Running out of an ingredient doesn’t mean you have to change the taste of your dish. This guide provides creative and tasty substitutions that save your recipe.
Cooking is an experimental process involving lots of trial and error. With every dish you make, the more lessons you learn. However, sometimes you need to substitute an ingredient if you run out of what the recipe calls for. Knowing what substitute ingredients to pick is tricky, but with this guide full of great ingredient substitutions to try when cooking, you’ll develop a better idea of what alternatives work in a recipe and what misses the mark.
Substitute Ingredients for Herbs and Spices
Try switching things up if you keep using the same herbs and spices. For example, swap basil for mint in your pasta dishes, or use smoked paprika instead of regular paprika for a smoky flavor. If you want an intense flavor, try using fresh herbs instead of dried ones. You can also experiment with different spice blends, like curry powder, garam masala, or za’atar.
Gluten intolerances could make it challenging to find a meal everyone in the family can enjoy. Still, there are options to make any usual dish on the weekly dinner menu enjoyable! Try using almond or coconut flour instead of regular flour. Or, try looking for stores that sell gluten-free all-purpose flour. You can also use gluten-free all-purpose flour for other recipes, like gluten-free breadcrumbs, pasta, and crackers. Make sure to double-check the label to make sure it’s truly gluten-free.
We’re all guilty of eating cheese and other dairy products when we’re not supposed to. But of course, we can’t help it. Still, dairy-free options in recipes do exist! Consider swapping butter for coconut oil or vegan butter, and use almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk instead of regular milk. You can also experiment with dairy-free alternatives like nutritional yeast, cashew cheese, or tofu-based cheese.
If you’re trying to cut down on your sugar intake, you can use plenty of sweet substitutes in your cooking. Swap out granulated sugar for honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar. You can also use stevia, monk fruit, or erythritol as sugar substitutes. These substitutes may have different tastes, so you must adjust your recipe accordingly. One tip for baking with honey instead of sugar is to use less of it since it contains high contents of natural sugar.
You can use plenty of meat-free substitutes in your cooking whether you’re a vegetarian or want to reduce your meat consumption. Swap out ground beef for lentils or crumbled tofu, and use tempeh or seitan instead of meat in stir-fries or stews. You can also experiment with meat-free burgers, sausages, and meatballs from plant-based protein sources like soy, peas, or beans.
Substituting ingredients when you’re cooking can be an excellent way to make the dish healthier, add flavor, and save you a trip to the grocery store. Many substitute ingredients are waiting for you to give them a try in your recipes, so the next time you run out of an ingredient, don’t panic. Experiment with these substitutes and create your masterpiece. Bon appetite!