Substituting ingredients means you don’t have to have everything on hand all the time.
The whole substitution thing happens for me all the time! I keep my main pantry staples in stock, but sometimes a recipe calls for a little more of something than I have, or something I don’t have. Knowing that substituting ingredients is an option if I need it is wonderful! A great example is making desserts for our kids. I generally don’t keep the bars of unsweetened chocolate on hand. I do, however, always have unsweetened cocoa powder and clarified butter or oil. So boom! Substitution.
Substituting for Health
Knowing what I can substitute for things in a pinch is great, but I also sometimes use substitutions simply to make things a little healthier. Applesauce for sugar in what I know is already going to be a really sweet cake is one example. Juices for wines is also something I like to substitute regularly. I just don’t keep cooking wines on hand, but I almost always have juice around (unless the kids drink it all before I can stock up again!).
Substituting to Save Time
For me, time is also another reason to use substitutions. Fresh herbs are wonderful, but when everyone’s already hungry and I’ve just started prepping dinner, time is off the essence. Knowing the amount of dried herbs that equal out to fresh herbs is important for saving time.
Want more information on substitutions?
Check out our cooking resource, Substitutions for Common Ingredients. We’ve got a nice list of what you can substitute for other things, and we have a PDF available!