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Is buttermilk keto? Keto Buttermilk Fluffy Pancakes Recipe

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Welcome back, friends! As a person living the keto lifestyle, I often get asked, "Is buttermilk keto?" It's a great question because buttermilk is a versatile ingredient used in many delicious recipes. If you've been wondering about this, worry not – you've come to the right place! We're going to uncover the truth about this fermented dairy product, exploring whether it fits within a ketogenic diet, and reveal a fantastic low carb alternative if it doesn't.

Keto buttermilk is in clear glass on wood board

Is Buttermilk Keto Friendly?

Buttermilk, at face value, may not seem like an obvious fit for the ketogenic diet. Traditional buttermilk is a slightly sour, fermented dairy drink. Its creamy consistency is due to the lactic acid bacteria which ferments the lactose in the cow’s milk, resulting in a tangy dairy product. In the past, buttermilk was the liquid left behind after churning butter from cream – hence the name.

Let's talk carbs. One cup of buttermilk contains around 12 grams of carbs, which, while lower than regular dairy milk, is still a significant amount for the average person on a keto diet who aims to keep their daily intake below 20-50 grams of net carbs. When you take the dietary fiber into account, you end up with about 12 grams of net carbs per 1-cup serving, which can easily exceed your daily carb limit on a strict ketogenic diet. Therefore, it's safe to say that while buttermilk might be a lower-carb alternative to some dairy products, it is not particularly buttermilk keto-friendly.

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Buttermilk Substitute for the Keto Diet

While store-bought buttermilk may not be the best choice for those following a ketogenic diet, there are certainly ways to enjoy the distinct taste and texture of buttermilk without risking your state of ketosis. The secret lies in creating a keto buttermilk substitute.

By mixing a cup of unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk (both excellent low carb, dairy alternatives) with a tablespoon of lemon juice, you can create a lower-carb buttermilk substitute that will work great in most recipes. This mixture, stored in an airtight container, can replace regular buttermilk in a 1:1 ratio in your cooking and baking.

Keto Buttermilk Fluffy Pancakes Recipe

Now that we've discussed the buttermilk keto dilemma, let's take our new knowledge for a spin with a delicious keto buttermilk pancakes recipe. They're fluffy, they're tasty, and they're totally keto-friendly.


  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons of a keto-approved sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of homemade keto buttermilk substitute (almond milk + lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut flour, sweetener, baking powder, and salt).
  2. In another bowl, combine the eggs, keto buttermilk substitute, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
  3. Gradually add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing until well combined.
  4. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, add a bit of coconut oil to prevent sticking.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook until golden brown on the other side.

Nutritional Information

Per serving (2 pancakes):

  • Calories: 232
  • Fat: 20g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Total Carbs: 8g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4g
  • Net Carbs: 4g

Top 10 Keto Toppings for Your Pancakes

Here's a handy chart of ten keto-friendly toppings that would go great with these delicious buttermilk keto pancakes. You'll see that each choice is designed to keep your sugar intake low and your satisfaction high.

ToppingNet CarbsComments
1. Almond Butter2g per tablespoonRich in healthy fats, adds creaminess
2. Coconut Cream2g per 1/4 cupGreat dairy-free option, sweet and creamy
3. Heavy Whipping Cream1g per tablespoonAdds a luxurious texture
4. Chia Seeds1g per tablespoonHigh in fiber, adds crunch
5. Cream Cheese1g per tablespoonAdds a tangy flavor
6. Sugar-Free Maple Syrup1g per tablespoonSweet without the carbs
7. Fresh BerriesVaries, but generally lowAdds a burst of fruity flavor
8. Unsweetened Coconut Flakes1g per tablespoonAdds a tropical twist
9. Cacao Nibs1g per tablespoonFor a hint of chocolate
10. Whipped Butter0gBecause butter makes everything better


In conclusion, while traditional buttermilk may not be the best fit for a keto diet due to its carb content, you can easily create a keto-friendly buttermilk substitute to enjoy your favorite recipes. It's a simple solution that allows you to maintain your keto lifestyle without missing out on the foods you love.

Understanding Buttermilk and Its Nutritional Value

Buttermilk, by nature, is a by-product of the butter-making process. When you churn heavy cream to make butter, the liquid that separates out is buttermilk. The bacteria culture used in this process is what gives buttermilk its signature tang.

Although the carbs in buttermilk may not seem high compared to a glass of buttermilk or some fast food, it is significant in a ketogenic context. The nutritional value of buttermilk shows that it contains a good amount of protein and is rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium and vitamin B12.

Why Opt for Lower-Carb Alternatives?

A low-carb diet, particularly the ketogenic diet, emphasizes foods high in fat content and low in carbs. It's a popular choice for those looking to promote weight loss, stabilize blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. Consequently, foods that contain a lot of carbs are typically replaced with lower-carb alternatives. A good choice in this regard is heavy cream or plain yogurt, which can be used in small amounts as a buttermilk replacement.

Exploring Other Keto-Friendly Dairy Products

While buttermilk may not be entirely keto-approved due to its carb content, there are other dairy products you can enjoy on a ketogenic diet. Sour cream, for instance, has fewer carbs and can be used as a tasty alternative in many recipes. Similarly, cheddar cheese is high in fat, low in carbs, and a great way to add flavor to your meals.

Can You Make Buttermilk Keto-Friendly?

It's crucial to remember that the ketogenic diet isn't just about counting carbs; it's about understanding the net grams of carbohydrates - the total carbs minus the grams of dietary fiber. For example, if a food item has 10 grams of carbs and 2 grams of dietary fiber, the net carbs would be 8g.

Given this, it's possible to have buttermilk in small amounts, given that it fits into your daily net carb limit. Also, you can try a buttermilk replacement like the mixture of unsweetened almond or coconut milk and lemon juice, which we've mentioned earlier. This substitute mimics the tanginess of buttermilk with fewer carbs.

Incorporating Buttermilk in Keto Recipes

There are many different ways you can enjoy the flavor of buttermilk on a keto diet. From fluffy keto pancakes to keto buttermilk biscuits and drop biscuits made with almond flour or oat fiber, the options are vast. Here's a quick tip: use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for easy cleanup when baking your biscuits!

Conclusion: Is Buttermilk Keto-Approved?

In the end, whether or not buttermilk is keto-approved boils down to personal meal prep and daily carb intake. If you have a higher carb allowance, you may be able to include small amounts of buttermilk in your meals. If not, using a buttermilk replacement is a brilliant workaround that ensures you don't miss out on this unique flavor.

Health Benefits of the Keto Diet

Besides weight loss, a low-carb diet like keto can provide numerous health benefits. By limiting sugar and starch intake, it can stabilize blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and even boost immunity. Plus, if you're lactose intolerant, opting for dairy alternatives can ease digestive discomfort, making keto a suitable choice.

Always remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new diet plan. Your individual health needs and goals should always be your top priority. Happy keto-ing, friends!

Key Takeaways

  • Traditional buttermilk, with its 12 grams of carbs per 1-cup serving, may not be ideal for a ketogenic diet.
  • Keto buttermilk substitutes, like unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk mixed with lemon juice, can replace regular buttermilk in a 1:1 ratio in your cooking and baking.
  • Keto buttermilk fluffy pancakes are a delicious way to enjoy the flavor and consistency of traditional buttermilk pancakes without breaking your carb limit.


  • Is Buttermilk Keto Friendly?

While buttermilk has less carbs than regular milk, its 12 grams of net carbs per cup still make it a less than ideal choice for a strict keto diet.

  • Can I Substitute Buttermilk on a Keto Diet?

Yes, you can create a low-carb buttermilk substitute using unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk and lemon juice.

  • Are There Any Keto Recipes that Use a Buttermilk Substitute?

Absolutely! Our Keto Buttermilk Fluffy Pancakes are a great example of how to use a keto buttermilk substitute in your cooking.

Always remember, your health is paramount. Eating mindfully and choosing foods that align with your nutritional needs is crucial, and it's entirely possible to do that without sacrificing taste or enjoyment.

Stay tuned for more keto-related information and new recipes that support your ketogenic journey. Remember, it's not just a diet - it's a lifestyle. Until next time, keep calm and keto on!

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