Buttermilk is one of the multiple dairy products that is becoming more and more popular all over the world. People learn more about its useful and healthy benefits and qualities and want to know what they can do to extend the lifespan of this product.
Below, you will find the answer to this question together with many interesting facts about this drink.
What Makes Buttermilk Differ From Other Dairy Food?
Since buttermilk is relatively new on the tables of Europeans, not everyone can tell the exact difference between this drink and other milk products we have in a fridge, in particular yogurts, sour cream, or regular cream.
However, certain significant distinctions exist.
- Buttermilk is visually thicker than the regular milk but it is not as thick as sour cream, for instance
- Buttermilk is a fermented kind of food (just like sour cream or yogurt) whereas milk and regular butter are not
- In fact, buttermilk doesn’t contain butter being a leftover product after the whole milk turning into butter
Buttermilk sold on the Western market has lactic acid bacteria added which extends its lifespan whereas the traditional homemade product is far less durable and has a slightly different structure.
Benefits of Consuming Buttermilk Daily
Originally, buttermilk comes from India but today it is also widely met in South Asia and the Middle East. The original product was a result of the butter churning process out of the cultured cream, some sort of left-behind.
Nowadays, however, this fermented dairy drink is cultured.
Where do you think buttermilk can be used except for drinking? Well, you may surprise but this drink is widely used in baking, especially bread-making because its elements work as the raising agents for the dough.
Besides, it can be used even in making marinades and marination of meat.
Buttermilk is a low-fat and low-calorie drink that can find its wide popularity in different dietary menus and recipes. Also, it is very easily digested, much easier than milk, that is why buttermilk is often prescribed to those who have any digestion problems.
Buttermilk, especially the one that was made at home from the organic ingredients, is a rich source of probiotics. It assists in producing healthy bacteria in the stomach to make it work better.
But this is not the complete list os this product’s benefits!
Buttermilk is well-known for its ability to contribute to bone growth because it contains a lot of calcium that is also very useful for our teeth and nails.
This dairy drink is also one of the best natural detoxing means thanks to its ability to increase the level of B2 vitamin.
Buttermilk Shelf Life
Now you can understand why, after buttermilk has become widely known and consumed, people started wondering how to keep this drink correctly at home. As any dairy product, buttermilk is rather demanding when it comes to the storage conditions.
To clarify this issue, we need to start with several essential points.
How long is buttermilk good for after the expiration date?
You may be surprised but buttermilk can be consumed even after the expiry date indicated on the pack has passed!
Normally, this drink can be safely taken within two weeks at most beyond the expiry date.
How long does buttermilk keep in the refrigerator?
Fridge storage helps for extending the lifespan of the product but it won’t make it last significantly longer. When keeping buttermilk in a fridge, count on nearly fourteen days since after that the acid will start turning the drink spoiled.
How long is buttermilk good for once opened?
Once we open the carton, it must be kept in a fridge no matter what. Like this, we will extend the product’s life to three weeks at most.
Can expired buttermilk make you sick?
This product gets off because its lactic acid keeps on producing making it sourer and sourer. When consuming bad buttermilk, you’re at the risk of getting a foodborne disease or food poisoning, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.
So we would not recommend consuming the expired buttermilk or even add it to dishes whose recipe requires that when cooking.
What can I do with old buttermilk?
This question bothers many housewives but unless the drink has no mold and it doesn’t smell off and sour, feel free to add it to any recipe that calls for this ingredient, especially if it’s bread or bakery.
Can you use expired buttermilk?
Everything depends on how much time has passed since the buttermilk expired. If the time period does not exceed one or two weeks, then everything is fine and the drink can be consumed safely.
Is it possible to use expired buttermilk in baking?
Yes, expired buttermilk, unless it is already moldy, can be safely used in baking if the ingredients list indicates this product as one of the required.
For example, you can make pancakes, pies or biscuits using this drink.
- How long is buttermilk good for after sell-by date?
Normally, buttermilk can remain consumable within fourteen days after its expiry date has passed. Respectively, it can be used in baking during this period, too.
- How long does buttermilk last after being opened?
If the buttermilk pack was kept refrigerated all the time after it was opened, then the drink will remain consumable for approximately three weeks.
- Can buttermilk spoil?
Like any dairy product, buttermilk can get spoiled even though it is pretty long-lasting compared to other drinks and products of this kind.
So if it has been kept under wrong conditions like high temperature, direct light or storage on the kitchen table or counter, it will definitely turn bad pretty fast.
As you could have noticed, buttermilk is a pretty tenacious drink unlike most of the dairy products that last significantly less time.
Can We Freeze Buttermilk?
Since this sort of food is very healthy, people often wonder whether preserving it is possible. Of course, keeping it in a fridge will extend its lifespan somehow but what about the prolonged storage?
Even though buttermilk contains lactic acid that protects it from the fast spoiling, it can’t stay fresh too long!
That is why many of us simply freeze the drink!
However, it is important to consider that, like any dairy food, buttermilk must be used right after defrosting and it can’t be exposed to frost repeatedly.
How to Freeze Buttermilk
In fact, the freezing recipe is extremely simple.
- If you have a carton of extra drink and it’s full, remove some of the product to leave enough empty space for buttermilk expands when frozen (another option is to remove it to another container)
- If you’re planning to use it for making food, find a container that allows making portions, e.g. silicone forms or ice cube tray, and pour the drink there
- Put it to the freezing camera and let it harden
Like that, your buttermilk will last longer than in the fridge, and its lactic acid bacteria will be preserved making the drink more durable.
As you can see, the recipe is very simple and effective at the same time.
How to Tell If Buttermilk Is Bad?
It is obvious that when being affected by any harmful external influence, buttermilk can get spoiled quite soon.
And buttermilk expiration date may not be a proper significative in this case.
If the buttermilk pack was left on the table or the kitchen counter, if it was being exposed to the influence of heat, warmth or direct light (especially sunlight) then the product will become useless sooner or later.
How to tell if buttermilk has gone bad?
Pour some into a glass or a transparent cup/bowl and examine it.
If you notice any traces of mold on the surface or inside of the drink, if the buttermilk appears to be too thick to pour it or if you smell an unpleasant and strongly sour odor, then you must discard it anyway as the drink is impossible to use even in baking anymore.
Variant of Using Buttermilk at Home
Of course, drinking buttermilk is the main way to consume it. But it is not the only one!
As you probably already know, this useful drink can be applied in many ways in the kitchen to delight you and your family!
So, in case you have some extra fresh buttermilk that you know you won’t be able to drink all or you have some leftovers that are already expired but can still be used, feel free to use them in cooking.
Fresh buttermilk can be used as a salad dressing and expired drink will perfectly fit any bread-making or biscuit-making receipt.
When being added to the pancakes dough, buttermilk gives them a magical creamy flavor and taste, and cakes and pies come out of the over being light and flavorous!
Also, this drink, when being still fresh, can be used in making ice cream or cool coups. Nevertheless, it will even fit the hot savory dishes like grilled chicken or a simple dish like mashed potatoes enriching it with the milky flavor and soft taste, and making its texture more smooth and even.
So, now you are aware of several useful tips regarding the buttermilk storage nuances and preserving this healthy and delicious drink will not be a cause of problems for you anymore.
Use these tips and you will enjoy the buttermilk to its longest!
Frequently Asked Questions
⭐ How do you know when buttermilk goes bad?
Since it’s the lactic acid that makes the drink go bad, you can tell for sure that buttermilk is off if it has a strong and unpleasant sour smell.
⭐ Does buttermilk powder need to be refrigerated?
Just like the liquid counterpart, a container with the powdered buttermilk must be kept chilled to extend its lifespan.
⭐ Why does buttermilk taste so bad?
People often state that buttermilk tastes not good even when fresh. That’s true, its taste is far from being called delicious because of the influence of the lactic acid which makes the drink tart.
⭐ Does butter ever go bad?
Yes, butter expires like any other food. When stored correctly in a freezing camera, it will remain edible for more than half a year easily. But if we keep its container in a warm room, it will get rancid soon.