Bak­ing soda is a prod­uct that is sure to be in every home. It is worth it in a bag or in a jar on one of the kitchen shelves — it seems to be at hand, but more like in the shade: it’s just soda, a prod­uct with a lim­it­ed set of func­tions … Is that what you think? Then you don’t know any­thing about soda. It is tru­ly an indis­pens­able prod­uct in cook­ing. Let’s fig­ure it out!

soda benefit and harm


What is soda?

  • There are three types of soda: tech­ni­cal, food and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal.
  • Tech­ni­cal soda (not to be con­fused with caus­tic!) is not dan­ger­ous, but it is prac­ti­cal­ly unre­fined, with a large amount of impu­ri­ties. It is used for clean­ing, wash­ing …
  • Bak­ing soda (aka drink­ing soda) is wide­ly used in cook­ing, used for cos­met­ic pro­ce­dures at home, for var­i­ous house­hold pur­pos­es.
  • Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal soda — the most puri­fied, the finest grind­ing. It is added to some med­ica­tions, used in med­ical pro­ce­dures.

Where is baking soda used?

Bak­ing soda, aka sodi­um bicar­bon­ate, NaH­CO3 most wide­ly used in the food indus­try. Do not look for any of the men­tioned names on the prod­uct label: in the label­ing of ingre­di­ents, soda appears “under the pseu­do­nym” E500. And this “E” is com­plete­ly safe for both humans and the envi­ron­ment.

Cooking and cooking hacks with soda

Soda is a real mag­i­cal rem­e­dy: it loosens, soft­ens, cleans­es, neu­tral­izes acid, and kills bac­te­ria, and kills unpleas­ant odors. These prop­er­ties of it have long been known and suc­cess­ful­ly exploit­ed in every­day life, and in med­i­cine, and in cook­ing.

To make it eas­i­er to wash leafy veg­eta­bles or ten­der fruits, add soda to the water, 1 tbsp. l. for 1 liter of water.

When cook­ing, so that the veg­eta­bles retain both their shape and col­or, add soda to the water, 1 tsp. for 1 liter of water.

When boil­ing cab­bage or turnips, add a pinch of soda to the water: this will help remove the bit­ter­ness inher­ent in veg­eta­bles.

To make bit­ter grape­fruit or over­ly sour rhubarb more palat­able, sprin­kle it with a tiny pinch of bak­ing soda. It neu­tral­izes the acid, but does not harm the nat­ur­al taste.

Need to get rid of the bad smell in your fridge? Put a small jar of soda on the shelf on the door: the smell will go away quick­ly and imper­cep­ti­bly.

soda benefits


baking soda

Airy muffins and muffins, bis­cuits, pies, tarts, melt-in-your-mouth buns — soda is indis­pens­able here. But soda itself is a very mediocre bak­ing pow­der. For high-qual­i­ty work, it needs acid — lemon juice, sour milk (kefir), table vine­gar … By the way, if you come across the expres­sion “extin­guish soda with vine­gar” in the recipe, you should know: it’s just a mat­ter of col­lect­ing the right amount of soda in the din­ing room spoon, pour the required amount of vine­gar on it. Soda will foam, hiss … There will be a reac­tion in which soda will decom­pose into salt, water and car­bon diox­ide. This very car­bon diox­ide will loosen the dough, make it lush and porous.

Some­times soda is added even to yeast dough. There, its func­tion is to soft­en the water, for the qual­i­ty of the dough this is a very impor­tant point, in addi­tion, by inter­act­ing with gluten, it makes bak­ing porous and fluffy. And one more side effect: a pinch of soda will dull the “yeasty” fla­vor of bak­ing.

How to add soda to the dough?

The rule is very sim­ple. If the recipe requires adding soda by itself, for exam­ple, to kefir dough, then soda is mixed with dry ingre­di­ents, flour. If soda quenched with vine­gar is added to the dough, then add it at the end of lay­ing all the ingre­di­ents and mix the dough thor­ough­ly.

Mini-cakes with raw smoked sausage, sweet pep­pers and olives

Cook­ing time: 50 min.

For 8–10 prod­ucts:

  • 1 sweet pep­per
  • 100 g smoked sausage
  • 50 g pit­ted olives
  • 180 g flour
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp vine­gar
  • 3 eggs 100 ml veg­etable oil
  • 125 g milk
  • 100 g hard cheese
  • But­ter and flour for greasing/sprinkling molds
  • salt pep­per

Heat the oven up to 180C. Grease the bak­ing molds with but­ter and sprin­kle with flour.

Wash the pep­per, dry it, remove the seeds and stem. Pour hot water over the pre­pared pep­per pod and peel. Cut the pulp of the pep­per into thin strips.

Remove cas­ing from sausage, cut into slices approx. 1 cm and cut each into 4 pieces. Coarse­ly chop the olives. Cheese grate on a coarse grater.

Sift flour into a deep bowl. In a sep­a­rate bowl, shake the eggs like an omelette, pour­ing veg­etable oil and milk in a thin stream. In por­tions, mix the liq­uid mass into the flour. Soda extin­guish with vine­gar and add to the dough. Add cheese, bell pep­pers, sausage and olives, salt and pep­per and mix well.

Pour bat­ter into pre­pared molds and bake cakes for 20 min­utes. Serve chilled.

hacks with soda

Mini Lemon Cup­cakes

Cook­ing time: 1 hour

For 8–10 prod­ucts:

  • 3 lemons
  • 40 g ground almonds
  • 180 g flour
  • 1/4 tsp soda
  • 150 g but­ter
  • 150 g sug­ar
  • 3 eggs
  • but­ter and flour for greasing/sprinkling molds

Heat the oven up to 140C. Grease the bak­ing molds with but­ter and sprin­kle with flour.

Grate the zest of 1 lemon, squeeze the juice from all cit­rus fruits.

Soft­en but­ter at room tem­per­a­ture. Sift flour with ground almonds and bak­ing pow­der.

In a sep­a­rate bowl, beat but­ter with sug­ar until fluffy. Mix­ing thor­ough­ly, add one egg at a time and mix in the flour mix­ture in small por­tions. Add lemon zest, 3 tbsp. l. leave the lemon juice for the icing, the remain­ing quench the soda and pour into the dough. Mix the dough well, pour into molds and bake mini-cup­cakes for 45 min­utes.

For glaze 3 tbsp. l. Beat lemon juice with pow­dered sug­ar, mix­ing it in small por­tions.

Allow the cup­cakes to cool com­plete­ly and use a pas­try brush to coat them with frost­ing. Allow glaze to hard­en for 20 min­utes at room tem­per­a­ture.

Warm green bean sal­ad with mus­tard dress­ing

Cook­ing time: 20 min.

For 4 serv­ings:

  • 800 g green beans
  • 2 small onions
  • 3 art. l. medi­um spicy mus­tard
  • 4 tbsp. l. wine vine­gar
  • 6 spoons of olive oil
  • green onion
  • soda

Peel the onion and chop fine­ly. Com­bine mus­tard with vine­gar, add salt and pep­per to taste and mix thor­ough­ly with a whisk, pour­ing olive oil in por­tions. Stir in the chopped onion into the sauce.

Rinse the beans in a suf­fi­cient amount of water with soda (1 tsp of soda per 1 liter of water) and dry, remove the tips of the pods. Pre­pared beans cook for 4–5 min­utes — until half cooked. Put the beans in a sal­ad bowl, pour over the sauce and sea­son to taste. Serve the sal­ad warm, sprin­kled with chopped green onions.

amer­i­can cook­ie

Cook­ing time: 30 min.

For 18 items:

  • 110 g flour
  • 50 g oat­meal
  • 90 g soft­ened but­ter
  • 100 g sug­ar
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g choco­late drops
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 50 g chopped hazel­nuts
  • 1/2 tsp ground cin­na­mon
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 h. l. year

Sift flour with soda and salt. Dry chopped nuts in a pan with­out fat. Peel the banana, mash with a fork and sprin­kle with lemon juice.

Beat the soft­ened but­ter with a mix­er with sug­ar in a fluffy mass. Whisk­ing con­tin­u­ous­ly, beat in the egg and fold in the banana puree. When the mass becomes smooth and homo­ge­neous, care­ful­ly add flour, oat­meal, cin­na­mon, choco­late drops and nuts.

Heat the oven up to 180C. On a bak­ing sheet lined with parch­ment with a table­spoon, place small por­tions of dough at a suf­fi­cient­ly large dis­tance from each oth­er. Bake cook­ies for 10–15 min­utes.

Remove the fin­ished cook­ies from the oven and let them cool at room tem­per­a­ture. Store cook­ies in a sealed box for 1–2 weeks.

Veg­etable sal­ad with green sauce

Cook­ing time: 25 min.

For 4 serv­ings:

  • 150 g green beans
  • 150 g peeled young peas
  • 100 g young green peas
  • 1 head of broc­coli (approx. 200 g)
  • 1 bunch of young radish
  • 2 stalk cel­ery
  • 1 bunch of young green onions
  • 2 tsp soda

For sauce:

  • 150 ml of olive oil
  • juice of 1 orange
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • a few sprigs of tar­ragon
  • 1/2 bunch of chives
  • salt pep­per

Wash veg­eta­bles, sort and dry. Dis­as­sem­ble the broc­coli into small inflo­res­cences, cut off part of the tops with leaves from the radish, cut the cel­ery stalks into slices. Chop green onion.

Rinse the tar­ragon and chives, sort, dry and fine­ly chop. Heat oil in a small saucepan, add cit­rus juice, light­ly salt and pep­per. Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool down.

Bring 2 liters of water to a boil in a saucepan, add bak­ing soda and a pinch of salt. Blanch radish­es in boil­ing water for 3 min­utes, add broc­coli, cel­ery, beans and peas and cook for 4 min­utes.

Drain the blanched veg­eta­bles in a colan­der, trans­fer to a sal­ad bowl and mix with chopped green onions.

Stir the chopped tar­ragon and chives into the cooled sauce and pour the dress­ing over the sal­ad.