Make this vegan buttermilk recipe with only 2 ingredients and about 5 minutes! It’s a great buttermilk substitute you can use to make the best pancakes. Buttermilk is used in baking and cooking too, so having this vegan substitute can be an important tool for your vegan kitchen.
My mom used to drink buttermilk in a glass…while I stood behind her gagging.
I was not a fan of anything that tasted so overtly sour. I don’t know why my mom drank it like that. I guess she liked it? But drinking and cooking with buttermilk are encountering a resurgence so I figured it was a chance to talk about it and to show how to make dairy-free buttermilk too.
What is Buttermilk?
The traditional buttermilk is a byproduct of churning cream to create butter. It’s the milk leftover from making butter, hence the name buttermilk. However, in today’s stores, most buttermilk is made by adding culturing agents to plain milk to cause it to ferment and thicken.
This means making a vegan buttermilk substitute is relatively easy. We’ll get into that in a minute, but first, let’s talk about using buttermilk in your kitchen.
Can you drink buttermilk?
If you think of buttermilk as a type of fermented milk and realize that fermented foods are healthy, you’ll know why including more is a good idea. Buttermilk has a tangy flavor and a thicker texture, but it can be consumed like a beverage.
I’ve also read that drinking buttermilk after a spicy meal can help calm your stomach. Since I love spicy food, I might consider giving this a try the next time I overindulge!
Cooking with Vegan Substitutes for Buttermilk
Here are some great ideas to use vegan buttermilk in your kitchen:
- Buttermilk makes a great ingredient for salad dressings, such as vegan ranch dressing
- You can add a little bit of buttermilk to the ricotta layer of your vegan lasagna to give it a bit more zip
- Adding buttermilk to cream gives the flavor more depth and tanginess, so the means adding some to your vegan alfredo sauce would be perfect
- Using buttermilk to vegan pancakes can help make them nice and fluffy
- A lot of vegan baking uses buttermilk or the addition of apple cider vinegar to interact with vinegar to create a leavening action for baked goods
- You know how frosting calls for a bit of cream? You can use vegan buttermilk instead to add a bit of tang to your favorite frostings, like vegan vanilla frosting.
Now that you know why it’s great to have buttermilk in your kitchen, let’s talk about how to make a vegan buttermilk substitute.
Can you make buttermilk from almond milk?
You can make vegan buttermilk from any type of plant-based milk, including almond milk. It is a simple recipe that requires combining milk with an acid, like lemon juice. You use almond milk buttermilk just like you would any buttermilk. It’s great for using in recipes like pancakes!
Let’s get into the specifics of making your own buttermilk.
How to Make Vegan Buttermilk
So, if you’re convinced that having vegan buttermilk is important, let’s talk about how to make it. Thankfully, you don’t have to pretend to make butter to create vegan substitutes for buttermilk. No, in fact, the great news is, it’s really very simple to make!
Step One: Select a Plant-based Milk
All you need is one cup of plant-based milk and an acid. You can use any plant-based milk you like. Yes, that means you can make buttermilk from almond milk. But you can also use cashew milk, soy milk, oat milk, hemp milk, etc. You can use plain or flavored milk. Any of these will work just fine.
My favorite happens to be almond buttermilk, but that might just be because we usually have almond milk on hand. You don’t need any special instructions for how to make buttermilk with almond milk, because any type of plant-based milk you use will work the same.
So, measure out one cup of your preferred plant-based milk.
Step Two: Select an Acid
For the purpose of this recipe, I’m using lemon juice, however, you can substitute an equal amount of something like apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.
Note: You may be tempted to try a more flavorful vinegar, but I don’t recommend it. For example, a red wine vinegar might not only change the color of the buttermilk, it could change the flavor profile as well.
For every one cup of milk you’ll add one tablespoon of lemon juice.
You can see that even after pouring the lemon juice, it immediately begins to have an impact. What you’re seeing is the milk separating because of the lemon juice acids.
Although, I think it looks rather artistic. Maybe I could frame it and put in on my wall! Ok. Maybe not. 🙂
Give the nondairy buttermilk a stir and let it sit for a few minutes and you’ve got yourself a nice glass of vegan buttermilk. I like to transfer it to a small, lidded mason jar and keep it in the fridge. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4–5 days.
Troubleshooting Vegan Buttermilk
If you find your dairy-free buttermilk isn’t curdling properly, it may be the temperature that’s causing the problems. If you pull the milk straight from the fridge, it might be a little too cold. Let it sit on the counter for a few minutes before adding the acid and that should do the trick.
I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!
- 1 cup plant-based milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Combine the plant-based milk with the lemon juice and gently stir. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the milk to thicken.
- Store vegan buttermilk in a lidded jar (like a mason jar) and keep refrigerated. It will keep up to 5 days.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.