Ingredient Explainers and Swaps
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Summer Squash: The Best Ways to Pick It, Cook It, and Eat It
31 Days of Vegetables
How to love squash a little more.
Jul 14, 2020
Cucumbers: The Best Ways to Pick Them, Cook Them, and Eat Them
31 Days of Vegetables
Do you know the best way to store cucumbers? It's not in the fridge!
Jul 14, 2020
Radishes: The Best Ways to Choose Them, Cook Them, and Eat Them
31 Days of Vegetables
Everything you need to know to love radishes just a little bit more.
Jul 11, 2020
Broccoli: The Best Ways to Store It, Cook It, and Eat It
31 Days of Vegetables
All the broccoli basics for your favorite lil tree.
Jul 10, 2020
Liquid Smoke Is a Magical Ingredient for Smoky Flavor Without a Grill
You only need a dash!
Jul 10, 2020
Mushrooms: The Best Ways to Pick Them, Cook Them, and Eat Them
31 Days of Vegetables
Love mushrooms? Start here.
Jul 9, 2020
Carrots: The Best Ways to Pick Them, Cook Them, and Eat Them
31 Days of Vegetables
Bonus: How baby carrots are made.
Jul 8, 2020
Jalapeño Peppers: The Best Ways to Pick Them, Cook Them, and Eat Them
31 Days of Vegetables
You may not have jalapeños high on your list of vegetables, but even though they may not take center stage like tomatoes and corn, what would summer eating be without them? These little peppers that could are essential to perfect guacamole and they give a little kick to oh so many dishes. Here’s what you need to know about jalapeños, from how to pick them to how to get their pesky burn off your hands. Five must-reads for jalapeño lovers.
Jul 7, 2020
Eggplant: The Best Ways to Pick It, Cook It, and Eat It
31 Days of Vegetables
The best recipes for eggplant, including eggplant bacon (!!), eggplant roses, Ina's eggplant Parm, and the most delicious eggplant noodles. Plus, the first eggplant recipe everyone should start with.
Jul 6, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About Cabbage
31 Days of Vegetables
This is one smart and long-lasting vegetable!
Jul 4, 2020
The $4 Ingredient That Makes Homemade Ice Cream (and Everything Else It Touches) So Much Better
It's the secret ingredient I add to cookies, cakes, and more.
Jul 2, 2020
Our Quick Guide to 7 Common Beer Styles
From lagers to stouts.
Jul 1, 2020
Does Vinegar Ever Really Go Bad? Here’s How to Tell.
Wonder no more about this pantry staple's shelf life.
Jun 29, 2020
What You Need to Know If You've Had the Same Jar of Honey Forever
While honey has an exceptionally long shelf-life, it isn't completely spoil-proof.
Jun 24, 2020
The 6 Vinegars All Cooks Should Have in Their Kitchens — and Why
Is your favorite on the list?
Jun 24, 2020
The One Thing You Should Be Adding to Your Salad
I'll never make a salad without it again.
Jun 18, 2020
The $2 Pantry Ingredient That Can Transform Any Fruit into Dessert
Taste Makers
You might already have it in your pantry.
Jun 16, 2020
You're Throwing Away the Best Part of Your Fresh Herbs
The stems hold so much potential.
May 1, 2020
The Best Substitutes for Evaporated Milk Are Already in Your Kitchen
So you can still bake those 7-layer bars!
Apr 28, 2020
Out of All-Purpose Flour? Here's What to Use Instead.
Yes, you can still bake if you're out of all-purpose flour.
Apr 28, 2020
What’s the Best Substitute for Baking Soda?
Answer: The solution is already in your pantry.
Mar 19, 2020
Quinoa Flakes Are the Gluten-Free “Breading” Crunchy Food Lovers Need
It's so good you'll want to try it even if you're not going gluten-free.
Jan 8, 2020
Sea Vegetables Are the Most Underrated Way to Get More Antioxidants
Here's how to work them into your diet.
Jul 22, 2019
What’s the Difference Between East Coast Butter and West Coast Butter?
It's what's on the inside that counts.
Jun 8, 2019
What Is Ghee?
I grew up hearing rumblings of the word “ghee” from my aunts at an early age. When I’d visit for dinner, I’d see them grab a big spoonful of it from a jar by the stove before cooking practically everything. But that’s really where my knowledge stopped — I never understood quite what it was, and perhaps was too afraid to ask.
Jun 5, 2019
What’s the Difference Between Cake Flour, Pastry Flour, All-Purpose Flour, and Bread Flour
If you make bread every weekend or have an obsession with cakes, it makes sense to keep specific flours for those recipes on hand. But what about the rest of us? Is there such a big difference between these flours or can all-purpose flour really be used for all purposes? First, what’s actually the same about all these flours is that they are made from wheat.
May 3, 2019
Crunchy & Cool: Jicama
Jicama is one cool customer. It hides out with the other vegetables, looking totally plain and unremarkable. But peel away its papery skin and get it in a salad, and suddenly this crunchy sweet tuber takes on a whole new dimension.Let’s start with how to pronounce its name. There are two ways, really: “HICK-ah-mah” or “HEE-kah-mah.” Both are correct. Both are equally fun to say.
May 2, 2019
The Original Superfood: Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are teensy tiny nutritional powerhouses. They’re absolutely packed with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, antioxidants, and cancer-fighting lignans. We only need a few teaspoons of seeds a day to benefit from their healthfulness, and happily for us, finding ways to work them into our daily meals is snap.Flax seed and flax oil have been used in cooking for centuries, and there are records describing its use dating as far back as Ancient Greece.
May 2, 2019
Tart & Green: Granny Smith Apples
You can spot a display of Granny Smiths a mile away. Among the vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows of the other fruits, these bright spring-green apples shine like they have their own special spotlight. And maybe they do.The Granny Smith hybrid was first propagated in Australia in 1868 by, yes, the real Granny Maria Ann Smith and it is now grown in apple-growing regions around the world.
May 2, 2019
A Sprinkle of Sweet: Powdered Sugar
No plate of French toast or batch of beignets is complete without a dusting of powdered sugar, in my opinion. This staple of the baking pantry provides that perfect sweet finish to so many of our favorite treats, from breakfast foods like these to cookies, cakes, marshmallows, and more. How to do you use it?Powdered sugar is nothing fancier than regular white granulated sugar ground into a fine powder. A little cornstarch mixed in prevents it from clumping.
May 2, 2019
Salty, Sour, and Fruity: Umeboshi Vinegar
I first discovered Umeboshi vinegar several years ago when I was cooking a lot of vegan/vegetarian food. It came in handy when I needed some ‘of the sea’ flavor. This very salty liquid (technically a brine) still has a place on my pantry shelf today, where I add it to recipes like Chickpea of the Sea or sprinkle it over steamed vegetables. Umeboshi vinegar (also called ume plum vinegar) is the by-product of the umeboshi making process.
May 2, 2019
Cheese on the Grill! Halloumi
Grilling cheese seems like a magic trick. You keep expecting the slices of halloumi to start melting between the grates and then…they don’t! Instead, this creamy, chewy, mild cheese picks up beautiful grill marks and a touch of smoky flavor. Grillers, say hello to your new favorite ingredient this summer.
May 2, 2019
Lemongrass: Infuse Dishes with Delicate Lemony Flavor
Do you cook with lemongrass? Unless you do a lot of cooking from Asian cuisines, you may not have come across this particular ingredient before. I recommend seeking it out post haste! A few stalks of lemongrass will perfume your dishes with soft lemony flavor like none other.Lemongrass grows in tall, individual stalks. Layers of tough green leaves surround a central bulb, similar to the way spring onions and scallions grow.
May 2, 2019
For Corn Tortillas to Tamales: Masa Harina
Even if you don’t know what masa harina is, you’ve almost certainly eaten it. This is the flour used to make corn tortillas and the filling for tamales. Pupusas, arepas, and sopes are all made with it, along with plenty of other favorite dishes. Masa harina is as central to the Mexican and South American pantry as chiles and dried beans. Do you ever cook with it?Masa harina is more than plain corn flour. Before being ground, the corn kernels for masa harina are soaked with limewater.
May 2, 2019
A Giant Among Eggs: Goose Eggs
If bigger is better, then fist-sized goose eggs with their vibrant golden yolks are definitely better. These are eggs that demand to be made into something extra-wonderful. Should you find yourself in possession of a few of them, let’s make sure you have a few ideas.Physiologically, goose eggs aren’t that different from chicken eggs. They contain a single yolk surrounded by whites, though goose eggs typically have a larger proportion of yolk.
May 2, 2019
The Sweet Subtlety of Date Sugar
There are many different kinds of natural sugars out there, all waiting to sweeten baked goods, cereals or coffee and tea in a less-processed and often more flavorful way. We’ve written about turbinado, demerara and muscovado sugars before here on The Kitchn, but have recently come to be quite fond of date sugar. Have you heard of it? Date sugar is really just dehydrated and ground dates. It’s dark and moist much like muscovado sugar, so it should be stored in an airtight cool place.
May 2, 2019
10 Reasons Why I Always Have a Bag of Arugula in the Refrigerator
Once a somewhat exotic ingredient, arugula has become mainstream. You can find a bag of pre-washed arugula in most supermarkets these days, as well as heaped into large baskets at the farmers market. Arugula is an easy to grow salad green, making it a good home garden and window box garden choice. Its peppery taste adds extra oomph to everything from salads to soup. Read on for how a handful of arugula can wake up your everyday dishes.
May 2, 2019
What to Buy, What to Make: Canned Tuna
Let’s talk tuna! A tuna fish sandwich with crunchy pickle relish on whole wheat bread is still one of our favorite quick lunches. But tuna also has some problems, and we worry about everything from how the tuna was caught to BPA in the cans. What kind of canned tuna do you buy?Buying canned tuna really comes down to reading the label. There’s a lot of information wrapped around those skinny cans, but it’s not always clear what it means:• Albacore vs. Skipjack vs.
May 2, 2019
After the Dip is Gone: 5 Ways to Use Up Leftover Sour Cream
I inevitably end up with sad half-containers of sour cream whenever I make dip for a party. One might think that I would eventually learn to just make more dip, but sadly, the half-containers persist. If you are like me, or if you just love sour cream and want more ways to use it, here are some of my favorite ways to use up a container of sour cream. Add to Salads and Dressings: A dab of sour cream whisked into a homemade vinaigrette adds a cool touch of cream to a big leafy lunch salad.
May 2, 2019
Cooking at High Heat? Try Rice Bran Oil
When cooking at high heat — stir frying, pan searing, deep frying — it’s important to use a fat with a high smoke point, and ideally with a clean, neutral taste that lets the flavor of your food shine. Enter rice bran oil.While it can be used for drizzling and other cooking applications, rice bran oil is particularly useful for high-heat cooking. In our kitchen, we reach for rice bran oil when stir frying and sautéing.
May 2, 2019
Mighty Tiny, Mighty Crunchy: Poppy Seeds
For something that seems specially designed to become wedged in our teeth after eating, we sure do love our poppy seeds! Maybe it’s because they make muffins and loaf cakes so very pretty. Or because of the delicate crunch they give these foods. Or maybe we don’t need a reason to love them at all! Are you a fan of poppy seeds? How do you use them?Ever wonder what poppy seeds looks like, up close and personal? Take a look at the photo above!
May 2, 2019
Why Pistachios Are Green: Plus 5 Favorite Recipes for Using Them
Could there be anything better than a handful of pistachios? They’re a snack on their own, they’re a dessert when mixed with ice cream, they’re a savory addition to our salads — I wouldn’t be surprised if they could leap tall buildings and move faster than a speeding bullet, too. They’re basically the superhero of nuts. Except they’re not actually nuts.
May 2, 2019
5 Ways to Use Balsamic Vinegar Every Day (Other Than Salad Dressing!)
If the only time you think of pulling that jar of balsamic out of the cupboard is when it’s time to make a salad, you’re missing out. This sweet and tangy vinegar is one of my favorite secret ingredients, and I’ve found all sorts of ways that its presence will perk up my everyday cooking. To Finish Soups and Sauces: Balsamic and ripe summer tomatoes have a well-known affinity for one another.
May 2, 2019
Hemp Seeds: Rich, Nutty & Nutritious
Hemp seeds. Yes, they’re legal and, no, you won’t get high. More importantly, these little nutritional powerhouses are rich, nutty, and delicious. protein powder Although members of the same family, the variety of cannabis used for food and the variety used for marijuana are different plants. So you’re not going to get a psychoactive high from a hemp seed brownie.
May 2, 2019
Kohlrabi Is Weird! And Here’s What You Can Do With It
So…. Kohlrabi. Yeah. It’s a little out there as far as the pantheon of commonly known vegetables goes. It’s somewhat reminiscent of broccoli stems. It looks a bit like a space alien. And I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve cooked with it. Do you find kohlrabi a little weird, too? Let’s discuss. Why don’t we start with what we know.
May 2, 2019
5 Tasty Ways to Cook with Fresh Oregano
Fresh oregano has a robust, woodsy flavor that makes it one of our go-to herbs in the kitchen — particularly in the summer when we can buy big bundles at the farmers market or step out on the porch to gather our own! Here are five of my favorite ways to use it right now. Oregano + Chicken: Roasted, baked, poached or grilled — any way you want to cook your chicken, oregano can make it taste even better.
May 2, 2019
Hemp Tofu: An Alternative to Soy Tofu
If you’re allergic to soybeans or avoiding soy for other reasons, it might seem like tofu is off the menu for you. But wait! There’s a new tofu in town and it’s made from hemp. I recently gave it a try and here’s what I thought of it… DIY hemp tofu recipes have been floating around for several years (here’s one from Bay Area Bites).
May 2, 2019
TruRoots Organic Sprouted Green Lentils
Have you wanted to try sprouting at home? It’s really not that hard, but it does take some pre-planning. Enter the shelf-stable, sprouted and dehydrated lentils from TruRoots, which take just ten minutes to prepare. What a timesaver! Truth be told, sprouting your own lentils (or any other legumes for that matter) is not a difficult business.
May 2, 2019
What to Look for When Buying White Chocolate
When a recipe calls for a good-quality white chocolate, do you know what to look for when you compare brands and labels? And does what you choose determine if your recipe will succeed? Here are a few tips for buying the best white chocolate for baking and melting. Many argue that since white chocolate doesn’t contain the dry cocoa solids that are in chocolate liquor, it’s not really chocolate at all.
May 2, 2019
What Is Flour?
A pantry staple, flour is an ingredient you might not have given much thought. But these days, there’s a surprising selection of flours in your grocery store’s baking section. There’s all-purpose of course, but also pastry flour, cake flour, and bread flour. You can also choose between bleached and unbleached, white and whole-wheat — and then there’s the wide world of alterna-grain (i.e., non-wheat) flours. But do you actually know what flour is?
May 1, 2019
What’s the Difference Between Regular and Stone-Ground Flour?
Stone milling is nothing new — it’s the way flour was made for thousands of years before electricity came onto the scene — but lately, it’s having something of a renaissance. In addition to historic stone mills still functioning around the country — some of them still run by waterpower — new mills are popping up and artisan bakeries are even installing their own mills so they can grind flour on the premises. The result?
May 1, 2019
Your Canned Tuna Label Decoded
Around the time I started stocking my own pantry, many years ago, I learned a quick lesson about one of my favorite lunch staples: Canned tuna is not just canned tuna. Albacore, chunk light, packed in water, packed in oil … what does it all mean? What’s the difference between them? And does it really matter? There’s certainly no shortage of options when it comes to buying canned tuna.
May 1, 2019
Is Brown Rice Really Better?
According to conventional wisdom, white rice is a tasty, versatile starch that’s bad for you, while brown rice is a good-for-you grain that tastes bad. But is the difference between the two really so straightforward? Let’s start with the basics: There are more than 40,000 cultivated varieties of rice — each with a brown form.
May 1, 2019
The Spring Veggie We Might Love More than Asparagus
Once spring hits, there are a few vegetables that aways take center stage. Asparagusfava beansrampsradishes I am talking about pea shoots. Made up of tender stems, small green leaves, and curly tendrils, pea shoots literally shoot right up out of the soil and off a pea plant before any pods are formed. They’re most often collected from snow or sugar snap pea plants, but can also be collected from English pea plants.
May 1, 2019
The Craziest Water You Should Be Cooking With
Water, 99.9 percent of the time, is not crazy. Most of the time, it’s pretty boring, save for those times you decide to toss that lemon slice or a few fruit and herbs in it. I am not talking about that kind of water. In fact, this a water you wouldn’t throw back in a tall glass (although I wouldn’t judge you if you did); it’s a cooking water that comes from a little corner of Italy and it’s in that crazy 0.1 percent.
May 1, 2019
7 Ways to Use Up a Peck of Peaches
If you have yet to bite into a fresh peach this year and have its juices run down your arms to your elbows, you’ve still got time. Sweet peaches are arguably the best part of late summer, and inhaling as many as humanly possible is an important responsibility. But after you’ve eaten a handful from the peck, head into the kitchen to pull even more love out of the stone fruit with one of these seven recipes.
May 1, 2019
What’s the Difference Between Applesauce and Apple Butter?
When apples are in season, it’s practically our duty to eat them in every form: out of hand; in pie, crisp, or cake; and in the form of applesauce and apple butter. The latter two may look similar on the surface — soft and spoonable — but they are pretty different characters. Here’s how.
May 1, 2019
5 New Apples to Try This Fall
The first chilly days of fall carry a whole lot of excitement around apples — whether you’re picking your own or gathering them at the farmers market — yet after you’ve snacked on and baked with your first bushel, fruit fatigue can set in. You reach a point later in the season when you just can’t look at another McIntosh or Honeycrisp. Luckily you don’t have to, since there are well over a hundred varieties of commercially grown apples to try.
May 1, 2019
What Exactly Are Quinoa Flakes?
You're going to love this gluten-free and quick-cooking alternative to oats.
May 1, 2019
What’s the Difference Between Muesli and Granola?
If you’ve long been a fan of granola’s clusters and crunch, maybe it’s time to consider a similar-looking cereal on the block: muesli. So how does equally delicious muesli compare to your beloved granola? Here are the answers you’re looking for so you can navigate the cereal aisle at the grocery store with confidence.
May 1, 2019
The Bean That Is Just as Filling as Meat
I knew I already loved pasta and cheese and gelato when I moved to Italy, but what I discovered while living there was that I loved beans. That’s because I found the one bean that finally felt as hearty as meat. As someone who was once a vegetarian and had eaten a lot of beans in her lifetime, I’d never felt satisfied with them — even nubby chickpeas don’t have that heft that meat does.
May 1, 2019
The 5 Best Cheeses to Use to Create a Flavorful Cheese Ball
At the heart of a cheese ball is, of course, the cheese, so it’s important that the cheese used is a great one if you want stellar results. Almost any cheese can be transformed into a party-friendly ball, but we have a few favorites that we always turn to when building our creation. Here are our top five picks. First, it’s important to know that a cheese ball is a two-cheese (at a minimum) affair.
May 1, 2019
The Secret Step for Tastier Cacao Nibs
If you’re a fan of chocolate in every way, shape, and form, then perhaps you’ve given cacao nibs Essentially unprocessed chocolate, cacao or cocoa nibs are the part of the cocoa bean that are ground up and then sweetened and made into chocolate bars. On their own, they’re crunchy and have the flavor of unsweetened chocolate — extra-bitter and fruity.
May 1, 2019
What Are Bitters Anyway?
Maybe you’ve recently perused a cocktail menu and noticed the many varieties of bitters in the lists of ingredients. Or perhaps you’ve noticed small bottles labeled “Angostura bitters” while browsing your local liquor store (the distinctive label that looks too big for the bottle might have caught your eye)? And maybe you’re wondering, “What exactly is this mysterious ingredient, and does it belong in my home bar?
May 1, 2019
What’s the Difference Between Oregano and Marjoram?
Fresh oregano and marjoram are members of the mint family and staple herbs found in a wide array of Greek and Mediterranean recipes. They look remarkably similar and are often confused for one another, but there’s a distinct difference that sets them apart. Do you know what it is? While the oval, flat green leaves of these mint-family herbs are often confused for one another, each one has a distinct smell and flavor that sets it apart.
May 1, 2019
Why Is Peach Skin Fuzzy?
With peach season nearly upon us, it’s time to finally answer the question that crosses my mind every year: Why are peaches coated with a soft fuzz? If you’ve ever eaten a fresh peach, I’m sure you’ve wondered the same. It’s time to finally put your curiosity to rest, because I have the answer for you.
May 1, 2019
The Thing I Use Up the Fastest in My Kitchen
I lived a mustard-free childhood. Instead, Miracle Whip was the condiment of choice in my household. That was all well and good with me, as I found mustard too sharp and pungent for my tastes anyway. Funny how tastes change, however, because once I matured and flocked the Miracle Whip nest, I developed an insatiable taste for mustard. While I truly love it in all forms now (with the minor exception of yellow mustard), my heart lies quite squarely with Dijon.
May 1, 2019
Are Rice Krispies Gluten-Free?
Whether you’re simply pouring them into a bowl with milk or whipping up marshmallow-loaded treats, it’s hard to beat the reliable simplicity of Rice Krispies cereal from that blue box. Since they’re made of rice, you might be wondering if they’re gluten-free. The answer to that question may surprise you. Rice Krispies are, in fact, not gluten-free.
May 1, 2019
What Is Lillet?
The moment summer hits, my routine tends to involve rosé and icy gin and tonics. There’s just something about the sunny weather that makes me crave happy hour drinks a whole lot more often. While those have long been my go-tos, this year there’s a new bottle that’s been getting equal, if not more, playtime: Lillet. For some, Lillet isn’t anything new, as it’s been around for a good long while.
May 1, 2019
What’s the Difference Between Cocoa Brownies and Chocolate Brownies?
Brownie connoisseurs already know this to be true: not all brownies are created equal, but there’s room in our lives for lots of them. Cocoa brownies and chocolate brownies both have a place in our kitchen, although they bake up with slight idiosyncrasies. Here is everything you need to know about the differences between the two. Both cocoa- and chocolate-based brownies include sugar, eggs, and flour.
May 1, 2019
The Coolest Cucumber You Can Eat Right Now
I’ll be honest with you: I’ve been a cucumber skeptic for years. It’s not that I ever disliked the vegetable — it’s just that it never really did that much for me. The crunch is fine, but the flavor is, well, nonexistent. Especially in the summer, when there is so much abundance around, I always felt my time was more well-spent on things like tomatoes and corn.
Jul 18, 2018
5 Things to Know About Rhubarb
I wait all year long for the arrival of rhubarb — it’s easily one of my most favorite signs of spring. Yet, as well-loved as it is, rhubarb tends to be a little misunderstood. There’s a lot of mystery behind those funny-looking, pink celery-esque stalks. Here’s what you should know. While it’s most commonly paired with strawberries, rhubarb actually isn’t a fruit. It’s technically a vegetable and is in the same family as sorrel.
May 11, 2018