Cooking Fix: Surprise Substitutions

By on November 1, 2013
common cooking ingredients



By Jenn Fowler for Ideas That Spark

Nothing can ruin a cooking session like a missing ingredient! Sure, we all know you can swap out butter and margarine, cracker crumbs for breadcrumbs, or garlic powder for garlic . . . but what happens if you run out of ketchup or baking powder? Or your recipe calls for an ingredient you don’t keep on hand –like arrowroot powder or sherry? Don’t scrap the recipe — substitute!

Sure, a substitution might not taste exactly the same, but it can save your meal. Who knows, you might even find you like it better. Here are 22 substitutions to save any recipe mishap.

Arrowroot: For 1 tablespoon of arrowroot substitute 2 teaspoons of cornstarch.

Baking Chocolate: For 1 ounce of chocolate substitute 3 tablespoons of powdered cocoa and 1 tablespoon of neutral oil.

Baking Powder: For 1 teaspoon substitute ¼ tsp of baking soda plus ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar.

Barbeque Sauce: For 1 cup substitute 1 cup ketchup and 1 tsp Liquid Smoke.

Bouquet Garni: For 1 tsp substitute ½ tsp parsley, ½ tsp tyme and 1 bay leaf (crushed)

Cream: Use an equal amount of half and half or evaporated (not condensed) milk.

Crème fraiche: For 1 cup substitute 1 cup heavy cream mixed with 1 tablespoon of yogurt, held at room temperature for 6 hours.

Dry Mustard: For 1 tablespoon of prepared mustard subtract 1 teaspoon of liquid from the recipe.

Egg: For 1 Egg substitute 3 tablespoons mayonnaise or half a banana mashed with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.

Honey: For 1 cup substitute 1 ¼ cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup water.

Ketchup: For ½ cup substitute ½ cup tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of vinegar.

Lemon Juice: For 1 tsp lemon juice substitute ½ tsp vinegar.

Molasses: For 1 cup substitute ¾ cup brown sugar dissolved in ¼ cup hot water.

Mayonnaise: Use an equal amount of sour cream or plain yogurt.

Rum: Use an equal amount of pineapple juice flavored with almond extract or molasses.

Self Rising Flour: For 1 cup substitute 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder and ¼ tsp salt.

Sherry: Use an equal amount of orange or pineapple juice.

Sweetened Condensed Milk: For one 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk substitute 1 cup instant dry milk, 2/3 cup of sugar, ½ cup boiling water and 3 tablespoons of butter.

Tabasco Sauce: For 1 teaspoon substitute 1 teaspoon of vinegar and ¾ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Tomato Paste: For ¼ cup substitute ½ cup tomato sauce cooked down until reduced to ¼ cup.

Tomato Sauce: For 1 cup substitute ½ cup tomato paste and ½ cup water.

White Wine: In marinades for ½ cup use ¼ cup of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of sugar and ¼ cup water. For other uses substitute an equal amount of chicken broth, diluted cider vinegar, or ginger ale.

Jenn Fowler is the New York-based blogger behind Frugal Upstate. Prior to writing about saving and sustainability, she was an army officer for 11 years. She also loves taking photos, gardening, cooking, preserving, reading and spending time with her husband and kids.

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Cooking Fix: Surprise Substitutions