How long does buttermilk last?
Buttermilk, the drink which adds a sour yet refreshing kick to your meals and makes a remarkable meat tenderizer. It has been said that it originated in the medieval era in India, where it is referred to as chaas. As it is a dairy product, we came up with the question about its shelf life.
Before diving deep into it, let us read what chemical reaction concludes as buttermilk?
How is buttermilk made?
Like other milk products, buttermilk is also a by-product. Store-bought buttermilk tastes almost similar but has no comparison with home-made ones. As the name suggests, the liquid left after extracting butter is called buttermilk.
This recipe involves the authentic preparation of buttermilk. If you have double or heavy cream, which can be collected from reduced milk or easily found in stores, you can use this process. Churn or whisk the cream at a medium speed. First, the cream will be whipped forming soft peaks and after some time it will start leaving its fat, which is butter. If you are using an electric blender, this might take less time. You may turn the blender off or stop churning after the butter collects itself. The liquid by-product is called buttermilk.
Follow this process if you have cultured buttermilk or leftover buttermilk.
- Pour 1/4th cup or even a spoon full of buttermilk in a clean and dry mason jar or bowl.
- Top it with two and a half cups of skim or full-fat milk, mix it vigorously.
- Cover it and place it somewhere warm but out of direct sun rays for 12 to 24 hours for the fermentation process.
During these hours, the enzymes of the cultured buttermilk react with milk, adding bacterial cultures, citric acid, salt and forming a thick mixture. Refrigerate after this and use it to marinate or drink it with water.
If you are in need of buttermilk urgently, then, this recipe is for buttermilk substitute is the simplest and quickest of all.
- Take ½ teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice
- Add to ½ cup of milk, mix it well and leave it undisturbed for ten minutes.
- After this time, it will be ready to be used in any recipe.
Most popular uses of buttermilk
Buttermilk is greatly used in baking, which mostly includes bread. It has good bacteria that give the dough a good fermentation hence, making it soft and easy to digest. It is also used while making pancakes and cakes as well. These are very good options for egg substitutes.
How long does buttermilk last?
1. Store-bought buttermilk
Let us read about the life of store-bought buttermilk first. An unopened carton of buttermilk will last for up to 3 months when kept in a freezer. Ensure that the carton of liquid is sealed and airtight. Sometimes, a cold environment can encourage an airtight carton to burst. To avoid this situation, give enough space to the carton in the freezer and avoid mounting other things over it.
Make sure you handle the sealed carton with care and in light hands as improper handling will affect the life of the buttermilk. Avoid fluctuating temperatures as the changing environments will affect the buttermilk and it might go bad even before the expiry date.
An opened carton of buttermilk can last up to 14 days past the expiry date when refrigerated properly. Avoid putting fingers or any physical contact with the buttermilk. The dirt from your fingers will transfer to the buttermilk making it contaminated and it will go bad even before the expiry date.
Well, how long does homemade buttermilk last? Homemade buttermilk can last up to two weeks. Make sure you store it in an airtight container in a fridge. Leaving it at room temperature for a long period does give a bad effect on the buttermilk. Always use a spoon to work with buttermilk and avoid any physical contact as these actions might introduce bacteria, molds to it.
Have you ever heard of powdered buttermilk? Yes, that is a thing in this modern period. You can opt for the powdered version if you are unable to prevent your buttermilk from going bad. It comes with a longer shelf-life and can be stored at room temperature. You can make it anytime just by adding the prescribed amount of water. Though it is not recommended to be used as a direct drink, it can be used in baking and cooking.
Signs when buttermilk goes bad
- Originally, the buttermilk has a running consistency. A spoiled one is thicker as well as has a bouncy consistency.
- It has a lumpy texture and carries visible molds.
- It carries a strong odor. Always use your senses to judge food products.
- Buttermilk is characterized by white or off-white color. A bad one turns into light yellow color. So, keep an eye on the discoloration.
Therefore, it is advised to check before you drink or use any store-bought or homemade buttermilk. It can cause sickness if not consumed carefully
Ways of using expired buttermilk?
There are a few productive ways you can use expired buttermilk:
- Mix some water to the buttermilk and water it to your outdoor plants. The nutritious bacteria highly benefit the soil and make it fertile.
- You can also water the same liquid to mushroom plants. It enhances the soil making it richer to bear mushrooms.
- If the buttermilk recently expired, it is alright to be used in face masks. The acetic acid deeply cleans the skin, removing dirt and dead skin cells.
What not to do with expired buttermilk
Never use expired buttermilk as cultured buttermilk. It will not give the expected results. Rather it might give some unhealthy produce which might make you fall sick.
Buttermilk is a nutritious product made from milk. While most dairy products are considered fat and difficult to digest, buttermilk is quite opposite. It clears acidity and can be consumed regularly. A glass of buttermilk after a heavy meal aids digestion and bloating. It is advised that you should use fresh buttermilk when you drink directly. If you have it in your fridge, never forget to treat yourself to it.