Do you ever find yourself all geared up and ready to make a favorite recipe but then discover you’re staring at an empty container of a needed ingredient? Ugh. You don’t want to run out to the store right now. So what do you do?
Well, that’s when emergency kitchen substitutions come in handy. I’ve printed out the following list and keep a copy taped to the inside of my pantry door at all times.
Although these substitutions will work in a pinch, I don’t recommend always substituting ingredients in your recipes. The recipes will technically work with substitutions, but often the finished product won’t be exactly the same as when you use the original ingredients called for in the recipe.
Also, be sure you don’t make more than one substitution in a particular recipe at once. The more ingredients you substitute, the more “off” your product will be when you’re finished.
For: 1 Tbsp fresh herb – Use: 1/3 to 1/2 tsp dried herb (of the same kind)
For: 1 clove garlic – Use: 1/8 tsp garlic powder
For: 1 egg in baking – Use: 1 tsp cornstarch plus 1/4 cup water
For: 1 whole egg – Use: 2 egg yolks plus 1 Tbsp water
For: 1 cup whole fresh milk – Use: 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water, or 1/3 cup dry milk plus 1 cup water
For: 1 cup buttermilk – Use: 1 cup plain yogurt, or 1 cup sour milk (4 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice plus milk to make 1 cup — let sit for five minutes before using)
For: 1 cup sour cream (in baking) – Use: 7/8 cup buttermilk or sour milk plus 3 Tbsp butter
For: 1 cup sour cream (in salad dressings, casseroles) – Use: 1 cup plain yogurt or 3/4 cup sour milk plus 1/3 cup butter
For: 1 cup cream – Use: 1/3 cup butter plus 3/4 cup milk
For: 1 cup corn syrup – Use: 2/3 cup granulated sugar plus 1/3 cup water
For: 1 cup brown sugar – Use: 1 cup granulated sugar plus 2 Tbsp molasses
For: 1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar – Use: 1 cup granulated sugar, packed
For: 1 cup margarine or butter (in baking or cooking) – Use: 1 cup hard shortening or 7/8 cup vegetable oil
For: 1 square unsweetened chocolate – Use: 3 Tbsp cocoa plus 1 Tbsp oil
For: 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate – Use: 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate plus 4 tsp sugar
For: 3/4 cup cracker crumbs – Use: 1 cup bread crumbs
For: 1 cup cake flour, sifted – Use: 7/8 cup all purpose flour, sifted (1 cup minus 2 Tbsp)
For: 1 tsp baking powder – Use: 1/3 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 tsp cream of tarter, or 1/4 tsp baking soda plus 1/3 cup sour milk
For: 1 Tbsp cornstarch for thickening – Use: 2 Tbsp flour
For: 1 Tbsp flour for thickening – Use: 1 1/2 tsp corn flour, arrowroot, potato flour, or rice flour; or 2 tsp tapioca
For: 2 Tbsp tapioca for thickening – Use: 3 Tbsp flour
Deborah Taylor-Hough (wife and mother of three) is the author of the bestselling book, ‘Frozen Assets: How to cook for a day and eat for a month,’ and the new book, ‘Frugal Living For Dummies(r)’ (Wiley, 2003).
Copyright 2003 Deborah Taylor-Hough. All rights reserved.
Used with permission.