11 emergency swaps when you’re missing something in your kitchen

Is this just me, or does it happen to you also, that you often missing something in your kitchen while cooking? You have bought everything (as you thought) to prepare particular dish, but while you’re in the middle of it, you discover that somehow you’re missing (one of the key) ingredient? Or you’ve got all of the ingredients, but missing baking paper? If this happens to you as often as it happens to me, no worries, you’re not the only one.

I’ve gathered couple of random kitchen substitutes and thought it might be useful for someone. Things I was missing many times, or items I just don’t have in my kitchen (like a meat mallet) or things I constantly forget to buy. They are mostly tested by me and actually work and saved my ass couple of times 😉

Also on the bottom of this post I leave .jpg version of this list, so you can download it, if you’d like to print it and stick it to your fridge, or have it handy on your phone.

Eggs

Since I started keto diet eggs are the key item on my shopping list and I usually have at least a dozen in my kitchen. But happened to me couple of times that, in the middle of baking I’ve been discovering that there’s not enough eggs or no eggs at all. In this situations you’ve got couple options, I didn’t try all of them though. I’m not missing eggs enough often to try all of them. But linseed (flaxseed) does the job if you miss the egg. But if you don’t have linseed you can also try other things you might have in your kitchen:

Instead of one egg you can use:

-> 1 medium banana mixed in puree (for muffins and sponge cakes)

-> 4 tbsp of apple puree from the jar (for muffins and sponge cakes)

-> 4 tbsp of silken tofu (for muffins and sponge cakes)

-> 4 tbsp of buttermilk (for muffins and sponge cakes)

-> 1 tbsp of linseed (flaxseed) and 3 tbsp of water (best for short pastry) – grind linseed in coffee grinder or use linseed meal, mix with warm water and leave until it becomes gelatinous, then use as equivalent of one egg

-> 4 tbsp of sweet condensed milk (best for short pastry)

Flour

I was guilty of that so many times, that you can’t imagine. I rarely use flour now, but when I did on a daily basis, happened to me many times that I’ve noticed that I don’t have enough flour (usually). If this situation happens to you dig in your cupboard and I’m sure you’ll find something that can become a flour 🙂

-> linseed (flaxseed) – just pop it to the coffee grinder and in couple seconds you’ve got linseed flour (very healthy – just fibre, no carbs)

-> oats – pop them to the coffee grinder – works great, I used to make great oat flour pizza

-> rice – surprisingly , pop it to the coffee grinder and you have gluten free rice flour (I haven’t try though, usually had one of the previous ones)

Parchment paper/baking paper

I happened to me two weeks ago with linseed biscuits. Because of my short memory I keep forgetting to but baking paper and always remind myself not in the shop but in my kitchen when I want to put biscuits to the oven. So instead of baking paper I’ve used two round silicone baking pans. You can also use aluminum foil, but keep in mind that it might stick to the dough and be difficult to remove in one piece after baking. So it’s always good to grease the foil first. If you don’t have any of these you can use oil, butter or flour to prevent dough from sticking.

Icing / powdered sugar

There’s couple baking situations when you need icing sugar and regular sugar won’t work (like whipping cream or whipping egg whites). Again coffee grinder can save you. Just pop regular sugar into coffee grinder and there you go – you’ve got powder!

Breadcrumbs

Happened to me more than couple of times, tried all of them in my “career”- linseed flour, sesame seeds, oats, crushed cornflakes, desiccated coconut, ground pork rinds, almond meal, psyllium husk. All of them works great. Do you have more ideas?

Baking powder and baking soda

That’s more complicated, chemistry involved, so I asked google because I had this problem during lockdown when everyone started feeling urgent need to bake and all baking powder, baking soda and yeast vanished from the shops.

-> to replace 1 tsp of baking soda use: 3 tsp of baking powder

-> for one teaspoon of baking powder use: 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 cup buttermilk (decrease liquid in recipe by 1/2 cup)

What happens if you don’t have baking soda or baking powder?

Unfortunately – nothing – google haven’t found a replacement if you don’t have any of these. Any ideas?

Meat mallet

I just don’t have it. Always use rolling pin instead. Works great. (I also remember using wine bottle to tenderize the meat, but I don’t advice it from safety reasons).

Rolling pin

In this case wine bottle works really well.

Muffin liners

That’s the one I always tell to myself while I’m in the shop: I will buy them next time. I don’t make muffins very often, but usually feel the vibe for making ones before that “next time” I’m in the shop buying muffin liners. So I finished buying them once in my life. Usually bake muffins without liners at all, but it’s pain in the ass. So next time I will make muffins instead of thinking about buying liners I will cut baking paper in squares (if I won’t forget to buy baking paper), I’ll give them a nice muffin shape using a cup and use as a muffin liner.

Tomatoes for cooking

Happened to me more than couple times, it’s not very creative, but maybe worth mentioning. Sometimes a soup, sauce or other meal recipe requires some kind of tomato product. Depending of type of meal, you can use them interchangeably: tomatoes/ tomato juice/ fresh tomato / passata / tomato paste.

If you’d like to print this list or keep it handy on your phone, you can download it here in .jpg version.

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