Why You Should Try Buttermilk In Your Next Smoothie

Buttermilk may sound like a drink of the past but don't count it out just yet. One cup of the fermented dairy product offers eight grams of protein, 22% of your daily calcium, and 22% of your daily vitamin B12 — and according to Healthline, it may help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. But aside from its nutritional value, buttermilk adds tanginess to any recipe it's in since it develops lactic acid during the fermentation process. Plus, the liquid is thicker than milk, so it will also bring richness and creaminess.

One of the easiest ways to reap all the nutritional benefits of buttermilk, along with a thick and creamy texture, is to add it to your smoothies. It may not sound like a typical ingredient for these types of beverages, but it's incredibly easy to add in and can replace your go-to dairy inclusion. And while most smoothies emphasize sweetness, whether they're fruit and veggie-based or lean in the direction of dessert, a little added buttermilk can bring a welcome subtle sourness to balance the flavors. 

How to incorporate buttermilk into your smoothies

When it comes to pouring buttermilk into your blender, you can add as much or as little as you like. A typical fruit smoothie (like a mango banana one) calls for a cup of milk, so swap it out for buttermilk in a 1:1 ratio. If you're just dipping your toe in the buttermilk world, however, feel free to go with half of each type of milk, or even just slightly less regular milk and a splash of the cultured stuff. Once you get a feel for how much tanginess it brings to your smoothie, you can adjust your proportions to how you like them. And if you accidentally overdo it, you can bring your flavors back to the sweet side with extra honey or agave. Where buttermilk truly shines in smoothies, however, is when it's paired with rich, dessert-like beverages. Try adding it to a black forest smoothie that doesn't skimp on the chocolate, a thick sweet potato-based recipe, or anything with peanut butter, cheesecake, key lime pie, or carrot cake flavors.

You may find different variations of buttermilk at the grocery store, including cartons flavored with spices and herbs. Go for an unflavored version (unless, of course, the spices work well with your smoothie recipe), and pick a full-fat carton for maximum richness or low-fat buttermilk for a lighter addition. Whichever way you prefer your smoothies, there's a way to add buttermilk that will suit your tastebuds.