Some people need to follow a recipe, letter for letter, and if there is one ingredient they don’t like or are sensitive to, they will discard the whole recipe. I’m just the opposite.
When I look at a recipe, I hope to find inspiration as to the pairing of ingredients and the cooking method, and if there are ingredients that don’t work for me or my dinner guests, I will easily substitute something else and usually get great results.
Don’t fear substituting ingredients!
Cooking is a flexible art, and the skills needed can cross all kinds of invisible rules of cooking. As a professional cookbook author, I can tell you that sometimes a recipe becomes more about what you happen to have on hand and in the house than some strict concept of food rules.
Those who suffer from food allergies or sensitivities should be well-versed in how to successfully substitute ingredients to make satisfying meals out of foods safe for them. Here are some tips and sites to help make food substitution easier.
- Many proteins can be simply swapped in for the originally indicated protein. Chicken and pork come to mind as two meats that are pretty interchangeable in recipes without any other modifications.
- In many cases, one oil will work as well as another. Consider swapping out the butter or peanut oil called for in a recipe and trying coconut oil, sunflower oil, or sesame oil instead. For frying, you may want to consider the smoke point profile of the cooking oil you will be using, but for baking, etc., there isn’t much difference.
- Here are some egg-free egg substitution ideas:
- This recipes uses pureed sweet potatoes in place of eggs.
- You can use things like tapioca starch, ground flax seeds, and applesauce in place of eggs, too.
- Check this out for a good website on measurements for food substitutions.