Ingredient Substitutions

Sometimes we run out of ingredients and don't feel like running to the store or there is such a small amount needed that we don't want to buy a whole thing (especially with spices) so we've built up a collection of substitutes that we use when cooking and baking.

Almond extract:
Amaretto to taste

Brown sugar:
1 cup = 1 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon molasses or Dark Karo Syrup

Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup milk
1 cup of plain yogurt or sour cream mixed with ¼ cup skim milk (only use 1 cup)

Cake flour:
1 cup = 2 Tbsp corn starch with enough flour to equal 1 cup

Chili Sauce:
1 cup = 1 cup tomato sauce, ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons vinegar, 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon, dash of ground cloves and dash of allspice combined

Equal amount green onion or scallion tops

Cornstarch (for thickening sauces):
1 Tablespoon = 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

Corn syrup:
Equal amount honey

Cream of Tartar:
1/2 teaspoon = 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Greek or thick yogurt:
Plain yogurt that has been strained through a sieve with a coffee filter in the fridge and left to sit- overnight is best.

Ground Red Pepper:
¼ teaspoon = 8 drops hot pepper sauce

Pumpkin pie spice:
1 teaspoon = 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Rice vinegar to taste

Use equal amount red or other mild onion or the white parts only of green onion

Sour cream:
Use equal amount plain yogurt

Tomato Sauce:
15-oz can = can of tomato paste mixed with 1 1/2 cups of water

Unsweetened Chocolate:
1 ounce = 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa mixed with 1 Tablespoon melted butter or vegetable oil

Vanilla Extract:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract = seeds scraped from 2 inches of vanilla bean pod
Brandy to taste

Whipped cream:
13 ounce can of evaporated milk chilled for at least 12 hours.  Add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and whip until stiff

1/2 cups = ¼ cup of wine vinegar (red or white, depending on which is called for in recipe) and 1/4 cup water mixed with 1 Tablespoon of sugar
White wine:
Equal amount white grape juice; apple cider; apple juice; vegetable stock; or water
Sweet white wine:
White grape juice plus 1 Tablespoon Karo Syrup
Red wine:
Equal amount grape juice; vegetable stock; cranberry juice; tomato juice or concord grape jelly

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  1. Useful substitutions