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Can I replace buttermilk with expired regular milk ?

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klfnwf added about 2 years ago



Miranda is a contributor at Food52.

added about 2 years ago

Depending on what you're making, you definitely can! There is an excellent Cook's Illustrated pancake recipe that calls for either buttermilk OR whole milk with lemon juice added. I rarely have the buttermilk and I've never noticed a difference. Here's a really great guide to buttermilk replacements :


Christine added about 2 years ago
Voted the Best Answer!

There is a difference between cultured buttermilk or unpasteurized sour milk and spoiled pasteurized milk. Sour milk and buttermilk can happen naturally when the natural bacteria in milk ferment.Usually they are cultured by adding the natural bacteria back into milk under controlled conditions. However, after milk is pasteurized, the natural bacteria that would cause this healthy fermentation are dead and spoiling is just a process of decay, not a fermentation.

susan g added about 2 years ago

When you say 'expired regular milk,' chances are that the milk is still not spoiled, and Miranda's lemon juice gives a decent sub for buttermilk. Most commercial milk will not sour naturally -- it just goes off/bad into a form that I think is useless and should just be dumped.
Dairy products with expiration dates are not like Cinderella's coach -- at the stroke of midnight the milk is pretty much the same as it was one minute before. The change is gradual and depends on production and storage conditions. The dates can be taken as a heads up to check and use common sense and your senses -- smell, taste, visual cues -- to know whether it's still usable. The artificial souring (eg lemon juice) is a good way to use it up.


Miranda is a contributor at Food52.

added about 2 years ago

Oooooook So I definitely mis-read. I still stand by my answer, but I thought that it was the buttermilk that had expired. So I would say that if it's only just barely expired you can still use it, again depending on what you're making, granted it passes the sniff-test (no funky odor). Even with all of that said, expired milk does not buttermilk make. You would still have to add lemon juice. If the milk smells sour or off at all, I would just dump it. Sorry for the confusion!

Spoiled milk is spoiled milk. No, you cannot use it. And adding lemon juice to milk is something else entirely. In fact that's one way to make your own creme fraiche. But it still takes a 24hr period for this to occur and there are a few other things you should be aware of in doing that. Speaking of expired buttermilk (not knowing if it has been pasteurized or not) there are uses for that as well. Let's be clear, an expiration or sell by date (which gives a leeway of 5 days) is in NO WAY comparable to soured. Sour or Spoiled milk should not be ingested, though I could suggest some uses for it externally in skin care

P.S. The above applies to pasteurized. Unpasteurized can be safely ingested

Mr_Vittles added about 2 years ago

By expired do you mean the "Pull Date" has past? If so, give it a whiff or a little taste, if its funky in any way, then its a no-go. But if it smells alright and tastes okay. I see no reason not to use it. If you need buttermilk, a solution of one cup of regular milk to a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar is suitable. Just allow it to sit on the counter for five minutes before use.

Sam1148 added about 2 years ago

I keep powdered buttermilk on hand. It's great for baking. No so much for making the Riccotta recipe here (g).

Look for it in the baking section at the supermarket, it's a small paper tub.

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