We’ve been talking a lot about how to make cultured foods. And we’ve talked a lot about why they’re good for you- all the good and beneficial bacteria that help to balance and replenish your gut flora. We’ve discussed making yogurt and starting our kombucha, so here is another simple, cultured food you can make: buttermilk!
If you pick up any conventional buttermilk at the grocery store, you will see it’s packed full of preservatives and thickening agents. It’s actually pretty terrible. However, if you make your own, you can avoid all the garbage and save money!
What you will need:
Cultured Buttermilk* (organic is best)
Whole Milk (raw is best!)
How much you make is up to you. I keep the ratio 1:3; 1 part buttermilk to three parts milk. I actually don’t even measure, I just fill my jar a quarter of the way with buttermilk, then the remaining 3/4 with milk. Simple.
Close the jar tightly and leave out on the counter. Because I use raw milk, mine is ready within 12 hours (at the most!). If you don’t have access to raw milk, it may take longer (up to 24 hours). You will know it’s ready when you tilt the jar a bit and the buttermilk leaves a nice, thick coating on the inside of the jar.
What can you do with your buttermilk? Lots of things! We love buttermilk sourdough pancakes (I’ll post the recipe soon!). I put it in organic macaroni and cheese for a delicious, rich flavor. AND (and let’s keep this on the down low) my husband makes a MEAN buttermilk pie, which has loads of sugar, but is healthy otherwise (whole grain crust, no shortening or other yucky additions!), that we eat on special occasions. Or just because we want to. We are still staying off sugar in the meantime, though, so I may have to come up with a honey-sweetend version. Hmmm….
*Note: I used conventional buttermilk to start my homemade batch. While I’m not thrilled that it had the garbage in it, my rationalization is a. we had been buying the garbage anyways, so getting a batch started with it isn’t really that big of a deal and b. when you continue to use your homemade buttermilk as your next batch’s starter, it eventually becomes all homemade. If you can find organic buttermilk to start yours with, that would be great, and since you only have to buy it once, it’s worth the cost!