My Mom’s Secret to Never Wasting Buttermilk|Recipes Spots

  • on September 6, 2023
My Mom’s Secret to Never Wasting Buttermilk

Bottles of Buttermilk Floating Around With Yellow and Green Dotted Illustrations in the Background
Simply Recipes / Photo Illustration by Wanda Abraham / Getty Images

There are people for whom buttermilk is a fixture in the fridge. They use it all the time.

Are you one of the people who doesn’t? And when you need it for a recipe, you buy it and then never get around to using the rest, finding a jug of scary chunks in your fridge months later?

You can have it both ways: buttermilk that’s there when you want it, in the exact amount you need it. It’s something my mom taught me, and now I’m going to tell you.

Mom Knows Best

Powdered buttermilk was a fixture at our house when I was growing up. When a recipe called for buttermilk, mom would get out a small carton with a red lid and a chef on the front and mix up only as much as the recipe called for. I was in my twenties before I saw refrigerated liquid buttermilk.

That carton was Saco Cultured Buttermilk Blend. She still uses it to this day and she keeps it in the freezer so it’ll stay fresh. I’m not sure if that’s necessary, but it doesn’t hurt. There are other brands of powdered buttermilk, but I stick to Saco because it works great, it’s easy to find, and it reminds me of my mom.

Opened Canister of The Saco Pantry: Cultured Buttermilk Blend on a Table With a Spoonful and a Red and White Checkered Kitchen Towel Next to It
Simply Recipes / Sara Bir

Why You’ll Love This Product

Sure, you can add a little lemon juice or vinegar to milk in a pinch to make a buttermilk substitute, but there’s always something lacking. This stuff delivers a flavor and texture in your final baked recipe that’s way more like what you’d get from using fresh buttermilk.

Once mixed, powdered buttermilk doesn’t have the same body as fresh buttermilk; I find it works best for baking (like pancakes and biscuits) rather than in dressings (like ranch). In fact, for baking, Saco recommends mixing the dry buttermilk powder in with the dry ingredients and then adding water equivalent to the measure of liquid buttermilk whenever the recipe calls for adding the wet ingredients. It’s easier than going through the trouble of mixing up the buttermilk separately.

You’ll find Saco powdered buttermilk in the baking aisle near the powdered milk. Most well-stocked mainstream grocery stores carry it. A carton keeps for nearly 4 years!

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