10 Ways To Eat: Buttermilk

Go beyond your usual pancake recipe with these ten tasty and clever uses for buttermilk

We’ve all been there: after buying a quart of buttermilk for the half-cup our recipe called for, we’re left staring blindly into the fridge, wondering what to do with the remaining three-and-three-quarters cups.

But don’t dump the rest of the tart and tangy liquid down the drain: buttermilk goes way beyond baking. It’s naturally low-fat but big on flavor, making it an ideal addition to sauces and dishes that need a little extra oomph. Who knows, after trying one of these buttermilk beauties, you might end up buying a second quart next time around.

Cornbread
The distinct tang of buttermilk makes for a light and fluffy pan of cornbread that’s sweet with a hint of savoriness. It’s the way your grandma would have done it.

Mashed Potatoes
Cream and butter aren’t the only way to bring rich, luxurious flavor to a bowl of mashers. Try a healthy glug of buttermilk; odds are no one will know the difference and you can eat twice as much. Right?

Marinade
To keep chicken and pork tender instead of tough, buttermilk’s the best. Its high calcium content and mild acids react with your preferred protein to break down the muscle fiber and infuse the meat with flavor.

Salad Dressing
Rather than settling for squeeze-bottle salad toppings laden with preservatives and less-than-fresh flavors, use buttermilk as a base for a creamy homemade dressing and dip that runs rings around store-bought ranch.

Muffins
Buttermilk and blueberries are a match made in breakfast heaven. But who says you have to stop there? Choose your favorite in-season fruit, like peaches, strawberries, or cherries and go wild.

Cheese
Here’s a fun science experiment for the kids: buttermilk becomes a soft, spreadable cheese when heated gently and strained. Season it to your liking and use as you would fresh ricotta.

Soup
Creamy bisques and ultra-rich vegetable potages are a slurp away when blended with buttermilk. Even cold summer soups like those with cucumber and herbs get a pick-me-up.

Biscuits
Eggs and bacon are forever thankful for a flaky buttermilk biscuit to hold them together, but who says you can’t peel apart those warm layers and slather them with fresh, salted butter?

Red Velvet Cake
Another spectacular Southern invention, it’s once again those awesome acids that help the fireworks happen in this cake, blending with vinegar, baking soda, and cocoa powder to create the a naturally reddish hue.

Bread
A quick rise and and no-knead dough make this buttermilk bread recipe one of the easiest loaves you’ll bake.

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