After getting my share of buttermilk pancakes over the last several weeks, I decided that I needed to do something about the excess buttermilk that was consistently left over. Interestingly, while searching the internet for recipes, I discovered that many people were dealing with the same issue and realized that buttermilk is one of those ingredients that requires planning ahead to use up. There are lots of recipes for baked goods that looked great and I also wanted to take advantage of the health benefits of buttermilk by consuming it uncooked. I have to admit, in the past, the idea of “raw” (meaning not used in a cooked recipe) didn’t appeal to me much; however, because I am more regularly incorporating cultured and fermented foods into my diet, I decided to revisit buttermilk. So, after the last batch of pancakes, I was able to use up the remaining quart of buttermilk in two recipes. The first is not raw–it’s a blueberry scone recipe that I experimented with (since I can’t leave a recipe alone). I began with a basic recipe by Martha Stewart then put my own spin on it: I used whole grain spelt flour, a stronger sugar, some coconut, lemon zest, and nuts. This recipe produced a moist and not-too-sweet treat that I couldn’t help but dunk in my coffee!
1.5 c whole grain spelt flour
0.5 c cake flour
2.5 t baking powder (aluminum-free)
¾ t salt
3 T sucanat or turbinado or other type of granulated sugar
¼ c unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 t cinnamon
8 T (8 oz.) cold, unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 T lemon zest
1 c blueberries (this time of year, I used frozen, wild blueberries that I thawed slightly)
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
½ cup lowfat buttermilk
1 large egg plus one beaten for an egg wash
turbinado or other granulated sugar for sprinkling
1. Combine the first six ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well with a wire whisk.
2. Cut the butter into the flour mixture, either with a pastry cutter or with your fingers, until it reaches a uniform, crumbly consistency.
3. Add the blueberries, lemon zest, and nuts and mix well.
4. Beat the egg and combine with the buttermilk and vanilla, then add to the dry ingredients. Gently mix with a fork until the wet ingredients are incorporated into the dry. Try not to overwork the batter.
5. Turn the batter out onto a lightly floured surface, gently gather the dough and knead a couple of times. Shape into a flat circle approximately 8-10 inches in diameter and about ¼- ½ inch thick.
6. Slice the dough into 8 wedges and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If not using paper, lightly oil the pan.
7. Brush the tops of each wedge with the egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
The second recipe is a smoothie. I used buttermilk as the base for a very simple smoothie that was surprising delicious. I confess, I expected it to be extremely tart with a sort of gloppy texture that would be difficult to get down. Instead, the result was a surprisingly smooth and tasty drink that I had for breakfast on several mornings and that was not nearly as heavy as it appeared. In fact, it was perfect about an hour before yoga class. And ironically, I was looking for MORE buttermilk in the fridge by the end of the week. It makes me happy to know that I can now buy it and easily consume it without fear. You never know if you don’t try, right? : )
1 c lowfat or nonfat buttermilk
1 t sweetener (I use maple syrup, of course : )
pinch cinnamon, optional
Blend all the ingredients in a blender and enjoy.
That’s it! So simple and delicious. If you want it thicker, use a frozen banana, or add ice before blending to thin it out. As always, the possibilities are endless and I’m sure I’ll be experimenting with this as well.