Happy Labor Day Everyone! Today we are highlighting a unique ingredient called buttermilk.
Traditional Buttermilk vs. Cultured Buttermilk
Buttermilk used to always be made right at home. When cows are milked, there is a cream that rises to the top of the pail while the milk portion stays at the bottom. Dairy Farmers will skim that cream off the top, cool the milk for drinking, and then let the cream sit for a while until all liquid drains from the cream. That cream is then churned into butter and the liquid that is remaining is called buttermilk! This is the traditional way of making buttermilk. Homemade traditional buttermilk can grow harmful bacteria if it is not made correctly so be careful choosing this type.
Nowadays, if you get buttermilk from the grocery store, it is typically made from healthy bacteria cultures put into regular milk (similar to how yogurt is made) to turn some of the milk sugar, or lactose, into lactic acid. This is sometimes called cultured buttermilk so you are not confused with the traditional buttermilk. Store bought buttermilk and buttermilk powder is usually safer than the traditional buttermilk as long as you keep them stored in the fridge.
In both types of buttermilk, healthy bacteria mix with the lactose and make the milk tangy, thick, and rich. Some people enjoy drinking buttermilk alone, but if you don’t, that’s ok! The tartness can be a great addition to many recipes, especially in baked goods.
Did you know?
If you are out of buttermilk, you can make a substitution by putting 1 Tb of lemon juice or vinegar in 1 cup of milk and let it sit for 10 minutes while it thickens.
- Probiotics- remember when we talked about the probiotics in yogurt, and other products (like Kefir)? Buttermilk is another healthy bacteria cultured product that can keep the bacteria in your belly healthy and digest foods better
- Great source of calcium- which can strengthen bones
- High in Protein- when the liquid is drained to create buttermilk, the protein goes with it, so a glass of buttermilk has the same amount of protein as a glass of regular milk!
- Rehydration- Electrolytes are often added to buttermilk, so adding buttermilk to recipes during the summer can rehydrate you after sweating
- Homemade dressings
- Buttermilk biscuits and other baked goods (waffles, pancakes, cake, muffins, etc.)
- Homemade ice cream
- Sauces for grilled chicken
- Add to mashed potatoes or potato salad
- Add to casseroles
Varieties to Try
- Bulgarian Buttermilk
- Low Fat Buttermilk
- Buttermilk powder (easiest option)
Quick Tip: Refrigerate buttermilk powder after opening to keep it from clumping together and going rancid.
Family Mealtime Month always has extra perks! How many meals did you pledge?
Each week we will have a new meme, but we need great captions so comment away! Who can make the best caption for this week’s meme?