Because cheap doesn’t mean gross (well, usually)
Cooking breakfast at home can be deceptively pricey when you’re meddling with recipes that call for ingredients like pistachio butter. But if you don’t want to pay up, or can’t, you can still make your cheap breakfast by busting out some fast and easy breakfast ingredient swaps in the kitchen. Being broke doesn’t mean you have to forgo a delicious breakfast or that you have to compromise on making the meal that you’ve been craving in favor of inexpensive, cold cereal. If you want homemade pesto but refuse to pay $20 a pound for pine nuts, you should still be able to make homemade pesto. With these brokefast tips, you can.
These ingredient hacks can also be used if you realize you’re missing a crucial ingredient in the middle of making breakfast, like if you started making pancakes and assumed you had baking powder in your pantry, only to realize that you ran out a while ago when you go to grab the can.
So whether you’re looking to save some money, or save a recipe from yourself and your forgetfulness at the grocery, these nine easy ingredient swaps for when you’re making brokefast will make your mornings much easier and help you make fancy foods without facing down an exorbitant price tag.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.