Tag: dairy

Buttermilk Review with Martha Stewart

Watch this video interview and learn more about Buttermilk

What’s buttermilk’s backstory?

  • Buttermilk has been around for thousands of years and was once considered a cure for all ills.
  • Traditional buttermilk comes from the thin, acidic liquid left over after churning butter from cream.
  • Cultured buttermilk is what we find in supermarkets today. It’s typically made from adding active cultures to pasteurized nonfat or low-fat milk. We make ours from whole milk.

Country-specific notes:

  • In Poland, buttermilk is a very popular and refreshing drink.
  • In Ireland, buttermilk is sold in every village shop because it’s an essential ingredient for making soda bread.
  • In the 19th century, Irish farmers considered buttermilk the best drink for energy, to quench a thirst and to cure a hangover. Young girls washed their faces in it to improve their complexions, and their mothers and grandmothers used it to make bread.
  • Bulgarian buttermilk is a version of cultured buttermilk in which the cream cultures are supplemented or replaced by yogurt cultures and fermented at higher temperatures for higher acidity. It can be more tart and thicker than cultured buttermilk.

How do you make your buttermilk?

  • We start with fresh and creamy local whole milk, distinctive for its 3-4% butterfat content.
  • We then add four live, active cultures.
  • Once the cultures are added, it’s heated for a number of hours to reach the right pH level.
  • The active cultures break down the lactose sugars in the milk to produce lactic acid; this makes the milk more acidic and gives the buttermilk its characteristic thick consistency and tart flavor.
  • After the buttermilk is bottled, it needs to sit for another 24 hours so it doesn’t “break,” meaning separate and lose its thickness.  

Further background on our process:

  • We can’t use our buttermilk or yogurts as “mother” cultures to create other buttermilk or yogurts from milk because that’s not permitted in our Grade A dairy plant. 
  • All of our cultures come from certified culture suppliers.

What makes good buttermilk?

  • To me, the best buttermilk is rich, light and tart, drinkable but tangy with a smooth texture.
  • The whole milk we use to make our buttermilk, with a higher fat content than standard milk, adds complexity and gives it a hint of sweetness in the background that keeps it from tasting too sour.

How does buttermilk affect a recipe when baking? What are the characteristics of buttermilk that make it great for baking? How does buttermilk enhance a baking recipe? 

Can you always replace milk with buttermilk? How does the replacement ratio work?

  • Buttermilk is an excellent partner for baking soda and baking powder because its acid boosts the action of these leavening agents.
  • Buttermilk makes fluffy pancakes, scones, and biscuits. It makes more tender cakes because it softens the gluten in the flour.
  • It’s also a great emulsifier and thickener.
  • We don’t recommend substituting regular milk for buttermilk because it throws off the alkali-acid balance. The acidity of buttermilk, which regular milk lacks, is a requirement for the leavening process important to these recipes.
  • To make your own buttermilk at home, add 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice to 8 fl. oz. fresh whole milk and stir. The milk will thicken within minutes. 

How did you become an expert on buttermilk? 

  • I’ve spent many years thinking about milk, what makes the best milk and what goes into making great tasting cultured dairy products.
  • We’ve tasted a lot of different buttermilks created using different ingredients and techniques.
  • As we set out to develop our buttermilk, we had a clear idea about what buttermilk should taste like, what it should feel like in your mouth and what people would like.
  • We’re fortunate to work with a processing partner with expertise on cultures, and together we did extensive recipe testing.

What is the most important thing to know when it comes to buttermilk? 

  • For baking, buttermilk is a great worker bee and plays well with other ingredients.
  • It’s not usually the star of the show – unless you drink it straight!

Other Things to Know:

  • Buttermilk is naturally loaded with calcium, riboflavin, potassium and vitamin B12.
  • Making butter at home from fresh cream (either by shaking the cream in a jar by hand or by using a mixer with a whisk attachment until a ball of butter is formed) will give you a traditional supply of buttermilk. Keep buttermilk up to 2 weeks in the fridge, or freeze it up to 3 months.

30-Second Tips:

Glass of buttermilk with:

  • Pinch of raw sugar
  • Drizzle of maple syrup on top
  • Pinch of Maldon Salt with fresh ground pepper
  • Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg

Recipes:

MAKING AN AWARD WINNER: Kefir, Yogurt & Buttermilk with SUNRISE FAMILY FARMS NORWICH, NEW YORK

17-0419_FAF_Farms_Sunrise_CF018116_sm17 MAKING AN AWARD WINNER: Kefir, Yogurt & Buttermilk with SUNRISE FAMILY FARMS NORWICH, NEW YORK

SUNRISE FAMILY FARMS makes FIVE ACRE FARMS Local Yogurt, Kefir and Buttermilk starting with the best local whole milk.

Dave Evans and his partners Charlie Reinshagen and Sandy Grant each represent a different generation of a farming family. Dave (3rd), Charlie (2nd) and Sandy (5th) bring a farmer’s viewpoint and values to the creamery.

They have built a successful partnership on what the three of them have in common—family farming traditions and their love of change and new challenges as their company grows.

KEFIR GOES LOCAL!

FAF_Blog_DotBar KEFIR GOES LOCAL!

KEFIR GOES LOCAL!

FAF_MKefir_Bot KEFIR GOES LOCAL!KEFIR, first created more than 2,000 years ago in the Caucasus Mountains of Eastern Europe, is a cultured milk drink that tastes like yogurt and has the consistency of a smoothie.

Our smooth, creamy LOCAL KEFIR is packed with healthy probiotics and comes in plain, maple and honey flavors. To make it, we start with the best local whole milk from cows cared for by outstanding local farmers and add 12 carefully selected live cultures. For our LOCAL MAPLE KEFIR, a 2016 SOFI AWARD FINALIST, we mix in just the right amount of pure local maple syrup, tapped from our farmers’ old stand trees, for a delicate maple flavor. Our kefir is pasteurized and homogenized, and we never use any artificial sweeteners, additives, thickeners, gums or stabilizers.

Like all FIVE ACRE FARMS products, our LOCAL KEFIR is sourced and produced within 275 miles and sold in retail locations and top restaurants throughout New York City and the Tri-State Region. We sell Milk, Half & Half, Heavy Cream, Buttermilk, Greek and Regular Yogurts, Cage Free Eggs, and seasonal Apple Cider. Each package specifies the farm where that batch of the product was made.

FIVE ACRE FARMS brings the best-tasting local food to grocery stores, restaurants and food shops. We find outstanding farmers using sustainable practices, pay them fairly and tell their stories. Our business helps to create new jobs, promote the local economy, expand access to local food, safeguard the environment, preserve farmland, protect groundwater, and foster proper animal treatment. We call this being “Positively Local®”. To us, that means knowing exactly where our food comes from. It means growing the region’s economy and actively participating in the community. It means restoring the connection between farmer and customer.

FAF_Map_F16 KEFIR GOES LOCAL!

INSIDE THE DAIRY CASE: Butterfat & Whole Milk

FAF_Blog_DotBar INSIDE THE DAIRY CASE: Butterfat & Whole Milk
FAF_MilkShelf_jugs INSIDE THE DAIRY CASE: Butterfat & Whole Milk
Cow_Icon INSIDE THE DAIRY CASE: Butterfat & Whole MilkIs your whole milk really whole milk?
Cow_Icon INSIDE THE DAIRY CASE: Butterfat & Whole MilkMilk composition, including fat, varies by breed
Cow_Icon INSIDE THE DAIRY CASE: Butterfat & Whole MilkButterfat greatly impacts how dairy tastes

Are you ever confused by all of the different types of milk in the dairy case? Whole, 2%, 1%, 0%, reduced, skim, fat free. What does it all mean?

Milk is one of our most nutrient-dense foods—with calcium, protein, vitamins A & D, to name a few of its superpowers. The amount of butterfat (cream) in cow’s milk varies by breed. The iconic black and white Holstein produces milk with up to 4% fat while Jerseys—the ones with brown coats—produce richer-tasting milk with about 5% fat. Brown Swiss and Guernsey cows make milk that’s somewhere in between.

But here’s the big milk curveball: Federal guidelines dictate the percentage of butterfat for each milk category. Since butterfat is very valuable, large milk processors want the federal “whole” percentage to be as low as possible. What you need to know, as a shopper, is that milk can still be labeled as “whole” even if some of the fat has been removed. That doesn’t sound like “whole” milk to us.

At FIVE ACRE FARMS, we look for cows whose milk is naturally high in butterfat. We don’t adjust the fat content in our whole milk (a process called “standardization”), and we think that’s something you can taste. No wonder our whole milk—simply what comes out of the cow—is so popular. Taste the difference it makes in our yogurt, kefir and buttermilk—all made using our whole milk.

Drop us a line and tell us your favorite variety and where you buy our milk, and we’ll send you FIVE ACRE FARMS swag to show our thanks.

WHAT IS FIVE ACRE FARMS?

FAF_Map_F16 WHAT IS FIVE ACRE FARMS?

FIVE ACRE FARMS brings the best-tasting local food to grocery stores, restaurants and food shops. We find outstanding farmers using sustainable practices, pay them fairly and tell their stories. Our business helps to create new jobs and promote the local economy, expand access to local food, safeguard the environment, preserve farmland, protect groundwater and foster proper animal treatment. We call this being Positively Local®.

Our Products

Sourced and produced within 275 miles, our products are sold in retail locations and top restaurants throughout New York City and the Tri-State Region. We sell Milk, Half & Half, Heavy Cream, Buttermilk, Kefir, Greek and Regular Yogurts, Cage Free Eggs, Apple Juice and seasonal Apple Cider. Each package specifies the farm where that batch of the product was made.

To Be Positively Local, we:

FAF_Tags-e1489700027464 WHAT IS FIVE ACRE FARMS?

KEEP FARMERS FARMING
We pay our farmers fairly—and directly —a price that’s above the market rate and reflects what it costs them to make high-quality food, hire and treat people properly, take care of their animals and protect the environment.

IMPROVE ACCESS TO LOCAL
We bring the best local food to grocery stores and price our products so as many people as possible can buy fresh, quality local products.

CONNECT YOU AND YOUR FARMER
At FIVE ACRE FARMS, we tag all of our products, so you know exactly where your food comes from and can be sure that the farmers who made it adhere to sustainable practices. We vet them so you don’t have to.

FAF_Silos-e1489701645867 WHAT IS FIVE ACRE FARMS?

PROMOTE LOCAL ECONOMIES
We create jobs across the region by partnering with local farmers and processors and doing business with local vendors.

IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT
Our farmers have higher standards when it comes to our founding principles of protecting groundwater, replenishing soils and conserving energy.

PRESERVE FARMLAND
Through our work with farmers, we are supporting more than 5,000 acres of farmland in New York, Massachusetts. Connecticut, and Vermont.

What’s With The Name?

It’s been more than 20 years since Dan first had the idea that became FIVE ACRE FARMS. At the time, he was running WALDINGFIELD FARM, the organic produce farm he founded in Washington, Connecticut in 1990. Back then, Dan envisioned a company that would own or franchise a number of five-acre farms along the East Coast, working closely with farmers to market the food they produced. (Why Five? You can produce a huge amount of food and operate a viable business on just five acres of land.) Dan’s original business plan became part of his application to business school, but that was not the end of it. Over the years, while getting an MBA and then working in the grocery business and restaurant management in New York City, Dan continued to refine his concept. He ultimately concluded that FIVE ACRE FARMS could make local food available to more American consumers, and in doing so support a greater number of responsible farmers, by partnering with, rather than owning, farms.