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Vegan and Vegetarian Substitutes - Now You're Cooking!

Are you trying to find Vegan and Vegetarian Substitutes to use in your favorite recipes? This page was meant to be a simple list, with some handy tips to help you make the most out of your recipes.

Egg Replacers:

Each one of these items is equal to one egg:

• 2 Tbsp. potato starch
• 1/4 cup mashed potatoes
• 1/4 cup canned pumpkin or squash
• 1/4 cup puréed prunes
• 2 Tbsp. water + 1 Tbsp. oil + 2 tsp. baking powder
• 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed simmered in 3 Tbsp. water
• 1 egg white = 1 Tbsp. plain agar powder dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water

Gelatin Substitutes

Many people don't realize that gelatin is not vegetarian. It contains boiled parts of animals. If you have a recipe that calls for gelatin, here are some things you can use as vegetarian substitutes. Just follow the directions on the package to make sure your dish sets up correctly:

•Agar Agar - Comes in strips, powder or flakes. It is a sea vegetable.
•Arrowroot - A starchy powder from a tropical plant of the same name.
•Guar Gum - The product of an East Indian seed.
•Xantham Gum - A corn derivative.
•Kudzu - Another starchy powder from a plant of the same name.

Most, but not all, kosher gelatins are vegetarian. Check the double check the package to be sure.

You can find some of these in the supermarket. Some you may have to find at a health food store.

Substitutes for Refined Sugar

Do you have a real sweet tooth? If you’re like me, you’re just not ready to give sweets up completely, but the effects of refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup are a little scary. Not to mention that refined sugar is processed with animal bone char. The good news is that there are lots of natural & vegetarian substitutes to choose from and although they aren’t the best nutritionally, they generally produce less of a shock to the body's blood sugar level. Here is a list of some natural sweeteners you may want to try along with an easy sweet vegetarian substitutes guide :

Agave Nectar – Light agave is sweet but more neutral, making it good for lighter recipes. Medium agave is a little more intense and dark agave would go well in recipes that call for molasses or maple syrup. It’s about 1.5 times sweeter then refined sugar.

Barley Malt – This is a complex sugar that enters the blood stream slowly. It offers small amounts of vitamins and minerals and works well in recipes requiring something hearty and bold.

Date Sugar - This is ground from dehydrated dates and is a great source of sweetness. It can be exchanged measure for measure with sugar in baking, but shouldn’t be used to sweeten beverages.


Maltose - Sprouted grains and cooked rice, heated and fermented until it turns to sugar. Available in Chinese markets.

Maple Syrup - Not all maple syrup is pure; some contains traces of formaldehyde so it’s best to buy it organic.

Maple Sugar –This is what’s left after the liquid is cooked out of maple syrup. It has a wonderful maple flavor is great for baking and cooking. It’s about twice as sweet as refined sugar.

Rice Syrup – This is the mildest flavored sweetener and is made from brown rice. It works well in cooking and baking where honey is used and dissolves nicely in hot or cold beverages.

Stevia – This is derived from an herb and is extremely sweet. It is a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way.

Sweetener Equivalents for 1/2 Cup of Sugar:

Barley Malt: 1 1/2 cup

Date Sugar: 1 cup

Honey: 1/3 cup

Maltose (from sprouted grains): 1 1/4 cup

Maple Syrup: equal to sugar

Rice Syrup: 1 1/4 cup

Tip: If a recipe doesn’t call for any liquid you should choose a dry granular sweetener such as date sugar or the recipe will be too bread like because you would have to add additional flour. When you substitute liquid sweeteners for dry, you will need to reduce or eliminate the liquid content of the recipe, and increase the flour.

Return from Vegetarian Substitutes to Recipes

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