Agar Agar - A unique food "additive" that can add texture and function as a sort of vegan gelatin. It is obtained from the cell walls of algae. Boiling agar agar can create a jelly like texture or be a thickener; when not boiled agar agar helps create a more realistic texture for certain foods, such as in this cheesecake. It can work similar to corn starch when heated, especially when paired with rice, oat, or almond flour like I did in this vegan key lime pie.
Agave Nectar – Has a more distinctive flavor than other sweeteners, and can alter the consistency of baking goods if used as a straight across substitute. However, it is very sweet, and more readily accessible than coconut sugar in some foreign countries. It has a higher glycemic index than coconut sugar, honey, and even maple syrup, so this should be kept in mind when using agave nectar.
Almond Flour – In my opinion, one of the best paleo flour substitutes, and one of the best one-to-one flour substitutes in general. Almond flour isn’t as finely ground as rice flour usually so it changes the texture of baked goods in some cases, but overall it works exceptionally well. It adds a more “almondy” flavor, but nothing that interferes much with the other flavors in the recipe (it's nothing I've had problems with in the past, but if you don't like how almonds taste be aware that almond flour does carry a distinctly almond flavor).
Amaranth Flour - Amaranth flour has a sticker consistency than some of the other flours that I use in my recipes. I'm still "conducting experiments" with this flour, but you can check out this recipe for an example of its flavor and consistency, where it resulted in an almost peanut-buttery flavor. Amaranth has anti-cancer properties as well, which makes it an excellent flour to use in baked goods from time to time to add a nutritional boost.
Bananas – Not a good sweetener choice for all baked goods, but fun if you want some extra flavor and/or sweetness. Using bananas in smoothies (rather than another sugar substitute) is a huge sweetness boost. Bananas can be used in some specially designed baked goods as a stand-alone sweetener (or almost stand-alone) like in this banana chia pudding, and in these 2-ingredient banana pancakes.
*Fruit juices can be used in a similar way. Although none of the recipes on this site use fruit juices as sweeteners yet, based on personal experience I can say that pineapple and apple juices would be the most likely to have the most sweetness that would carry through baking. In addition, some juices can be used for natural food coloring. Juices must be used carefully though, since they can alter the texture of recipes (and the flavor).
Brewer’s Yeast – Brewer's yeast is known through the vegan world for its ability to stand in as a pretty decent cheese substitute. For people who are transitioning into a vegan diet directly from a non-vegan diet (with no period of time without cheese) the flavor of brewer's yeast will take some getting used to. Cutting out cheese (and cheese substitutes) for a period of time before adding this in might help the "cheese transition" for some people. Because, obviously, brewer's yeast still isn't cheese... but I honestly don't notice the difference anymore and like it on pizza, salads, pasta, and in classic cheese dishes like broccoli and cheese soup. Brewer's yeast is also an excellent source of vitamin B12 for vegetarians.
Brown Rice Flour –
Coconut Flour – DON’T use this flour as a direct, across the board substitute! It’s very heavy, and absorbs liquids creating a sometimes doughy and dry texture. It can work well for pie crusts, crumbles, and other similar, supporting elements. A little bit of coconut flour (1tbsp) and a little bit of water can be microwaved to make a cereal that travels well (just add hot water) and is healthy and tasty.
Coconut Sugar – This is the closest straight across substitute for white sugar in both flavor and consistency. It can change the color of baked goods to a slightly darker color, but gets by far the best results of any other sweetener when following baked recipes that use white sugar. Also, it has a lower glycemic index and some trace minerals. Other sweeteners can make baked goods that are just as fun, but they require a bit more thought since they require different components to make up for the lack of the sugar (which comprises a portion of the dry ingredients and plays a role in the texture of the baked good).
Date Sugar - I found date sugar for the first time in Guanajuato, MX. Date sugar is dates that have been ground finely to a consistency of a powder/sugar so they can be used more efficiently in baked goods. Dates have a particular flavor, and date sugar may be hard to find/expensive, so it may not be a good straight across sweetener. I use date sugar in the crust for cheesecake.
Honey – This sweetener is found almost everywhere in the world. Like agave nectar, it will alter the consistency of baked goods, and also the flavor. Honey doesn’t have as much of a distinctive flavor as agave nectar, however.
Jicama – A tuber that resembles apples in both flavor and texture. Works well in pies, and can be a fun salad topper.
Maple Syrup – Like with the other syrups (agave nectar and honey), maple syrup can disrupt consistency is you use a lot of it. But, its flavor is less distinctive. A little bit of maple syrup goes a long way!
Monk Fruit -
Oat Flour - Oat flour has a similar consistency to almond flour, and works well for particular recipes where a coarse (yet soft) texture is called for. It has a subtle flavor, so it works well as a direct substitute. However, keep in mind that oat flour can be difficult to find, and since oats are often grown with wheat (thus making not all oats gluten free), it's important to find a brand that is a sure gluten free bet.
Stevia – This is especially good for sweetening drinks (or in creating your own chocolate chips!). It’s more bitter than other sweeteners, so it can be overwhelming in large quantities. Stevia is also a good sweetener for times when you don't want a lot of sweetness, but the thing you're making needs a little boost (guacamole, pie crust, sauces of any kind, etc).
Sweet Rice Flour –
White Rice Flour –