Vegan Sugar…Huh?

Vegan Sugar…Huh?

Who doesn’t like sugar?

I, personally, am a fan. But did you know that there is a such thing as vegan sugar?

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Yep. I was surprised to hear that, too.

So, let’s break it down…

Traditional, household, white sugar comes from the sugarcane. Sounds pretty vegan to me, how about you? But the part that makes it “non-vegan” is the filtering process. Some companies that produce white sugar use bone char to decolorize the sugar.

Bone Char

Bone char is burned bones of animals. Sugar companies run the raw sugar through these animal bones to remove the natural color of the sugar. Who comes up with this stuff?!

This is the answer to “Why is raw sugar brown?” Well, it has not been filtered through bone char aka it is unrefined (this is not to be confused with brown sugar, which is white sugar mixed with molasses).

Michelle, at World of Vegan, explains her take on white sugar. You can hear exactly what she (and I) believe here.

Why can’t sugar be vegan if it does not contain any animal products? Food for thought…

Types of Sugar

There are so many different types of sugars out there and several different ways they are processed. Not all sugar companies use bone char to filter the sugar. Some alternate types of sugar are:

White Sugar

Brown Sugar

Beet sugar
Coconut sugar
Fruit sugar
Sanding sugar
Liquid sugar
…and the list goes on. If you want to learn more about different kinds of sugars, visit the Sugar Association. Yes, its a whole website dedicated to sugar. 😉

Vegan Sugars6E969583-7D96-406D-83B8-EBBC65F5C89F

But, if you do want a “vegan” sugar, there are some companies that do label it on their bag. So, just for fun, here is a list of a few vegan sugar brands:

Sugar in the Raw
Sprouts Sugars (white and brown)
Trader Joe’s Organic Sugar Evaporated Cane Juice
Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Organic Sugars

Now, not all sugars are created equal…in baking, that is. Substituting granulated white sugar with raw sugar in a cake recipe would be a disaster. White sugar is much finer than raw sugar and dissolves as it bakes. Raw sugar, not so much, or should I say, not so fast. When baking and wanting to use raw sugar, be sure to find a recipe that calls for the sugar you are trying to use or use a brand that has small granules like granulated white sugar. I use Sugar in the Raw in this amazing Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookie recipe. *link*

To Sum it up

There are so many sugars out there, so many ways they are processed and soooo many ideas and opinions about each one. You and I should decide for ourselves what we believe and what we are going to do with that belief. Keep it simple and realistic by following you convictions.

To use vegan sugar, or not to use vegan sugar…that is the question. What is your take on it and what do you use?


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