Monday, April 21, 2014

Buttermilk, It's Not Just for Chocolate Cake

Buttermilk seems to be the most hated dairy product, except for making things like fried chicken and chocolate cake, it doesn't get much use. It's a shame. There was a time when Americans, particularly southerners actually drank buttermilk. My parents and grandparents mixed buttermilk and cornbread for a light "supper". Over time, consumption of buttermilk fell.


When I talk to my students about buttermilk, they immediately turn up their noses. They haven't even tasted it. But I press on. I tell them the original buttermilk was the milk left after churning butter. Since the fat is removed, buttermilk is a low fat product.

Buttermilk is made by adding microorganisms to low fat milk, making it a fermented product, like yogurt. These microorganisms, commonly referred to as lactic acid bacteria, convert lactose into lactic acid and may possess probiotic activity. Because lactose is converted to lactic acid, it is a low lactose product. Good news for those who are lactose intolerant.

Recently, there appears to be an upswing in the consumption of buttermilk and other fermented foods. Research is beginning to show health benefits of consuming fermented products such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi. These products may help with digestion, enhance the immune system.

I have always wondered why the dairy industry did not add fruit and sugar to buttermilk like they did with yogurt. After all, Americans did not eat yogurt until we added fruit and sugar.

If you want to make your own buttermilk, add ½ cup of buttermilk and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt to 2 cups of milk. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for about 24 hours. The milk will thicken and a curd will form. Refrigerate until ready to use.


If you want to try buttermilk, this mango lassi recipe is a good place to start.  Lassi is an Indian beverage made with yogurt or buttermilk and fruit.  If you have leftover lassi, make freezer pops.

Mango Lassi

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

2½ cups chopped peeled mango
4 cups (1 quart) buttermilk, shake before using
¼ cup sugar

Directions:

1.  Purée mango and buttermilk until smooth.  If desired, strain mixture through a fine sieve into a large picture.  Add sugar and stir to dissolve.


4 comments:

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  2. bobby cardonaHace 8 meses
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    Brenda Dale
    Brenda DaleHace 2 meses
    It's so nice to see natural colouring coming back into the wild horses. Greys and Greuillas. Bays have never been a natural colour. Have you ever seen a bay with striped knees, or a dorsal stripe? Buckskins have striped knees and dorsal stripes, they're a throw-back to the more natural colours. You can tell an unnatural horse from a natural, basically from the colouring. It's rare nowadays, as the breeding goes on, that you're going to get a natural horse. But there seems to be something coming on that greys are becoming dominant. The DNA of horses has been messed with for far too long. Bay colouring has always been the winner, but now we're going back into rat factor. In the Belmont race this year, four greys in the race, and three of them came across first, second, third, and fifth. The BLACK came fourth, and black is just another shade of grey.

    Don't take me too seriously here, I just LOVE grey horses. In my younger years I used to work with Standardbred race horses as a groom and trainer in Campbellville. My fave horse was SMOG, a huge grey stallion. He just KNEW he was SPECIAL! As I tried to harness him up every day, he held his head so high I'd have to use a ladder to put his bridle on. He'd blow himself up so huge I'd have to tickle his brain and distract him so I could get the girth around him. He was a beautiful, beautiful boy. He just knew who he was, and even me, who loved him daily, could not touch that boy! Sometimes he'd blow in my ear, give me love bunts, and say "Love You's". The next minute he's got me cornered in the stall with two hind legs just ready to kill me. I could never gauge that horse. That was freaky! And if you know anything about horses, you know how freaky they can be. I don't think you can ever know a FEAR anything like a horse that has you cornered and at any minute can just splatter your brains across the boards of the stall behind you.
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