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14 easy ingredient swaps that show how recipes can be easily adapted

Following a recipe and midway through realise you don’t have all the ingredients? We’ve all been there before. The good news is, you don’t have to always dash to the shops.

You can still sometimes make a yummy dish that tastes like the original recipe but with a few tweaks. Some recipes are made to be broken!

As learning to cook and cooking in general is a pathway to a healthy eating journey, it is important to feel relaxed and confident in the kitchen.

Here are some of our tips for ingredients swapping…

14 ingredient swaps that prove recipes sometimes can be broken

1. Swap eggs for chia seeds

Eggs are a common issue. You always think they are in the fridge but when you go to get one, they are not.

When baking, try chia seeds instead. 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with around 3 tablespoons of water well gelatinise in a minute in a cup. This will be worth one egg.

If you do not have chia seeds, even try 1/2 mushy banana or apple sauce. Go on, try it!.

2. Swap butter for oil

If you are baking try a veggie oil but if it is for a muesli bar or non cooked slice of some sort, try coconut oil.

For non cooked things it is the firmness and texture of the butter you might be after.

3. Swap self-raising flour for plain flour with baking soda

No self raising flour? Try using plain with some baking soda or even a pinch of bicarbonate side. Self raising flour often has a combination of these ingredients in it already.

You can add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to 2 cups of plain flour.

4. Swap white flour for whole meal

Try whole meal instead of white flour. It is best to add additional baking powder or bicarbonate soda to it as well as the fibre in the whole meal flour will be a denser finish.

5. Swap milk for juice in a cake

You might actually swap this out for good long term as it is DELICIOUS! Orange juice or lemon juice are a perfect combination in a chocolate cake.

6. Swap almonds for a different nut


If you find you’ve run out of almonds and need it in a recipe then why not try a different nut like macadamia or walnuts.

7. Swap pinenuts for almonds

If you have no pine nuts for pesto try macadamia or almonds. Make sure you either roast them or pan fry them before you blend them as they are bigger almonds and harder to break down. The heat will soften them slightly.

8. Swap pre-made breadcrumbs for bread or cornflakes

No pre-made breadcrumbs but have some bread? Try toasting some actual bread and blending it in the mix master or roast it in the oven at 120 degrees celsius for 10 minutes.

If you are making crumbed chicken or fish you could also use ground nuts or cornflakes! Yummy!

9. Swap sour cream for Greek yoghurt

Sometimes sour cream just provides a creamy taste that can also be achieved by mixing in plain or Greek yoghurt.

10. Swap buttermilk for lemon

No buttermilk in the fridge? The closest substitute would be another dairy product with a spoonful of lemon juice or white vinegar.

11. Swap parsley for coriander

Parsley and cilantro herbs are related. If your recipe uses cilantro mainly as a garnish, parsley could be a great substitute, if not try coriander.

12. Swap lemons for limes or oranges

Sometimes a dish just needs an acidic fruit to bring out the flavours or give it a zest. In most cases, limes and oranges work well if you don’t have any lemons in the fruit bowl.

13. Swap soy sauce for a stock or oyster sauce

A lot of people often use soy sauce as an oyster sauce substitute, but it can work both ways! They both provide the same colour and a similar taste to a dish.

13. Swap tomato passata for canned tomatoes

No tomato passata? The best substitution is tomato purée or canned tomatoes blended and with a little water.

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