I find myself itching to bake or cook at the most random times. And these random times often mean lacking groceries or ingredients for even the simplest recipes. To save you from the sad feeling of wanting to bake but not being able to because of a lack of ingredients, here’s a list of ingredient substitutions that might help. These ingredient substitutions are often healthier alternatives to an otherwise buttery, sugary dessert (even though there’s nothing wrong with that!). If you want to opt out of the healthier alternatives, you can always go the old-fashioned route and ask a friendly neighbor for a cup of sugar.
Applesauce for sugar
You can swap unsweetened applesauce for sugar on a 1:1 ratio, and your baking delights are sure to taste just as good.
Pureed avocado for butter
Similar to applesauce for sugar, you can swap pureed avocado for butter on a 1:1 ratio. This swap reduces fat in your baked goods, but it can also turn your foods a shade of light green.
Almond milk for dairy milk
Almond milk is awesome because it can be used in lieu of dairy milk in almost all recipes. Almond milk does tend to be sweeter than milk, so some prefer to use this milk in sweeter recipes, not savory. Use almond milk for dairy milk on a 1:1 ratio.
Coconut milk for heavy cream
Coconut milk is one of those things that we may not have on hand as easily as heavy cream. Coconut milk, however, is a great substitution to reduce fat and add creaminess to savory dishes. Like the other replacements, substitute on a 1:1 ratio.
Mashed bananas for butter
Here’s another fat reducer. Mashed bananas in baking recipes such as breads, muffins and brownies will give your baked goods a sweet, rich texture. Use on a 1:1 ratio.
Yogurt for milk
This one sounds strange. My experience with this replacement has been best when substituting for tart fillings. You can use yogurt for milk on a 1:1 ratio, and your desserts will have a delightful tart flavor.
Applesauce for egg
I don’t know about you, but I eat eggs on a daily basis, and I’m prone to running out very quickly. Because of this, I often find myself at a loss when I want to bake something that calls for eggs. There is, however, another way: For every 1 egg, use ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce.
Applesauce for oil
It’s starting to feel like having a lot of applesauce in your pantry may come in handy. Applesauce cannot only be used as a replacement for sugar and eggs, but it can also be used as a replacement for oil. Muffins taste absolutely delicious with this substitution! Make sure you substitute on a 1:1 ratio.
Lemon juice and (nondairy) milk for buttermilk
Lemon juice and milk is something we may be more likely to have than buttermilk. By adding acid to milk, we get a similar chemical makeup to buttermilk. Buttermilk is more acidic because of increased lactic acid produced during fermentation, and adding lemon juice will similarly increase milk’s acidity. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk for every 1 cup of buttermilk.
So next time you want to cook something and you’re just one ingredient short, this helpful list should help get you out of your bind!