Common Substitutes to Keep in Your Kitchen


Have you ever been at the grocery store and can’t seem to find a necessary ingredient that’s on your shopping list? It can be frustrating when only one ingredient is standing in your way to a complete recipe. Before you scrap your ingredients, you may be able to find a suitable substitute to use in its place. Food substitutes are often used due to food allergies or intolerances, but can actually be used for just about any reason. Here are some of the most common food categories where substitutions may be easy to make. 


Dairy is a common food that can easily be substituted for in a pinch. If one of your recipes calls for milk, you can swap in a plant-based option such as soy or almond milk. Greek yogurt makes a fine substitute for sour cream and coconut oil is a suitable replacement for butter. There are several cooking substitutes you can use for eggs, such as applesauce, mashed bananas, and even ground flax seeds are great options if you find yourself short on eggs. 


Herbs and spices are very easy to swap around if you find yourself short on a certain ingredient. Spices such as ginger, cardamom, allspice, and nutmeg are interchangeable and can be swapped out with minimal difference to the overall result of your recipe. You can change out fresh spices such as parsley or cilantro but will notice a slight taste difference. 


Pasta is another ingredient you can change around without much of a difference. If you or a family member can’t eat wheat or gluten but love pasta, you’ll be pleased to know there are many gluten and wheat-free options you can safely enjoy.

Oil and Vinegar

Oil and vinegar are pretty easy to change around if you don’t have a specific ingredient handy. Peanut and canola oil can be changed around without any difference. Many people opt to use olive oil in place of vegetable oil for a healthier version of their favorite recipe. As for vinegar, cider vinegar, rice vinegar, and white wine vinegar are easily interchangeable. Some flavored vinegars may not be substituted as easily due to their taste, so read the labels before you make any substitutions.


Certain meats can be substituted for other options. For example, if you want to eat healthier, you can use ground turkey in place of ground beef. Tofu or chopped mushrooms are another option for those who want to make their favorite meal meatless. 


For those who cannot consume regular flour due to an allergy or intolerance, it’s easier than ever to find a substitute. Rice flour, cauliflower, and potato flour are all great options for people who need a baking substitute for traditional flour.

Hopefully after learning about how easy it is to swap foods around when you’re in a pinch, you’ll feel more confident trying new things in the kitchen. If you aren’t afraid to try something new, next time you’re short an ingredient, try a substitute and see if you notice the difference. Chances are you won’t, and you’ll still be able to enjoy your recipe.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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1 year ago

If you don’t have any eggs, you can use mapquest directions, mashed bananas, or even ground flax seeds instead.

1 year ago

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