When buttermilk is required for a recipe it is sometimes hard to find, and in other cases it is too costly and the leftovers will go to waste. After all, not everyone enjoys drinking buttermilk by the glass, but when it is added to recipes, the slightly sour flavor cannot be detected. It is more cost-efficient for some to use substitutes for buttermilk rather than purchase it by the quart. No matter the reason, use these fast and easy substitutes for buttermilk, and forget about buying a large container that might go to waste.
What is Buttermilk?
Store-bought buttermilk is usually cultured, and this means it is not made the old-fashioned way. A type of bacteria more commonly known as lactic acid is added to low-fat or skim milk. When buttermilk is made the traditional way it is obtained from butter after being separated from the milk. This real old-fashioned variety is more difficult to find.
Substitutes Made with Sour Cream or Yogurt
Buttermilk tastes a lot like plain yogurt or sour cream, and these are two of the best substitutes. Even though some say yogurt and sour cream can be used as they are, it is best if it they are thinned out to duplicate the consistency as well as the flavor of real thing.
For a one-cup substitute, combine three-fourths of a heaping cup of unflavored yogurt or sour cream with two tablespoons of milk. Blend the mixture until it is smooth and use it in the same manner as the store-bought liquid variety.
Cheap and Easy Substitutes Made with Vinegar
Sour milk is also one of the best substitutes for store-bought buttermilk, and this is the method my mother uses. Pour one tablespoon of vinegar into a liquid measuring cup, and fill it with milk to equal one cup. The milk will become instantly sour, and although it will not be as thick as the real thing, it will provide the characteristic flavor.
Substitutes Made with Lemon Juice
Vinegar does not provide the only fast way to make buttermilk substitutes. Lemon juice can be used instead of vinegar using the aforementioned method. It will also turn the milk adequately sour. Reconstituted lemon juice works just as well as the freshly squeezed variety.
Buy the Powdered Variety Instead of Making Substitutes
Consider keeping powdered buttermilk on hand to avoid having to search for last-minute substitutes. It is a fantastic product that can be stored on the pantry shelf, and it will keep for months on end. Follow product label directions for best results.Source: http://www.bigoven.com/whatis.aspx?id=Buttermilk