Although most people think of sour milk as a bad thing, it is actually a popular cooking ingredient that can add a unique flavor to a number of common recipes.
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What is Sour Milk?
For the past 10,000 years, humans have been milking animals in some form as a nutritious beverage. When some of that milk began to sour, or become acidified, it was noticed that the taste wasn’t necessarily “bad”, just different. The fermentation of raw milk or the addition of an acid to raw milk will result in sour milk. Sour milk is distinguished from milk that has spoiled, which typically happens to pasteurized milk that has no bacterial cultures present. Sour milk is derived from raw milk, which allows for fermentation and culturing.
As the milk begins to sour, a chunk may start to appear, and the texture will become noticeably thicker. In some ways, it may begin to resemble yogurt or cheese curd. Depending on what country you live in, fermented milk may be a very common beverage or a frequent ingredient in cooking and baking. This type of dairy product is particularly popular in Scandinavian and Baltic countries, although different forms exist around the world.
How to Make Sour Milk?
It is quite easy to make sour milk, although there are a few different ways you can do it.
- The simplest method would simply be to add an acidic substance to the milk, such as vinegar or lemon juice. You would only need 1 tablespoon per cup of milk.
- Stir the mixture thoroughly and then let it sit for five minutes before using it in any other recipe.
Some people also choose to use other fermented milk as a “starter”, perhaps pouring fresh milk into a container that was recently emptied of fermented milk. This will kickstart the process and speed the fermentation of fresh milk.
Sour Milk Benefits
Aids in Digestion
The bacterial cultures found in this fermented milk can help your stomach break down food more easily, and will help to prevent constipation, bloating, and cramping. There is also less lactose in sour milk, making it ideal for those with lactose intolerance.
Studies have found that sour milk can help to stimulate the function of the liver and pancreas, thus helping to eliminate more toxins from the body.
This type of fermented milk possesses a wide range of nutrients, vitamins, and active ingredients that the immune system needs to function, including vitamin A, zinc, potassium, selenium, iodine, and calcium.
Fermented milk has been found to have less of an allergenic effect on those who are sensitive to milk; it can help to suppress unnecessary immune responses.
Uses for Sour Milk
The most popular uses for sour milk are in culinary applications, skin care, cheese-making, and even as a specialty pet food! In cooking and baking, it adds a sweet element, while its active ingredients and fermented nature make it a useful component in certain cosmetic products.