The Benefits of Buttermilk

I shared a recipe for homemade artisanal butter with you in a previous post, which got me to thinking of also sharing with you the incredibly varied ways you can use buttermilk, the by-product of butter-making, at home. As a natural probiotic, you can drink buttermilk straight-up, getting your Laura Ingalls Wilder on, but I happen to find the taste of buttermilk in the raw to be way too gamey and acidic. However, there are so many other ways to use buttermilk in cooking and in your beauty and bathing routine. In no particular order, because my brain just doesn’t work that way, I have generated a list of all kinds of things you can do with buttermilk:

  • Marinate chicken pieces in it before frying (it is the southern secret!)
  • Use it in pie crusts, scones, and especially biscuits for that flaky texture we all love
  • Make buttermilk ranch dressing (not as high in fat as you think)
  • Add some to your morning smoothie for the probiotic and digestive benefits
  • Pour a cup into a bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil (just like Cleopatra)
  • Mix with egg whites and put on your face as a chemical peel (lactic acid is what is in MOST cosmetic peels)
  • Mix with yogurt, honey, and banana or avocado for a hair treatment
  • Use as a savory “tang” in coleslaw or potato salad
  • Combine with salt to make a paste for large pores, allow to dry and then rinse
  • Use as a daily astringent to treat age spots or freckles (lactic acid “bleaches” the discoloration)
  • Combine with lavender, honey, and egg for a an alternative to shampoo (embrace the no-poo movement!)
  • Add frozen cubes to your soap-making recipe (a great exfoliant)

Homemade Flakey Buttermilk Biscuits Ready to Eat

From treating digestive disorders to helping cure anemia, suffice it to say, buttermilk clearly is NOT just for pancakes! Even if you are not interested in making your own butter and using the remaining buttermilk, you can easily make your own buttermilk at home, using either this Ayurvedic recipe or a simpler recipe you can make with ingredients you probably already have at home. In addition to my beloved apple cider vinegar and coconut oil, I will now be sure to always have buttermilk on hand for culinary and cosmetic uses!

 

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About Becky Jha

Born and raised in rural Connecticut , Becky DeMattia-Jha attended Salve Regina University in Newport, RI, and has her M.Ed. She has been teaching high school English for 15 years and currently resides in Massachusetts with her husband, their two children, and their German Shepherd. She spends her precious summer vacations indulging in passions other than literature: serving as a lactation peer coach, practicing herbal medicine, organic gardening, making natural cleansers and cosmetics, and preparing quick and easy organic recipes for her family. She hopes to share her efficient, chemical-free, eco-conscious, frugal, and simplistic homemaking and homesteading tips with you.

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