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Where to shop if you’re struggling to find store cupboard basics

by Jessica Lockyer-Palmer

published on 20 March 2020

If you're worried about the eerie empty shelves in your local supermarket and are struggling to track down the basics in the UK, here is an evolving list of places where you can still pick up the ingredients you need. Know of somewhere else you can pick up anything from chickpeas to chicken? Drop us a line on Facebook or Instagram and we'll share your tips here.

Pulses and Grains

If you're struggling to track down tins of chickpeas or beans, first head to the freezer aisles of your supermarket to see what frozen varieties, such as broad beans, you can pick up there. Failing that, your local health food store will likely stock dried varieties that you can rehydrate, often resulting in a much better result (hello, creamiest homemade hummus ever). 

If that doesn't help or leaving the house isn't possible, why not place an order with Desicart, who still have some lentils and other pulses, Biona, who have plenty of tinned goods still available, or check out some of the delicious Palestinian grains stocked at Zaytoun. We also found some very reasonable prices on tinned chickpeas and other goods at Red Rickshaw.


Head over to Biona, Odysea, or Sous Chef, who still have several different varieties available, and try Mediterranean Direct for a particularly broad selection at various price points.

If you own a pasta maker that's been sitting in the back of your kitchen cupboard for years, now could be the time to dust it off. Making your own pasta might seem like a complex undertaking, but it's actually incredibly easy – anyone can do it! All you need is flour and an egg. Here are some of our pasta making articles to guide you:


Our friends at Belazu have still got several varieties of rice in stock, as well as other grains and plenty of speciality ingredients to add flavour to your food over the coming months.

Tinned Tomatoes

Check out The Red Beetle, who have a really lovely range of chopped tomatoes and tomato sauces, as well as other store cupboard essentials.


Pool resources, do your bit to look our for your neighbours, and get everyone enough eggs with a bulk order from The Good Egg Fellas.

If that's not an option for you, the food writer Elly Curshen (@ellypear) recently shared this incredibly useful guide to substituting eggs in baking:

  • Vinegar and baking soda:
    Replace 1 egg with: 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon vinegar.
    Bakes best in: Cakes, brownies, quick breads.
    Notes: Combine separately, then add to recipe to add loft to fluffier baked goods.
  • Unsweetened applesauce
    Replace 1 egg with: 60g applesauce.
    Bakes best in: Muffins, brownies, cakes, bars.
    Notes: Avoid using more than 1 cup total in any recipe as it can create a rubbery texture.
  • Plain or vanilla yoghurt
    Replace 1 egg with: 70g yogurt.
    Bakes best in: Muffins, cakes, bars.
    Notes: Can be heavy and works best if beaten well before adding to other ingredients.
  • Silken tofu
    Replace 1 egg with: Blend 60g silken tofu in blender, adding water until smooth.
    Bakes best in: Pies, quick breads, muffins, dense cakes.
    Notes: Can be very heavy. Avoid using in recipes that call for multiple eggs. Baked goods will not brown as deeply.
  • Ripe banana
    Replace 1 egg with: 75g mashed banana.
    Bakes best in: Quick breads, muffins, cakes.
    Notes: Very ripe bananas will leave a hint of flavor and increase sweetness. Can create a rubbery texture.
  • Ground flaxeed
    Replace 1 egg with: Stir together 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed in 3 tablespoons water until thick and gelatinous.
    Bakes best in: Brownies, cookies, breads.
    Notes: Adds an earthy, nutty taste and can create a firm or chewy texture, best with hearty baked goods.


Remember that if self-raising flour is unavailable you can make your own by using 2 tsps baking powder to every 150g plain flour. If you're unable to get standard wheat flour, try experimenting with other, less popular types of flour. Here are some recipes to try:

Lemon or Lime Juice

Where a savoury recipe calls for fresh lemon or lime juice, substitute a dash of vinegar (red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar are safe bets for most dishes).

Minced Meat

If you can't find minced beef, minced chicken or turkey make great alternatives, particularly in meatball recipes. Check out this delicious turkey meatballl recipe from Jessie Ware and this turkey lasagne from Eat Well For Less. Another option is to replace the meat with , black beans, grated firm tofu, or lentils lentils (as in this Mary Berry cottage pie recipe).


Instead of using fresh cream in soups, stews, curries, and sauces, try replacing with any of the following:

  • Blended silken tofu
  • Cashew cream (cashew nuts soaked in water and then blended)
  • Béchamel sauce
  • Mascarpone or cream cheese
  • Milk (dairy or plant milk) either as it is or blended with butter or cornstarch
  • Evaported milk
  • Coconut cream


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