How to Make a Buttermilk Substitute

Every cook should have a buttermilk substitute at the ready because buttermilk is not an item that can be found in every refrigerator. Few recipes today require buttermilk, but, when you do make buttermilk recipes, you know what happens. The rest of the buttermilk container from your last buttermilk recipe tends to get lost in the fridge, and you toss it when it expires.

Making Buttermilk Substitute
There are several ways to make buttermilk substitute, and each one is easy. But, just like buttermilk, not all ingredients will be on hand, so it's smart to keep this list in your recipe book. You never know when you'll need a buttermilk substitute when next you decide to start baking.

Buttermilk Substitute Number One
By adding acid in the form of either one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk, you can create buttermilk. Unfortunately, the rich tang that is found in true authentic buttermilk will not be present. Vinegar works best, but lemon juice will work in a pinch, so never discount it.

Buttermilk Substitute Number Two
Use the same amount of plain yogurt that you would need of buttermilk. Again, the tang found in buttermilk will not be present, but since yogurt is also rich the recipe will not suffer. Of course, you'd never want to use flavored yogurt or yogurt with fruit, as that would change the entire recipe.

Buttermilk Substitute Number Three
Make a mixture of half plain yogurt and half whole milk. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it? And it will work, too. But, as noted above, buttermilk has a tang that is not easy to duplicate. You may want to add one half teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to this mixture as well.

Buttermilk Substitute Number Four
Milk. That's right, plain milk. Buttermilk is simply the liquid that is removed in the butter making process. Buttermilk is actually low in fat, which most people don't expect.

To thicken the milk and make it slightly sour, add one and three fourths teaspoons of cream of tartar to an eight-ounce cup of regular milk.

Tips: For those who don't know it, however, buttermilk is a wonderful low-fat drink. Use a cup of buttermilk in your recipe, and then drink the rest for dinner. If you don't care to drink it, try it over mashed potatoes, or sliced cucumbers, or freeze it for later use.

The next time you purchase a carton of buttermilk, use what you need for the recipe, and then freeze the rest in ice-cube trays. Store the ice cubes in the freezer, and use them whenever you need buttermilk. One ice cube is equal to about two tablespoons of liquid. But, since not all ice cubes were created equal, measure how much liquid can be stored in each cube of your ice cube trays, and label accordingly.


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