Q.: I’ve seen several recipes lately that call for buttermilk. Since that isn’t something I keep on hand, I searched for a way to quickly make a substitute. I found that white vinegar or lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of either, added to regular milk to make 1 cup, will work.
My question: Is this substitute really OK to use in most recipes that call for buttermilk? Some recipes that come to mind are fried chicken, muffins, blueberry pancakes and others.
If this isn’t a suitable substitute, can I preserve unused, purchased buttermilk for use in future recipes?
— L.H., Cuyahoga Falls
A.: Yes, soured milk made with either vinegar or lemon juice stirred into whole milk and allowed to sit for five minutes, is a fine substitute for buttermilk in recipes. You also can substitute ½ cup of plain yogurt mixed into ½ cup of milk, or a cup of sour cream.
As far as keeping buttermilk, you can freeze it for up to three months. It tends to separate when frozen, so after thawing, it is good only for use in baking, not for drinking.
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