Substitutes for Brown Sugar

SOURCE: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/brown-sugar-substitutes

Everyone hates getting ready to cook something and ingredients are MIA! Well just like there are substitutes for eggs, butter, milk, brown sugar too:

1. White sugar plus molasses

A combination of white sugar and molasses is your best bet for a brown sugar substitute, as that’s exactly what brown sugar is made of (1).

To make your own light brown sugar, mix 1 cup (200 grams) of granulated white sugar with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of molasses. If you need dark brown sugar, increase the molasses to 2 tablespoons (30 ml).

And just like that — you have brown sugar.

To make your own brown sugar, mix 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of molasses with 1 cup (200 grams) of granulated white sugar.

2. White sugar plus maple syrup

Traditionally, brown sugar is made using a mix of granulated white sugar and molasses.

If you don’t have molasses on hand, you can easily swap it out for maple syrup with almost no change to your recipe’s final product.

Combine 1 cup (200 grams) of granulated white sugar with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of pure maple syrup to make a brown sugar substitute that can fool even the most sophisticated palette.

Combine 1 cup (200 grams) of granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of maple syrup to make an almost-perfect brown sugar substitute.

3. Coconut sugar

Coconut sugar is made from the sap of coconut trees.

It’s often marketed as a healthier sugar alternative, as it contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber that aren’t found in more refined sugar sources (2Trusted Source).

You can easily swap coconut sugar and brown sugar in a 1:1 ratio.

Though coconut sugar looks and tastes a lot like brown sugar, it doesn’t hold as much moisture. This can affect the texture of certain baked goods, potentially making them slightly dryer or more dense than intended.

To improve the moisture content, try adding a little extra fat, such as butter or oil, to your original recipe. You can also try melting the coconut sugar on a stovetop before adding it to your recipe.

Coconut sugar may be evenly swapped for brown sugar, but it can make certain baked goods drier or denser than intended.

4. Honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar

With a few simple recipe modifications, honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar are all suitable replacements for brown sugar.

Because these substitutions are liquid, you’ll want to take into account how the extra moisture may affect the outcome of your recipe — especially when it comes to baking.

Exact substitution measurements vary depending on the particular recipe in question, but you can use these basic tips to get started:

  • Replace each cup of brown sugar (200 grams) with 2/3 cup (160 ml) of liquid sweetener of your choice.
  • For every 2/3 cup (160 ml) of liquid sweetener used, reduce other liquid sources by approximately 1/4 cup (60 ml).

You may also want to consider reducing cooking time by a few minutes, as these types of sugar replacements may caramelize more quickly than brown sugar.

You can use liquid sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, and agave nectar to replace brown sugar — but you’ll likely need to adjust your recipe.

5. Raw sugars

Raw sugars like turbinado or demerara make great brown sugar substitutes, as their naturally light amber colors and mild caramel flavors are similar to the real thing.

In most recipes, you can trade raw sugars for brown sugar in an even proportion without noticing much difference.

However, raw sugars are significantly drier and more coarse than brown sugar, which may impact your recipe’s end result.

The coarse raw sugar granules don’t always mix into dough or batter as uniformly as brown sugar, leaving behind a grainy texture. This is especially true for low-moisture baked goods or those intended to have a very delicate texture.

If you have a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, you can manually grind the sugar crystals into a finer texture that will more easily integrate into your recipe.

You can also try partially dissolving the sugar crystals in a small amount of warm liquid — such as melted butter, oil, or water — before adding them to your batter.

Raw sugars like demerara or turbinado can be substituted for brown sugar in equal proportions. Still, because raw sugar crystals are very coarse, they don’t always mix into batters and doughs as uniformly as brown sugar would.

6. Muscovado sugar

Muscovado sugar is a minimally refined sugar that makes a great substitute for brown sugar because — like traditional brown sugar — it contains molasses (3Trusted Source).

However, the molasses and moisture content of muscovado is much higher than that of regular brown sugar. This makes it stickier with a greater tendency for clumping.

Muscovado sugar can be traded equally for brown sugar in almost any recipe, but if you’re baking with it, you may want to consider sifting it to remove any clumps before mixing it into your dough or batter.

You could also try using an electric mixer and adding in the muscovado a little at a time to improve its integration into your recipe.

Muscovado is a minimally refined dark brown sugar that can be used as a regular brown sugar substitute. It’s stickier than brown sugar, so it may require some extra work to mix it into your recipe — especially if you’re using it for baking.

7. Plain white sugar

When all else fails, you can replace brown sugar with an even measurement of granulated white sugar without fear of ruining your recipe.

White sugar lacks the same rich flavor that brown sugar adds, but depending on the type of recipe, you may not notice much flavor change at all.

Where you may notice a difference is in the texture. Brown sugar adds a dense chewiness to certain types of baked goods like cookies. When brown sugar is replaced with white sugar, you may end up with a slightly crispier result. Still, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

White sugar can be used to replace brown sugar, producing only slight changes in texture and flavor.

LEMON CHEESE

SOURCE: https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/recipe/cheese-recipes/lemon-cheese/

Lemon cheese is a creamy, spreadable cheese with a light, lemony flavor, and it’s so easy to make!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • Juice of 3-4 lemons; approximately 1/4 cup
  • Cheese salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat the milk in a large pot over medium heat to between 185° and 200°FAdd the lemon juice and stir it in slowly, using gentle up-and-down motions, for 1 minute.
  2. Cover the milk and allow it to sit, undisturbed, for 15 minutes, or until you recognize a clean break. If you have not gotten a clean break after 20 minutes, add a bit more lemon juice and wait another 15 minutes, or until it does set.
  3. Line a colander with butter muslin, and gently ladle the curds from the pot into the colander. Tie the corners of the butter muslin together to create a draining bag, and suspend it to drain for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until it stops dripping.
  4. Take the cheese out of the butter muslin and place it in a large, clean bowl. Mix in the salt.
  5. Add additional ingredients such as herbs, spices or fruit, as desired.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Keeps for up to 2 weeks.

EASY RUSTIC OLIVE BREAD

SOURCE: https://thewanderlustkitchen.com/easy-rustic-olive-bread/

I love olive bread but either it’s hard to find at stores or it’s almost $10 a loaf! I came across this recipe and wanted to try it out so I could solve my olive bread crisis. It turned out fast, easy, and delicious all the things I was looking for yaaa:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted, chopped Kalamata olives

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine the first six ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use a spatula to roughly combine the ingredients. Let rest for 15 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. Fold in the olives. Attach the dough hook and knead on medium for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in a bit more flour as needed if the dough won’t release from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Transfer the kneaded dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 60 minutes in a warm place.
  4. Punch the dough down, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use your hands to shape it into a loaf. Allow to rise for another 60 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place a second baking sheet on the bottom rack. Dust the loaf with flour and use a serrated knife to make three shallow cuts across the top.
  6. Place the baking sheet containing the dough on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Toss a half cup of water onto the hot baking sheet on the bottom rack and close the door. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

***Note I actually used a dutch oven to bake my bread so it’s more like using a stone oven. I preheated the oven 475 degrees Fahrenheit, 30 mins before the dough was done rising I put the dutch oven in with the lid. After 30 mins I put the dough in dutch oven lid on baked for 30 mins. Remove the lid and let bake for another 15 mins.

BAKING IN THE DUTCH OVEN

How to Make Sour Cream From Scratch

SOURCE: https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-make-sour-cream-from-scratch-4151183

I love sour creams it goes on everything but at the same time I can’t decide between buying the little container or the big one, because I only go thru half? So how excited was I to find a recipe to make my own, so I can make as much as I need at a time:

Ingredient

These measurements will make 1 1/4 cups of sour cream. You can scale the recipe up or down to meet your needs, but use a quart jar if you’re making more than two cups.

Directions

Pour the ingredients into the sterilized jar and seal it. Shake the jar vigorously to combine the cream and the buttermilk. The lactic acid bacteria in the buttermilk will ferment the cream, causing it to sour and thicken. 

That’s it. You’ve just made your own sour cream. Set the mixture aside and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours. This will allow the sour cream to develop.

Give your finished sour cream a good stir when you’re ready to serve it, or store it in the refrigerator if you won’t be using it right away.

How to Make Low-Fat Sour Cream

You can replace some of the cream with whole milk, half-and-half, or light cream if you’d prefer a low-fat version. Just keep in mind that your sour cream won’t turn out quite as thick if you cut the fat.

How to Make Buttermilk

SOURCE: https://www.thespruceeats.com/make-your-own-buttermilk-p2-995500

I am so excited when I find new recipes to try out and when I can recycle my dairy containers! Buttermilk is an ingredient that has many uses not only for desserts. We just used to make homemade sour cream so here are a few different ways to make your own buttermilk for any recipes you have:

What Does Buttermilk Do?

So, what does buttermilk actually do? The main reason a recipe will call for buttermilk—apart from the tart flavor and creamy thickness that the buttermilk provides—is the acid. The acid in buttermilk is a byproduct of the fermentation process and it will activate baking soda or baking powder, causing your bread, muffins, or pancakes to rise.

How to Make Buttermilk With Vinegar or Lemon Juice

This first method is a really easy method. Just add one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to one cup of milk and let it sit out at room temperature for about 10 minutes. If you need more than a cup, just keep the ratios the same. For two cups, use two cups of milk and two tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar and so on.

As we noted, this method will not give you a true cultured buttermilk, but rather, acidified buttermilk. This means you can use it in a recipe for biscuits or pancakes or the like, and the acid will activate the baking powder or baking soda just as it should.

How to Make Buttermilk From Yogurt

Another fast and simple method calls for taking 3/4 cup of yogurt or sour cream and thinning it out with 1/4 cup of milk (or even plain water). This will make a cup of “buttermilk,” although just like the first method, it’s not a true buttermilk, but it will be an adequate substitute in whatever recipe calls for buttermilk.

How to Make Cultured Buttermilk

If you aren’t in a big hurry or if you’re just interested in the process, here’s how you can make your own cultured buttermilk from scratch. Unlike the two methods described above, which simply involve adding an acid to milk and letting it curdle, the methods described below will give you true, cultured buttermilk.

Just take note that If you want to make a true cultured buttermilk, which is what you buy at the store, it will take about 24 hours and you will need to start with either an active buttermilk culture or a cup of actual cultured buttermilk. This is great for if you ever have a little bit of leftover buttermilk from a previous recipe that you don’t need and you don’t want to pour it down the sink. Instead, you can use this method, similarly to how one extends sourdough starter, and create more.

“But if I had buttermilk, I wouldn’t need to make my own buttermilk!”

Quite right. We hear you. These two methods are more of a way to reduce food waste and create more buttermilk for a later point in time.

How to Make Homemade Buttermilk From Store-Bought

The easiest way to make your own homemade buttermilk that is cultured is if you already have some cultured buttermilk on hand. Here are the steps:

  1. Start with a 3/4 cup (6 ounces) of cultured buttermilk in a very clean glass quart jar. Add 3 cups of whole milk. It does help if the buttermilk is fresh, because the live buttermilk cultures are more active in fresh buttermilk.
  2. Seal up the jar tightly, give it a good shake to blend everything together, and then let it sit at room temperature, like in your kitchen, for 24 hours. The ideal temperature range is 70 to 77 F. Up on top of your fridge can be a good spot.
  3. After 24 hours, the buttermilk will have thickened to where it will coat the inside of a glass, and it should have a pleasantly tart flavor. Refrigerate to chill or use right away, and store in the refrigerator, where it will keep for several weeks. Repeat the process as often as you like when you get down to the last 6 to 8 ounces of buttermilk.

The key here is the ratio of 4:1. You could use one cup of buttermilk and four cups of whole milk, but that won’t fit in a quart jar. Even if all you have is two tablespoons of buttermilk left at the bottom of a carton, you can add four ounces of milk and wind up with five ounces of buttermilk, and you can just keep increasing it from there by repeating the process.

Or you could buy a quart of buttermilk and combine it with a gallon of milk to make five quarts of buttermilk.

The nice thing about this method is that you can keep repeating the process and theoretically never run out of buttermilk again. But you’d need to make sure that the buttermilk you use as your starter is always fresh.

How to Make Homemade Buttermilk From Active Culture

You can purchase active buttermilk cultures, usually in freeze-dried form, and use them to make your own buttermilk, basically by combining the culture with whole milk and letting it sit out for 12 to 24 hours, much like when trying to extend your store-bought buttermilk. As with the above method, you can keep repeating this process, using the last little bit of buttermilk to start the next batch.

Other Common Buttermilk Substitutes

If you don’t have any dairy on hand, are allergic to dairy, or are a vegan and choose not to use dairy, but still want a similarly tangy flavor that buttermilk provides and will cause that acidic reaction to occur with baking powder and/or baking soda, don’t worry. You can still create your flavorful recipe by substituting out the dairy portion with either coconut milk or soy milk, and adding either a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Just combine the ingredients as you would have with milk, and allow the mixture to sit for about five minutes before using.

Buttermilk Equivalents and Measures

1 cup buttermilk242 grams
1 cup buttermilk8.5 ounces 
1 cup buttermilk1 cup yogurt
1 cup buttermilk1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk1 cup milk + 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup buttermilk1 cup water + 4 tablespoons powdered buttermilk
1 cup buttermilk1/4 cup milk + 3/4 cup yogurt
1 cup buttermilk1/4 cup milk + 3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup buttermilk1 cup coconut milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup buttermilk1 cup coconut milk + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk1 cup soy milk + 1 tablespoon of vinegar
1 cup buttermilk1 cup soy milk + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Homemade Ginger Bug

SOURCE: https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/recipe/lacto-fermentation-recipes/ginger-bug/

Here is another great recipe from http://www.cultureforhealth.com ginger bug:

A ginger bug is the start of many natural fermented beverages. The mixture of sugar, ginger, and water captures wild yeasts and beneficial bacteria, which can then be used to add a probiotic boost (and fizz) to herbal sodas like ginger ale or root beer, and fruit sodas like blueberry, raspberry, or rhubarb. Easy to start and continue growing, this “bug” can be ready to make soda whenever you like.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tsp. organic sugar
  • 3 tsp. diced ginger
  • Additional sugar and ginger for maintenance

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a quart jar.
  2. Place a tight lid on the jar, give it a shake, and ferment in a warm spot (72-80°F) for 24 hours.
  3. Every day for the next week add 2 teaspoons each of sugar and diced ginger. The liquid will begin to bubble towards the end of the week. If you’re using the classic cap-and-band jar lid, you will be able to feel the top of the lid for pressure. Once there are bubbles forming at the top of the mixture, it’s ready to use for soda making.
  4. To keep the bug alive and continue growing it, feed it daily using the proportions above. Or rest it in the refrigerator and feed it 1 tablespoon each of ginger and sugar once per week. To reactivate the ginger bug for making soda, bring bug to room temperature and begin feeding it again daily (step 3, above).

Instructions for Making Cultured Sodas:

  1. Mix 1/4 cup ginger bug starter into 1 quart of sweetened and flavored liquid.
  2. Pour into a bottle with a tight seal, such as our Grolsch-style flip-top bottle, and ferment for 2-3 days at a warm room temperature (no more than about 85ºF).

Hummingbird Nectar

SOURCE: https://www.wayfair.com/outdoor/pdp/perky-pet-mason-jar-glass-hummingbird-feeder-jsn1229.html

I love looking at all the different bird that hang out in the yard but one of my favorites is the hummingbird. They really are beautiful birds that zip around the yard all day. I decided to get a closer look so what better idea than to put out a birdfeeder. Hummingbirds have a high metabolism so to supply energy needs, hummingbirds drink nectar from flowers. I wanted to find the perfect mix to make nectar for my feeder:

https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Hummingbird-Food

  1. Make a rich sugar solution to attract hummingbirds to your yard. The sugary sweet mixture will encourage visiting hummingbirds to stay in the area. High-energy food is also important for hummingbirds in the spring because it helps to replenish the energy reserves that hummingbirds use up during migration.
  2. Mix a solution of 1 part white, granulated sugar, and 4 parts warm water. Stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cane sugar is sucrose that falls into the carbohydrate family. Carbs are easily digested and give the hummingbirds the immediate energy they need to keep those little wings flapping. Organic and “raw” sugars contain iron and brown sugar, agave, artificial sweeteners, honey, should not be used either.
  3. Boil the sugar water for 1 to 2 minutes. Boiling the mixture will slow down any bacterial growth that may occur. Boiling the water will also get rid of any extra chlorine that might be in your tap water (which in turn could harm the little hummers.)[2] It is not necessary to boil the solution if you are only making a small amount of food for immediate use.
    • If you do not boil the mixture, you will need to change the food every 1 to 2 days, or else bacteria may grow in the mixture that could harm the hummingbirds.
  4. Do not add any dye to the food. Though hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, red dyes have been known to harm hummingbirds. Natural hummingbird food (nectar) is odorless and clear–there is no need to add dye to your homemade hummer food.
  5. Store the hummingbird food until you are ready to use it. Keep the food in the refrigerator. If you make a large batch of the food, you can keep the extra amount in the fridge until your feeder is empty. This will save you time when refilling your feeder.
  6. Pick the right feeder. Red feeders are the best because the color red attracts hummingbirds. You should hang your feeder in a shady spot if possible because the nectar will stay fresh longer when it is in the shade. Hang your feeder in your garden if you have one. Hang your feeder near a window (but far out of the reach of cats) to be able to enjoy these beautiful little birds.
    • Some hummingbird enthusiasts say that you should only hang a feeder near a window if you have cut-outs of birds on the glass to keep the hummingbirds from flying into the glass and potentially injuring themselves.[4]

There are lots of places to get a great feeder and they range in price from $1 up to $$. Dollartree, Biglots, Target, Wayfair, Amazon, the list goes on. As soon as I put my feeder out the little magic birds came to enjoy!

The Benefits of Using Flowers in Homemade Skin Care Recipes

SOURCE: https://willowandsage.com/the-benefits-of-using-flowers-in-homemade-skin-care-recipes

I love smelling lotions and soaps that have a fresh flowery scent. From a relaxing lavender to an invigorating mint or eucalyptus. Let’s check out what other flowers are good for making beauty products from http://www.willowandsage.com:

1. Rose

Rose petals and oil have been used for ages in bath and body recipes. A quick, refreshing way to incorporate this flower into your day is by spraying rosewater on your face when in need of a pick-me-up. It can also be used in perfume and all-natural cleaning.

2. Lavender

Adding lavender to recipes, such as bath salts or body butter, can provide a calming and relaxing atmosphere. The soothing smell alone helps refresh the mind, and the properties help reduce scars and wrinkles.

3. Hibiscus

This flower adds a bright pop of color and a summery scent. It’s the perfect ingredient for a scrub or a facial steam. It helps firm the skin and is rich in antioxidants.

4. Calendula

The calendula flower is known for its golden hue and healing properties. Not only is it antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, but it also helps regenerate the skin. Calendula-infused oil is great to keep on hand for a number of ailments.

5. Chamomile

Dried chamomile flowers are beautiful as well as beneficial for skin care and mental health. It can help soothe and relax, and can be added to soaps, scrubs, and more. It can also help ease puffiness around the eyes.

VEGAN MAYO

SOURCE: https://www.loveandlemons.com/vegan-mayo/

Have you ever started working on a new recipe and realized you have no mayo? Usually I don’t stock up on mayo because I never finish the bottle, so now that I found a recipe it’s one less thing I am missing:

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup liquid from 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon cane sugar
  • Scant ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup sunflower oil*

Instructions

  • In a blender, place the chickpea liquid, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, and salt and pulse to combine.
  • With the blade running, slowly drizzle in the sunflower oil and blend until thickened.

Notes

*Note: if you use another type of oil, your mayo might not be as thick. See suggestions in the text of the post.

VEGAN BACON

SOURCE: https://www.loveandlemons.com/vegan-bacon/

Have you ever wondered what is vegan bacon well here you go! http://www.loveandlemons.com solved the mystery for you with these 3 recipes:

Ingredients

Tempeh Bacon
  • 8 ounces tempeh, sliced crosswise into thin strips, steamed according to this recipe
  • ¼ cup tamari
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Heaping ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Make tempeh bacon: Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the steamed tempeh in an 8×8 or similarly sized baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, rice vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, cumin, paprika, and sprinkles of pepper. Pour the marinade over the tempeh and set aside for 15 minutes. Layer the tempeh strips onto the baking sheet and bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until crisp and charred around the edges. Remove and let cool on the pan for 10 minutes. If desired, make “bacon bits” by using your hands to crumble the crispy tempeh into bits.
Shiitake Bacon
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari

Instructions

  • Make shiitake bacon: Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a damp cloth to wipe the mushrooms clean (if you wash them in water, they will not become crisp in the oven). Stem and slice the mushrooms, place on the baking sheet, and toss with the olive oil and tamari until well coated. Spread in an even layer on the pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway through, until the mushrooms are shriveled up and crispy.
Coconut Bacon
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ¾ tablespoon tamari
  • Scant ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

Instructions

  • Make coconut bacon: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the coconut flakes, tamari, maple syrup, and smoked paprika on the pan and toss gently to coat. Spread in a thin layer on the pan and bake until dark golden brown and slightly crispy, about 6 to 10 minute. Watch carefully, oven temperatures may vary and the coconut flakes can burn quickly.