When you run out of ingredients

I was inspired to make ranch dressing today. Recipe in hand I headed to the pantry and fridge. No buttermilk. Texted my neighbour. We have a steady traffic of ingredients between our houses. But no luck. She had none either. BUT she sent me a link for a buttermilk substitute! Awesome. Having made that and left it to brew I gathered the rest of the ingredients. Shock horror! No worcestershire sauce. Not often used, I knew I had a bottle in the pantry cupboard. Not anymore. Ten years of faithful service and it was empty!  Having made my own buttermilk substitute, I wondered if there was one for worcestershire sauce. I hit pay dirt. Lots of them.

So having made the ranch dressing, I dug up my cookbook with the handwritten substitute notes.  Thought I’d share my learned wisdom with you.


2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (or vinegar) to 1 cup of milk (full fat or skim). Whisk it in. Leave for half an hour to curdle. Magic.


1/4 tsp sugar to 8 drops of tabasco sauce. Dissolve and use.


Mix 3/4 cup milk to 1/3 cup just melted butter. Makes  1 cup heavy cream


1 – 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil mixed with 1 – 1.5 tbsp water and 1 tbsp baking powder per egg

There are so many you are best checking out the website if you want more options. Some of them you would not believe – bananas, buttermilk (there it is again)

This is an interesting one –

Egg whites: Aquafaba is the best option. Use 3 tablespoons (45 grams) for each egg white you want to replace.

It is, believe it or not, the cooking liquid from cans of beans. It is amazing stuff.

I learned about it back in 2017 for this very same reason – looking for substitutes. I was so fascinated I wrote a post.  And then, as is sometimes the case, promptly forgot about it.

Tonight we feast Indian with substitute ranch dressing dipping sauce for the samosas.

Raili Tanska

Do not give up – be creative

12 thoughts on “When you run out of ingredients

  1. Having been a housewife in England during the 1940’s when everythibg was rationed my mother was a genius at finding substitutes. I still have a recipe for cake without egg sonewhere – I think it used makt vinegar or sonething. We made yoghurt from sour milk I know. You are very clever and resourceful, Raili!!

  2. The liquid from canned beans? Weird – I don’t suppose it can be whipped up to make meringues, can it?… and there was me expecting to read about one of your hilarious kitchen disasters… 🙂

    1. Well Jane, I could have told a kitchen disaster story from a few days ago. In fact, I very well may write it up today.But to the point of your question – yes, you can whip it up for meringues. Weirder still, huh. Not tried it myself. Given my recent kitchen failures, I am hesitant to step foot into any new ventures at this stage! If you do, let me know how it goes.

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