Cooking and baking substitutions

1Cooking and baking substitutionsHas this ever happened to you (of course it has)? You’re cooking or baking, and the recipe calls for something you just knew you had…but you don’t! Sugar or other  basics like milk—what do you do when you’re in the middle of putting together a dish, and you’re out of a key ingredient?

Luckily, there are substitutions that you can use for almost any ingredient when you’re cooking or baking. And some of the substitutions are healthier!

For instance, if a recipe calls for one cup of milk, you can substitute any of these:
1 c reconstituted non-fat dry milk, and add 2 tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 cup evaporated milk and 1/2 cup water
4 tbsp whole dry milk and 1 cup water
1 cup fruit juice or potato water (only for use in baking)

If a recipe calls for mayo, you can use the same amount of sour cream ( but that will increase the fat content) or the same amount of cottage cheese whipped in a blender (which will reduce the fat content). If you have both sour cream and cottage cheese–you can do a half-and-half mixture–no one will know the difference!

2Cooking and baking substitutionsIf you need cornstarch to be used for thickening, try twice as much all-purpose flour or instant tapioca as a substitute.

If you find that you’re out of baking powder, try one of these combinations:

1/3 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/2 cup sour milk or buttermilk. Decrease the other liquid called for in the recipe by 1/2 cup.
1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice used with milk to make 1/2 cup. Decrease the other liquid called for in the recipe by 1/2 cup.

Sour cream may be something that you rarely have on hand. In most households, it’s not considered a staple. For a substitute for a cup of sour cream, you can use:

3/4 cup buttermilk and 1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup buttermilk, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and 1 cup cottage cheese, blended until smooth
1 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup milk, 3/4 tsp lemon juice, and 1/3 cup butter or margarine

3Cooking and baking substitutionsIn a lot of baking recipes, many people like to decrease the amount of sugar used by as much as half. Many times you’ll hardly notice it, especially if you don’t like things to be too sweet. But as a one-to-one baking substitution, you can try any of these 5 combos:

1 1/2 cup corn syrup (Decrease the other liquid called for in recipe by 1/4 cup)
1 1/3 cup molasses (Decrease the other liquid called for in recipe by 1/3 cup)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup honey

So the next time you’re missing an ingredient in a recipe–don’t panic. You can find a cooking or baking substitution for almost anything!

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