Happy National Hot Dog Day! Today, America celebrates one of its favorite foods, the hot dog. According to statistics, approximately 20 billion hot dogs have consumed annually in the United States, 150 million of those just on the 4th of July. It’s no wonder the U.S. Chamber of Commerce officially named July National Hot Dog Month. The average American eats about 50 hot dogs per year and more hot dogs are eaten in New York than any other U.S. city. This seemingly “all-American” food was actually created in Frankfurt, Germany back in 1484. Hot dogs have also been eaten outside our planet when Apollo 11’s astronauts including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, Jr. ate hot dogs on the moon in 1969.

Even though hot dogs are extremely popular among children and adults alike, people might eat them a lot less if they knew what was really in them. Many hot dogs contain very questionable ingredients no matter what higher authority companies answer to – ingredients like nitrites, corn syrup, and meat by-products. The Daily Show ran a segment investigating the dangers of hot dog addiction featuring PCRM’s Dr. Neal Barnard and Janet Riley from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. If you want to watch hot dogs being made, watch this video but don’t expect to have an appetite afterward.

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We are much better off filling our buns with vegan hot dogs that are kinder and healthier. You can buy many delicious brands of veggie dogs or try making your own. Vegan hot dogs can be made from seitan, tofu and even veggies like carrots. They can be gluten-free, soy-free and completely delicious.

While the hot dog itself is important, the toppings that go on it are just as important. Mustard is the most popular topping among adults and it’s also one of the healthier toppings. Kids prefer ketchup and other toppings might include sauerkraut, relish, and onions. In fact, there are cities across the U.S. that claim ownership of specific hot dog styles based on the toppings and cooking methods. See How to Make a Delicious and Healthy Vegan New York-Style Hot Dog. Then check out 15 ways to enjoy your veggie dogs and sausages for National Hot Dog Day or any day of the year.

1. Homemade Seitan Hot DogsSeitan-Hot-Dogs-Vegan-Oil-Free-1200x774

These Homemade Seitan Hot Dogs are super easy to make, are juicy and have that chewy hot dog texture. Lots of spices give them that signature hot dog flavor for a delicious, familiar favorite.

2. How to Make Raw SauerkrautRaw-Sauerkraut-943x800

One of the most popular toppings for hot dogs is sauerkraut. Not only is sauerkraut delicious but the fermented cabbage dish is super-healthy. Learn How to Make Raw Sauerkraut at home.

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3. Smokey Black Bean SausagesSmokey Black Bean Sausages [Vegan]

These Smokey Black Bean Sausages are filled with spices like paprika, garlic and oregano for lots of flavor. Vital wheat gluten gives them that chewy texture so they hold up when you cook them.

Black beans and I are in an eternal love affair. In the zombie apocalypse I’d be looking in all the cupboards for cans of them. So here we go, smokey black bean sausages.

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4. I Heart NYC Red Onion SauceI Heart NYC Red Onion Sauce [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

New York-style hot dogs are often topped with onions cooked with saucy tomato paste. This I Heart NYC Red Onion Sauce is rich, tomato-y, tangy, and even better than the one on New York City street carts.

5. Spicy Andouille SausageSpicy Vegan Andouille Sausage [Vegan]

The backbone of many Cajun dishes is andouille sausage. Made with seitan, these Spicy Andouille Sausages are flavor packed and toothsome, with just the right amount of heat.

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6. Bánh Mì Chay DogBánh Mì Chay Dog [Vegan]

If you like Banh Mi sandwiches, you’ll love this Banh Mi Chay Dog. Just put your favorite veggie dog in a baguette and top it with pickled carrot and daikon, spicy mayo and cilantro for a Vietnamese-style hot dog.

7. Carrot DogsCarrot Dogs [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

It may be hard to believe a carrot could taste like a hot dog but get ready to be amazed. These Carrot Dogs not only look like hot dogs, they actually taste like hot dogs with a spicy, smoky flavor. This is a great gluten-free, whole foods option that’s perfect for adults and kids alike.

8. Beer and Chocolate Chili With Smoky Sofrito SauceVegan Beer and Chocolate Chili With Smoky Sofrito Sauce [Vegan]

Any baseball fan knows that beer and hot dogs are a match made in heaven. Switch it up a bit and have the beer – and chocolate – in this Beer and Chocolate Chili with Smoky Sofrito Sauce. Then spoon it onto a veggie dog for a chili dog that will be a home run.

9. How to Make Homemade Spicy Italian SausageGluten-Free Spicy Italian Sausage

These gluten-free Spicy Italian Sausages are firm enough to hold up on the grill. When you cook them, they are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and filled with spicy, Italian flavor.

10. How to Make Your Own Magnificent MustardsHow to Make Your Own Magnificent Mustards

Mustard is the overwhelmingly most popular topping for hot dogs. Step up your game and learn How to Make Your Own Magnificent Mustards. From basic yellow mustard to fancier versions, once you make your own, you may never buy jarred mustard again.

11. Meat-Free Haute Dogs hot dogs

These Meat-Free Haute Dogs are awesome! These meat-free dogs are made from tofu, wheat protein, and oat flour seasoned with a blend of savory spices to make them taste just like the American classic.

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12. Carrot Dogs 

These Carrot Dogs are the perfect low-cal substitution! With summertime and hence BBQ’s approaching, you’ll want a lighter alternative!

13. Hot Dog With Apple Mustard Compote and Vanilla Pickled Onion

You just have to try this Hot Dog With Apple Mustard Compote and Vanilla Pickled Onion! These are creative, zingy, tangy, and all the other descriptive words that you’d want on your hot dog.

14. California-Style Veggie Dogs 

These California-Style Veggie Dogs come dressed with avocado, basil crema, carrot, roasted corn, lettuce, cucumber, jalapeño and vegan bacon.

15. Pretzel Wrapped ‘Cheese’ Dogs Pretzel Wrapped Cheese Dogs

These Pretzel Wrapped ‘Cheese’ Dogs are what dreams are made of! They are wrapped in a perfectly textured homemade dough, sprinkled with cheese inside and out, and then served with a zesty spicy mustard.

Prefer hamburgers? Check out 10 Epic Veggie Burgers to Throw on the Grill Now by downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

Lead image source: Homemade Seitan Hot Dog 

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