The Zero-Waste Chef

2-Ingredient Recipes for 5 Dairy Staples

I like to keep my grocery shopping simple and buy as few items as possible. And because I don’t buy food packaged in plastic, I can’t buy many items. (Today’s news on the health risks of plastic food packaging comes to you from the New York Times) However, where I live, I can buy organic, pastured milk, half-and-half and whipping cream in returnable glass bottles.

But what if you need a tub of sour cream or crème fraîche? I’ve seen those only in plastic. With a couple of ingredients you can make these and other staples yourself.

Cultured buttermilk

1. Buttermilk

I’ve started my list with buttermilk because, although you may not drink buttermilk (I pour it on my homemade granola), you will need it to make other recipes in this list.

Like needing money to make money, you need buttermilk to make more buttermilk. So you will either have to buy a small carton of cultured buttermilk, order a starter from a store such as Cultures for Health or, if you know someone who has a culture going, ask for a couple of tablespoons and follow the 1:8 ratio above.

I bought a carton of buttermilk at Whole Foods about nine months ago and I’ve been backslopping it (an actual term) every two to three weeks to keep it going (I’ve named my culture Betty). Here is a detailed cultured buttermilk post.

DIY crème fraîche

2. Crème fraîche

Two-ingredient sour cream

3. Sour cream

Homemade ricotta cheese

4. Ricotta cheese

Read my full post on DIY ricotta here.

A spoonful of probiotic goodness

5. Yogurt

You’ll need 1/2 cup of yogurt with live cultures and 4 cups whole milk.

I broke my thermometer and don’t plan on replacing it. You don’t actually need one. When milk reaches 180 degrees, it will begin bubble around the edges. At 110 degrees, the milk will be warm, not hot.

Read my detailed yogurt post here.

That’s it! I would say the first three recipes (buttermilk, crème fraîche and sour cream) require less work to make than buy. All five taste fantastic. Store-bought simply cannot compare.

Happy culturing!