Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Do you have questions about being vegan? Send them to Jo using this easy form. She would be happy to address your individual concerns as well as general inquiries about vegan ethics, philosophy, practical applications, and living compassionately. Jo cannot respond to questions about nutrition or answer questions that have already been addressed in the Archives

Jo will make every attempt to answer each question personally, however, due to her schedule, this may not be possible. If a reply is forthcoming, it could take up to a few weeks, so please be patient. It is also possible that your question will be answered directly in the "Ask Jo!" column rather than an individual response.

If you'd like to view previous questions Jo has answered, visit the Ask Jo! Archives.

Satisfying a Vegan Sweet Tooth

I know that a vegan does not consume honey, but how about syrup or maple syrup? Are they suitable for a vegan?

answer.gif - 1.3 K You are correct that vegans do not consume honey. Avoiding honey was part of the original 1944 manifesto of The Vegan Society in England and has always been the position of the American Vegan Society since its founding in 1960. Fortunately, there are many other syrups which vegans can use instead. Below are some of these options:

Brown Rice Syrup:
A subtle sweetener made by combining cooked brown rice with dried sprouted barley and culturing the mixture until malt enzymes convert some of the rice starch into glucose and maltose.

Concentrated Fruit Juice Syrups:
Fruit juice that has been refined to remove fiber and impurities, and boiled into a syrup.

Corn Syrup:
An inexpensive, thick syrup made from chemically refined cornstarch.

Frozen Fruit Juice Concentrates:
Fruit juice that has been refined to remove fiber and impurities along with approximately two-thirds of the water content.

FruitSource (liquid):
A brand name product made from grape juice concentrate and whole rice syrup, with a taste and consistency similar to honey. Also available granulated.

Malt Syrup:
A thick, sticky sweetener extracted from roasted, sprouted whole barley, rye or wheat. It has a light molasses flavor and is about half as sweet as white sugar.

Maple Syrup:
A highly flavorful and concentrated sweetener as it takes about 30 to 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup. Be sure to purchase only "pure" maple syrup. "Maple flavored syrup" consists primarily of sugar or corn syrup and usually contains artificial coloring and flavoring.

At one time, maple syrup producers routinely added a small amount of lard, an animal fat, during processing to minimize foaming. In recent years, this practice has been eliminated by nearly all maple syrup companies. Instead, a small quantity of vegetable oil is typically used. If you have a concern and want to verify how your maple syrup was made, contact the producer directly. You can also check the label for a "kosher" marking. Kosher maple syrup is not processed with lard.

The thick, dark syrup that remains after sugar crystals are removed during cane sugar refinement.

Sorghum Syrup:
Made from the stalks of a cereal grain related to millet.

Your natural food store should carry most of these as well as other commercial sweeteners. Experiment with them to see which ones have the flavors your most prefer. You may wish to invest initially in small quantities of several different sweeteners and try them in various recipes before purchasing larger amounts.

Following are some tips for using alternative liquid sweeteners:

  • To replace white sugar with a liquid sweetener, reduce the total amount of other liquid ingredients in the recipe by about 1/4 cup for each cup of liquid sweetener used.

  • To liquify liquid sweetener that has crystallized, place the jar in a pan of hot water for several minutes.

  • To accurately measure liquid sweeteners and keep them from sticking to the measuring utensil, first rub some oil in your measuring cup or spoon.

  • Substitute the following for the sweetening power of 1 cup white sugar. Some experimenting may be necessary to achieve the desired results.

  • barley malt: 1 to 1 1/3 cups
  • brown rice syrup: 1 to 1 1/3 cups
  • corn syrup: 2 cups (don't substitute it for more than half the sugar called for)
  • maple syrup: 1/2 to 3/4 cup
  • molasses: 1/2 cup
  • sorghum syrup: 1/2 cup

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