In The Kitchen

9 Common Baking & Cooking Substitutions

Never could any of us a month ago imagine what our lives would be like today! The majority of our country is on stay-at-home orders and we are all doing our best to create comfort and care for our families at home in our kitchens. It is not always easy to find supplies or ingredients right now so we have to make due with what we have. Below is a simple quick guide to remind us of what we can use in a “pinch”!

  1. EGGS. Increasingly difficult to find, or quick to go through for large families needing protein and also baking frequently. Applesauce and mashed bananas are great substitutes in breads and pancakes for instance. But for the purposes of typical baking recipes one may use 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil in place of 1 egg.

2. BUTTER. 1 table spoon melted butter, equates to about 3/4 a table spoon of melted oil. So for 8 tablespoons of a stick of butter is about 6 table spoons of oil.

3. BAKING SODA. This is one inexpensive and versatile house hold and health related product that is excellent to have on hand. But if you get in a snag and do not have any for your recipe, one can use for every 1 tsp baking soda needed, 3 tsp’s instead of baking powder.

4. BAKING POWDER. This is one of those common baking ingredients that pops up suddenly and one goes rummaging through the pantry to see if they still have it! If you don’t, hopefully the more common baking soda is on your shelf and perhaps some cream of tartar in your spice rack. For every 1tsp baking powder needed you can substitute 1/4 tsp baking soda combined with 5/8 tsp cream of tartar.

5. CORN STARCH. Often used to thicken soups and gravy’s most efficiently, you can also sub flour with a whisk or fork. Wheat flour is best, but you can also use small amounts of all purpose flour. I would use sparingly and slowly layer the flour into your recipe until you have the desired consistency and amount needed.

6. FRESH HERBS. It is absolutely wonderful cooking and baking with fresh herbs. Many will have it growing and available in gardens. But if you get into a dish that calls for something you don’t have on had a good rule of thumb is a 3:1 ration. For ever 3 table spoons fresh herb called for, one would use 1 table spoon of dried herb.

7. Sugar. Over the years many of us have gotten creative with sugar alternatives. Two that are great to interchange with and are natural are honey and maple syrup. For every 1 cup of sugar needed you may substitute 3/4 cups either syrup.

8. Sugar (again.) There are many alternatives for sugar, but one other that you may have access to is Agave syrup. The ratio is slightly different than honey or maple syrup. For every 1 cup of sugar needed you would substitute 2/3 cup agave.

9. Mayonnaise. Although mayonnaise is a tasty ingredient in so many salads and dishes, two substitutes I have found are great for this condiment. Sour cream and my favorite- plain yogurt. Plain yogurt in particular has almost an identical feel and taste to it, sometimes I actually prefer it over mayonnaise. Plus it offers great health benefits too. You can sub about the same amount of both sour cream or plain yogurt for the amount of mayonnaise called for.

Hoping this brief guide offers solutions as we grow in culinary creativity during this time! Please leave any comments for additional substitution ideas or kitchen successes. Blessings, Sarah

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