A good substitute for 1 teaspoon of baking powder is 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. For a healthy alternative to baking powder, 1 teaspoon of sodium-free or reduced-sodium baking powder helps reduce the amount of sodium in the recipe.
One tablespoon of baking powder contains roughly 1,500 milligrams of sodium. Reduced-sodium and sodium-free baking powder contain between 0 and 15 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon. Most recipes require only small amounts of baking powder, but it is a critical ingredient.
To make breads and other baked items fluffy, baking powder is added to make the flour rise. Sometimes people are confused by the difference between baking powder and baking soda. Both are leavening agents that help baked goods rise. Baking soda reacts immediately, while the acids in baking powder slow down that process so that the rising takes place after the product is in the oven. This makes for fluffier baked goods because the extended rising time allows for more bubbles in the product.
Both baking powder and baking soda are essential ingredients in baked goods, and both belong in the baker's kitchen. Since their chemical properties are different, they are not interchangeable.