Thursday, October 21, 2010

Veggie Might: Converting Those Pesky Weights and Measures

Written by the fabulous Leigh, Veggie Might is a weekly Thursday column about all things Vegetarian.

You are browsing your blog reader for food porn and come across a gorgeous recipe that you must make immediately. Then you notice it calls for calls for 7 ounces of uncooked quinoa and 1 cup of cooked lentils. There goes your food boner.

How much quinoa does 7 ounces make? How many ounces of dried lentils cook up to make a cup? And which measuring cup is used for either of them? Even if you have a food scale, you might be at a bit of a loss.

For ages, I’ve been keeping notes about how beans, legumes, and sundry grains measure up before and after cooking. Naturally, it seems I’ve reinvented the wheel—the InterWebs are rich with resources for weight/volume conversion—but I have a digital kitchen scale and I never get tired of weighing my own lentils.

The Nitty Gritty
These approximate formulas for the most common dry goods can be used as a guide when judging how much of an item to buy or cook for a recipe. For the most accurate measurements, you will want to weigh and measure for yourself, but these will get you started.


Hopefully you’ll find this list to be a helpful resource. Print it out and stick it on the fridge for reference. But don’t let it stop you from picking up that sassy kitchen scale you’ve had your eye on. Mine is a desert island gadget, right up there with my silicone spatula and cast iron skillet. How else would I know that an almond weighs exactly a gram?

Further Reading/Resources
VegWorld: How much does a cup weigh?
Homecooking.about.com: Food Equivalents and Substitutions
Epicurious: Common Measures and Equivalents

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3 comments:

Lindsey said...

I've been thinking about getting a scale myself! But thank you so much for the chart : ) And I completely agree about the nuts, lol!

http://lovenutritionhealth.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Very helpful indeed! I hate to use canned beans and such for recipes, I prefer the taste and texture to home cooked, but often I do find myself shying away from a recipe that calls for amounts I'm not sure how to get to. Thanks for the info!

Cathy said...

Love this chart - every time I tried to figure out how many dried beans I need for a recipe, I would think that I needed to make something like this...and now, I have it!