Cultured buttermilk can refer to several different milk products. Traditionally, buttermilk is what is left when making butter. But it can also be bought in grocery stores.
What does buttermilk contain?
Bacteria produce lactic acid when consuming milk sugar creating the acidic, tangy taste of buttermilk. Casein is a protein that makes the buttermilk a bit thicker. The name buttermilk is a bit misleading as it does not contain any butter. Fat contents are actually low.
Cultured buttermilk is a lighter, tangier version of yogurt
Cultured buttermilk contains
- Vitamin B12
- High levels of protein
- Natural enzymes
- Great source of calcium
- Natural, probiotic bacteria
Buttermilk in baking
Buttermilk is often used in baking as it brings a pleasant tang to cakes, bread, biscuits, pancakes, or dressings. Because this rich-tasting milk is an acidic ingredient it gives baked goods a softer texture and more body. It can also help bread to rise.
However, as cultured buttermilk contains beneficial microorganisms cooking at high temperatures kills them. Cultured buttermilk can be drunk similar to yoghurt and are use in smoothies.
Cultured buttermilk the traditional way
I sometimes make butter from raw, cultured (fermented) cream. Cultured butter has a richer, fresher, and more “buttery” taste. It’s fantastic on freshly baked bread!
Raw cultured cream is fermented by bacteria naturally present in the cream. Such cream will start to ferment when kept at room temperature. After a few days, it looks similar to crème fraiche—thick and tangy.
The cream is whipped for a few minutes until butter is formed. The buttermilk is the liquid leftover in the bowl and is can be used right away.
Fermenting buttermilk separately
In case you use unfermented cream to make butter, the buttermilk can be fermented separately. Pour the buttermilk into another bowl, add a little raw milk and let it sit at room temperature for 18-24 hours. The bacteria in raw milk consume sugars and turn the buttermilk thicker and tangier. But buttermilk does not turn thick like yogurt because of the low fat content.
Buttermilk smoothie recipes
Buttermilk works well for smoothies. Here are two recipes:
1. Cultured buttermilk
2. Blueberries (or some other berry)
3. Half a banana
4. A few drops of stevia or monk fruit
Run all ingredients in a mixer, add ice cubes, and pour up.