Run out of eggs? The best food swaps for hard to find ingredients

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  • If you’ve visited the supermarkets lately, you’ll know that some have sold out of store cupboard essentials. If you've run out of eggs and other staples, you might find these food swaps helpful.

    Hopefully things will begin to settle down soon, and the supermarket shelves will be fully stocked once more, but in the meantime, give these a go, and who know, you may even prefer some of them to the real thing.

    What can I substitute for eggs?

    Eggs are used for a number of reasons, to add texture and richness to dishes, to aid cakes to rise, to thicken and emulsify sauces and crèmes. Although there are planty of eggless cakes and bakes you can make as well.

    If you’re struggling to get your hands on any, here are a few substitutions you can use:

    • For moisture and texture in baked goods, you can substitute 1 egg for 60g of unsweetened applesauce (and maybe add an extra 1/2tsp of baking powder per egg)
    • Banana can also be used in the same way as applesauce; depending on size, one whole banana usually equals 2 eggs.
    • Flax seeds. Yes believe it or not, these healthy little seeds are a fantastic egg replacement. To replace 1 egg, add 1tbsp of seeds to 3tbsp water and allow to thicken.
    • Aquafaba, this is the cooking liquid left over from legume seeds, such as chickpeas. It’s a fantastic (vegan) replacement for egg whites when making meringues, marshmallow, and can even be blitzed with oil, herbs and spices for a delicious mayonnaise. Yum
    • Silken tofu and chickpea flour can make a delicious egg-free omelette.

    Pasta

    Most of us have a few packests in the cupboard, but if you’re running short (or want to reduce your carb intake), why not try:

    • Spiralized vegetables, such as carrots, courgettes, sweet potatoes and squash. If you don’t have a spiralizer, then you can achieve a similar effect with a julienne peeler.
    • Noodles. Don’t think that these should just be reserved for Asian dishes, they’re a great substitute for spaghetti.
    • Gnocchi, not technically pasta, but a super alternative, and actually very easy to make at home.

    Rice

    Dry goods may be low but there is still an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables out there.

    • Blitz up raw cauliflower or broccoli and pan-frying for a delicious rice replacement.
    • Couscous is great, and so easy to make.
    • Grains and seed crops, such as bulgur wheat, spelt, quinoa and amaranth are fantastic rice subs, are full of goodness.

    Pantry

    READ MORE: Store cupboard recipes with handy ingredients

    Flour

    It gets a little trickier when it comes to flour, as there’re many different types that do a number of different things, so a straight replacement isn’t always possible.

    • Blitz oats and replace them for flour in pancake recipes
    • Brown rice flour is great for thickening sauces
    • Rye flour is a perfect like-for-like swap with plain flour and will make delicious breads, chocolate cakes and muffins
    • Spelt flour is another great like-for-like swap.
    • Make your own! Chef Tom Brown is offering advice on Instagram of have to make your own flour and it’s so much easier that you may think!

    If you need any more advice or help with your recipes, please head over to our Facebook page and let us know!