Written by Bernie Carr
With ever increasing food prices, I’ve been trying to find ways to avoid wasting food. One ingredient that always gets past its expiration date before I use it up is buttermilk. Many cooks have had this happen before – you buy a certain ingredient for a recipe and you end up having too much left over after you’ve made the dish. Well, buttermilk is one of those. I used it in a recipe and I still have half a bottle left. So I have been trying to figure out ways to use it up.
What is buttermilk?
Back in the old days, when people made butter at home, buttermilk was a by-product after the cream was churned into butter. Today, the product that is sold in stores is basically milk that has been cultured, resulting in a thickened consistency and sour taste. It is lighter than yogurt, creamier than milk, but has less fat than whipping cream.
What can you do with leftover buttermilk?
Add to scrambled eggs and omelets
I made scrambled eggs yesterday and I added a bit of buttermilk instead of milk. I used two eggs, plus about a tablespoon of buttermilk, with some salt and pepper. I used a wire wisk to mix. The result was fluffy scrambled eggs. I also made an omelet the same way, and added the fillings after the egg was cooked through. The omelet held up very well and had a great texture. Success!
Use as a binder instead of eggs
I made some chicken strips and used the buttermilk to bind the bread crumbs to the chicken tenders. I then cooked the coated chicken tenders in the air fryer. It worked so well – the chicken tenders were flavorful and moist.
Make french toast
Another way I used some of the buttermilk was for french toast. I used just one egg, plus two tablespoons of buttermilk. Dip the sliced bread and cook in the pan with a bit of butter. It worked great.
Make mashed potatoes and add buttermilk instead of milk. It will give it the texture of creamy mashed potatoes.You may also use less butter than normal.
I found some biscuit recipes online – this one looks easy, I am going to try it soon before my buttermilk expires. https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/buttermilk-biscuits.
If you make biscuits, you might as well make gravy, so you can have biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Make a white gravy with buttermilk instead of milk.
Mix buttermilk with mayonnaise for a tangy coleslaw, or make buttermilk dressing:
Mix a cup of mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.
What about adding it to coffee?
I checked online to see if it’s a good idea to use buttermilk in coffee. The results were mixed, with some sites saying “Yes, absolutely use it for coffee.” While other sites said, “Don’t do it.” Well, since the result was mixed, of course I had to try it myself. I added it to coffee instead of cream. The the answer is, well, yes, technically you can, but will it taste good? It curdled as soon as I added it to coffee. I mixed it and tasted it, and the coffee was sour. It did not taste good. The answer is: No! Do not add it to coffee!
There you have it. My tips on what to do and what NOT to do while trying to use up leftover buttermilk. I am sure you will find a few that work for you. If I left any out, please share in the comments.
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Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.