If I had to name one item in my kitchen that is my “secret weapon”, it would be buttermilk. It is my number one go to for baked goods….cakes, muffins, quick breads….just about any baked good that calls for liquid. It makes a wonderful base for salad dressings. My go to gluten free dessert? You guessed it, Buttermilk Panna Cotta. Throw it in a blender with some fruit and sugar and you have Chelsea’s (and our dogs’) favorite sherbet. I can’t make fried chicken without it. Buttermilk is loaded with lots of good bacteria and is great for digestion.
Many moons ago I just bought whatever brand of buttermilk that was sold at the grocery store. It always went bad before I could finish a carton, but it was cheap. Then about 4 years ago, I switched to using only organic dairy products. Yes, more expensive….but we live in a society where people pay $2 for a small bottle of water or $1 (or more) for a 12 ounce can of soda. So $4 for a quart of organic antibiotic and pesticide free goodness, well sign me up! The problem with organic buttermilk was that I couldn’t get it from the local grocery store. I had to pick it up sporadically and would have to occasionally (gasp!) use the old hormone and antibiotic laden buttermilk.
Fast forward to 2013….when it finally hit me how easy it was to MAKE my own buttermilk. Woo Hoo! Actually, I was researching homemade yogurt recipes when I had my epiphany. 1 cup of organic buttermilk + 3 cups of organic whole milk (you can use skim, 1% or 2%, but why??) = fresh healthy buttermilk in your refrigerator all of the time. It keeps for about 2 weeks in the fridge. And when you are down to your last cup, just add that cup to another 3 cups of milk….and you’re good to go for another few weeks. You get the picture….
1 cup store bought organic cultured buttermilk (Whole Foods sells it, as do some health food stores)
3 cups organic milk (whole milk preferred)
1 large jar (must hold at least 4 cups liquid, I love the extra large Mason jars), cleaned with hot, soapy water and rinsed with hot water.
Add buttermilk and milk to jar, stir or shake well. Leave out on warm spot in kitchen, out of direct sunlight for 24 hours. Store in refrigerator and when you get down to last cup, repeat to make a new batch, subbing your buttermilk for the store-bought buttermilk.
After 24 hours on your counter top, your buttermilk should be nice and thick, almost like a runny yogurt. Store in refrigerator up to two weeks. Congratulations on making your own buttermilk!