Top Ten Most Versatile Ingredients

Ingredients are a great way of customizing your dishes, and can make a satisfying meal if combined perfectly. We all know that, right? These following ingredients are able to make most meals taste better or to your own liking. Most importantly, not only do they fit in most meals, but these ingredients are very open to experimentation. With countless of combinations and recipes, nothing goes wrong when you blend these ingredients well.
The Top Ten
1 Eggs

We all know that eggs are the gateway to making all kinds of foods and recipes - you can pretty much put an egg as an ingredient of almost any food and it will taste great, whether it's a savory dish, a dessert, baked dishes, sauces, or just everyday dishes from easily prepared foods such as fried egg, or omelette, to more complex meals (make it breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, it would still taste good no matter what food you bind it to). Not to mention, it's a healthy ingredient consisting of protein and other vital nutrients. It is the staple of all ingredients, and you can almost do nothing wrong with an egg in the recipe.

2 Milk

What makes milk so versatile is that there are many flavors and variants of milk. Compress it or not, it is among one of the most practical ingredients there is. Of course everyone knows that milk works wonders for smoothies and other drinks. Not only that it can be used for most sweets (specifically baked goods), but it can also be used for certain curries, and soups especially for Indian curries. Coconut milk works for the best for those types of meals.

I despise the taste of milk on its own, but you can customise it with other foods. You can use it to mix other ingredients together of certain foods. For example: You can make pancakes, milk chocolate, cakes, milkshakes, and other delicious treats by mixing it together with milk as an ingredient. You can have milk with cookies as well.

3 Butter

One of the most versatile ingredients that is always needed in the kitchen. It is not just used for putting on your bread and other baked goods, but it applies well on practically almost any meal if you prefer to have that warm creamy taste. Nothing goes wrong with butter when you have many variants - coconut butter, garlic butter, peanut butter, etc. no wonder it's an essential ingredient if you want to have a good kitchen.

This is an amazing list. In my opinion, I think that butter is the most versatile, for obvious reasons, but whatever. Vote for whatever you think is best.

4 Flour

The flour and dough are the opening gates of making bread, and other countless variants of baking goods. You can also thicken certain things with flour. If you are one that's creative enough, you can make different types of pasta designs using flour. Preferably if you want to make some baked goods, all-purpose flour has got your back, and it's one of the essentials required for a good kitchen.

I love to roll it into a dough and taste it and eat the dough.

5 Rice

Rice (along with soy sauce) rivals as one of the most versatile ingredients in the east. Whether it's eaten along with other meals or itself, you can still enjoy a good dish. Not only that rice is a versatile addition to most meals (ranging from multiple cuisines, soups, or even burritos), but is also customizable as well (especially when combined with pepper and garlic). As rice is mostly eaten in breakfast times, lunch, and dinner, it is also applied to sweet desserts (champorado is a prime example - it is a Philippine porridge blended comprised of chocolate and rice, served hot).

6 Potatoes

Potatoes - the competitor rival of its eastern counterpart: rice. Potatoes, and especially the sweet ones are surprisingly versatile, as they are especially popular among American meals. Boil them, fry them, mash them, and/or apply them to meals and a majority of stews, and it will still taste good. They're also a great addition to certain curries, and a wide selection of soups, or you can simply make them into french fries. Not to mention, potatoes are healthier than you thought - they contain plenty of carbs, proteins and most importantly, vitamins.

7 Cheese

Nothing is better than a slap of cheese on the sandwich, or a hamburger, right? Well, specifically talking about parmesan cheese, this perfectly fits best for a variety of pastas, as well as some salads with a whip of caesar sauce. Cheddar cheese is perfectly fit for a little chip snack, but also works well for the rest of meals when applied.

You can have cheese in many different ways; grilled cheese sandwiches, ham and cheese sandwiches, with pizza and you can also use a cheddar to make more bits of cheese as sprinkles on certain types of foods.

8 Pineapples
9 Bananas

Pretty much almost every fruit is a great addition to practically any sweet dish as it adds a unique flavor, but Bananas takes the cake. Whether you freeze it, fry it, or even boil it, it tastes great in a different way. Apply it to ice cream, oatmeal, cereals, multiple baked goods, and even smoothies. Nothing can go wrong with bananas when considering making or experimenting with desserts as it adds a sweet dose of potassium in your meal.

10 Honey
The Contenders
11 Beans
12 Beer

Since beer is often seen as a drink itself, it can be seen as a rather bizarre ingredient, and sounds not as versatile compared to most listings at first. Most people do not know this, but to clear up the confusion, some people tend to prefer adding a light dose of beer for certain stews and curries for a rather enriching flavor, as well for both meat and vegetables.

I never knew that you can use beer as an ingredient. Way outside of thinking outside the box.

What kind of stuff do you put beer in?

13 Soy Sauce

Pretty much one of the most significant ingredient specifically in the Asian cultures. It is basically the staple and the opening door for countless of Asian cuisines. You can also apply soy sauce to certain non-asian cuisines, and they would still taste great. Pour it on certain dumplings, noodle soups, etc. you will always get a satisfying umami taste.

14 Tomatoes

Canned or not, if you want to add a savoury enchanting flavor to your meals, tomatoes got your back. Simply put, tomatoes fit with almost any meal (mainly the savoury ones) and they are the key ingredients to one of the most popular meals such as pasta and pizzas.

15 Salt
16 Paprika

This is a surprisingly versatile ingredient, especially when looking to add to meats, veggies, and sauces. If combined with garlic, it creates some tasty stuff.

17 Water

Used in bakery food, soups, popsicles, breads, some edible creams, etc.

18 Ginger
19 Onions
20 Lettuce
21 Vanilla Extract
22 Wheat
23 Flax Seeds
24 Celery
25 Eggplant
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