It’s supposed to be less expensive to skip brunch and make your own your own breakfast at home. But quality ingredients can be deceptively pricey. Here are nine easy ingredient swaps that will help you make the foods you crave without breaking the bank, courtesy of Extra Crispy:
1. Sunflower Seeds for Pine Nuts. If you’re making pesto and need a cheaper alternative to pine nuts, use an equal amount of roasted sunflower seeds. This is also an easy substitution for those who have tree nut allergies.
2. Milk and Vinegar for Buttermilk. One easy buttermilk substitute is a combination of white vinegar and milk. Pour about 4 teaspoons of vinegar into a glass measuring cup, then add enough milk to make a full cup of liquid. Stir for about 10 minutes, until it curdles and starts looking like buttermilk.
3. Peanut Butter for Almond Butter. Almond butter has become popular in recent years, but a jar of the stuff can be expensive, so if you’re looking to save some money, wherever a recipe calls for a cups of almond butter, use a cup of peanut butter instead. If you’re trying to get as close to the texture of almond butter as possible, try all-natural and creamy peanut butter rather than the really smooth stuff.
4. Baking Soda and Cream of Tartar for Baking Powder. Baking powder is a must-have ingredient if you’re making pancakes or waffles from scratch, but if you’ve run out, you can replace baking powder with a mixture of baking soda and cream of tartar. Use ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar for every 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
5. All-Purpose Flour and Cornstarch for Cake Flour. Lots of baking recipes call for cake flour, which is lower in protein and higher in gluten than all-purpose flour, and using cake flour makes for softer, lighter cakes. (Think angel food cake.) If you don’t have cake flour, use a combination of cornstarch and all-purpose flour; take a full cup of all-purpose, remove two tablespoons of flour, then add two tablespoons of cornstarch.
6. Vegetable Oil for Butter. For the vegans out there, use ⅞ cup of vegetable oil in place of a cup of unsalted butter. You can also add ½ teaspoon of salt to the oil if you were supposed to use salted butter.
7. Sugar and Water for Corn Syrup. Corn syrup isn’t necessarily expensive, but it’s becoming less popular to keep around the house. So if you’re in a pinch and need a substitute for corn syrup in a hurry, dissolve white sugar into warm water and let it cool down. If you’re supposed to use dark corn syrup, use an equal amount of honey instead.
8. Applesauce for Eggs. You might’ve used all the eggs in your fridge to make an omelette or maybe you’re vegan. Either way, you can use a ¼ cup of applesauce in place of an egg when you’re baking, be it breads or brownies.
9. Rum for Vanilla Extract. Sure, you could use a real vanilla bean as a replacement for vanilla extract, but that’s not exactly the more frugal option. Using a spoonful of rum in place of vanilla, however, can be much more cost-effective.