Kitchen Hacks: Clever Ingredient Swaps for Stress-Free Cooking
Cooking is a delightful art that allows us to explore flavours, experiment with ingredients, and create mouth-watering dishes. Yet, none of us has escaped situations where we realise you're missing a crucial ingredient or the recipe, including something incompatible with our diet, can quickly throw a spanner into our plans for a wholesome homemade dinner. It's amusing how often we approach recipes as if they're set in stone when in reality, many of them are quite adaptable.
But fear not! Clever ingredient substitutions can save the day and help you create delicious meals without the stress of last-minute grocery runs. Whether you're facing empty pantry shelves, starting an elimination diet, or simply striving for healthier eating, having a grasp of straightforward and nutritious ingredient swaps can be the lifeline that keeps you aligned with your cooking and dietary goals. Simplify the process of making intelligent substitutions using these recommendations straight from dieticians, ensuring that you can infuse nourishment into any meal plan.
Eggs are a common binding agent in cooking, but they can easily be swapped out if you're vegan or allergic. You have the freedom to create egg-free breakfasts and baked goods that are just as delightful. Numerous plant-based options are available to provide moisture to your recipes and effectively bind ingredients together, all without the need for a traditional Styrofoam egg carton. Flaxseed or Chia Seeds (Alsi ke Beej) can be used as a substitute. Simply combine 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water to replace one egg. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to thicken before using.
Thanks to the ever-expanding range of products crafted from oats, nuts, and soy, the decision to eliminate dairy from your diet no longer equates to forsaking milk in your coffee or bidding farewell to ice cream on summer evenings. Whether you're managing dairy intolerance or aiming to decrease saturated fat intake by embracing more plant-based options, exploring the alternative dairy section is a promising starting point. A variety of Nut Milk including Almond, cashew, and oat milk are excellent dairy milk replacements in recipes. Choose unsweetened versions for savoury dishes and sweetened ones for desserts.
#BorosilTip: Contemplate the possibility of employing plain curd as a stand-in for milk in your baking endeavours. When crafting a cake recipe that mandates the use of milk, an equivalent measure of curd can be seamlessly integrated, provided it possesses a neutral taste profile. Alternatively, water can also be utilised in lieu of milk in certain scenarios, with the caveat that for every cup employed, a tablespoon of butter should be introduced to harmonise the fat quotient.
Sorry Not Sorry, Sugar!
Reducing sugar in your recipes can be a healthy choice. Whether you've committed to reducing your consumption of refined sugars or are in the midst of a comprehensive sugar detox, there's an array of alternatives you can try out. Honey with its natural sweetness can replace sugar in many recipes. Borosil Pro Tip - Use a 1:1 ratio, but keep in mind that honey adds moisture, so adjust your liquid content. Jaggery, a traditional unrefined sweetener derived from sugarcane or palm sap, is increasingly embraced as a healthier and flavoursome alternative to refined sugar in Indian cuisine. With its distinct caramel-like taste and nutritional richness, jaggery adds depth to dishes and is packed with minerals and antioxidants, offering a slow energy release.
Made without Maida
You're all set for a baking session, but a search through nearby grocery stores reveals an unexpected shortage of all-purpose flour (maida). However, there's no need to worry, as regular whole wheat atta can seamlessly step in as a substitute. Yet, there are two crucial considerations to bear in mind when opting for wheat flour in baking. First, ensuring adequate hydration of the flour is essential to prevent potential dryness and coarseness in the final product. Secondly, if you're embarking on a bread-baking venture, opting for overnight hydration is strongly recommended to attain optimal results.
Ta Ta Tomatoes!
With tomato prices soaring and how, one could find themselves being restricted in cooking dishes that require a lot of tomatoes. But guess what, everything (well almost!) has a substitute. Kokum, vinegar, lemon, or tangy yoghurt can seamlessly fill the gap in a curry, ensuring that the absence of tomatoes is barely noticeable.
So, the next time you find yourself in a culinary pinch, remember that there's always a substitution that can turn your recipe into a success.