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Alternative Ingredients and Simple Kitchen Tips

Looking for alternative ingredients in your recipes?   We have several ideas for a substitute for milk in recipe, cottage cheese substitute, cream cheese substitute, lemon zest substitute plus other simple kitchen tips. 

alternative ingredients


As most of you know we live 17 miles from the nearest mom and pop little grocery store.  And 40+ miles from the big box or chain grocery stores.   So we have become experts in alternative ingredients in recipes. Ok probably not exactly experts but we do pretty good saving quite a few trips to town. 


substitute for milk in recipe, cottage cheese substitute


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You never know when you are in the middle of something and then you reach for a certain ingredient and it’s not there.  That’s when you need a list of alternative ingredients for many common recipes.  


alternative ingredients


Alternative Ingredients for baking:

  • Self Rising Flour:  1 cup of all purpose flour and add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of fine salt
  • Whole wheat Flour: Mix  7/8 cup of all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons of wheat germ for 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • Baking Powder: replace 1 teaspoon of baking powder with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter.
  • Baking Soda:  use 3 teaspoons of baking powder for each teaspoon of baking soda needed
  • Corn Starch: 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour for every 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • Yeast: Make your own sourdough starter here
  • Brown Sugar:  for every 1 cup of brown sugar needed use 1 cup of white sugar plus 1/4 cup of molasses. Be sure to remove 1/4 cup of other liquid from your recipe.
  • Unsweetened chocolate: for every 1 oz replace with 3 tablespoons of cocoa plus 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Cream of Tarter:  for every 1 teaspoon use 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Unsalted butter:  use shortening or lard to the exact ingredients
  • Breadcrumbs: cracker crumbs, corn flake crumbs, or rolled oats.
  • lemon zest substitute: for every 1 tablespoon need use 1 teaspoon of dried lemon peel, grated or 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for an easy lemon zest substitute.
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice equivalents:  1 small lemon=3 T. juice and 1 medium lemon=4T. juice and 1 large lemon=5T. juice.


alternative ingredients


Other Alternative ingredients

  • Fresh Herbs: for every 1 tbsp of fresh herbs replace with 1 teaspoon of dried herbs
  • Italian seasoning: replace 1 tablespoon with 2 teaspoons of parsley, 1 teaspoon of basil, and 1/2 teaspoon of oregano.
  • Medium Onion: 1 Tbsp minced dried onion or 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 clove garlic: 1/2 teaspoon minced dried garlic or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 16 oz Can of Vegetables (drained): replace with 2 cups of fresh cut up vegetables, cooked and drained or frozen vegetables, cooked and drained.
  • 10 oz package of frozen veggies:  replace with 1 1/4 cups of fresh veggies or 1 1/4 cups of frozen veggies
  • 14 or 15 oz can of beef or chicken broth: 2 teaspoons chicken or beef instant bouillon granules and 2 cups hot water or 2 chicken or beef bouillon cubes and 2 cups of hot water
  • 15 oz can of tomato sauce:  mix 6 oz can of tomato paste with 1 cup water
  • 1 cup of ketchup or chili sauce:  mix 1 cup tomato sauce and  1/4 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • Marshmallow cream: 1 ounce = 3 melted marshmallows


substitute for milk in recipe, cottage cheese substitute


Substitute for Milk in recipe and other Dairy Substitutions

  • Whole Milk: for every cup instead use 1 cup of reconstituted dry milk (Mix dry milk according to package directions)  and add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter 
  • Milk– 1/2 cup of evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup of water makes an substitute for milk in recipe
  • Buttermilk:  for every 1 cup needed use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and 1 cup of milk.
  • Milk (sweet condensed):  for every 14 ounce can use 1 cup instant non-fat dry milk, 2/3 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of boiling water, and 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • Sour Cream substitute:  equal parts of plain yogurt or replace 8 oz of sour cream with 6 oz of cream cheese whipped with 3 Tbsps milk
  • Cottage cheese substitute: use 3/4 cup of ricotta cheese for every cup needed for a cottage cheese substitute
  • Cream cheese substitute:  for every cup replace it with  1/2 cup of plain yogurt and 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1 Egg: 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder mixed with either half a pureed banana or 1/3 cup of applesauce.


simple kitchen tips, kitchen tips


Simple kitchen tips:

  •  Grate butter when making biscuits or anything that requires cold butter to be added
  • No fresh parsley then use celery leaves
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp baking powder added to chocolate chip cookie dough makes wonderfully fluffy soft cookies
  • Baking cookies in a muffin or cupcake tin keeps cookie size consistent and prevents cookies from spreading and becoming thin and overcooked
  •  Buttermilk- freeze in ice trays/cupcake tin then transfer to Ziploc or freezer containers
  • Whipping cream can be frozen right in its carton – when thawed it will whip up nicely
  • Keep spices in a cool, dark place like your pantry.  It’s not a good idea to store them on top of the stove because heat and humidity can alter their flavor. See our post on how to organize your pantry. 
  •  Sprinkle a little salt on your chopped board when chopping fresh herbs to keep them in place
  • Store fresh lettuce washed, dried, wrapped in paper towels and stored in ziplock baggies


You don’t have to live 17 miles from the nearest grocery store to need this list of alternative ingredients and simple kitchen tips.  Because sometimes you just don’t wish nor have the time to run the store so often. 


Other Kitchen Helps:


alternative ingredients. substitute for milk in recipe


Friday 17th of April 2020

Excellent tips, thank you so much for sharing with us. ❤️


Friday 17th of April 2020

Thanks so much, you are so kind.