Seriously, you need to learn how to make vegan buttermilk. I know what you are thinking… "Buttermilk? Really? It sounds disgusting. Why on earth would I want to veganize that?" But bear with me on this. There is a reason all those old timey recipes call for it and flavor is only half the answer. So let's take a moment and explore what buttermilk is and where it comes from.
Back in the day, buttermilk was the liquidy stuff left over after the cream was churned into butter. (I can remember doing this with my Grandma once when I was little. OMG what a chore! Another excellent reason to be thankful for Earth Balance!) It is low in fat and high in acid. At that time food or calories were precious and nothing was wasted so our incredibly creative ancestors found inventive ways to use this acidic liquid to their advantage.
I know, I know, calories are not really in short supply in most places here in our western culture and we are talking about VEGAN foods so I'm sure you are wondering why I bring all this up. I am so glad you asked because that brings us to what buttermilk does for recipes, both your grandmothers and yours today.
The acid is the key to your baking success. You see, when the acid in the buttermilk gets ahold of the wheat in our pancakes it tears into the gluten, softening it up a little. This makes the wheat "stretchier" so that your whole wheat pancakes or biscuits rise up as fluffy and light as the less good for you white flour varieties.
And all that torn up gluten is much easier to digest, too. So when you use buttermilk in your recipes you are making minerals that are otherwise hidden deep in the wheat available for digestion. BONUS!
Ok, so you see, in addition to making your vegan cooking tastier, learning how to make vegan buttermilk will make your dishes healthier as well. Cause, although we all want to eat our beans'n greens, from time to time an old fashioned pancake like Grandma used to make just really hits the spot.
Luckily making vegan buttermilk is easy peasy. Here's how...
How To Make Vegan Buttermilk
What you need...
1 Cup Vegan Milk (Almond, Soy, Coconut or other)
1 TBSP Vinegar or Lemon Juice
What to do...
Measure out 1 cup of plant or nut milk. Add in 1 TBSP vinegar or lemon juice. Stir. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Stir. Use.
Yes, it really is that simple. No need to make it way in advance or anything like that. When you need some for a recipe just mix up your vegan buttermilk first, then go on and assemble the rest of your ingredients and it'll be ready by the time you need it.
Don't forget it's stupid simple to make your own almond milk too. Here's how!
May we suggest you try your new buttermilk making skills in a batch of vegan whole wheat pancakes or cornmeal flapjacks?