I bet that there are several times you have to let go a recipe just because of lacking 1 or 2 ingredients and sometimes that you have to rush to the supermarket just to buy a whole packet of flour and make use of just 1 or 2 spoons of it. It is so annoying, right?
You can just simply withstand all those problems and ruin your love with cooking, or find out some ways to fix those problems easily! One of them is ingredient substitutions. With many recipes, some ingredients are vital, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be replaced with others if you know how to combine them correctly. You can look for some common ones on some discussion groups on the Internet or through your friends who share the same passion with you in cooking. Below are some experiences about ingredient substitutions just for you!
Basic Knowledge about Ingredient Substitutions
There are hundreds of ingredients that can replace for each other in many cases, but we don’t have to know all of them. Applying just most common methods on your dishes is the main purpose that you should achieve to make this knowledge really yours. You can look for the lists about food substitutions easily anywhere on the Internet, but make sure you can remember some of them and make use of those ideas successfully. The more you know, the better your cooking skill will be.
There is a fact that you should keep in mind carefully: your final products might have some modifications and might be a bit different from original dishes. However, you should consider those differences as good factors since they all mean that your creativity is good and you can make the impossible be possible, even better than ever. The flavor, appearance, and texture of the food won’t be similar to the first one but in a good way. Don’t worry about it!
- Allspice: if you can’t find any jar of allspice in your kitchen and you just need 1 to 2 teaspoons, replace it with a half teaspoon of cinnamon and half teaspoon of ground cloves. The taste would be quite similar.
- Apple pie spice: for 1 teaspoon of apple pie spice, you can replace with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Don’t forget to keep the ratio of 4:2:1 to make the spice blend and give the best result.
- Baking soda: surprisingly, there would be no substitution for this type of ingredient. But no worries since you can find this type of flour anywhere locally.
- Baking powder: you can substitute 1 teaspoon of baking powder with a mixture of ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and 5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar.
With butter, we need to have a closer look at it. To make the substitution for 1 cup of butter, we have to prepare 1 cup of regular margarine to mix with 1 cup of vegetable shortening and a small amount of oil if you want to make melted butter. There are some small tips when making butter substitution:
Tip 1: According to the manufacturers, you can see in the container of the products, if it says “one tablespoon contains 100 calories”, that means this product is regular margarine. Or else, if the products consist of less than 80 percent fat, there would be the fat percentage written on the package. That’s the way you control the fat of your ingredients.
With margarine with “lower fat”, “reduced fat” or “fat-free” labels, you might not use them successfully to replace butter or regular margarine when baking; you should notice this point to purchase the proper kind of margarine. The main reason is because of the ratio of fat content and water in those products. If you want to replace butter well, the best thing could be regular margarine unless you want to reduce the fat in your dishes.
Tip 2: you can freely choose the liquid oil for solid shortening in cooking since there is not standard for them. If you need to make use of oil to make the greasy feeling for you dishes, go ahead. Other products such as butter, margarine will reduce the fat and give you other tastes and flavors. You can compare the final products and see which one is suitable for your food craves.
With people who can’t remember food substitutions, I have a general and funny formula for you: think of the letter in the word SUBSTITUTION and see which sentence is suitable for each letter. We have:
- Seek out the article for your substitutions
- Use the ingredients that are similar to the main ones
- Be experimental and creativity so as to find out which is good and which is not
- Search for other information on the Internet
- Try and try until you find the best recipe
- Investigate the cookbooks and other sources of food substitutions
- Try to get the help from your friends
- Use the knowledge well as one of your most precious information
- Take time to resupply ingredients and foods in your fridge
- Eat and enjoy your food
Ingredient substitution is very helpful, especially when you are in need of something immediately without having time to run to the supermarket, but you need to know all the basics so as to change the ingredients successfully with confident. Keep practicing might be the best solution to not only improve your cooking skill but also the way you use the kitchen materials. In fact, if you can enhance your competencies, this knowledge won’t be your burdens anymore.
Moreover, changing the ingredients sometimes enables you to add or remove some other factors of the foods and change the nutrition components of them. This is very favorable for people who are on a diet or allergy to some certain types of ingredients or spices. If you want more tips and tricks about food replacement and how to use them effectively, wait for my next article. Have fun cooking!