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Buttermilk: Your New Secret Ingredient (and 7 Recipes to Try)

Buttermilk is a tasty and wholesome addition to a whole range of recipes, and definitely an item you should consider adding to your shopping list if you enjoy cooking and you’re interested in optimising your nutrition.

What is buttermilk?

One potential source of confusion is that the term “buttermilk” is used to describe two completely different types of products. Traditional buttermilk is the milk that remains after the cream is churned into butter. The other kind of buttermilk, which is the one most people are referring to when they talk about buttermilk is cultured buttermilk, which is ordinary milk where the lactic acid has been fermented. If you’re thinking that sounds like yogurt, you’re absolutely right, because they are similar. Buttermilk is thinner and contains less kilojoules than yogurt, however.

How to use buttermilk

You can drink buttermilk, or you can use it for cooking. Drinking buttermilk is similar to drinking yogurt that has been made especially for drinking. You can add flavourings to it if you wish, or just drink it plain. For cooking, buttermilk is easy to use, adding flavour and protein in one convenient single step. Here are some of our favourite buttermilk recipes:

1. Banana Bran Muffins

These delicious and healthy muffins from Eating Well have a tempting appearance and they’re packed with nutrition, including protein and fibre. The addition of walnuts means they’ll also contain a lot of extra vitamins and minerals.

2. Buttermilk Scones

When is a scone not a scone? When you’re in America, of course. They may say cookies when they mean biscuits and biscuits when they mean scones, but that doesn’t make either one taste any different. What does make these scones (or biscuits!) taste different is the addition of wholesome buttermilk.

3. Buttermilk Potato Fried Chicken

This interesting recipe uses mix of buttermilk and potato to make a crunchy and delicious batter, to give fried chicken an interesting texture. Because these ingredients are so mild, however, you may want to add a little extra zing by experimenting with your favourite herbs and spices. Who knows? You may just discover the perfect blend that leads to “Aussie Fried Chicken” restaurants popping up all over the world.

4. Cucumber Soup

 

This one is remarkable for its simplicity; there are just two easy steps to making it. It calls for store-bought salsa verde, but you could alsomake your own. The cucumber soup is delicious and refreshing, so it’s a great soup for serving cold in summer. The buttermilk gives it a tangy creaminess without being too heavy.

5. Multigrain Waffles

By replacing the butter from the traditional waffle recipe with much lighter and healthier buttermilk, these waffles are lower in fat and higher in protein. The grains and whole wheat flour add vitamins, minerals, and fibre. They’d be perfect for a special breakfast or healthier dessert treat.

6. Fried Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Feta Dressing

These look incredible, and the dressing really makes them sing. For an extra clever touch that will amaze your guests, try alternating these on the plate with some deliciousThai-Tassie Salmon Cakes. If you get the size and shape just perfect, you’ll catch everyone off guard, and the two recipes go perfectly with this dressing, so it’s ideal.

7. Cheddar Jalapeño Buttermilk Bread

This bread is a perfect way to spice up anyone’s lunch box.  It tastes great eaten on it’s own, or you can make a sandwich with it as long as you’re clever about the ingredients you use. Salad or tuna would match wonderfully (but Vegemite, peanut butter, or strawberry jam probably wouldn’t be among the best choices!). It’s easy to make this bread, because using buttermilk makes it possible for the bread to rise without using yeast. But the best thing about this bread is the great flavour and genuine kick from the combination of cheddar, jalapeños, and buttermilk.

Give buttermilk a try

Buttermilk is so versatile and delicious, you will be amazed at all the different ways you can incorporate it into your cooking. It’s suitable for both sweet and savoury dishes, and it’s an easy way to make food more healthy too. If you haven’t tried buttermilk before, give it a try now, and see for yourself why it’s so good.