We’ve all been there! You’ve just returned from the grocery store and you’re getting ready to make dinner, bake or whip something up on a whim and your missing a crucial ingredient. The last thing you want to do is go back to the grocery store for one item. No worries! We have healthy recipe substitutions and a list of over 50 ingredient substitutions. Take into account that the substitution could change the taste, texture and or consistency, but will do when you’re in a pinch.
Healthy Recipe Substitutions
Unsweetened applesauce for oil, butter or sugar
Using applesauce in place of sugar can give the necessary sweetness without the calories. You can sub sugar for apple sauce in a 1:1 ratio, but for every cup of applesauce you use, reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.
Mashed bananas for fats
The creamy, thickening-power of ripe mashed banana is perfect for replacing fat in baking recipes. One cup of mashed banana works perfectly in place of 1 cup or butter or oil! Here is a great recipe for a low-fat, quick and easy banana bread….
- 1 (15.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
- 2 eggs
- 3-4 overripe bananas
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Smash bananas in a large bowl with a fork, beat eggs in separate bowl, then mix all ingredients well. Spray 2 small loaf pans or 1 large loaf pan with non stick cooking spray. Fill the pans evenly with batter. Bake at for 35-40 minutes
- Sprinkle the pans with cinnamon and sugar before filling for an added sweet touch.
Grated steamed cauliflower for rice
Cut both calories and carbs with this simple switch. The texture is virtually the same, as is the taste.
Spaghetti squash for pasta
Roast or bake your squash and scrape with a fork for a healthy low-carb spaghetti squash substitute for pasta. One squash will make between two and three servings.
Two egg whites for one whole egg
Trade out the yolk for a second white to cut cholesterol and doubling the protein.
Greek yogurt for sour cream or mayo
Nonfat Greek yogurt has far fewer calories and fat than mayonnaise or sour cream, but its consistency is quite similar. Next time a recipe calls for either of those fattening ingredients, try using the yogurt instead.
Ingredient Substitutions Guide
|Allspice||1 teaspoon||1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon cloves|
|Baking mix||1 cup||1 cup pancake mix OR 1 cup Easy Biscuit Mixture|
|Baking powder||1 teaspoon||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)|
|Baking soda||1 teaspoon||2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder + replace acidic liquid ingredient in recipe with non-acidic liquid|
|Balsamic Vinegar||1 cup||Equal amount of sherry or cider vinegar|
|Broth: beef or chicken||1 cup||1 bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup boiling water OR1 teaspoon powdered broth base dissolved in 1 cup boiling water|
|Brown sugar||1 cup, packed||1 cup white sugar plus 1/4 cup molasses and decrease the liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup OR 1 cup white sugar OR 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar|
|Butter||1 cup||7/8 to 1 cup hydrogenated fat (shortening) and 1/2 teaspoon salt OR7/8 cup lard plus 1/2 teaspoon salt OR
1 cup margarine OR 7/8 cup oil plus 1/2 teaspoon salt OR 7/8 cup oil OR To reduce fat and calories – applesauce or prune puree for half of the butter in the recipe OR ¾ coconut oil in place of a cup of butter.
|Buttermilk||1 cup||1 cup yogurt OR 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup|
|Cajun Spice||1 tablespoon||1/2 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper|
|Chocolate(semisweet)||1 ounce||1 (1-ounce) square of unsweetened chocolate plus 4 teaspoons sugar OR 1 ounce semisweet chocolate chips plus 1 teaspoon shortening|
|Chocolate (unsweetened)||1 ounce||3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa plus 1 tablespoon shortening or vegetable oil|
|Cocoa||1/4 cup||1 (1-ounce) square unsweetened chocolate|
|Corn syrup||1 cup||1 1/4 cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup water OR 1 cup honey OR 1 cup light treacle syrup|
|Cottage cheese||1 cup||1 cup farmer’s cheese OR 1 cup ricotta cheese|
|Cracker crumbs||1 cup||1 cup bread crumbs OR 1 cup matzo meal OR 1 cup ground oats|
|Cream (half and half)||1 cup||7/8 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon butter|
|Cream (heavy)||1 cup||1 cup evaporated milk OR 3/4 cup milk plus 1/3 cup butter|
|Cream (light)||1 cup||1 cup evaporated milk OR 3/4 cup milk plus 3 tablespoons butter|
|Cream (whipped)||1 cup||1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed|
|Cream cheese||1 cup||1 cup pureed cottage cheese OR 1 cup plain yogurt, strained overnight in a cheesecloth|
|Crème fraiche||1 cup||Combine 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt. Let stand for 6 hours at room temperature|
|Egg||1 whole (3 tablespoons or 1.7 oz)||2 1/2 tablespoons of powdered egg substitute plus 2 1/2 tablespoons water OR 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute OR 1/4 cup silken tofu pureed OR 3 tablespoons mayonnaise OR half a banana mashed with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder|
|Evaporated milk||1 cup||1 cup light cream|
|Fats for baking||1 cup||1 cup applesauce OR 1 cup fruit puree|
|Flour–Bread||1 cup||1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon wheat gluten (available at health food stores & some supermarkets)|
|Flour–Cake||1 cup||1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons|
|Flour–Self-Rising||1 cup||7/8 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt|
|Garlic||1 clove||1/8 teaspoon garlic powder OR 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic OR 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt–reduce salt in recipe|
|Green onion||1/2 cup , chopped||1/2 cup chopped onion, OR 1/2 cup chopped leek OR 1/2 cup chopped shallots|
|Herbs–fresh||1 tablespoon chopped fresh||1 teaspoon (chopped or whole leaf) dried herbs|
|Honey||1 cup||1 1/4 cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup water OR 1 cup corn syrup OR 1 cup light treacle syrup|
|Ketchup||1 cup||1 cup tomato sauce plus 1 teaspoon vinegar plus 1 tablespoon sugar|
|Lard||1 cup||1 cup shortening OR 7/8 cup vegetable oil OR 1 cup butter|
|Lemon grass||2 fresh stalks||1 tablespoon lemon zest|
|Lemon juice||1 teaspoon||1/2 teaspoon vinegar OR 1 teaspoon white wine OR 1 teaspoon lime juice|
|Lemon zest||1 teaspoon||1/2 teaspoon lemon extract OR 2 tablespoons lemon juice|
|Lime juice||1 teaspoon||1 teaspoon vinegar OR 1 teaspoon white wine OR 1 teaspoon lemon juice|
|Margarine||1 cup||1 cup shortening plus 1/2 teaspoon salt OR 1 cup butter OR 7/8 cup vegetable oil plus 1/2 teaspoon salt OR 7/8 cup lard plus 1/2 teaspoon salt|
|Mayonnaise||1 cup||1 cup sour cream OR 1 cup plain yogurt|
|Milk–whole||1 cup||1 cup soy milk OR 1 cup rice milk OR 1 cup water or juice OR 1/4 cup dry milk powder plus 1 cup water OR 2/3 cup evaporated milk plus 1/3 cup water|
|Onion||1 cup, chopped||1 cup chopped green onions OR 1 cup chopped shallots OR 1 cup chopped leeks OR 1/4 cup dried minced onion OR 1/4 cup onion powder|
|Parmesan cheese||1/2 cup, grated||1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese OR 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese|
|Raisin||1 cup||1 cup dried currants OR 1 cup dried cranberries OR 1 cup chopped pitted prunes|
|Ricotta||1 cup||1 cup dry cottage cheese OR 1 cup silken tofu|
|Semisweet chocolate chips||1 cup||1 cup chocolate candies OR 1 cup peanut butter or other flavored chips OR 1 cup chopped nuts OR 1 cup chopped dried fruit|
|Shallots, chopped||1/2 cup||1/2 cup chopped onion, OR 1/2 cup chopped leek OR 1/2 cup chopped green onion|
|Shortening||1 cup||1 cup butter OR 1 cup margarine minus 1/2 teaspoon salt from recipe|
|Sour cream||1 cup||1 cup plain yogurt OR 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough cream to make 1 cup OR 3/4 cup buttermilk mixed with 1/3 cup butter|
|Soy sauce||1/2 cup||4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce mixed with 1 tablespoon water|
|Stock–beef or chicken||1 cup||1 cube beef or chicken bouillon dissolved in 1 cup water|
|Sweetened condensed milk||1 (14-ounce) can||3/4 cup white sugar mixed with 1/2 cup water and 1 1/8 cups dry powdered milk: Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 20 minutes|
|Vegetable oil–for baking||1 cup||1 cup applesauce OR 1 cup fruit puree|
|Vegetable oil–for frying||1 cup||1 cup lard OR 1 cup vegetable shortening|
|Vinegar||1 teaspoon||1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice OR 2 teaspoons white wine|
|White sugar||1 cup||1 cup brown sugar OR 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar OR 3/4 cup honey OR 3/4 cup corn syrup|
|Wine||1 cup||1 cup chicken or beef broth OR 1 cup fruit juice mixed with 2 teaspoons vinegar OR 1 cup water|
|Yogurt||1 cup||1 cup sour cream OR 1 cup buttermilk OR 1 cup sour milk|
Do you have any go-to ingredient substitutes you rely on when you’re in a pinch or need to replace an item for health reasons?