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Easy Ingredient Substitutions

August 19, 2020 • Posted in

Have you ever tried to follow a recipe that asked for an ingredient you didn't have? Fortunately, there are many ways to substitute your missing ingredient with something you have on hand. Here are some of the most common alternative ingredients, plus some vegan alternatives. 

Common Ingredient Substitutions

Some cooking alternatives are obvious. Others are far more unconventional and have varying degrees of success. Here are several of the most useful substitutions we've seen:

  • No oil? Try applesauce or another fruit puree instead.
  • Combine lemon juice and baking soda to replace live yeast.
  • If you run out of rice, use barley or bulgur. 
  • Use a bouillon cube with water for chicken broth. 
  • Need gluten-free flour? Try blending raw rolled oats.
  • Use lemon juice in place of vinegar.
  • Out of tomato sauce? Mix tomato paste with water.
  • Try leeks or shallots instead of green onion.
  • Blend sugar and molasses for brown sugar.
  • Try using yogurt instead of mayo and sour cream.
  • No baking powder? Mix baking soda and cream of tartar. 
  • Mix milk with lemon juice or white vinegar in place of buttermilk.
  • If you're all out of half-and-half, try whole milk and melted butter.
  • Try mixing butter with unsweetened cocoa powder for unsweetened chocolate.
  • Crush crackers and use them instead of breadcrumbs.
  • For corn syrup, combine sugar and water. 

Vegan-Specific Substitutions

Avoiding ingredients derived from animals can put constraints on your diet. Luckily, inventive vegan alternatives exist to make more foods plant-based. Vegan replacements like egg substitutes, vegan cheeses and other manufactured products exist, but let's talk about the ingredients you have in your home that can act as a substitute for animal-based products. Some of them include:

  • Mix ground flax seeds and water for an eggless emulsifier.
  • Mashed banana and pureed tofu can replace eggs, too.
  • Consider opting for plant-based milk like soy or oat milk. 
  • Vegetable shortening has the same emulsifying properties as butter.
  • Instead of honey, try agave nectar or cane sugar.
  • Use cream from full-fat coconut milk with sea salt and lemon juice or vinegar for sour cream.

Is Soy Sauce Vegan?

Yes, soy sauce is vegan! At San-J, we make our soy sauce from Tamari, which comes from soybeans. All soy sauce is vegan, but some soy sauces pose other concerns for consumers:

  • Gluten: Most brands make soy sauce from soybeans and 40% to 60% wheat, which means it's risky for people with gluten intolerances. We make San-J Tamari Soy Sauce with 100% soybeans, so our soy sauce is always gluten-free. 
  • Sodium: We have several low-sodium sauces that retain our authentic taste and cater to those who must take in less sodium. 
  • Additives: We use a brewing method passed down over eight generations to make our Tamari. We always avoid artificial preservatives, flavors, colors and other additives. San-J has organic soy sauces, including an organic reduced-sodium option

We're committed to providing you with a healthy soy sauce alternative to high-sodium options that contain wheat. That's why we developed our line of San-J Tamari Soy Sauces to meet your dietary needs while you enjoy their traditional taste. Find your favorite today! 

Article By: Lauren Fields - San-J Marketing