Monday, September 16, 2019

Common Substitutions

Spice, Chiles, Paprika, Chili, PowderThere is nothing worse, when cooking, to discover you are out of one of the ingredients you need for the dish.  Yes, you can pop down to the store to pick it up or you could make it another time but if you live in a place with limited grocery stores, you need options.

There is something you can do should this happen.  For many ingredients, there are substitutions available so you don't have to make it another day.

When baking, if you are out of butter or margarine, you can use 1/2 cup oil or 1/2 cup shortening .  If you discover you are out of eggs, you can substitute 1/4 cup applesauce for one large egg, or you could use two egg yolks or two egg whites for the large egg or even 1/4 cup egg substitute.  I usually keep dried eggs around because I use them so seldom.  Other fats used in baking can be replaced with an equal amount of applesauce or fruit puree.

If you are out of baking powder, combine 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for each teaspoon of baking powder. You can substitute one teaspoon baking powder for 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.   I never have buttermilk in the house so I use 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar with enough milk to make one cup or use one cup of yogurt.

If you need cake flour you can substitute 3/4 cup all purpose flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for each cup.  Instead of one cup of white sugar you can use one cup of brown sugar or one and a fourth cup of powdered sugar, or three-fourths cup of honey.  If you don't have any semi-sweet chocolate, you can substitute either one ounce of unsweetened chocolate mixed with half a teaspoon of sugar or three tablespoons cocoa powder mixed with three tablespoons of sugar and one tablespoon of oil for every ounce in the recipe.

If you are missing allspice, you can substitute a mix of 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon of cloves for each teaspoon of the spice.  For corn syrup use a mix of 1 1/4 cup of white sugar with 1/3 cup water or 1 cup honey for each cup of corn syrup.  If you need a cup of ketchup for your barbecue sauce you can use 1 cup tomato sauce mixed with 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar.  If you need molasses but don't have any you can replace one cup with 3/4 cup of brown sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cream of tarter.

When I've run out of corn starch for thickening, I've replaced it with an equal amount of flour, or potatoes starch.  If you use flour, it takes a bit longer to thicken.  If you need self-rising flour, you can replace one cup with 1 cup of general purpose flour minus 2 teaspoons of flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  If you need chili sauce you can replace one cup with 1 cup tomato sauce,  1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, a dash of ground cloves and a dash of allspice.

I don't eat fish sauce, so I substitute an equal amount of light soy sauce with a bit of salt but you can also substitute an equal amount of Worcestershire sauce.  For tahini, you can substitute peanut butter or any other nut butter.  Instead of lemon juice you can substitute equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and if you don't have any lemon zest, you can use lemon juice in equal amounts.

These are the more common substitutions for cooking.  I've used many of these when I've run out of things and the local store didn't have any.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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