Vegans eschew all forms of animal products. Not only do they avoid beef, chicken and seafood, but vegans will also shun sweeteners derived from animal products such as honey or white sugar refined with animal bones, according to veganoutreach.org. According to Slate, some vegans will not hold themselves as strictly to rules about honey, but for those who do, they must seek out other vegan sugar substitutes.
Unrefined Sugar Products
According to "The Science of Good Food," after pressing sugar cane, the juice crystallizes, producing large crystals. Rinsing these unrefined crystals yields turbinado (raw) sugar. Sugar that is evaporated cane juice rather than crystallized creates sugar particles that have a granular structure rather than a crystalline structure. Substitute unrefined sugar products for the same amount of refined sugar in any recipe.
Look for the more commonly available corn syrup, molasses and maple syrup as sugar substitutes. Maple syrup has a heavy flavor of maple and dark corn syrup closely resembles molasses or brown sugar in flavor. Look for rice syrup, barley-malt syrup or agave nectar at health food stores. Substitute any syrup for white sugar by using 3 parts syrup per 4 parts white sugar. For instance, replace 1 cup white sugar with ¾ cup rice syrup. Increase the substitution of molasses by using 1-¼ cup of molasses for every 1 cup of white sugar. Remove 2 tbsps. of milk, water or juice added to the recipe for every 1 cup of syrup used in a recipe.
Stevia comes from a South American plant known as stevia rebaudiana. According to the University of Illinois, the leaves of the stevia plant taste much sweeter than sugar. Steeped in water or ground into powder, this no-calorie plant-based sweetener can be found sold as a supplement as well as a baking ingredient. Look for it in health stores, and follow the directions on the package for the amount of that brand to substitute for sugar in cooking.