Anyone who has ever tasted buttermilk pancakes or biscuits knows just how delicious buttermilk is and why it’s such an important ingredient for baking. Believe it or not, buttermilk does not contain butter or milk; however, it is still not vegan. Buttermilk is actually the liquid that’s leftover when cream is churned into butter. So, if you’re a vegan or just someone who doesn’t eat dairy, buttermilk is out of the question. Do not fret, though.
There are plenty of other non-dairy products that can be used as a buttermilk substitute for baking. Since buttermilk quite a bit different from regular cow’s milk, you’ll have to do a little bit of chemistry to make a convincing buttermilk substitute, but don’t worry, it’s not difficult at all. If you can measure and mix two ingredients together in a cup, you can make you own vegan buttermilk.
It’s easy to make a good vegan buttermilk substitute with soymilk because soymilk is already so similar to cow’s milk in consistency and flavor, especially when used in baking. And, if you’re a vegan, I’m guessing you probably already have a carton of it in your fridge. All you have to do is mix together 1 cup of soymilk with 2 tbsp of lemon juice or white vinegar. If you need more than 1 cup, you can just scale up. So, 2 cups would call for 4 tbsp and so on.
Non-Dairy Sour Cream
Most grocery stores carry at least one or two kinds of non-dairy sour cream. Toffuti brand makes a good one called, Sour Supreme. Making vegan buttermilk with a non-dairy sour cream is a simple 1:1 ratio, so if you’re recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk, you simply mix ½ cup of sour cream with ½ cup of water. All you’re doing is watering down the sour cream.
Almond milk is some pretty tasty stuff. If you haven’t tried it already, I strongly suggest you do. A lot of my friends actually prefer it to soymilk. However, I don’t suggest trying the unsweetened kind, unless you’re on a really strict diet and can’t have any sugar. Making vegan buttermilk with almond milk is the same as making it with soymilk.
Okay, if you’re out of soymilk but you have some silken tofu, you can use it to make vegan buttermilk; but honestly, it’s almost exactly the same as using soymilk except there’s an extra step involved. What you have to do is mix ½ cup of silken tofu with ¾ cup of water (basically turning it into soymilk). Then you add a tbsp of lemon or white vinegar.