I wasn’t very far into my real food journey the first time I heard the term “clabber.”
My initial thought was, “What the heck is that?” So I promptly headed to Google to check it out.
It’s amazing how something that was so common a hundred years ago is so unheard of today…
Clabber is basically thickened, sour, raw milk. Part of the reason that we don’t use the term anymore is because store-bought, pasteurized milk doesn’t clabber. It just putrefies and turns nasty. So, clabber is definitely an old-fashioned concept for most folks.
If the word sounds familiar to you, it might be because it’s the name of a popular brand of baking powder. Back in the day, women would keep clabbered milk as a natural leavening agent for baked goods. Clabber is acidic, like buttermilk, so it reacts with baking soda to produce fluffy cakes and quick breads.
However, once baking powder was introduced, clabber wasn’t as necessary. But one manufacturer of baking powder, Hulman & Company, chose to name their product Clabber Baking Powder (Clabber Girl) to help consumers understand how to use it.
So there is your history lesson for the day.
As you know, I’m a big fan of raw milk for many reasons, but I especially love the fact that it doesn’t go “bad” like pasteurized milk does. Once raw milk sours, it can still be used for a whole bunch of different things, unlike the cooked stuff which must be thrown out once it turns sour.
Raw milk goes through varying stages as it sours. It starts off by slowly decreasing in sweetness each day it sits in the fridge, and if you leave it long enough, it will eventually separate into curds and whey.
Soured raw milk will maintain a “pleasantly” sour taste and smell. Now, I’m not saying that you will want to drink it straight (although some folks do), but it shouldn’t make you want to throw up when you open the lid. (If it does, toss it!)
So, next time you end up with a gallon or two of clabber, don’t pour it down the drain– put it to good use instead:
**VERY IMPORTANT** The following ideas are only to be used with RAW milk that has soured. Do NOT attempt to use soured pasteurized milk– it is not the same and should be thrown away.
20 Ways to Use Sour (Raw) Milk
1. Make chocolate cake- use the clabber in place of the milk or buttermilk in the recipe.
2. Use it to make buttermilk biscuits (in place of the buttermilk).
3. Make zucchini bread or banana bread.
4. Add it to yeast breads or rolls.
5. Make delicious homemade waffles or pancakes.
6. Make muffins for breakfast or snacks.
7. Use it as a base for your smoothies.
8. Soak chicken or fish in sour milk to help tenderize the meat.
9. Use it as the base for a homemade marinade.
10. Use it to soak grains, Nourishing Traditions style.
11. Add it to casseroles or soups.
12. Add a little sweetener and cocoa powder to make homemade chocolate milk. (I’d do this before it starts to really separate.)
13. Make homemade pudding.
14. Feed it to your chickens, pigs, or dogs. (It’s really good for them, too!)
15. Dilute it with water, and add to your garden.
16. Use it to make homemade milk kefir
17. Dilute it with water, and give it to your tomato plants.
18. Add it to your bath- add some essential oils if you don’t care for the smell.
19. Use it as a substitute for recipes that call for buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream.
Have other ideas how to use clabber? Share them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list!
Other Posts for Dairy-Lovers:
- How to Make Cream Cheese
- 16 Ways to Use Whey
- How to Make Fromage Blanc (soft cheese)
- Why We Drink Raw Milk
- The Goat 101 Series
- 6 Tips for Safely Handling Raw Milk
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