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By Thea Theresa English

Good substitutes for common ingredients

A well-stocked pantry is important but there are times when families run out of common staples and are unable to make it to the store. There are substitutes that work well in a variety of recipes. It takes trial and error as well as creativity to create delicious recipes with the substitutes. This is also a great idea if you need to adjust your diet based on a medical conditions, such as diabetes. The ingredient substitutes should complement the overall flavors in the dish.

Cocoa powder as substitute for unsweetened chocolate

If you are preparing brownies but do not have unsweetened chocolate, you can substitute three tablespoons of cocoa powder and a tablespoon of melted butter. For richer chocolate desserts, use the 100 percent cacao cocoa powder. For a healthier chocolate dessert, substitute a third cup of honey or cane syrup along with the cocoa powder.

Yogurt can replace sour cream

Sour cream is a common ingredient in many recipes but if you have yogurt, you can use it in place of sour cream. Plain yogurt can be flavored with dried herbs and spices if you are preparing a cream sauce. For sweet recipes, add fruit yogurt to desserts such as fruit salad, pound cakes and custards. Yogurt is also inexpensive as many stores have sales on it every few weeks.

How to make a substitute for all purpose flour

Combine one and a half cup of cake flour, a half cup of potato flour, one and one-fourth cup of whole grain flour and a cup of cornmeal. This will be a great substitute for all-purpose flour. It is a good idea to make double batches of this mixture and store it in a large canister for emergencies.

Substitute for whole milk

For times when you do not have whole milk, combine a half cup of evaporated milk, a half cup of water, and a half cup of skim milk. For a sweet kick to the homemade whole milk, add a few teaspoons of flavored coffee creamer or honey. Store in mason jars and freeze for use at a later time.

Healthy substitute for whole eggs

If you want a healthy version of your favorite recipe and need a substitute for eggs, you can substitute two to three egg whites. Egg whites are healthier than whole eggs and are especially useful when preparing fluffy and light desserts.

Good substitutes for ground beef

Many pasta and other carb dishes include ground beef but there are better substitutes. You can replace the ground beef with ground chicken, ground turkey or ground pork for a heartier flavor. These meats might be more expensive than ground beef but if you buy them on sale in bulk, you will always have some on hand.

Replace salt

Salt is important in recipes but if you want to cut back on it, there are some neat substitutes. Bold spices such as cinnamon, cayenne pepper, turmeric, cumin, ginger and nutmeg are all tasty for most recipes. You can also use salt substitutes that contain herbs.

These substitutes add the right touch to any recipe without sacrificing the taste and texture of your meals.

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