Insights & Actions for Healthy Living
Recipe Hacks When You’re Half Done But the Cupboard’s Bare

Recipe Hacks When You’re Half Done But the Cupboard’s Bare

There is a resurgence in cooking at home so we can eat healthier, feed our family more nutritious meals, and save money.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of creating a new (or old) recipe for dinner and realize your pantry is bare of an essential ingredient?

There’s no time now to run to the store to get the missing ingredient and still get dinner on the table, so what do you do?

Fortunately, there are many substitutions that will work without ruining the final dish, using ingredients you do have on hand.

Recipe hacks — work-arounds or substitutions — come in handy when one or two ingredients can make all the difference between putting dinner on the table or phoning for delivery!

Serving a healthy meal is my first choice, so if there is another option to food I didn’t prepare myself, such as delivery or take out, I want to find it!

These hacks will help you opt out of convenience foods which may not be as healthy for you when the pantry comes up short.

Recipe Substitutions

You can get creative with the help of other food items that you have in the pantry when the one that you really need is missing from the shelves. 

You could find yourself in need of a particular item, not just because it is missing, but also because we don’t keep items in stock in the pantry if we use them infrequently. Trouble comes when we need that ingredient to create a new recipe or try something out of the ordinary for our family.

Here are a few common substitutions — or hacks — that can complete your recipe when the pantry is found lacking.

  1. Granulated sugar + molasses => brown sugar

1 cup Granulated sugar + 2 Tablespoons molasses

  1. Milk + lemon juice => buttermilk

1 Tablespoon White vinegar or lemon juice + milk to equal 1 cup

  1. Plain Greek yogurt => sour cream

1 cup Plain yogurt

  1. All-purpose flour + baking powder + salt => Self-rising flour

7/8 cup All-purpose flour + 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon of salt

  1. Baking soda + cream of tartar => Baking powder

¼ teaspoon Baking soda + ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

  1. White vinegar OR lemon juice => Cream of tartar

2 teaspoons White vinegar OR 2 teaspoons lemon juice

There are many more items that can be used to replace an essential ingredient and you can find more on my downloadable resource page Substitutions for Common Ingredients.

There are many topics there, including household measurement equivalents, seasoning blend recipes, how to select fruit in season, and how much do you need for a recipe, that can help you master kitchen tasks to serve the tastiest, healthiest meals on the block!

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