Thursday, February 28, 2013

Substitute Ideas

I am learning to be better about bending my recipe rules. Usually I stick to the rules of a recipe like my life depended on it. There is nothing worse then wasted food and broken emotions over a floppy dish (& yes in my household it is that big of a deal). Food is pricy and I don't like wasting it! Okay, well it's that and the fact that I'm hungry & if my food now tastes more like glorified dog food then what I see on the cooking channel I'm scary.
Anyways, I have slowly been learning that mixing things up doesn't always mean disaster and sometimes it even saves money because I use what I have on hand rather then running to the store, again, to get every item on the recipe card. (Look I'm even calling them ingredients now not rules! I'm coming along!) On this journey to food freedom I have discovered some very handy substitutes to for my cooking escapades. I have also started these substitutes as I am learning more about food that is actual beneficial to your body not just a filler for the tummy. With each success I will keep the substitute list updated for you guys. Give it a try and have fun thinking outside the's kind of addicting!

Substitute List:
  • Yeast: Equal Parts Baking Soda & Lemon Juice. Mix together then pour into your recipe (example: your recipe calls for 1ts. yeast: mix together 1/2ts of lemon juice with 1/2ts of baking soda)
  • Butter: Raw Butter (store bought or make it yourself: Butter Recipe
  • Butter: Coconut Oil use same amount as the recipe calls for butter (use solid form for cooking, but melt in the microwave [or stove] when baking with coconut oil)
  • Butter: Avocado oil use same amount as recipe calls for butter   
  • Butter: GHEE (found at local health food stores or online)
  • Sugar: Maple Syrup use same amount as the recipe calls for sugar
  • Sugar: Honey use same amount as the recipe calls for sugar
  • Sugar: Equal Parts Molasses & Honey  for the sugar amount in the recipe 
  • Salad Dressing: Avocado Oil ...& a little bit of salt
  • Buttermilk/Yogurt: Kefir use same amount as recipe calls for buttermilk or yogurt (makes great smoothies!)
  • Chili Powder: I use my Homemade Recipe which does not have any fillers or preservatives
  • Garlic Salt: Garlic Powder & Salt :)
  • Creole Seasoning: Homemade Recipe, It's easy make it yourself
  • Handy-Dandy Herb Substitute List:

 The Health Reasons:
  • Lemon Juice/Baking soda Combo: I substitute simply for cost reasons and when I'm in a jam & have no yeast.
  • Raw Butter: I love butter but I am slowly cutting out highly processed chemicals. ( I am finding out lots of information through blogs, books & family friends) But raw butter (made from raw unpasteurized milk) is very expensive, & too time consuming to make for my life right now. 
  •  Coconut oil I use for the health benefits (It is also expensive but has so many more uses then just food).  Click here to read more
  • Avocado Oil: This has become my favorite salad dressing! Avocado oil is both good internally and also great for your hair and skin. You can't beat that!   Click here to read internal health benefits.  Read about using avocado for you hair 
  • Ghee- This makes for a very good butter substitute for health benefits but it's also tastes like butter! Heating butter causes the fat and moisture to separate. The butter fat is taken from the top, and that is Ghee!  Ghee has a much longer shelf life then regular butter. It tastes a little nutter with a yummy buttery flavor. It works GREAT for sauteing vegetables. Ghee Health Benefits
  • PLEASE check out this blog for more information if all this info about oils and butter is interesting to you: 100daysofrealfood
  • Maple Syrup: Although sugar is"natural" the process it goes through to become white refined sugar is highly processed and anything but natural. Maple Syrup (be careful with this, just because it's labeled maple syrup does not mean it is! Most maple syrups at the store are just glorified sugar water, check the label it should have only one ingredient: maple syrup) I know my grocery store does carry a brand that is just maple syrup, but price wise you may have better luck buying bulk online. I'll keep you updated on what I find.
  • Honey: This is my favorite sugar substitute. Even if you don't like honey when you bake with it it's not a strong flavor just adds that needed sweet factor. My husband does not like honey but he will eat anything I bake with it, no complaints yet. Like the maple syrup be careful what kind of honey you are buying. Most honey's at the store are also just glorified sugar water and in that case you might as well just use the sugar you have on hand (unless you are substituting for reasons other then health, then go for it and enjoy!) I buy only raw local honey  (raw means it is unheated, pure, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey, & local honey helps with allergies which my hubby has) (Honey Tip: with so many different kinds of honey choices go for the darker honey, the darker the honey the higher its mineral contents, pH readings, & aroma/flavor) Check your local farmer's markets or health food store or try places online like this one. *Please note I have yet to find this kind of honey in my regular grocery store.
  • Molasses: I usually do equal Parts Honey & Molasses to help make my honey go father when I'm baking a lot. Molasses helps add a beautiful taste and color to your baked goods as well as help lighten your honey load. (I love my honey and try to  make it last as long as possible). Like with everything else check that label! My rule of thumb is 4 ingredients or less or I'm making it at home! (This rule a bendy one. It's something I try to stick to but can't always make it happen. Just do you best and don't stress over it, after all stress isn't good either!)  
  •  Kefir is a drinkable yogurt made from particles called “grains.”  "...Kefir contains much more of the friendly bacteria known as 'probiotics'". -Kefir
I use different brands based on the best deal I find online
Honey was bought at my local health food store Molasses was found at my local grocery
Kefir can be found at your local grocery store, usually in the yogurt section