Substitutions: Cooking with Limited Resources

Keeping up a daily tea regime helps boost energy!

Living in a college apartment on a college budget means that we don’t always have all the supplies that a recipe calls for, and it wouldn’t be realistic for us to run to the store for every little (usually small) part of the recipe that we don’t have. There are a lot of tricks out there however that let us substitute certain ingredients with either healthier, or more common, alternatives. Always make sure first however, that you really even need the ingredient. Look through the recipe and check to see if it would still taste good/hold together without it. Chances are, if it’s that important to the recipe, it’ll be a relatively basic ingredient.

As for substitutions: One of my roommates tried to make quiche a few weeks ago, and the recipe called for heavy cream, which we didn’t have. Not being accustomed to cooking of any kind, he tried to substitute the heavy cream with coffee creamer- only realizing later that it was hazelnut coffee creamer. Now, the quiche held together just fine, but spoiler: tasted awful. In that case, regular milk could have taken the place of the cream. Some other substitutes you can make in your cooking (and you can thank my mom for teaching me about most of these!) are:

  • No cream? Use milk
  • No buttermilk? Use one tablespoon vinegar in one cup regular milk, let sit 10 minutes
  • No butter (Or you want to be healthier)? Substitute up to half of the butter in baking with applesauce
  • No salad dressing? Use greek yogurt
  • No bread crumbs? Try using crushed cereal such as Corn Flakes or Rice Crispies

These are just some of the substitutions I’ve discovered while cooking, and recently I’ve stumbled across a handy website that includes an extensive list of other substitution ideas!


This week’s tea list:

“Lavander Dreams” from Teavana

Homemade Ginger Tea: See this blog post for details

“Youthberry” & “Wild Orange Blossom” Tea from Teavana

Lemon and Honey Tea: Squeeze fresh lemon into hot water with a tablespoon of honey


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