Substituting Beans

You have a recipe that asks for dried beans, but all you have are canned beans. Can you substitute them in your recipe?

Dried beans are only a fraction of the size of canned/rehydrated beans. You will need to triple the amount. So if the recipe asks for 1 cup of dried beans, you can substitute 3 cups canned beans.

Canned beans are also already soft, you will need to adjust your cooking times and add them later in the cooking process so that they do not become over cooked.

You will also want to pay attention to liquids. If the recipe asks for stock or water, reduce the amount by about half. Remember that beans in cans are also sometimes salted and you will want to watch how much seasoning you use so that your recipe is not over salty.

Simple Substitutions

Here are a few kitchen substitutions the you can do to cost costs, or substitute just because you are out:

Allspice = Equal amounts of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Ground Cloves

Buttermilk = Add 1 tablespoon Vinegar or Lemon Juice to 1 cup Milk, let sit for 10min or so until thickened.

Chives = Scallion tops

Creme Fraiche = Equal parts Sour Cream and Heavy Whipping Cream

Fresh Herbs = 1/4 the amount in dried, except for garnish

Red Wine – Cranberry Juice

Unsweetened Chocolate Square = 3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder and 1 Tablespoon Butter or Shortening

White Wine – Apple Juice

Soup Stock Substitution

If you have a recipe that calls for chicken or beef broth you don’t always have to make it from scratch.

Although home made tastes better, you can use any one of these commercial substitutions.

You can buy a can/box of beef or chicken broth to use in your recipe.

Some will need to be diluted before use so make sure that you read the instructions on the can first or your recipe may turn out too salty.

Instant boullion is usually my preference because it doesn’t take up as much room for storage and I can make exactly how much I need.

I will always mix it up with hot water according to the instructions and then let it sit for about 20 minutes for the granuals to totally desolve and for the flavor to develop.

Out of Baking Powder?

You are making your favorite recipe and you grab the box of Baking Powder only to realize that it is empty!

You don’t have time to run to the store, what are you going to do??

You can make up a quick batch by combinging 1 part Baking Soda & 1 part Corn Starch to 2 parts of Cream of Tarter.

It is not perfect, but it will get you by!

Butter/Margarine Substitution

When substituting margarine for butter in recipes, make sure that you do not substitute them for “light” butter/margarine or butter/margarine that is in tubs.

These products are whipped more with or without water and they will contain less fat by volume, therefore your recipe will not have the desired results once it is completed.

Fresh VS Dried Cranberries

You are getting ready to prepare a recipe for the holiday season and you notice that it calls for fresh cranberries.  You run down to the store and all that you find are dried cranberries and you wonder if they are ok to substitute.

You can use dried cranberries in most recipes with satisfactory results. You will need to change the quantity though. For each cup of Fresh, substitute 3/4 cup of dried.

If the recipe turns out too dry, you can soak the cranberries in some warm water for about a half an hour before using in your next recipe.

You can use dried cranberries in the place of raisins or currents to add a little extra kick in recipes asking for them.

Sardine Substitute

You have a recipe that asks for Sardines or Anchovies to be mixed in. Only problem is that you don’t have any.

You can use fish sauce (found in the oriental section of most markets) It comes in a bottle and looks like brown ketchup.

For your recipe, start with about 1/4 teaspoon of fish sauce for each anchovy/sardine requested in recipe (about a teaspoon for 1/4 cup) You can adjust to your taste as needed.

If you want to make your dish vegetarian, you can use capers, tepenade, or even a bit of miso paste. Once again, start small and adjust to taste.

Replacing Powdered Sugar

You have a recipe that asks for powdered sugar, but you just looked in the pantry and you are out. Is there a way to replace it?

Powdered Sugar aka Confectioners Sugar aka Icing Sugar is all the same thing. It is a sugar that is very finely ground with a bit of cornstarch added to keep it from caking.

You could just substitute it with granulated sugar if it is used in a recipe as an ingredient. You would use 1 cup of Granulated Sugar for every 1 3/4 cup of Powdered Sugar, BUT you may not get the results that you are used to.

If you are using it as a coating, there really is no substitution.

For this product you are better to just make a quick trip to the grocery store.