Milking It

(Please note: This article is not for those who are repulsed by the use of puns. :-)

Incorporate dairy into your food storage. Photo c/o

Incorporate dairy into your food storage. Photo c/o

When it comes to long-term food storage, many feel that getting enough dairy is a significant challenge.  Well today, I’m going to show you how you can milk the most from your powdered milk to provide your family with the dairy products you love.

For starters, I cannot state emphatically enough how good powdered milk is today. When I teach my “UNDERwhelmed in Food Storage” class, I insist that those who attend at least try the powdered milk samples I’ve got. You should see some of the faces I get when I make this announcement. You can tell that some of these folks have some serious nightmares from their childhood when it comes to powdered milk.  But inevitably, ALL courageous tasters admit that it tastes VERY different than when they were growing up. While I still have some folks who feel that it doesn’t take “just like ‘real’ milk” they will at least concede that they could live with it if they needed to. Personally, I find it delightful. I LOVE the independence I feel when running out of milk doesn’t mean a trip to the store. And when I purchase it in the big 50 pound bags at the wholesale stores, it breaks down to only about $1.27 per gallon—a great deal in this economy. Today, the only time I actually buy milk is when I’ve got double coupons and can get it for less than 50 cents a gallon. (I just got a gallon and half the other day for only 17 cents!)  In fact, the taste of powdered milk has come so far, that my otherwise persnickety husband actually grumbles a bit now when we have to drink the “real” stuff now.

So, what can you do with powdered milk? You can make some downright heavenly items that you usually pay a small fortune for. So let’s see how we can milk the most from your food storage.

Homemade Condensed Milk photo c/o

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk photo c/o

One of the pleasant surprises I discovered is how easy it is to make sweetened condensed milk. I make it in a blender presently, but I have practiced a couple of times and can easily make it with a non-electric blender. All you have to do is combine a ½ C of hot water, 1 C of non-instant powdered milk, 1 C sugar and 1 T of butter. (Yes, butter. You know, the stuff that you’re now canning for a rainy day?) Just mix it all in a blender and presto! You’ve got your very affordable, sweetened condensed milk to use in any great recipe!

Making evaporated milk is just as easy. To make 12 ounces of evaporated milk, simply mix 1½ C of water with a generous ½ C of non-instant powdered milk.  You may not be aware of this, but you can use evaporated milk successfully as a substitute for cream, half-and-half, or even whole milk in any recipe. Pretty darn simple, eh? I LOVE to mix 12 ounces of this in a sauce pan along with ½ C of butter and  about 1 C of strawberry puree to make humdrum pancakes taste a bit more gourmet! Also, The Food Network showed me that adding some evaporated milk to your meatloaf is the key to keeping it moist and yummy!

Add some powdered milk to some flour and butter and you’ve got the makings for some GREAT white sauces to go on pasta, vegetables, and even as a soup base. YUM!

And last, but not least is using powdered milk to make buttermilk. Just take 1 C of  your milk (made from powdered, of course) and add 1 T of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it stand for 5 minutes and then proceed to use it in your recipe that calls for buttermilk. Some of my favorite treats are made from buttermilk and I’m not about to do without them. So, just because I love my readers, I’m going to share my two most favorite buttermilk treats. You’ll LOVE them!

Celestial Syrup

Pancakes, anyone? Photo c/o

Pancakes, anyone? Photo c/o

Combine the following in a small sauce pan:

¾ C sugar
½ C buttermilk
¼ C butter

  • Boil for one minute.
  • Remove from heat and add ½ t. baking soda and 1 t. vanilla.
  • The puree of any fruit can be added, but is not necessary. It’s heavenly without it.
  • Serve over pancakes, waffles, or your favorite ice cream.

Chocolate Buttermilk Pudding

2 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding
2 C of cold buttermilk (If you don’t have refrigeration, this will still taste just fine.)

  • Whisk together until well blended.
  • Fold in 1 16 oz tub of Cool Whip. (You can make whipped topping from powdered milk as well, of course.)
    Fold in 2 small drained cans of mandarin oranges. (I like to cut the oranges in half to create more "perfect bites.")
  • Then fold in the entire package of Keebler Fudge Striped cookies, crushed. (I just got a bunch of them for only 50 cents each and then sealed them in a large Mason jar for maximum shelf life.)
  • Chill for about 30 minutes or more. (Again, refrigeration isn’t necessary to serve this dish--only if you’re going to store it. I like to fold in the cookies just before serving, but this is a still yummy even a couple of days out!)

There’s more to discover to your powdered milk. Just keep exploring and “milking it” for all it’s worth. We haven’t addressed yet everything that’s possible to make out of powdered milk, but it’s a worthwhile start. Enjoy!

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We don't use a lot of dairy because one of my children has food allergies. Do you have recommendations on how to use soy or rice milks?
Great blog. I've learned a lot.
Kim in TN

Depending on where you are in Texas, Costco carries the 50 pound bag of Morning Moos. I do enjoy it in both the white and the chocolate. However, I also like the other version that Blue Chip makes called Country Fresh Farms. There's also another brand that I get that costs a little bit less called Country Cream and I love that too!

Have you tried the syrup with a maple flavor?

Carol, trust me, you'll LOVE it this way. No maple necessary for this one.

Carnation is the ONLY brand that I loathe, just FYI.
That's one of the things I do like about using powdered milk is that I only make up enough that my hubby and I can go through.

I used to eat quite healthy. When I did so, I substituted rice, soy, and almond milk for just about any milk recipes needed without much difficulty. I also have a good friend who has 2 children with the same problem. She has stored LOTS of almonds and an almond press for emergencies so that she can make her own. She's practiced with it as well in order to eliminate any additional stress. The good news is that the rice and almond milk actually stores on the shelf for quite a while--when stored in a cool, dark environment. Be sure that you have freeze-dried spinach and broccoli on hand as well since you'll need those vitamins you're not getting in milk.

Spurilina is another item to have on hand. It's an acquired taste, but the nutritional value is worth the discomfort! I've gotten used to it.

I also add Kelp to all my cooking!

The bf and I don't like milk but I always seem to have one recipe that needs it. Which means a decent amount of milk ends up wasted. Nothing makes me more upset than spoiled food.

I think I will have to start buying powdered milk. The only brand I've noticed at the grocery is Carnation so maybe I'll have to visit some of the grocery stores by school

OK, what brand of powdered milk do you use that tastes so good? I bought some Carnation a few weeks back and it tasted just as bad as what I was used to from childhood, circa the late '60's. I'd REALLY like to know, not only for storage purposes, but that $1.27/gallon sounds pretty good as well

My Aunt and I were just talking about her awful experiences with Instant Milk as a child.. she will be delighted to hear this! I think I may do a blind taste test and see what she thinks! :) Honestly I was saving it for last resort myself, thank you for this info. Your so good girl and a delight to read.

I ordered red cheese wax and a brush today ;)

Try your milk now. Waiting until you NEED it will not turn out well. When TSHTF, routine and familiarity will be necessary. Drastic changes in food/etc will cause more emotional distress. As a Katrina survivor, I can attest to that.

I prep but also USE some of what I can to be able to EAT it!

Thanks, I have a tub of moo milk from costco, but want to add a few #10 cans for longer term storage. Does instant milk taste much different than powdered milk? which do you suggest? and any brand you recommend? I'm thinking about getting Thrive from shelf reliance.

I just finished doing some research today on Thrive. Verdict: Not at all impressed. Their so called "freeze dried" stuff takes just as long to hydrate as dehydrated and a lot more work--and it's no where near as "attractive" and readily eatable as the other freeze-dried I've had. Thus I am suspect of their milk--but I haven't tried it yet.
Instant and powdered should be the same. The only difference is whether or not you need to add hot water or just cold. Morning Moos requires hot water to completely dissolve. But there is also a Country Fresh and a Country Cream label that I like as well. Just FYI.

It's acceptable, but not what I would call delicious. Yes, it can indeed be stored long-term though.

Do you like the powdered milk sold at LDS canneries? And do you recommend canning this in #10 cans for long term storage?


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