We’ve all been there, you go to make your favorite recipe and realize you don’t have all of the ingredients. Either you forgot to buy something, or you deliberately didn’t buy an ingredient because it comes in amounts that far exceed what you need. When I was growing up, buttermilk pancakes were a favorite of mine and my sisters, but they were a treat because my parents didn’t want to buy buttermilk for only one recipe and waste the rest of the carton. In reality, you don’t have to avoid making recipes with buttermilk just because you don’t have it. You can replace 1 cup of buttermilk, or sour milk, with:

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice and enough milk to equal 1 cup (250 ml). Measure the lemon juice into a measuring cup and add milk to the 1 cup (250 ml) line, let stand for 5-10 minutes.
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) white vinegar and enough milk to equal 1 cup (250 ml). Measure the vinegar into a measuring up and add milk to the 1 cup (250 ml) line. For baking, let stand for 5-10 minutes.
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water + ¼ cup (60 ml) powdered buttermilk
  • 1 cup (250 ml) kefir
  • ½ cup (125 ml) plain yogurt + ½ cup (125 ml) milk
  • 1 cup (250 ml) plain yogurt (this will make your recipe a little thicker but the flavour will still be there)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) sour cream
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk + 1 ½ tsp (7 ml) cream of tartar (for baking)

I made these oatmeal carrot muffins using the substitution with lemon juice (listed above) because much like my parents, I didn’t want to buy buttermilk and have the unused portion go to waste. Finding a healthy, easy and most importantly, tasty carrot muffin recipe can be difficult but this recipe had a rich flavour and fluffy texture. When using the lemon juice and milk substitution for buttermilk though, it is important to let the mixture stand before using it in the recipe, as the milk needs time to “sour”. As the recipe notes at the end, variations can be made using different types of dried fruit or your favorite nuts.

For those of you who do a lot of cooking and baking using fluid milk, you might decide to use whatever type of milk you have on hand rather than buy something else. However, here are some other ideas for when you don’t have exactly what your recipe is calling for. Print these suggestions off and keep them in the front of your cookbook; they might come in handy! If you are making a recipe that calls for 1 cup (250 ml) skim milk, substitutions include:

  • ⅓ cup (75 ml) skim milk powder + ¾ cup (175 ml) water
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) whole milk + 1 cup (250 ml) minus 3 tbsp (45 ml) water
  • ½ cup (125 ml) evaporated skim milk + ½ cup (125 ml) water – for a slightly caramelized flavour

Lastly, if your recipe calls for 1 cup (250 ml) of whole milk, you can substitute it with one of the following:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) minus 3 tbsp (45 ml) skim milk + 3 tbsp (45 ml) melted butter
  • 10 tbsp (150 ml) skim milk + 6 tbsp (90 ml) half and half cream
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) 2% milk + ¼ cup (60 ml) half and half cream

Note: For an adventure and something new, try dried cherries, blueberries or cranberries instead of raisins.

Oatmeal Carrot Muffins
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Yields
12 muffins

Ingredients

1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk or soured milk
1 cup (250 ml) quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup (125 ml) carrot, grated
1/4 cup (60 ml) brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup (60 ml) melted butter
1 (large) egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp (5 ml) orange rind, grated
1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) baking powder
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1/2 tsp (2 ml) baking soda
1 cup (250 ml) raisins

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly butter or spray 12 non-stick muffin pans, or use muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, pour buttermilk over oats; stir to mix. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Mix together carrots, brown sugar, butter, egg and orange rind. Stir into oat mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda, stir in raisins.
  5. Stir into batter just until moistened. Spoon into prepared muffin pans, filling almost to the top.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch.
  7. Note: For an adventure and something new, try dried cherries, blueberries or cranberries instead of raisins.