Cooking and Baking – Common Substitutes for Ground Ginger

Ginger is a popular spice and a favored ingredient, especially in Indian and Asian cuisine. It is used to add flavor and fragrance to many recipes. For centuries now, ginger has also been used for its medicinal value. Though it is sold in many forms, the most popular types are ground ginger and dried ginger. Ginger is considered a root solution for numerous health conditions. Whether you have a terrible cough and are suffering from digestive distress, ginger can cure many ailments. However, there are certain health conditions which demand a complete ginger ban. In such a case, finding a dried or ground ginger substitute becomes essential.

What Are Some Good Ground Ginger Substitutes?

If you are looking for an emergency substitute for ground ginger, here are a few ground ginger substitutes that work well during cooking and baking.

Allspice

The taste of allspice resembles that of nutmeg, cinnamon, and a variety of other spices. Allspice is a dried unripe berry that has a mildly sweet flavor. It is often used in meat and vegetable recipes as a replacement for ginger. If your recipe required you to add a teaspoon of ground ginger to it, you could replace it with a teaspoon of ground allspice instead.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pumpkin Pie Spice is a famous American spice mix. It consists of a blend of ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. It is often used as a seasoning or an ingredient in a variety of recipes, including pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, while pumpkin pie spice can be used to replace ground ginger, it will also give it a slightly different taste and color.

Mace

Mace is a particularly good substitute for ground ginger in baking recipes. Mace is essentially the thin exterior coating on nutmeg. It is warm and aromatic, which is why it is often used as a replacement for ground ginger in a variety of recipes. Replace a teaspoon of ground ginger with a teaspoon of ground mace and the taste will remain more or less the same.

Cooking is easy if you know some simple kitchen hacks. We hope we have been able to teach you some new ones today.

Cooking – Defining Powdered Erythritol

Have you ever heard about powdered erythritol or erythritol and wondered what it is? If so, then here is everything you need to know about it, and why it has become such a popular mention in recent time.

What Is Powdered Erythritol?

Powdered erythritol typically represents a zero-calorie sugar substitute that is used in sweetening just about anything! Usually, it is a distinctly fine powder boasting similar texture qualities to icing sugar and therefore dissolves quite easily. Powdered erythritol is ideal for numerous recipes that requite fine and faster dissolving sugar. Also, it is perfect for ice cream, meringues, icing sugar, and may also be utilized for any recipes like with granulated erythritol.

It is derived from the compound erythritol, which is a naturally derived extract from plants and fruits. It moves around your body undigested. As such, erythritol has no effect on the levels of blood glucose in most individuals and boasts zero net carbohydrates, subsequently making it an ideal sugar alternative for ‘keto’ (low carb) dieters, diabetics, or anyone looking to curb calories. Erythritol is used in various products like gum, candy, beverages, chocolate, jam, bars, and jellies.

This sweetener can also be found in granulated form for cooking and baking at home. The unique qualities of this compound render it an ideal sugar substitute, although there are various advantages and disadvantages before deciding to use in your diet. 

How is it Made?

Powdered erythritol is typically made through the fermentation of plant sugars, often from corn. The sugar is usually mixed with water, after which it is filtered, and finally fermented with a natural culture and subsequently dried. A distinct crystallized substance is the final product-usually either in powder form or in granule form-which tastes and resembles table sugar.

How Is It Used In Cooking And Baking?

Powdered erythritol is used just like table sugar in virtually anything. It has an almost equivalent sweetness of table sugar (about 70 %) hence 100g of sugar = 130g powdered erythritol.

Its granulated form usually remains grainy unless it is dissolved in water. Typically, it is used for cooking and baking, although there are several factors to consider before using it.

When it comes to baking and cooking, you can use a series of simple steps when using this sweetener.

• First, start by choosing your recipe. An excellent option is muffins and quick bread; although powdered erythritol also substitutes effectively in cooked fruit desserts like cobblers and pies. Some other possibilities include cakes, brownies, and cookies. 

• Decide whether you would like to substitute all the erythritol, or subsequently use a combination of the powdered erythritol with other sweeteners. Generally, powdered erythritol mixes with refined and natural sugars, and usually produces a more satisfactory result when it is combined with sugar. 

• Calculate the amount of erythritol to be used: as earlier mentioned, ‘erythritol’ is about 70% as sweet as regular sugar. Use between a quarter to a third more than the amount of sugar you would otherwise use, to taste.

What is it commonly substituted for when cooking or baking? 

Since erythritol generally boasts sweetness level, which is almost equivalent to regular sugar, it is used in baking and cooking. Powdered erythritol can partially substitute sugar or various artificial sweeteners for numerous uses. Nonetheless, some few considerations to remember when using the sweetener include:

• When powdered erythritol is used plain, the sweetener usually produces a cooling effect in the mouth.

• What’s more, despite having the tenderizing effects common with sugar, the results will not be precisely similar. 

Benefits of powdered erythritol

Unlike other ‘sugar alcohols,’ Erythritol functions quite differently when in the body. Its unique qualities offer certain benefits in comparison to using either table sugar or other sweeteners. 

In comparison to other ‘sugar alcohols,’ erythritol features a relatively smaller molecule. A substantial amount of this compound is absorbed into the bloodstream-between 60%-90%-although it is then exerted in your urine. As such, it results in significantly lesser intestinal distress compared to other common sugar alcohols. 

Powdered erythritol might also be much better for your teeth compared to other sweeteners. In fact, a 2016 study as outlined on Caries Research suggested that it might even aid in the prevention of cavities.
Powdered erythritol also provides several other benefits, including:

  • Dissolving fast
  • It is extremely fine 
  • Zero calories
  • No active carbohydrates
  • No aspartame
  • No tooth decay
  • Stomach friendly
  • Ideal for diabetics and ketone diets
  • Has no effect on levels of insulin or blood sugar

Safety: does powdered erythritol have any side effects?

Although powdered erythritol works well for some individuals, it has several drawbacks, side effects, and safety concerns. 

First, while powdered erythritol can aid some individuals in minimizing sugar intake or calorie consumption; it may not offer that much of an effect, with some studies even suggesting that it might not even reduce sugar intake or satiety

Also, while powdered erythritol is considered to lead to fewer gastrointestinal issues for numerous individuals, it might, however, result in some discomfort for various consumers.

Also, powdered erythritol has been proven to cause various side effects like stomachache, headache, digestive upset, diarrhea, and bloating.

Nonetheless, for safety precautions, you must consult your physician before incorporating this sweetener into your diet, especially if you have any medical conditions.

Conclusion

Powdered erythritol is an ideal natural sugar alternative. With about 70% of the sweetness of regular sugar, this sweetener has virtually all the distinct taste, with no guilt whatsoever. In fact, you can finally substitute ordinary sugar in baking and cooking without ruining your recipes! Boasting no sour aftertaste, no tooth decay risk, or any artificial flavors, this unique stomach-friendly sweetener is the ideal sugar substitute

Find Out Which Thickener to Use

Corn Starch
Corn Starch

Do you need a thickener to make your meal tastier? We have a solution. In this article, you’ll find out how to make your soup, pie filling or sauce creamy and thick. Not all thickeners provide the same result, and that’s why you need to choose smartly. These solutions will make your meal more structured and way much better.

Flour

In many cuisines, the flour represents the great thickener. The reasons are numerous here. Flour is a great asset in French cuisine, and they use a combination of flour and fat, which is very effective for making soups and sauces. If you cook them lightly, you’ll remove the flour taste, and the food tastes better at the end. On the other hand, if you cook the flour and the fat for longer, you’ll make a dark roux that is ideal for stews.

Using of flour is also effective when you dredge stew meats in flour because it makes the liquid thicker as you cook the meat. As a result, your meal will be much tastier. You can also use flour in stews, gravies, and dairy-based sauces, as the flour thickens the structure of the meal and it does not lose its thickening power even if you simmer the meal for longer.

How to use flour

If you want to get the best thickening from flour, use the twice larger quantity than cornstarch. Flour requires more quantity than cornstarch, and it is best to use all-purpose flour since it has more starch content than whole-wheat flours.

Cornstarch

You must be careful when you use cornstarch for your meal. It is a completely pure starch that combines good with the liquid, but you must know the right proportions. Add equal parts cold liquid and cornstarch when you want to make a slurry. After that, you are good to cook the meal for a short time, because longer cooking will break down the cornstarch and your meal will be full of unwanted particles. Therefore, avoid long cooking and do not use acid ingredients, like lemon, tomatoes or vinegar, since the sauce can lose the consistency.

How to use cornstarch

To make the right substitution, use half of the portion than the flour portion and add it to the meal. Make sure that you don’t freeze the meal made with cornstarch, because it may become spongy.

Arrowroot

As a root starch from a West Indian plant, the arrowroot has become a great substitution for thickeners. It is a gluten-free option that is better than cornstarch in many ways. Unlike cornstarch, you can cook with arrowroot even if you add acidic ingredients to your meal, and you can also freeze the food at the end. Similar to the cornstarch, you must make a slurry before adding the arrowroot, but the cooking process could be much shorter. When all these characteristics combine, arrowroot creates a very pleasant texture and silky mouthfeel.

How to use arrowroot

Use the equal portion as the cornstarch when you add the arrowroot to your meal.

Flax seeds

When you ground the flax seeds into a powder, you get a very fine texture that is full of fibers. Thanks to the high content of fibers, flax seeds represent the great thickening substance. It burns very fast, and you can cook the roux for less than one minute to get the thickening power. When combined with water, it creates a gel, which is ideal for smoothies.

How to use flax seeds

To make a good substitution in a roux, use the double quantity of flax seeds when comparing to flour, or take a half of the portion of flax seeds when comparing to cornstarch quantity. Flax seeds are grittier than cornstarch, and that’s why half of the quantity will be quite enough.

Related References

How to store riced cauliflower?

Riced Cauliflower
Riced Cauliflower

Riced cauliflower once prepared, as a myriad of uses and can be stored for future use. Actually, storing rice cauliflower can be quite a timesaver. The store riced cauliflower, first, divided into portions which you are likely the use. Such as individual servings of ½ cup (100g) portions or multiples thereof according to family size.  For example, for a family of four, a storage portion size of 2 cups may be appropriate. Each individual serving contains contain about 25 calories before other ingredients are added.

Short-term storage

For short-term storage place your riced cauliflower in an airtight container, preferably see-through, and stored in the refrigerator for up to seven days.   This method of storage is recommended if you have a meal plan where you know you will be incorporating it into other meals throughout the week.

Long-term storage

if you made an abundance of riced cauliflower, which you may not be using right away, then freezing it is your best option for long-term storage. Once frozen, rice cauliflower may be stored for up to a year.

How to freeze rice cauliflower

for small batches say, 2 cups or less, simply place the riced cauliflower in a freezer bag lay, lay flat, and freeze. For larger quantities, which you do not wish to break into small portions for freezing, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the riced cauliflower evenly across the sheet place in the river freezer for rapid freezing. Once frozen, remove cookie sheet and, quickly, place the riced cauliflower in freezer bags of your desired portion size, and return to the freezer.  It is recommended that freezer bags be labeled with the contents and a date they were frozen is added. Adding the description and the date will aid in knowing what is exactly in the bag and facilitate the application of the FIFO method of pantry and freezer stock rotation.

Almost Homemade – Cream of Celery Soup

Almost Homemade Cream of Celery Soup Recipe
Cream of Celery Soup

This almost home soup is one, which I have prepared from time to time over the years. This approach is a quick and easy way to dress up an ordinary can of cream of celery soup.

Cooking Process

  • In a tablespoon of butter or your favorite cooking oil saute onion and celery (see measures below), over medium heat, until they are tender and the onions are translucent :
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of diced sweet onion or shallots, according to taste
    • 4 to 6, diced, celery sticks
  • Add condensed cream of celery soup
  • Replace can of water to be added to whole milk
  • To increase the volume of soup, I usually, add a second can of milk (Optional)
  • Add 1 teaspoon of whole celery seeds  (optional)
  • Simmer until ingredients have combined, then either serve or refrigerate for later use.

Notes

  • We frequently prepare this on Sunday and reheat it in the microwave during the week as a quick and easy dinner starter.

Related References

 

Almost Homemade – Yellow Rice With Broccoli

Almost Homemade Yellow Rice With Broccoli Recipe
Almost Homemade Yellow Rice With Broccoli

This is a quick and healthy way to stretch a package of Yellow Rice or Yellow Rice with Broccoli mix.  This side dish is one we have only recently added to our selection of quick and easy ways to freshen up boxed products.  We have sided it as a side a couple of time when casually entertaining friends and it has been well received.

I usually start with a 16-ounce package of frozen chopped broccoli or broccoli florets, but chopped fresh broccoli will work just fine if you happen to have it.  Feel free to adjust the quantity of broccoli according to your families tastes.  The first time I made this side dish, I actually measured an exact cup of broccoli and it very nicely.

Cooking Process

You may want to deviate from this process, but this is how I do to ensure that broccoli doesn’t overpower the flavor and to keep preparation time to a minimum.

  • Put rice on to cook according to the directions, which normally takes about 25 minutes to cook.
  • About ten minutes into the rice cooking time, put the broccoli on to steam on high. This allows about 15 minutes for the broccoli to heat and cook until tender.
  • Once the rice and broccoli are cooked and still hot, combine in a mixing bowl or other appropriate container, and serve.
  • Steam cauliflower, until tender

Optional Flavor Suggestions

  • If you would like to dress it up a notch, consider adding a tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese or Parmesan and Romano cheese

Notes

  • We have found this to make an excellent reheatable side dish for lunches, as well.

Related Reference

Almost Homemade – Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Almost Homemade Garlic Mashed Potatoes, recipe, side dish, side, semi-homemade, almost Homemade
Almost Homemade Garlic Mashed Potatoes

This is a quick and healthy way to stretch a package of instant mashed potatoes.  While we have tried the approach with a variety of flavors, the Roasted Garlic flavor works particularly well.

I usually start with a  16-ounce  package of frozen Cauliflower florets, but fresh cauliflower will work just fine if you happen to have it.

Cooking Process

  • Steam cauliflower, until tender
  • Mash the cauliflower, according to your families tolerance for lumps.  Generally, smaller is better.
  • Cook 4 ounce package of Roasted Garlic mashed potatoes  according to the instructions
  • add the mashed cauliflower, when adding package dry ingredients and mix in thoroughly.

Servings

  • Using this approach and following the 1/2 cup prepared serving size of mashed potatoes, you add 5 more servings, for a total of 9 serving.

Calorie Reduction

  • The calorie count, per serving, is reduced by almost half; from 100 to 54 calories per serving.

Related Reference