Food Guide

Lactose Intolerant? Discover the Perfect Buttermilk Substitute!

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of Cookindocs.com. With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for Cookindocs.com is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about...

What To Know

  • If you choose to use these options and want your vegan buttermilk to be shelf stable for longer than a day or two, then make sure that the one you buy does not contain any gums like xanthan gum or guar gum because these will make it last longer than usual (and possibly change its texture).
  • But if you want to use coconut milk in baked goods like biscuits or bread, then consider adding some lemon juice or vinegar (about one teaspoon per cup) before mixing it into your batter or dough so that it gets more of that buttermilk tanginess out there.
  • If you don’t need to achieve the texture and flavor of real buttermilk completely, but want to use a dairy product in your recipe, then go with plant-based milk like almond, soy, or rice milk.

When you’re lactose intolerant, dairy is a challenge. Buttermilk can be a godsend for many uses in the kitchen: it’s delicious as a substitute for regular milk, buttermilk pancakes are the best pancakes, and so on. Luckily there are other ways to get your buttermilk fixed if you can’t eat dairy. Here are six good substitutes for buttermilk if you’re lactose intolerant!

Plant-based milk and an acid

For a buttermilk substitute, you can use plant-based milk and an acid. The best plant-based milk for this recipe is almond, soy, or coconut. If you choose to use these options and want your vegan buttermilk to be shelf stable for longer than a day or two, then make sure that the one you buy does not contain any gums like xanthan gum or guar gum because these will make it last longer than usual (and possibly change its texture).

One cup of this mixture can replace an equal amount of buttermilk in any recipe. For the acid, you only need about one tablespoon to react with the milk, resulting in the same consistency as buttermilk.

Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that’s made from a combination of water, milk, and kefir grains. Kefir grains are like tiny sponges that contain beneficial bacteria and yeast, and they’re what give kefir its unique flavor and texture, as well as its health benefits.

Kefir has been said to improve digestion, boost immunity and even reduce inflammation in the body–and those are just some of its benefits! It’s also rich in calcium (which helps keep bones strong), vitamin B12 (crucial for cell growth), and probiotics (good bacteria). Therefore, this substitute is great for those who have problems digesting lactose.

Coconut milk

Coconut milk is a good substitute for buttermilk. It’s not as thick, though, and it doesn’t have that same sour taste that you might be looking for. This won’t be an issue if you’re using coconut milk to make pancakes or waffles (usually served with syrup).

But if you want to use coconut milk in baked goods like biscuits or bread, then consider adding some lemon juice or vinegar (about one teaspoon per cup) before mixing it into your batter or dough so that it gets more of that buttermilk tanginess out there!

Plain nonfat yogurt

If you’re lactose intolerant, buttermilk is off the table. But don’t fret: there are plenty of other ways to get your fix.

If you’re trying to make pancakes or waffles, just swap out the buttermilk with plain nonfat yogurt. This substitution will give your baked goods a slightly tangy taste. It makes an especially good substitute if you’re trying to make soft pretzels–just add some cinnamon and sugar before baking them!

Yogurt can also be used in smoothies or eaten straight from the cup (if that’s how you roll). If you have any ideas for other creative uses for yogurt, let us know on Facebook!

Buttermilk powder and water

To substitute buttermilk powder for fresh buttermilk, mix 1/2 tsp of buttermilk powder with 1 cup of water and add a pinch of salt. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before using it in your recipe instead of fresh buttermilk. This should work in any buttermilk recipe, from pancakes to baked goods.

The only difference is that the end result won’t be as thick as fresh buttermilk. Acids also help neutralize any off-flavors caused by the powder’s dehydrating process, so consider adding a little fresh lemon juice or vinegar. Moreover, the powder form makes the buttermilk healthier than regular buttermilk because it contains less sugar and lactose.

Almond milk or other plant-based milk

If you don’t need to achieve the texture and flavor of real buttermilk completely, but want to use a dairy product in your recipe, then go with plant-based milk like almond, soy, or rice milk. These ingredients are ideal for lactose intolerance and provide a little creamy and milky flavor to your dish.

You will also love the nutty taste of these nuts and grains. The best part is using plant-based milk to replace buttermilk in your recipe. However, always check the label to see if it contains any gums or stabilizers so they don’t interfere with your baking process.

Buttermilk is a versatile ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It’s also an excellent protein source, making it a great addition to any diet. If you are lactose intolerant or simply don’t like milk, several substitutes available can still give you the same creamy texture and taste as traditional buttermilk!

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Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of Cookindocs.com. With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for Cookindocs.com is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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