What can I use instead?
Fresh out of eggs or cornstarch? Or maybe you’re accommodating a food allergy or intolerance? We’ve got you covered with these clever, nutritious swaps that don’t sacrifice flavor.
Try using oats or cooked rice instead of bread crumbs in these mouthwatering meatballs: cleaneating.com/meatballsvodkasauce
Wine: Polyphenol-rich wine is a stoveside staple for intensifying and accenting flavors right in the pan. But what if your stock is running low or you’re avoiding alcohol?
Eggs: Eggs are a staple ingredient in many baking recipes, but food allergies or a vegan diet can make them a no-go. If you’re scrambling for an alternative, look to these tried-and-true swaps.
Bread crumbs: From binder to breading to adding texture to dishes, bread crumbs are a culinary workhorse. To DIY, simply chop bread into pieces and pulse in a food processor. For a toasted variety, bake at 250ºF until lightly golden. To opt out completely? Try the following.
Cornstarch: Made from the starchy part of corn kernels, cornstarch is ubiquitous in baking recipes. It’s also often used as a thickening agent for gravies and sauces. It is, however, high in carbs, low in essential nutrients and highly refined.
White Sugar: You already know the perils of white sugar, but what is life without a little sweetness? Not only is it essential in desserts and hot bevvies, but it’s also used to balance flavors in savory dishes and sauces.
Sub dry white wine with white wine vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has a slight sweetness that can work in some recipes. Add a little raw honey or maple syrup for extra sweetness, or add a splash of pomegranate juice for depth.
Mix 1 tbsp flaxseed meal or chia seeds with 2 to 3 tbsp water for the equivalent of 1 large egg. Let it sit to thicken and use it to add structure to pancakes, wa es or mu ns. A mix made with chia will be more gel-like, while flax is a bit looser. Plain yogurt also works: Use ¼ cup for 1 large egg.
For a gluten-free binder, look to rolled oats, quick-cooking oats or cooked white rice. For quick flavor, try crumbled crackers, pretzels or tortilla or potato chips. For a crunchier breading, go for nuts (a single variety or a mixture – both work fine). Low-carbing it? Consider pork panko as a protein-rich replacement.
For a thickener, substitute 2 tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp white whole-wheat flour. Make sure to cook long enough to lose the taste of raw flour. Rice flour also works and cooks out in less time (though the result won’t be as glossy as cornstarch). For a grain-free option, swap for arrowroot 1 to 1. Or try potato starch, 1 to 1.5, in longer-cooking dishes like pies or custards.
Monk fruit sweetener is a low-carb alternative, available in liquid and granulated forms. It’s up to 200 times sweeter than cane sugar – so a little goes a long way. Other natural subs include raw honey, pure maple syrup and coconut sugar.