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How often have you realized mid-recipe that you were out of a key ingredient? That used to mean a quick dash to the grocery store, but with our current stay-at-home situation, it means you might try and find a replacement.
So, if you’re out of an ingredient, here’s what you can substitute. They’re not all exact flavor matches, but they’ll work in a pinch. Maybe you’ll even like your recipe better with a simple swap!
Out of milk?
- To replace 1 cup of buttermilk, use one cup of milk and 1 teaspoon of either vinegar or lemon juice
- To replace mild, use 1/2 cup of canned evaporated milk and 1/2 cup of water
- To replace 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, use 1/3 cup of melted unsalted butter and 2/3 cup of whole milk
- To replace 1 cup of half & half, use one cup of whole milk and add one tablespoon of unsalted butter OR one cup of evaporated milk
Out of flour?
- Need 1 cup of self-rising flour? Use 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/2 tsp of salt
- Need 1 cup of all-purpose flour? Use 1 cup and 3 tablespoons of cake flour OR 1 cup of self-rising flour but leave baking powder and salt out of your recipe. You can also use 1 1/2 cups of dry breadcrumbs.
- Need 1 cup of cake flour? Use 1 cup minus 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
- Need 1 cup of pastry flour? Use 2/3 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup of cake flour
Out of sugar?
- Need 1 cup of granulated sugar? Use 1 3/4 cup of unsifted confectioners’ sugar OR 1 cup of packed brown sugar (light or dark) OR 1 cup of honey, brown rice syrup, or agave nectar minus 2 tablespoons with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (you’ll also need to reduce your oven temp by 25 degrees and reduce the liquid in your recipe by 3 tablespoons with the last method.)
- Need 1 cup of dark brown sugar? Use 1 cup packed light brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of molasses OR 1 cup of granulated sugar with 2 to 3 tablespoons of molasses
- Need 1 cup of light brown sugar? Use 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons of molasses OR 1/2 cup of granulated sugar added to 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- Need 1 cup powdered sugar (AKA confectioners’ sugar? Use 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and process until powdery in a food processor
Out of onion?
To replace a medium onion, use:
- 1 cup of chopped, frozen onions
- 1 cup of chopped shallots
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of onion powder
- 1 1/4 cups of chopped leeks, green onions, or scallions (use the light green or white parts only)
Out of lemons?
- To replace a teaspoon of lemon zest, you can use 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract
- To replace a tablespoon of lemon juice, use 1 1/2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar OR sherry vinegar OR champagne vinegar
Out of butter?
For cooking, any oil will do.
For baking, use the same amounts of these ingredients:
- coconut oil
- margarine (not light, regular)
If you’ve only got half the amount of butter you need for baking, applesauce can work for the rest and will give it a nice moistness.
Out of eggs?
When baking, swap one egg with one of the following:
- 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds or flax seeds plus 3 tablespoons of water
- 1/2 pureed banana (makes 1/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup blended silken tofu
- FOR CAKES – 2 to 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of water
Out of salt?
Replace each teaspoon with:
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons of Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of Morton kosher salt
Out of sour cream?
Need a cup? Replace it with:
- the same amount of Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup of melted unsalted butter, 3/4 cup milk, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (for baking recipes)
- 3/4 cup cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of milk
Out of broth?
- Need beef broth? Use the same amount of vegetable broth, beer, or red wine
- Need chicken or veggie broth? Use the same about of dry white wine, vermouth, or smaller amounts of water
- Have bullion but no broth? Use 1 bouillon cube and 1 cup of boiling water OR 1 teaspoon bouillon granules and 1 cup of boiling water
Out of wine?
Need red wine? For each cup use:
- 1 cup of beef broth (for stews and sauces)
- 1 cup of beer (for stews)
- 3/4 cup red grape juice, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water (for marinades)
Need white wine? For each cup use:
- 1 cup sherry, vermouth, sake, mirin, or chicken or veggie broth (for stews and sauces)
- 3/4 cup white grape juice, apple juice, or apple cider added to 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar or lemon juice (for marinades)
Out of breadcrumbs?
Replace each cup with:
- 1 cup crushed pretzels
- 1 cup crushed cornflakes
- 3/4 cup crushed crackers
- 1 cup crushed chips (potato or tortilla)
- 3 to 4 slices of oven-dried bread, crushed in a food processor
- 1 1/4 cups of crushed croutons
- 1 1/4 cups crushed, dry stuffing
Out of garlic?
Need one clove? Use:
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (jarred)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (omit 1/2 teaspoon of salt from the recipe)
- 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of minced shallots
Out of rice?
For 1 cup of uncooked rice (white or brown) use these uncooked ingredients:
- 3/4 cup barley
- 1 cup bulgur
- 1 1/3 cups wheatberries
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 1/4 cups couscous
- 2 cups orzo pasta
- 1 1/2 cups kasha
Out of fresh tomatoes?
Need 1 pound of fresh tomatoes? Use:
- 3 tablespoons of tomato paste (might need to add water)
- 1 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes
- 6 to 8 sun-dried tomato halves, reconstituted in hot water
Out of cocoa powder?
To replace 3 tablespoons, use:
- 2 ounces of semisweet chocolate (decrease the suggested amount of sugar by 3 tablespoons, decrease fat by 1 tablespoon)
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (decrease the suggested amount of fat by 1 tablespoon)
Out of fresh herbs?
Replace 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs with:
- 1/4 to 1/2 ground or powdered herbs
- 1 teaspoon of dried herbs
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