts!
I support your organization and wanted to let you know that I would LOVE to buy a certified vegan cookie from you. I would also love you to consider using healthier ingredients in a new line of 'healthier' cookies. Ingredients like maple syrup, spelt flour, nuts, dried fruit and dark chocolate. Please consider my request. Thanks and good luck this cookie selling season!

Last Words. FYI, I don't mean to make anyone feel badly about buying the current Girl Scout Cookies. Those girls have to sell cookies, right! So hopefully with enough chatter about a demand for a "healthy makeover" vegan or even gluten-free cookie, more consumers can buy the cookies and support the Girl Scouts.

more info:

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