No Buttermilk At Home? Try These Buttermilk Substitutes Instead

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oi-Amritha K

on November 24, 2020

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink, widely consumed in India. The refreshing drink, which can be spruced up by adding chilly, coriander leaves and salt, is known by many different names in different parts of India such as Chaas, Chaach, Takramrut, Mattha, etc. Even the process of preparing buttermilk varies in all parts of India; however, the goodness remains the same.

In addition to being consumed as a drink, buttermilk is commonly used to make biscuits, pancakes, waffles, muffins, and cakes. Traditionally, buttermilk is the by-product of butter, but it can also be made by adding lactic acid bacteria milk [1].

A fantastic ingredient that can make your baked goods a tender and light texture, buttermilk is thicker than plain milk, with a subtle tang. If you run out on buttermilk, you cannot replace it with milk because the absence of acid will not produce the same result.

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However, if you have any of the following in your kitchen, you can save your pancakes and waffles because we have listed out a number of tasty substitutes you can use in the place of buttermilk.


Substitutes For Buttermilk

1. Milk and lemon juice: Adding lemon juice to milk can give it the acidic flavour of buttermilk [2]. To make 1 cup of buttermilk substitute, add one tablespoon of lemon juice and add 1 cup of milk and stir well. Use fresh lemon juice for best results.

2. Milk and vinegar: Adding vinegar to milk gives it an acidity like buttermilk. While apple cider vinegar also works for this, using white vinegar is preferrable as it has a neutral flavour [3]. To make 1 cup of buttermilk substitute, add one tablespoon of vinegar to cup. Then, add 1 cup of milk and stir.

3. Milk and plain yoghurt: The tangy, acidic flavour and composition of yoghurt is like buttermilk. You can replace buttermilk cup for cup with plain yoghurt or by thinning out the yoghurt with some water for thin batter. To make 1 cup of buttermilk substitute, combine 3/4 cup of plain yoghurt with 1/4 cup of water or milk and whisk until smooth.


4. Milk and sour cream: Sour cream has a tangy flavour like buttermilk [4]. As sour cream is thicker than buttermilk, it is best to thin it with water or milk when making a buttermilk substitute. To replace 1 cup of buttermilk in a recipe, combine 3/4 cup of sour cream with 1/4 cup of water or milk and whisk until smooth.

5. Milk and kefir: Kefir, also known as kephir, is a fermented drink high in nutrients and probiotics content [5]. The probiotic-rich beverage has a slightly sour taste with a little bit of a fizz. Kefir is already similar in consistency to buttermilk, so you can replace it in 1:1 ratio.

6. Milk and cream of tartar: Also known as potassium bitartrate, cream of tartar is the powdered form of tartaric acid and is a popular ingredient in many recipes [6]. It has a neutral flavour and is acidic in nature. To make a buttermilk substitute, use 1 3/4 teaspoons of cream of tartar per 1 cup of milk.

Note: Cream of tartar tends to clump when stirred directly into milk, so make sure to mix the cream of tartar before adding milk into your recipe.


7. Tofu, water, and acid: A vegan substitute for buttermilk, this combination can be made by blending (silken) ¼ cup tofu with ¾ cup of water, 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice.

8. Unsweetened soy milk and acid: Another non-dairy option for your baking in place of buttermilk is unsweetened soy milk [7]. Add one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and add 1 cup soy milk. Alternately, you can use 1 3/4 teaspoons of cream of tartar for the acid.

9. Unsweetened coconut milk and acid: Coconut milk has a consistency similar to buttermilk, and you can add 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk. You can also use cashew milk and almond milk in the place of coconut milk.

10. Lactose-free milk and acid: A safe option of lactose-intolerant individuals [8], this substitute can be made by adding I tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of lactose-free milk. This substitute will have a sweet taste to it.


On A Final Note…

If you have any acidic ingredient, such as lemon juice, vinegar, or cream of tartar and some milk (dairy or plant-based), or water, making buttermilk substitute is easy.


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