What is Buttermilk and What is Buttermilk Used For?

Mackenzie Stanley, Dietetic Intern| View Author Bio

What is buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a fermented milk product that is a familiar ingredient in favorites like pancakes, dressings, and marinades.

Traditionally, buttermilk is the liquid that remains after butter is made and fermentation occurs through “ripening”, or allowing the liquid to sit before churning the butter. More commonly, buttermilk is made from active cultures added to milk, which creates lactic acid, which is what causes the tart taste.

What is buttermilk used for?

Buttermilk is often used in cooking and baking. It can be used in marinades to tenderize meat. In baking, buttermilk provides a tangy flavor that balances sweet baked goods and the lactic acid helps create a light, moist product with a delicate crumb.

Also, buttermilk is a common beverage in many cultures and helps to balance the sweetness of fruit in smoothies.

Forget buttermilk on your shopping list? Luckily, it’s very easy to make at home with just a few common ingredients.

Buttermilk recipes:

Nutrient Breakdown:

Low Fat Buttermilk 1 cup 
Calories 110
Total fat 2.5 g
Saturated fat 1.5 g
Sodium 270 mg
Carbohydrates 13 g
Total sugar 12 g
Added sugar 0 g
Protein 9 g


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