Why You Should Always Have Buttermilk Powder In Your Pantry

If you're feeling the pinch of rising food prices, one way to limit your grocery bill is to avoid purchasing specialty items, particularly if you're making a recipe that only calls for a little bit of that ingredient. Buttermilk is a prime candidate as one of those items that languish in the refrigerator and has to be dumped out.

America's Test Kitchen explains that liquid buttermilk only lasts for a week or two in the refrigerator, which means that unless you're ready to go on a baking spree, you'll likely end up with some waste. And while we love buttermilk recipes as much as anyone, really, how many batches of delicious, cheesy biscuits can one household consume? There are buttermilk substitutes, like plain milk that's soured with either lemon juice or vinegar, but the flavor is not quite the same.

While you can certainly explore ways to use up a remnant of a quart of buttermilk, and it's possible to freeze the ingredient, according to Southern Living, there might be a much easier, shelf-stable solution to your tangy problem.

Buttermilk powder to the rescue!

If you're thinking of purchasing liquid buttermilk for your next batch of Belgian waffles, you may want to consider the powdered form instead. According to America's Test Kitchen, it's simply real buttermilk that's been heated and dehydrated. The Kitchn explains this makes the product shelf-stable, meaning you don't have to worry about figuring out another way to use up the rest of your container ASAP or make room in the freezer. (One important note: while buttermilk powder can be stored in your pantry until you're ready to use it, it should be refrigerated after it's opened. In the refrigerator, that open container can last up to two years.)

Using buttermilk powder as a substitute for liquid buttermilk couldn't be easier. You'll find the ratio of water to powder on the package, usually one part powder to four parts water. Mix it up, and you're in the buttermilk business. But powdered buttermilk isn't just a great solution to your spoiled liquid buttermilk problem: Food & Wine says when mixed with some heavy cream the ingredient makes a solid swap for crème fraîche, while Cook's Illustrated praises its ability to boost flavor while keeping mashed potatoes or other recipes that often call for buttermilk from becoming too thin.

Buttermilk powder reduces waste, tastes great, is easy to use, and eliminates that last-minute grocery run when you're craving buttermilk biscuits. Yes, please!