Myrtleford’s butter queen
shares her tips for buttermilk
Naomi Ingleton knows her butter. The passionate dairy crusader wins awards for her hand-churned and deliciously cultured Myrtleford Butter.
But Naomi (pictured right with a huge lump of her famous butter) is an even bigger fan of her buttermilk.
“Buttermilk is one of the most underestimated ingredients in cooking, particularly here in Australia,” she says. “Real buttermilk is made when the cream is churned into butter. The fat sticks together and the liquid that runs free is the buttermilk. Buttermilk has less than 2 per cent fat and has plenty of beneficial bacteria for ease of digestion and health.”
These are Naomi’s five favourite ways to enjoy it…
1. Fluff your pancakes
This is probably the most common recipe using buttermilk, but they’re so much better. The lactic acid in the buttermilk helps aerate your dough, making light and fluffy pancakes. This process is great with any type of baking. If you want to taste some great buttermilk pancakes, try the Crabapple Kitchen.
2. Marinate lean meat
Buttermilk’s lactic acid helps break down protein in meat making it a lot more tender. Marinate chicken, pork, venison, lamb or turkey overnight in buttermilk with a few sprigs of thyme, a bay leaf and a crushed clove of garlic. Rinse and pat dry the following day and cook. Get your fix of buttermilk fried chicken at Rockwell & Sons.
3. Drink it
Cultured buttermilk is full of probiotics making it easy to digest, while introducing beneficial bacteria into your stomach. Blend with a handful of frozen blueberries and a teaspoon of honey for a quick smoothie.
Buttermilk is a great addition to a salad dressing adding a subtle tang without the fat of mayonnaise (see right). Just whisk together 1/2 cup buttermilk, 2 tbs sour cream, 2 tbs cider vinegar, 2 tbs finely chopped shallots, 1 tbs sugar, 3 tbs finely chopped chives and 1 tbs chopped tarragon, with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Take a bath in it
Cleopatra bathed in fermented yak milk, which has the same properties as buttermilk. The lactic acid acts as a gentle exfoliant and can be used as a natural skin cleanser or even added to soap instead of milk.
Want to try Naomi’s buttermilk? Find it in good food stores, or order it online.