Simple Swaps and Substitutions

Remember it’s not a competition, it’s dinner and will still be delish. Using up what you have to hand will reduce trips to the shops, save time and money and reduce waste.

Dairy in baking – milk, yogurt, sour cream and buttermilk are mutually interchangeable in many recipes. The acid in the cultured ones like yogurt and buttermilk produces a very light tender crumb. Use milk (from milk powder is fine) and sour it with a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar. It will tenderise the batter or dough sufficiently in most cases.

Eggs – if a recipe uses multiple eggs, omit one and replace with 1⁄4 cup mashed banana or other fruit puree such as stewed apple or pear.
Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda with 1 tablespoon of vinegar to replace one egg in most recipes. This combination works especially well in baked goods that are meant to be light and airy.

Use a “chia egg” To replace one egg, whisk together 1 tablespoon (7 grams) of ground chia or flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons of water until fully absorbed and thickened. This works best in products like pancakes, waffles, muffins, breads and cookies, meat balls and burgers.

Replace 1 cup self-raising flour with a cup of plain flour and 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

Fats in baking – olivani can be swapped for butter in most recipes but other fats vary. Coconut oil works well, if butter is in short supply and you have oil look for recipes that use oil instead – there are loads – carrot cake is an example of an oil-based cake. Damn now I want a piece of carrot cake.

Brown and white sugar are interchangeable in many recipes. Brown produces a slightly more malty, mapley flavour but is not healthier or anything like that. In biscuits and baking use whatever you have. Caster is simply finer grains so blends more easily, it tastes the same.

Pasta – use whatever shape you have, it all tastes the same, snap spaghetti into short pieces or serve your bolognaise sauce over risoni. Give it a new name (never ever call it leftovers! ) – be like a restaurant “todays special is...”

Onions – are pretty interchangeable – if you have everything you need for a recipe but leek or spring onion use half a chopped onion instead.

Mix and match root veges, swap butternut for pumpkin or kumara. If it turns out a little different pretend that was exactly what you were expecting.

Cauliflower and broccoli are interchangeable in recipes. Use frozen peas in place of edamame or broad beans. Risotto rice – (arborio) can be used for sushi and rice pudding.

Long grain rice – ignore specific varieties such as Jasmine or Basmati, use what you have.


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