Swap School

Here are some easy ingredient substitutions for when you suddenly find yourself out of eggs, mayo and other kitchen staples.

Swap School menu boards are seen on the set of Food Network's The Kitchen, Season 7.

Photo by: Jason DeCrow ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Jason DeCrow, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Eggs (for Baking)
Both the whites and yolks perform important functions in baking. Egg whites add volume and act as a drying and leavening agent. Egg yolks provide fat, which adds flavor and tenderness. The yolk also acts as an emulsifier, helping to blend liquids like oil and water.

SWAP: For 1 egg: use 1/4 cup applesauce or 1/2 ripe banana (mashed). The banana will have a stronger taste than the applesauce, but the texture of the finished recipe will be about the same.

TIPS: It's important to mash the banana until it is pretty smooth so you release enough of the liquids and you don't end up with lumps of banana in your baked goods. Freeze your old bananas once they are too ripe; defrost and use in baked goods.

Molasses
Molasses is slightly acidic, with a strong rich flavor. It adds a complex sweet note and deep brown color to food, and also acts as a thickening agent for sauces.

SWAP: For 1 cup molasses: use 3/4 cup brown sugar plus 1/4 cup hot water (or other liquid in the recipe)

TIP: Brown sugar is brown because it contains molasses. To get a deeper molasses flavor, look for dark brown sugar, which has a higher molasses concentration than light brown.

NOTES: Brown sugar for molasses is an ideal swap for recipes in which the molasses is used as a sweetener, like a BBQ sauce or marinade. The swap is not ideal for recipes where molasses is a main ingredient, like molasses cookies.

Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise adds a thick and creamy texture with a balanced sweet yet tangy flavor.

SWAP: For 1 cup mayonnaise: use 1 cup yogurt plus a pinch of salt

TIP: Try adding a touch of mustard, lemon juice or both to give more flavor to the yogurt substitute.

NOTE: The end product will still be creamy and have a similar texture, but it will not be as rich as if you had used mayonnaise.

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