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10 easy ingredient swaps

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Here are some super easy things you can sw@p out of your pantry to make life easier, healthier and more delicious. 

With the added bonus that many will amp up the health credentials when you bake. You won’t have to spend a lot of time or money searching for them – most can be found on the shelves at your local supermarket.  

  1. Plain flour.  Don’t worry about buying (and storing!) self-raising flour. You can make your own as and when you need it by adding baking powder to your plain flour when you sift it.  Just add 2 teaspoons to each cup of plain flour to make self-raising flour.  When measuring out a few cups add the two teaspoons to each cup rather than all at the end.
  2. Wholemeal plain flour.  Add wholemeal flour to your baked treats.  As a general rule you can substitute up to a third of the total quantity of flour required without changing the way they look and taste. Which amps up the fibre content.  For self-raising wholemeal flour just add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to each cup of wholemeal plain flour when you sift it.
  3. Raw caster sugar.  Stop buying white caster sugar and use raw caster sugar instead.  Its lovely golden colour makes your baked goods more golden brown when they come out of the oven.  The raw sugar works in exactly the same way as the white sugar does but hasn’t been chemically refined.  Less chemical refinement is better for everyone.
  4. Unsalted butter.  Lovely to use in baking but great for anything that calls for butter really.  The bonus is a significant reduction in sodium consumed by your family. For example, spreading unsalted butter on your toast in the mornings can make quite a big difference across the course of a year in terms of reducing the amount of salt in your diet (particularly important for kids!)
  5. Quinoa flakes.  You’ll find these in the health food aisle of your supermarket.  A little goes a long way so a packet lasts for ages.  Quinoa flakes do wonderful things for texture (they make things so soft and light) as well as amping up the nutritional benefits when you bake.  Try some of the BakeSw@p recipes containing this super food.
  6. Buttermilk.  Use this instead of milk in your baking.  It gives a lovely fluffy and moist texture, is low in fat and the benefits of cultured products which are good for your gut flora.
  7. Avocado.  Pureed avocado works well as a substitute for butter. So it’s a terrific dairy alternative that packs a real nutritional punch.  When avocadoes are cheap it’s a great ingredient to bake with: it gives a lovely moist texture without adding any flavour.  Try making chocolate mousse with avocado – it’s healthy and delicious.  And no-one will be able to tell.  Really!  Check out the BakeSw@p I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-chocolate chocolate mousse recipe.
  8. Coconut milk.  It’s really the product of the moment!  Try the tinned variety but even better the wide range of coconut milks available on the supermarket shelves these days.  Use it as a dairy free alternative to milk or just for the taste and enjoy some great added health benefits.
  9. Rice malt syrup.  A terrific sugar substitute. It’s made from 100% organic brown rice and has a texture like golden syrup.  Use it to make teriyaki sauce and as a substitute for other sweeteners in your baking.
  10. Chia seeds.  Add these instead of poppyseeds in recipes that call for them. Or add them to your breakfast yoghurt or cereal for a delicious textural crunch that packs a nutritional punch.

Tell us what ingredients you like to swap to make your life easier, healthier and more delicious.

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