Welcome to another new Journey we are starting on here at The Welcoming House, and that is the beginning of Food Storage Saturday!
For the many readers who have sent me wonderful questions, and are determined to make their household more disaster-defying by building up a food storage, I thought one day a week dedicated to storing and using the foods we store was absolutely in order!
Today we are going to be covering the three different basic variations of dry milk powder, something that is super handy to store, and which can be used to create many extras that most folks would miss if they had no money to go to the grocery store. Things like mozzarella, cream soup base, gravies, sour cream, thick homemade yogurt, and honestly, I could go on and on. I know there is this weird stigma about powdered milk that floats around, but today, I want to share my knowledge with you about how to choose a type that your family will like, and then link you to a couple ways to use it in meals or baking.
There are three basic types of dry milk powder.
The first one is Instant NonFat Dry milk, which can be found at most grocery stores and big box stores in the US. While most people originally balk when they see the price, it is simply because they do not understand how many gallons of milk that box of instant powdered milk makes. They have no idea how to use it, so spending a good chunk of grocery cash (hard earned these days) for a box of something they are not sure how to use is mostly something they pass right on by.
Instant Non Fat dry milk is the easiest milk to use on the market. It mixes instantly, with little work, and can be substituted directly into recipes that call with milk, added dry, when you replace the liquid milk needed with water. Â To make a quart, you would need Â 1 1/3 cups of dry milk powder. To make a half gallon, you would need 2 2/3 cups. And to make a whole gallon of milk, you would need 5 1/3 cups dry milk powder to a whole gallon of filtered water. Powdered milk will settle over time if you just stir it once, so stir it well before using, or stir it a couple times before you put it in the fridge. In my opinion, this type of milk most closely resembles skim milk, which my mother enjoys, but my family find thin. At the end of this article you can find the instructions to make one gallons of 2% milk using two variations of dry milk powders. Properly stored, it has a shelf life of five years (mylar bags to keep out light, O2 absorbers to keep out oxygen).
The second type of milk powder, the one sold in large bulk amounts at most retailers such as Sam’s Club or Costco, or which can be bought online in large quantities (up to 50 lbs) is the Non-Instant NonFat Dry Milk Powder. This milk is a little more work to reconstitute, but stores for much longer than either of the other options. That makes it an excellent choice to keep on hand. It does need to be reconstituted before using, and can not just be used in baking, and you do need either a strong arm for stirring, or a blender to reconstitute it to a milk consistency. We store ours in a bucket, lined with mylar bags, and keep it on hand for emergencies or times when we do not have as much grocery money. It can be used for all the same products as Instant Milk, tastes better once reconstituted (in my opinion) and makes some seriously great yogurt. Stored properly, this has a shelf life of 5-10 years (mylar bags and O2 absorbers).
The third variation is the one that we use most often in our house for everything from baking to drinking, and that is the Full Fat Dry Instant Milk Powder sold under the brand name of NIDO milk. We find ours either online, or in the ethic foods section of a large box retailer. While it is certainly more expensive per ounce, we combine it half and half with nonfat dry milk powder to make into 2% milk. Out of this we make smoothies, anything baked, our sauces, our Magic Mix Master Mix, our yogurts, and pretty much everything else. Due to the higher fat content, properly stored, we can keep ours safely for about 18 months before we see a change in taste or coloring. Â Properly storing this means it is in an airtight container, which also contains O2 absorbers, or vacuum sealed into canisters that are then put into a cold, dark place in the pantry. For our family of five, using it constantly, and pairing it with the nonfat dry milk, we go through six cans a year. That is for all our uses.
I hope this clears this up for some of you who have asked why we store it, or how we store it. Â To use it in recipes, simply add the Instant non-fat or the NIDO to a recipe, then add water to equal the amount.
Another quick tip: many people have to adjust to the taste of dry milk as their milk substitute. You can certainly add a touch of vanilla extract, or even a tsp of milk per glass until your family gets used to it.
Many Blessings to you and yours,
And if you are reading this, then you MIGHT be interested in checking out one of my E-Books, the Master Mix Way, which has had raving reviews and teaches you how to make over 50!! different basic mixes that are shelf stable and can be used to cut down on your grocery bill (as well as time in the kitchen). Check it out, right here!