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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

How to Make Buttermilk with Almond Milk



Traditional buttermilk has a delicious, tangy flavor that’s hard to beat, but if you’ve sworn it off for health or dietary reasons, then you’re going to notice something – it sure is called for in a lot of recipes! Today we’re going to share with you how to make buttermilk with almond milk as a viable and tasty alternative option.

The good news is, it’s easy to make – taking about 2 minutes of preparation – and if you are lactose intolerant, looking for dairy-free milk, vegan, or simply want to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet, then this recipe is definitely a keeper.

You can even make your own vegan buttermilk substitute with simple ingredients like cashew milk or other plant milks.

Along the way, we’ll also tell you how to save a little cash by making your own almond milk, and we’ll even touch on some frequently asked questions on the subject of almond milk buttermilk.

If you’re ready, then let’s get this show started!

Bottom Line Up Front

Making buttermilk from plant-based non-dairy milk such as almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, or soy (although this will work with any plant-based milk), simply requires adding something acidic enough to make it curdle, like a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. This is usually done with apple cider or other light-colored kinds of vinegar, or if you prefer you can use lemon or lime juice. It’s a chemical reaction similar to what happens in traditional buttermilk due to lactic acid bacteria.

YES. It’s that easy, absolutely delicious, and you can use it as a leavening agent in vegan pancakes, buttermilk pancakes, or quick breads. Note that this yields the best results when stored at room temperature. We’ll elaborate on this, of course, but that’s the ‘quick version’ for you folks who are in a hurry today!

Almond milk buttermilk – What is it and why make it?

Almond milk buttermilk is certainly delicious, but if you’re not a vegan, is there really any reason not to simply use buttermilk? Why would you need to make this? Well, as it turns out, this vegan buttermilk recipe is delicious, low-calorie alternative with a number of health benefits (especially when using unsweetened soy milk or rice milk) that you can take advantage of.

That’s because the buttermilk that we drink today (unless you live in a farming district and can get the real deal), is simply not made the way it used to be. Originally, buttermilk was made from the leftover bits from churning butter out of cream or by getting milk to separate via fermentation and lactic acid.

The result was yummy, sour, a little fatty, and an amazing ingredient for biscuits and other yummy baked goods.

Now, most buttermilk that you get at the store (with few exceptions) is just regular milk that has been treated with probiotics, and there’s nothing wrong with it unless you don’t eat dairy, are lactose intolerant, or don’t mind the extra calories.

With that in mind, here are a few things that almond milk (and almond milk buttermilk) bring to the table when compared to buttermilk:

  • Lower calories – A 1 cup serving of Low-fat 1% buttermilk is about 120 calories, and whole buttermilk is about 151. Almond milk, by contrast, is only going to be 30 – 39 calories per cup.
  • Lower Carbs – 1 cup of almond milk buttermilk contains approximately 3.4 grams carbs (4.4 if you substitute lemon or lime juice instead of vinegar), while a cup of buttermilk has 12 grams of carbs.
  • Less sugar – 1 cup of buttermilk averages about 12 grams of sugar, while 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk buttermilk contains about 2 grams.
  • More calcium – Oddly enough, almond milk has more calcium than buttermilk – substantially more. 1 cup of buttermilk provides about 28% of your daily dairy requirements, while almond milk provides a whopping 45%!
  • Vitamin D – almond milk buttermilk brings 25% of your daily recommended Vitamin D per cup, to help encourage strong bones and a strong immune system. Buttermilk is close here – with 16% of your daily requirement per cup serving.
  • Vitamin E – Just 1 cup of almond milk contains 110% of your daily recommended Vitamin E, which is good for healthy skin, vision, and immune system. This is another vitamin you get from almond milk buttermilk that you simply won’t find in buttermilk.

These are just a few of the perks and there are certainly caveats – buttermilk has considerably more protein, for instance, but overall almond milk and almond milk buttermilk are a much healthier option.

Just be sure to factor in any extra flavoring ingredients if you are counting calories – Medjool dates, for instance, add some amazing flavor, but they are also about 66 calories per date, so if you’re looking for a caloric deficit then you may want to flavor with a little vanilla extract instead!

Now that we’ve explored the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of it, let’s take a look at how you can make your own almond milk buttermilk at home!

How it’s done – Making almond milk buttermilk

One of the coolest things about making almond milk buttermilk is that it’s probably the easiest recipe you’ll ever find. This recipe comes from Zerrin and Yusuf and the Give Recipe website and only requires two ingredients – 1 cup of almond milk and 1 tbsp of either apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.

The way that it works is pretty simple. To make almond milk into buttermilk, you need something acidic, and yes – if you don’t have apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, any other light-colored vinegar will do or you can use the juice from a lime if you like (and you should experiment to find your favorite – the lime is pretty good!).

When the acidic vinegar or juice gets into your almond milk, within 2 minutes it will curdle and you’ll have a taste that’s similar to buttermilk and may be used in all your savory recipes that require it. 

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar


  1. Pour your cup of almond milk into a mason jar or any airtight container of your choice.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of your vinegar, lemon, or lime, and stir well.
  3. Within 1 to 2 minutes, you’ll notice that your almond milk is curdling and it’s ready to use!

You can store any unused almond milk buttermilk for 2 to 3 days in the fridge and if it separates (and it WILL, this is normal), then just give it a vigorous stir and it will be ready to use again in seconds.

Once you’ve made it with the acidic ingredient you prefer, try playing with the ratios of your vinegar/citrus to the almond milk.

This will help you to find your favorite version of this recipe and just so you know, this will work with soy or any other plant-based milks, although we think that it’s best with almond milk or soy. Finally, you can also experiment with different thickeners if you think that it’s a little too thin for your recipes.

Starting off, though, just try changing the amount of water you use, adding more for thinner buttermilk or less water for a little bit thicker. Who knows? Once you’ve tried it in your favorite recipes, you may not need to change anything at all!

Making your own almond milk

Almond milk from the store can be a bit on the sweet side, and it’s also a little bit on the expensive side if you like to drink it regularly. Thankfully, it’s not so hard to make at home, and with this recipe from Sally Kuzemchak at The Inspired Home, you can whip up your own homemade almond milk in about 10 minutes (well, minus one overnight soak!).

You’re going to need a blender, a strainer, and a cheesecloth (or a very thin, clean dish towel), and if you’ve got these, then you’re ready for the quick steps that you let you make your own almond milk that will be both healthier and flavored to your particular tastes!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of raw, unsalted almonds
  • 3 cups of water

Optional ingredients:

  • 2 Medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Note: The optional ingredients are just to add a little flavor and you can experiment with this and really create some amazing, personalized almond milk recipes. Try playing around with different additions, such as adding berries, adding a pinch of sea salt, cocoa powder, and see what happens – your experimentation will eventually result in a MUCH better almond milk than anything you can get at the store!


  1. Put your almonds in a glass container and fill it with water, so that the almonds are covered by an extra inch of water at the top.
  2. Cover this with a clean kitchen towel and let them soak overnight in the fridge.
  3. In the morning, pour out the water, and give the nuts a rinse so that they’re nice and clean.
  4. Add your nuts to the blender, along with 3 cups of water, and any optional ingredients that you would like to add. Start with a low speed, raising it slowly to high, and blend for about 2 minutes.
  5. Line your strainer with your cheesecloth or a thin, clean dish towel, placing this over the container you want for your almond milk, and pour your blended almonds through this.
  6. You can squeeze the cloth to get out as much liquid as you can, but discard the pulp. Congratulations, your almond milk is ready and it should be good for 2-3 days in the fridge, or you can freeze it for up to a month!


It’s just about the article equivalent of sunset now, but before we call it a day, we’ve got some frequently asked questions on the subject of almond milk buttermilk that we think you’ll find useful. Let’s take a look and then we’ll get to the business of wrapping things up!

Can you soak chicken in almond milk buttermilk instead of regular buttermilk?

Yes, you definitely can! Just make sure that you add enough in the container you’ll be soaking the chicken in to ensure that the poultry is completely covered. After that, cover the container and let it soak for 1 hour or overnight in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag.

If you have some spices that you’d like to add, simply mix them into the almond milk buttermilk beforehand, pour it on your chicken, and let it soak until it’s ready to go!

How can I make my almond milk buttermilk thicker?

The best part (especially when compared to store-bought buttermilk) of almond milk buttermilk is that it’s not as thick as regular buttermilk, but you can certainly tweak that a little by adding thickeners. For instance, chia seeds, tapioca flour, and flaxseeds work well if finely blended in your mix.

Don’t be afraid to experiment – oats also work and some people even like to add a little honey to theirs – and you can get some pretty cool results in your recipes as a reward for your efforts!

Can you reduce almond milk to make it thicker for almond milk buttermilk?

Yes, actually, you can reduce almond milk on the stove and it will thicken it up before you add your vinegar or citrus to make it into a faux-buttermilk. To do this, simply put your almond milk in a small saucepan on the stove and bring it to a mild boil.

Let some of the liquid evaporate until you’re happy with the consistency and then you can try making your almond milk buttermilk with your newly-thickened batch of almond milk.

Some closing words

Today we’ve shared the steps on this delicious vegan recipe for how to make buttermilk with almond milk and it’s probably the easiest recipe that you’ll ever find. 

By simply adding an acidic ingredient such as a light vinegar or a strong citrus juice into the almond milk, you’ll get a curdling effect and a delicious flavor that’s a pretty good approximation of buttermilk but which is also completely plant-based and super-healthy for you!

While it will only store for 2 to 3 days in the fridge (or a month in the freezer), you can whip it up in around 2 minutes so the storage time shouldn’t be much of a problem. Just be sure to experiment with the recipe a bit to tweak it to your liking and before you know it, it will be your new favorite recipe ingredient!

We’d like to thank you for visiting us today and if you have some recipe tips of your own on almond milk buttermilk or would like to share some feedback about the recipe, then please be sure to leave us and the other readers some words in the comments section. Until next time, we wish you and yours the very best!

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: David McLemore

David learned to cook at an early age after his mother told him that he couldn't live on pizza forever, Dave uses his modest kitchen skills to recreate sorely-missed recipes from home and to occasionally make new favorite ones from places he is visiting.

6 thoughts on “How to Make Buttermilk with Almond Milk”

    • Use 1 cup of soy or almond milk for every cup of buttermilk called for in the recipe. Stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar per cup of plant milk. Let the mixture stand for five to 10 minutes, then use it in place of the buttermilk. Avoid using rice milk, cautions Good Baker, which won’t thicken the same way as other plant milks.

    • I had the same question. Did you find out whether to use a teaspoon or tablespoon. I want to make buttermilk from the almond milk but not sure of the directions. Did you ever do it and how did it come out.
      Thank you. Elaine

  1. I would love to make butter milk with almond milk. Is it healthier than buttermilk bought from the store and is it healthier than buttermilk churned from cows milk?

    • Hi Helen, good question, that’s really a personal decision if you like almond milk or cow’s milk better!


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