The simple swaps for cooking ingredients to help you finish your dish

Don’t have the right ingredient for your dish? These are the simple food swaps you can make that taste and work just as well as the real thing

  • Food experts have shared their ultimate guide of simple ingredient swaps 
  • CHOICE said you can substitute a missing ingredient with other alternatives
  • They have offered a breakdown of what to use when you’re out of ingredients

Food experts have shared their ultimate guide of simple ingredient swaps to help you finish your dish without having to run back to the supermarket.

Australian consumer organisation CHOICE said you can substitute a missing essential ingredient with other alternatives you already have in your fridge or pantry.

To make home cooking easier, the experts have offered a breakdown of what to use  when you’re out of everything from self-raising flour and icing sugar to hummus and breadcrumbs.

Food experts have shared their ultimate guide of simple ingredient swaps to help you finish your dish without having to run back to the supermarket. If you’ve run out of sour cream, try Greek or plain yoghurt in your dish (stock image)

Australian consumer organisation CHOICE said you can substitute a missing essential ingredient with other alternatives you already have in your fridge or pantry

Revealed: The simple food substitutions

Self-raising flour: Plain flour and baking powder

Plain flour: Blitz oats

Icing sugar: White sugar and cornstarch

Fresh milk: Tinned coconut milk

Buttermilk: Plain yogurt

Egg whites: Aquafaba (chickpea liquid)

Pasta noodles: Spiralised vegetables

Breadcrumbs: Crushed potato chips, crackers, pretzels, or even cornflakes

Sumac: Lemon zest

Saffron: Turmeric

If the recipe calls for self-raising flour, bakers can simply make their own at home using just two ingredients – plain flour and baking powder.

For each cup of flour, just add two teaspoons of baking powder and sift together to make sure it’s thoroughly distributed.

But if you need the plain option, you can use self-raising flour as a substitute – just leave out any raising agents such as baking powder or baking soda.

If you’ve run out of plain flour completely, you could blitz either whole almonds or oats in a food processor until its fine.

To make icing sugar, blend one cup of white sugar and one teaspoon of cornstarch in a food processor until powdery – or make a light or brown sugar by adding two tablespoons of molasses to one cup of white sugar.

For herbs and spices, the experts suggested using powdered equivalents if you run out of fresh garlic and onion. 

Sumac can be substituted with lemon zest while turmeric can offer a similar shade of yellow to the dish like saffron.

In the dairy department, consider using powdered milk if you’ve run out of fresh milk, while tinned coconut milk is a good substitute for baking.

If there’s no buttermilk in the house, the experts said you can replace it with a cup of plain yogurt.

Sour cream can be swapped for Greek yoghurt or plain yoghurt, while you can make homemade butter just by whipping thickened cream in a stand mixer or shaking it in a jar.

To make egg whites, all you need is two tablespoons of aquafaba, which is the liquid from cooking chickpeas or from a tin. Just whip it for 15 minutes and it’s perfect for baking or even to make meringues.

Rice can be replaced with cauliflower or broccoli, quinoa, pearl barley and couscous, while risotto can be substituted with medium grain rice.

Spiralised vegetables such as zucchini, pumpkin and carrots are a popular low-card substitute for pasta noodles.

If you’ve run out of tahini, you can use peanut butter, along with chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to create your own hummus. 

With no breadcrumbs left in the pantry, you can make your own coating using crushed potato chips, crackers, pretzels, or even cornflakes.

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