5 Best Tahini Substitutes Because Oops, I’m Out Again

At home, I fly through tahini at an alarming rate, adding it to almost everything I make. I have a gift (though some may say it’s a curse) for making the creamy, toasty Middle Eastern staple disappear, spreading it on toast with honey and cinnamon, swi…

At home, I fly through tahini at an alarming rate, adding it to almost everything I make. I have a gift (though some may say it’s a curse) for making the creamy, toasty Middle Eastern staple disappear, spreading it on toast with honey and cinnamon, swirling it into brownie batter, or blending it with garlic and lemon to make a sauce. With this gift comes a major consequence: I’m often out of tahini (cue dramatic music). Lucky for all of us, we’ve done our research and found the best tahini substitutes. Before you give up on making a tahini-forward recipe like hummus, keep reading—for all you know, a substitute might be stocked in your kitchen, ready to save the day.


Our Best Tahini Substitutes

Cashew Butter

Of all the nut butters, cashew butter is your best bet for replacing tahini, (FWIW: we do love almond butter, too). The smooth consistency and subtly bitter nuttiness of cashew butter are reminiscent of tahini, which make it a seamless substitute; try it out in these no-butter chocolate chip cookies for a nutty twist. Keep in mind that nut butters can get expensive and obviously aren’t a safe substitute if you’re allergic. Avoid peanut butter when searching for a tahini substitute; as much as we love peanut butter, its thick texture and distinctive flavor aren’t the best at mimicking the flavor and consistency of tahini.

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I’m Out of Oyster Sauce! What Can I Substitute Instead?

Oyster sauce can easily be forgotten about behind its more popular pantry neighbors like soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, or your favorite homemade stir-fry sauce. But this savory sauce, which is often labeled as “oyster flavored sauce,” is one…

Oyster sauce can easily be forgotten about behind its more popular pantry neighbors like soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, or your favorite homemade stir-fry sauce. But this savory sauce, which is often labeled as “oyster flavored sauce,” is one of our favorite ways to bring salty, umami-packed flavor to vegetable stir-fries, shrimp fried rice, and more. So what should you use if you run out of oyster sauce? And what is oyster sauce, anyway?

What Is Oyster Sauce?

Oyster sauce originated in the southern part of China in the early 20th century and has since become a beloved ingredient, particularly in Cantonese cooking. It’s typically drizzled over vegetables like Chinese broccoli once cooked. Nowadays, the most popular brand of oyster sauce found in many grocery stores is Lee Kum Kee, which makes its sauce with water, sugar, oyster extractives (oyster, water, salt), modified cornstarch, monosodium glutamate, wheat flour, and caramel color. It doesn’t just taste salty, nor does it taste entirely fishy. It’s a complex sauce, not to mention one that has a rich, thick consistency that resembles ketchup. Other brands of oyster sauce will have a similar flavor but may flow more easily from the bottle like maple syrup.

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6 Easy Chicken Broth Substitutes That Will Save Your Dinner

As someone who doesn’t eat most canned (or cubed) stocks and broths—they can be overly salty—and usually is too lazy to make them from scratch, I find myself often cooking without stocks and broth. Or sometimes, I’ve run out of homemade chicken broth o…

As someone who doesn’t eat most canned (or cubed) stocks and broths—they can be overly salty—and usually is too lazy to make them from scratch, I find myself often cooking without stocks and broth. Or sometimes, I’ve run out of homemade chicken broth or store-bought vegetable broth and don’t have time to re-stock before I begin cooking.

You’re probably wondering how in the world that’s possible, since so many recipes use broth and stock. Instead of flavorless food, though, I use simple combinations of water, fresh ingredients, and various add-ins (from kombu and bonito to coffee and beer) to produce flavorful broth substitutes whenever a recipe calls for vegetables, beef, or chicken stock. I get to be more in control of the end result of the dish this way. Paul Bertolli knows what I’m talking about.

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How to Substitute Allspice When You Don’t Have Any Left

Come October 1st, we’re all about allspice. That’s because so many of our favorite fall and winter recipes (particularly the sweet ones, but some savory dishes too) call for allspice. Contrary to its name, allspice is not actually a blend of “all the s…

Come October 1st, we’re all about allspice. That’s because so many of our favorite fall and winter recipes (particularly the sweet ones, but some savory dishes too) call for allspice. Contrary to its name, allspice is not actually a blend of “all the spices.” Rather it’s a specific spice that hails from Jamaica and is harvested from larger-than-life pimenta trees. However, it’s complex flavor does taste like the very best combination of cinnamon, nutmegs, and cloves, hence its all-inclusive labeling.

Substitutes for Allspice

Leave it to our community members to come up with seamless substitutions for ground allspice that work perfectly in sweet and savory recipes alike. “I'd recommend a mixture of four parts ground cinnamon, one part ground cloves, one part nutmeg,” says CarlyFarine. Mix the three spices together and measure out as much allspice as your recipe calls for.

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What’s Actually the Difference Between Heavy Cream & Half-and-Half?

We love you heavy cream, but you don’t always do what we need. Sometimes your high fat content is just too thick and luscious to be used as a coffee creamer or an ingredient for pudding pie. That’s where half-and-half comes into play. Where heavy cream is too rich, half-and-half is there. But sometimes, it fails too. Half-and-half will never turn into whipped cream and no amount of churning will turn it into butter. We know they’re not the same, but what really is the difference between heavy cream and half-and-half?

What Is Half-and-Half

To understand how to cook and bake with half-and-half, it’s important to understand exactly what it is. According to my bedtime reading aka the FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations, “Half-and-half is the food consisting of a mixture of cream and milk which contains not less than 10.5 percent but less than 18 percent milkfat. It is pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized, and may be homogenized.”

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We love you heavy cream, but you don’t always do what we need. Sometimes your high fat content is just too thick and luscious to be used as a coffee creamer or an ingredient for pudding pie. That’s where half-and-half comes into play. Where heavy cream is too rich, half-and-half is there. But sometimes, it fails too. Half-and-half will never turn into whipped cream and no amount of churning will turn it into butter. We know they’re not the same, but what really is the difference between heavy cream and half-and-half?

What Is Half-and-Half

To understand how to cook and bake with half-and-half, it’s important to understand exactly what it is. According to my bedtime reading aka the FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations, “Half-and-half is the food consisting of a mixture of cream and milk which contains not less than 10.5 percent but less than 18 percent milkfat. It is pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized, and may be homogenized.”

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Out of Nutmeg? You Probably Have One of These Subs on Hand

Nutmeg is the spice equivalent of a knitted sweater. Fragrant and warm, you’ll find it giving depth to pumpkin pies, apple spice cakes, cheesy gratins, eggnog, butternut squash soup, super-simple glazed ham…the kind of food you want to eat by a firepla…

Nutmeg is the spice equivalent of a knitted sweater. Fragrant and warm, you’ll find it giving depth to pumpkin pies, apple spice cakes, cheesy gratins, eggnog, butternut squash soup, super-simple glazed ham…the kind of food you want to eat by a fireplace. But don’t let its absence in your spice rack stop you from cooking recipes that call for it. Here are 9 stupendous substitutes.


Best Nutmeg Substitutes

Mace

Mace is the outer, webbed layer of a nutmeg seed, which is typically ground separately from nutmeg because of its more assertive, piquant taste. Think of it as nutmeg’s sassy twin. Since most nutmeg recipes always call for a small amount—it is a sharp spice, after all—you are fine substituting it with mace 1:1.

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Apple Cider Vinegar Substitutes For Perky, Puckery Goodness

As a medium-sharp vinegar, apple cider vinegar is easygoing when it comes to being substituted. It is almost always a quick 1:1 replacement. You may not find its exact fruity, acidic pitch in these substitutes, but you’ll make a vinegar chicken, or sal…

As a medium-sharp vinegar, apple cider vinegar is easygoing when it comes to being substituted. It is almost always a quick 1:1 replacement. You may not find its exact fruity, acidic pitch in these substitutes, but you’ll make a vinegar chicken, or salad dressing, or cheesy chickpea omelet here that lets the show go on. Call it an understudy, dinner edition.

So: Is there a “best” apple cider vinegar substitute? It really comes down to which element of apple cider vinegar you want to replace most: the fruitiness, sweetness, or the sharpness.

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The 4 Best Substitutes for Ginger

I grew up with a steady supply of fresh ginger in my kitchen. While some kids woke up to the smell of pancakes or eggs and bacon, I rose to the sweet and slightly spicy scent of my mother’s ginger tea, a cup of which warmed me up on cold winter morning…

I grew up with a steady supply of fresh ginger in my kitchen. While some kids woke up to the smell of pancakes or eggs and bacon, I rose to the sweet and slightly spicy scent of my mother’s ginger tea, a cup of which warmed me up on cold winter mornings and settled my stomach for the breakfast I’d prepare for myself before school (I was a very picky eater). Nowadays, my mornings begin with a strong cup of coffee, but I always have some fresh ginger on hand in case I’m feeling tea or am cooking something that could use a little extra oomph. But once in a while I reach into the crisper of my fridge to find that I’ve forgotten to replenish my stash: All that’s left behind is a shriveled up and slightly moldy knob that’s headed straight for the trash.

If you find yourself there, too, there’s still hope! When it comes to the best ginger substitutes, it’s certainly easier with some recipes than others. For example, apple pie cookies would be fine with a substitute, but in something like gingery spice cake (or my mom’s tea!), where ginger plays a main role, you might just need to head to the store. Regardless, there are likely a few items knocking around your pantry that can do the trick.

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The Best Poultry Seasoning Substitutes

It’s almost turkey time, which means we’re looking at creative alternatives to the traditional Thanksgiving menu, starting with homemade poultry seasoning. Poultry seasoning is commonly used for roasting chicken or turkey, but you can find it called fo…

It’s almost turkey time, which means we’re looking at creative alternatives to the traditional Thanksgiving menu, starting with homemade poultry seasoning. Poultry seasoning is commonly used for roasting chicken or turkey, but you can find it called for in stuffing recipes and some soups as well. If you’re like me, your early encounters with poultry seasoning were pretty limited to McCormick. I assumed that all poultry seasoning tasted the same as the one I remember from my mother’s spice rack. While the taste profile of most poultry seasoning is savory, there’s so much variation, depending on the particular combination of herbs and spices. If you can’t find poultry seasoning and need some, or even if you just want to customize your own blend, here is the best way to proceed.


Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme (Yes Really)

If you’re going by the McCormick blend, the ingredients in poultry seasoning are some combination of sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg. Poultry seasoning based on parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme is the most common variation (we’re pretty sure the Simon and Garfunkel rendition of “Scarborough Fair” is based entirely on a chicken). This is true especially for stuffing, but another big hitter that works really well for roasting is marjoram. We like marjoram because it has a similar flavor to oregano and even mint, but with a subtly different nuance of flavor.

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The Best Gruyère Cheese Substitutes for Nutty, Salty Goodness

Gruyère is a cheese staple because of its creamy, nutty flavor and sturdy, semihard texture. It’s the perfect addition to a cheese or charcuterie board, plus one of its strengths is that it melts easily for recipes like French onion soup or a croque mo…

Gruyère is a cheese staple because of its creamy, nutty flavor and sturdy, semihard texture. It’s the perfect addition to a cheese or charcuterie board, plus one of its strengths is that it melts easily for recipes like French onion soup or a croque monsieur.

It also happens to be one of the most expensive cheeses in the grocery store, averaging about $15 to $20 a pound if you’re going for the AOC label. And no, we’re not referring to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez—we assume she is too busy to be stamping cheeses. AOC stands for appellation d’origine contrôlée, which in French cheese-speak is the label that protects a product’s ingredients and methods, tying them to a particular location.

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