I think we might all have a story from when we were young about being “forced” to drink powdered milk. My mother didn’t serve it to us regularly because we would complain, but one day she had to take my younger brother to the hospital and left us with the “kind neighbor lady” a few houses down. I don’t remember much about that day except…she made us drink the WORST powdered milk I ever tasted!
That said, I have about 100 pounds of Nonfat Powdered Milk as part of my long-term food storage, and I use it regularly (but not for drinking!)
This post is not about the specifics of what kind of powdered milk you need in your long term food storage. It is not about cow milk – vs – almond milk – vs – rice milk – vs – coconut milk. You can purchase all of these, and probably other kinds of “milk. They are readily available online or at your local grocer, the choice is yours. Just decide and begin purchasing. You need this to be prepared for any cooking emergencies that arise!
Powdered milk is one item that you need to be prepared for any cooking emergencies that arise!
There Are Two Types of Powdered Milk for Food Storage
1. Instant nonfat powdered milk is made with a process that results in larger flakes and is easy to mix with a spoon or blender because it dissolves in water easily. It also makes a better drinking milk (some say), based on taste.
2. Regular nonfat powdered milk is more difficult to mix than instant. It dissolves slower and the best way to reconstitute it is with hot water in a blender, or with a wire whisk. This is what I purchase in bulk and use for cooking. It is the kind you use to make yogurt.
Uses for Your Powdered Milk
When I cook, I only use powdered milk. We are not big milk drinkers at my house, so I find that if I purchase fresh milk it goes bad before I can use it all. I have found that the most economical way to use milk is to use the powdered milk I have in storage. That way I always have it readily available and don’t have to worry about being without it.
If there are milk drinkers at your house, you might find this post from 2010- The Great Powdered Milk Taste Test and Review from Utah Preppers helpful.
The did an in-depth comparison of 10 different powdered milk varieties and while the cost per can is probably outdated, it will give you a starting place to compare taste. To improve the taste some people add: 1½ cups sugar & up to 1 tsp. vanilla to taste, mix well, chill and then serve.
Powdered, reconstituted milk can be used in any recipe that calls for dairy products and it will not effect the taste. You can make whole milk, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, buttermilk, or yogurt from your powdered milk food storage. So use all that powdered milk you have on hand!
Powdered Milk Conversion Chart
Use this conversion chart to use powdered milk in any recipe calling for milk. Some people add the dry powdered milk to the dry ingredients and water to the wet ingredients. That’s what I do but you could also make the milk and use it whole.
1 Cup Milk = 1 Cup Water + 3 Tablespoons Powdered Milk
3/4 Cup Milk = 3/4 Cup Water + 2 1/4 Tablespoons Powdered Milk
2/3 Cup Milk = 2/3 Cup Water + 2 Tablespoons Powdered Milk
1/2 Cup Milk = 1/2 Cup Water + 1 1/2 Tablespoons Powdered Milk
1/3 Cup Milk = 1/3 Cup Water + 1 Tablespoon Powdered Milk
1/4 Cup Milk = 1/4 Cup Water + 3/4 Tablespoon Powdered Milk
Cooking with powdered milk: the fantastic uses of powdered milk
Dry powdered milk should not miss from any prepper’s pantry. If the brand is good, you can reconstitute it and use it as fresh milk in countless recipes. It is also a great staple food to have around on long hikes or in a bug out bag as it is ultra light, it has proteins, vitamins, and minerals, and can be stored indefinitely.
Powdered milk is a very underrated emergency food among rookie preppers, but it can be a trusty ally if you have enough of it on hand in times of need. It will also make a precious commodity when (not if) SHTF that you can barter around for what your family might need (Does anyone want some milk with that coffee?)
What’s more, how are those potato flakes or oatmeal going to taste without some milk, or how about those scrambled eggs or biscuits for your kids?
Never underestimate powdered milk in times of a real crisis. Another good piece of news is that powdered milk can be easily turned into yummy cheese, yogurt, and even sour cream, when grocery stores’ shelves are forever empty.
Condensed Milk from Powdered Milk:
Make your own Sweetened Condensed Milk: (14 oz. can) Blend VERY WELL in a blender.
1/2 C. Hot Water
1 C. dry Powdered Milk
1 C. Sugar
1 T. Butter
Evaporated Milk from Powdered Milk
Make your own Evaporated Milk: (12 oz. Can) Blend VERY WELL in a blender.
1-1/2 C. Water
1/2 C. + 1 T dry Powdered Milk
Buttermilk or Sour Milk from Powdered Milk:
Make your own Buttermilk or Sour Milk:
1 C. Water
1/4 C Powdered Milk
Add 1 T lemon juice or white vinegar to a cup of milk and let it stand for 5 – 10 minutes.
Delicious Ricotta Cheese Made from Powdered Milk:
Ricotta cheese is a filling Italian cheese traditionally made out of whey. It can cost an arm and a leg at your local grocery store, but fortunately you can easily make it at home even from reconstituted dry milk. It is one of the easiest cheeses to make by the average Joe.
-// 2 liters of reconstituted powdered milk
-// 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
-// salt to taste
-// herbs, garlic, pepper, extra virgin olive oil for serving (optional)
Bring the reconstituted dry milk to a soft boil on medium heat. Add salt and the ACV and let the milk separate. Turn off the heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes and then strain in a colander lined with cheesecloth or a clean cotton tea towel.
Scrape the cheese on the bottom to allow more liquid out, then close the cheesecloth and squeeze all the whey out. Flake the curds off with a fork and season them with herbs, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Serve on crackers or warm toast.
Real Mozzarella Cheese from Powdered Milk:
Yes, you can make real mozzarella cheese from dry powdered milk too as this gentleman who goes by the name The Mudbrooker has shown. He’s got a point that whole milk for cheese making is increasingly hard to come by as Big Dairy has put out of business many of the nation’s small dairy farmers.
And organic milk is just too expensive to turn into a handful of cheese that would otherwise cost you a fraction of the price in a grocery store. Thank you The Mudbrooker for all the time, effort, and willingness to share with us your findings.
Yield: 1/3 pound cheese from 1 gallon of powdered milk.
What you’ll need:
-//1 gallon water
-// 6 cups powdered milk, whole (check out Peak Dry Whole Milk Powder – it is one of the best brands for cheese making)
-// 1 1/2 sticks butter (6 ounces) salted
-// 1 1/2 teaspoons citric acid, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
-// 1 rennet tablet, crushed and dissolved in 1/4 cup water just before use 1 (you can find rennet in specialty stores, online, or in some big box retail stores like Walmart)
-// 1/2 teaspoons salt
I’ll write down the instructions despite having embedded the video tutorial just in case the clip or channel goes poof (it has been an increasingly common practice lately when it comes to YouTube).
- Reconstitute the milk (1 gallon of water and 6 cups of powdered milk) in a heavy bottomed pot.
- Melt the butter (do not go over 120 degrees F)
- Heat 11/2-2 cups the reconstituted milk to 120 degrees
- Blend the butter and heated milk in a blender on high for a cuple of minutes.
- Add the resulting mixture into the rest of the milk.
- Add the dissolved citric acid
- Heat the milk on medium heat until it hits 90 degrees F (you’ll need to use a kitchen thermometer)
- Add the dissolved rennet in the milk after you removed it from heat.
- Stir, cover the pot, and let everything rest undisturbed for half an hour
- Cut the curd into 1-inch chunks horizontally and vertically making sure that you reach the bottom of the pot
- Heat the curds up to 115 degrees F, on medium heat. Don’t stir the curd just swirl the pot to heat it evenly and remove cool spots (use the thermometer).
- Turn off heat and let stand 5 minutes.
- Strain away the whey while rolling the strainer gently to remove the whey and making the cheese ball come together.
- Cut the curd in the strainer to get rid of more excess whey. Get as much whey out as you can
- When the cheese ball is firm enough gently knead it in a bowl to get more liquid out.
- Warm the cheese in the microwave for 1 minute (don’t melt it). Remove the resulting excess whey.
- Knead the cheese and pull it gently several times to get even more liquid out.
- Microwave the cheese for 30 – 40 more seconds.
- Stretch and knead the cheese several times to get more whey out.
- Repeat previous two steps.
- Work the salt into the cheese while cheese is still warm.
- Microwave for 20 more seconds to soften it up and knead and pull it. You might need to do it a few times more if it hasn’t achieved the right consistency (smooth and glossy).
- Roll the cheese into a firm ball.
- Chill and let it sit overnight in a covered container before serving.
How to Blend Powdered Milk
From Cookin’With Powdered Milk (Cookin` With Home Storage) by Peggy Layton
1. Fill a blender 1/2 full with water.
2. Turn on low and add powdered milk. Mike sure the blender is going before adding the milk, so it won’t be lumpy.
3. To avoid foam on the top of the milk, mix only long enough to blend.
4. Pour into a large container. Add the remaining water and blend well. For best results mix and chill overnight.
5. Store milk in the refrigerator after mixing just like fresh milk.
PS – Learn how I store my powdered milk in this post.
How to Make Powdered Milk at Home
Making your own powdered milk is not rocket science and doesn’t require some fancy tools. You’ll just need the milk, a non-stick pot or a heavy bottom pot, a silicone spatula/ wooden spoon, and tons of patience.
Homemade powdered is great to have around when you run out of fresh milk or if you have too much whole milk on hand and want to extend its shelf life but a few more months. Homemade powdered milk has an average shelf life of 3 months.
How to make it:
- Bring the milk to a soft boil, do not let it overflow (stir it continuously with a spatula)
- Reduce heat and let the milk reduce its volume to a half (stir every couple of minutes – you don’t want it to burn as it will change texture, color and taste and not for the better)
- Let it boil until it turns into a thick paste while you continue to stir and incorporate any leftover milk from the pot (it is best to do this on an induction cooktop or a stove with controlled temperature).
- Turn off the heat and transfer the resulting thick paste onto a tray lined with parchment paper (make sure that it is evenly distributed; it is best to turn it into tiny crumbs with your hands to speed up the process).
- Late the milk paste dry out in the sun (it should take several hours depending on the weather but make sure that you check the paste every half hour or so to see if there is any humidity in it)
- When the paste is bone dry, turn it into a fine powder in a grinder or a blender.
- Sift the resulting powder to ensure that it has no clumps.
- You can add 1/4 cup of powdered sugar for each liter of milk if you want your homemade powdered milk to taste like the real deal (sugar however is entirely optional)
You can find additional recipes in this publication “Nonfat Powdered Dry Milk” from Utah State University Extension – even grape milk – which sounds a little like something I might have tried at the “kind neighbor lady’s” house all those years ago! How do you use powdered milk?
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