Economical Food Substitutions
by Nikki Willhite
Many people think when they follow a
recipe from a cookbook they must follow it exactly. This is not true, and it is
not cost effective.
This is especially true when it
comes to casseroles. Some recipes have numerous ingredient, many which can be
discarded without any significant loss of flavor.
You need only to look up the recipe
for something like Beef Stroganoff in several different cookbooks to see the
many variations of this basic dish.
If you are trying to save money in
the kitchen, you will want to make your food as delicious as possible, using the
fewest amount of ingredients possible. A lot of recipes call for things we don't
normally stock in our cupboards. If we buy them, we may only use a portion of
them, and the rest may go to waste.
Sometimes a recipe calls us to
purchase just too many ingredients. We don't make it because we calculate that
the cost per servicing is too expensive.
Sometimes we can get the flavor we
want by using substitutes for items we don't want to buy. There are many
commercial substitutes already...such as IMO for sour cream, and margarine for
butter. I use IMO both in dip and when I make beef stroganoff. I almost always
Here are a few substitutes that
may help you. You can decide if there is a noticeable difference in quality.
If a recipe calls for cake flour,
just remove 2 Tbsp of flour for every cup of flour.
For self rising flour add 1 tsp of
baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt to every cup of flour.
If out of milk, use 1/2 cup
evaporated milk mixed with 1/2 cup water.
To make whole milk out of 1 cup of
skim milk, add 3 Tbsp of cream.
A buttermilk substitute can be make
from yogurt. Add 2 Tbsp milk, and 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk.
Let it set 10 minutes and then stir.
A cream cheese substitute is 1 cup
of cottage cheese mixed with 1/4 cup of butter/margarine.
For sour cream use 1 cup of yogurt
mixed with 3 Tbsp melted butter.
For baking powder use 1/4 tsp
baking soda mixed with 1/2 tsp cream of tartar.
When baking with chocolate, 3 Tbsp
cocoa with 2 1/2 tsps butter is equal to one unsweetened chocolate baking
For lemon juice, use 1/2 tsp of