How to weigh food without scales

There was a time in my life when I didn’t own kitchen scales. I had the income so low income at the time, that buying scales would seriously affect my budget. Ironically, that was also the period when my love for cooking really started to heat up. I would read dozens of recipes every day, looking for stuff I could try out. And of course, most of them listed the ingredients in grams or milliliters. That called for improvisation.

I always say “if I don’t know something, Google does.” So I googled “how to weigh food without scales” and found a handy little table in Serbian. I printed it out, kept it in the kitchen and used it whenever I was baking or cooking. Naturally, it only gave measurements for things like caster sugar, milk, white flour, margarine, and other super-healthy stuff. But of course, I improvised. And although I bought kitchen scales a while ago, I still measure ingredients with tablespoons and coffee mugs. 🙂

Anyways, I’ve prepared this table for all of you who don’t use kitchen scales for whichever reason. You may not have it, it may be broken and you really want to cook something right now, or you may prepare food at someone else’s place and they don’t have the scales. Whatever the case may be, you can use the table below as your cheat sheet.

I measured everything myself (I have kitchen scales now, so I decided to actually use it).

I included everything that crossed my mind from the food I regularly use. I plan to update the table whenever I remember anything else (feel free to write your suggestions).

I use the metric system, but I converted everything to ounces as well, so you don’t have to. 😉

All tables are searchable.

And last but not least, this is not an exact science, but so is nothing on this blog. 🙂 You’ll grab a few more grains of rice or a few more drops of honey with your spoon or cup, but trust me, there’s no way that will ruin the recipe.

Dry ingredients: Powders and small grains1 teaspoon1 tablespoon1 cup (240ml/8 fluid oz)
Almond/hazelnut flour
Baking powder
Baking soda
Chia seeds5 g (0.17oz)
Cocoa5g (0.17oz)14g (0.49oz)
Coconut flour
Flax seeds
Flour (whole wheat)
Instant coffee
Rolled oats
Sesame seeds
Shredded coconut
Sugar (granulated)
Sugar (powdered)
Dry ingredients – nuts, grains and seeds1 tablespoon1 cup (240ml/8 fluid oz)
Almonds (ground)
Almonds (whole)24g (0.85oz)150g (5.29oz)
Beans (cooked)
Beans (uncooked)
Cashews (whole)18g (0.63oz)145g(5.11oz)
Chickpeas (cooked and roasted)
Chickpeas (cooked)
Chickpeas (uncooked)
Hazelnuts(whole)22g (0.78oz)153g (5.4oz)
Peanuts (ground)
Peanuts (whole)23g (0.8oz)155g (5.47oz)
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds
Walnuts (ground)
Walnuts (kernels)
Liquid/soft ingredients1 teaspoon1 tablespoon1 cup (240ml/8 fluid oz)
Honey/Maple Syrup/Agave8g (0.03oz)25g (0.88oz)340g (12oz)
Milk (cow or plant)
Oil (olive, melted coconut)
Peanut/almond/hazelnut butter15g (0.5oz)30g (1oz)250g (8.8oz)
Yoghurt (Greek type)

Image credits: Calum Lewis on Unsplash