Updated: Aug 20, 2019
Have you been wanting to ditch the dairy and see what changes you notice? Or perhaps you want to try out a new recipe without setting off a food allergy, but you're allergic to one of the main ingredients in most recipes. It could even be that you're just one or two ingredients short of the recipe you want to try and don't have time to run to the store. For all these occasions and more, it's helpful to know a few common ingredient replacements to hack into your cooking skills.
Whether your goal is to be healthier, to use what's already in your kitchen or to avoid a food sensitivity issue, these ingredient swaps can help you be a master of ingredient disguises!
Baking something? You can use coconut oil in a ratio of 1:1 in either soft or solid form to replace the need for butter.
If milk is called for in whatever you're baking, you can swap it for any type of nut-milk. That means almond milk or any dairy-free milk in the same amount as called for in the recipe.
Want to top your fruit with fresh whipped cream but without the dairy? Use coconut cream instead. Just be sure that it's well chilled overnight and only use the solid parts for the whipping. It has such a fresh and light taste to it!
Instead of using regular flour, use a cup of gluten-free flour plus a half-teaspoon of xanthan gum. Read the labels though…some gluten-free flour varieties already have xanthan in them which means you won't need to add it.
Whether someone has an egg allergy or they're vegan, you can still bake up tasty treats by replacing each egg in the recipe with 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal combined with 6 tablespoons of purified water. Make sure you mix it into a paste first before combining it with your other ingredients. You can also substitute eggs with unsweetened applesauce, to make things easier.
Many Asian recipes call for the use of fish sauce. For those that have allergies or follow a vegan diet, you can swap it out with either tamari sauce or coconut aminos. Although you won't have that same umami flavor the fish sauce will bring, it will still be delicious, and you'll hardly notice the difference.
If you need to add grated parmesan to your recipe, but don't eat dairy you can use nutritional yeast instead. Side note: it's fabulous on air-popped popcorn, too.
Vinegar is one of those that can stump you in the kitchen since there are so many types, but the good news is that it's very versatile. So if you have a recipe that calls for white vinegar, but you only have apple cider vinegar, you can use what you have. The only vinegar you can't just randomly sub in or out of your recipes is balsamic vinegar because the flavor is truly unique. Thankfully, it's an ingredient that meshes well with all diets so you won't be doing anyone harm.
With this quick list of common ingredients to swap, you'll be able to master any dish for any occasion or any dietary concern. Bon Appetit!
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