Cook’s Corner: Great Tips for the Holidays

A simple guide to ingredient substitutions – just in time as we are all spending extra time in the kitchen!

Ok, so it’s holiday time and we know what that means: most likely, lots of cooking and baking. For us it is! Have you ever had the urge to make something in the kitchen and when you look for all the ingredients that are called for in the recipe, you find that you don’t have them. Bummer, right?
Well, don’t fret… here are some simple substitutes you can use and still create that incredible masterpiece!*

For Baking, say you are out of:
All Purpose Flour
~Combine equal parts cake flour and bread flour for a similar texture.

Baking Powder
~Mix baking soda with a pinch of cream of tartar or a squeeze of lemon juice.

~Try applesauce or pureed avocado- the results will be slightly denser but still delicious.

Vanilla Extract
~Use an equal amount of maple syrup.

Brown Sugar
~Beat granulated sugar with molasses or honey (about 1 tablespoon per cup of sugar).

~Use 1-tablespoon mayonnaise for every egg in recipes for baked goods.

~Neutral oils like canola, coconut, corn, peanut, and vegetable are interchangeable. For olive oil, swap with avocado, sesame or sunflower oils.

~Mix whole milk with a splash of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let sit for 15 minutes before using.

Cocoa Powder
~Swap with hot chocolate mix, but then cut back on the sugar since its already sweetened.

Sour Cream 
~ Use Greek Yogurt or mascarpone.

For Produce, say you are out of:

~When Sautéed, red, yellow and white onions are interchangeable. Scallions and shallots work too.

Fresh Garlic
~ Use ¼ teaspoon garlic powder for every 1 clove called for in a recipe.

~Swap an equal amount of minced red onion that’s been briefly soaked in water to mellow the flavor.

~Season baby spinach leaves with black pepper to mimic the subtle spice in the greens.

Sturdy Greens
~Swap kale, collard greens, escarole and Swiss chard for one another in cooked preparations.

~Look to other firm vegetables like parsnips, beets, carrots, turnips, butternut squash and sweet potatoes.

Hearty Herbs
~Rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme have an earthy flavor that can be used interchangeably in sauces and soups.

Tender Herbs
~Fresh Herbs like basil, parsley, mint, and cilantro add a similar brightness.


*Portions of article reprinted from: People Magazine 5/18/20 pps.84/85