A dairy free substitute for buttermilk is pretty easy to make, and you can do it using a variety of ingredients.
All you need is your dairy free milk of choice plus vinegar, lemon juice, or cream of tartar.
DAIRY FREE MILK AND VINEGAR
Adding vinegar to milk gives it an acidity similar to that of buttermilk.
You can use a number of types of vinegar, like apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar. Distilled white vinegar has the benefit of a more neutral flavor.
To make 1 cup of buttermilk substitute, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Then, add milk to the 1-cup line (237 millilitres) and stir.
DAIRY FREE MILK AND LEMON JUICE
Lemon juice is another acid you can use to make buttermilk.
To make 1 cup of buttermilk substitute, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then, add milk to the 1-cup line (237 millilitres) and stir.
You can either use fresh-squeezed lemon juice or bottled lemon juice.
DAIRY FREE MILK AND CREAM OF TARTAR
Another option is cream of tartar. Cream of tartar is acidic and can be combined with milk to make a buttermilk substitute.
To make a buttermilk substitute, use 1 3/4 teaspoons of cream of tartar per 1 cup (237 ml) of dairy free milk.
Cream of tartar will clump if stirred directly into milk, so it’s better to mix it with the other dry ingredients in your recipe, and then add the milk.
Alternatively, you can add a teaspoon of milk at a time to the cream of tartar and mix it until smooth with each addition.
WATER AND ACID OF CHOICE
You may be surprised to learn that milk itself doesn’t add all that much taste to foods when used in cooking and baking.
Therefore, you can easily substitute water for dairy free milk in any of the variations above.
BEST DAIRY FREE MILK TO USE FOR A BUTTERMILK SUBSTITUTE
This depends on what your goal is.
My goal is simply to have a tender chicken so any dairy free milk mixed with acid will do, but I prefer those with a mild flavor. This is why I tend to favor the use of water.
If you’re looking to curdle milk, soy milk works well and almond milk is fine too. Nut milks, on the other hand, won’t curdle.