Whether you're out, it's not available, or it's not healthy, sometimes what you need for a recipe is... something else! Read on for ingredient substitutions.

I began looking into ingredient substitutions when we moved to China and experienced, in a significant way for the first time, ingredient unavailability. Besides flour, baking ingredients were basically out. Anything that you might buy prepackaged in the U.S., like canned "cream-of-" soups, aren't affordable here since they're only sold at import stores (of which my town doesn't have any).

I've used over 10 websites to find ingredient substitutions, but I think these two are the best:

What do I Substitute for... from Barry Farm Foods
The Cook's Thesaurus from FoodSubs

While looking for substitutions over the last few months, I've found that they're not all about replacing forgotten or unavailable ingredients. Substituting applesauce or mushed bananas for part of the fat in a recipe is one my favorite healthy substitions. Find even more at these sites:

Light Substitutions from AllRecipes
Healthy Substitutions from MayoClinic

...and you?

What are your favorite ingredient substitutions? Do you do 'em to be frugal, healthy, or something else?

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