The cost of powdered milk makes it an attractive, budget-saving bargain. It also has a shelf life of approximately one year (use it for cooking instead of drinking after that) making it a great prep item. We all have a bunch of powdered dry milk in our pantry and even more stashed back in our preps for times when fresh milk is unavailable for whatever reasons – it stores so well in dry, dark conditions, it’s hard not to stockpile powdered milk!
There’s only one problem… it tastes nasty, and no one will drink it!
Making Powdered Milk Drinkable
So you’ve got all this dried milk, but what do you do with it if the family won’t touch it, even on cereal? (mine won’t go near the stuff) Just mixed according to directions, powdered milk really is blah, and the aftertaste is even worse. Don’t worry! There are ways to make it much more palatable – much like fresh milk tastes and looks. It’s different than fresh milk, but there are ways to boost its flavor and make it more drinkable.
First tip: mix it properly. A proportion of approximately one third of a cup of powdered milk to one cup of water gives a good quality milk. To get a quart of milk, combine about 3/4 of one quart of water and one and one third cups of powdered milk. Double this formula for two quarts. To get a gallon of reconstituted milk, pour five and a third cups of powdered milk into a gallon-sized glass container, fill it half way with cool water, stir and then fill it the rest of the way full with cold water, mixing thoroughly.
When mixing the milk, try mixing in half of the water to the full quantity of powdered milk, stirring to mix completely, and then adding the rest of the water. The milk dissolves better into just cool water so add the cold water after you’ve dissolved the milk into the first half of cool water. It won’t all dissolve right away, so let it stand a few minutes and stir it again to completely dissolve the powder. Reconstituted milk tastes best about three or four hours after it is mixed, cold. (The colder, the better.)
Tips to Make Powdered Milk Taste Better
- When mixing up a gallon of milk, leave enough room to add in a can of evaporated whole milk, or a half cup or so of heavy cream. This makes a richer tasting milk product that children, especially, might accept better than the straight powdered milk.
- A little sugar or other sweetener added into the milk may make it tastier.
- Add one half to a whole teaspoon of pure vanilla flavoring to a gallon of re-hydrated milk.
- Combine sugar or another sweetener and vanilla flavoring together in a gallon of milk.
- Add hot chocolate mix to the reconstituted milk, heat it, and children never know it’s not a pure treat. (Chocolate is always a good idea.)
- Buy a gallon of “store bought” milk, make up an equal amount of reconstituted dry milk, mix them 50/50. No one will know the difference.
- Store the milk in glass containers, no plastic. The quality of the taste is just better this way.
- Adding a clean, peeled carrot to the reconstituted milk adds beta carotene, and is supposed to make it taste better.
- Use the best quality dry powdered milk and make sure it is as fresh as possible. Check expiration dates on packages, and never throw out the old dry milk in your pantry – just use it for cooking instead of drinking.
- The colder the milk is, the better it is going to taste. Try putting the milk in the freezer about 15 minutes before you’re going to drink it.
- Always include a couple Oreos to dunk into the glass of cold milk. Cookies make everything taste better.
While powdered dry milk is no longer sold at the really low prices we used to enjoy, it is still a bargain when fresh, store-bought milk is not available, or when prices go way up. Whether you are camping, or in an emergency situation with no access to stores, you will always have milk if you include dry milk in your pantry preparations.
Kevin Aires says
Thanks for those tips. Just trying to get powdered milk to mix better. Will leave it to stand now and also stored in glass container.
Hunger made it taste great. I had hard times raising my boys alone. It was hard but there was a lot of love then. Recently ran out of milk and mixed up some powdered milk from the pantry so I’d have milk for my coffee in the morning. Didn’t taste great but also not bad. Brought back memories of when my boys were very little.
All through college(60’s) we used “Sanalac” for our milk. They had a free mixer bottle. When chilled and mixed well it was ‘not so bad’..
Hello! Can you advise us which additives can we use to improve milk powder taste?
No. I do no think it possible.
Thanks I grew up with powdered milk at the end of the month and no matter what Mom did it never tasted right so I just added some creamer and you really can’t taste the difference you have to shake it up
Sneak in a touch of powered malt…;8)
Not malt whiskey! Malt for a milkshake….unless its for dad. Then even rum can be substituted.
My old grown Children still comment about the nasty taste of the Powdered milk we drank on Camping trips! They refused to drink it at other times! I found the fresher the package the less awful it Was?! Recently I made Immersion blender Ice Cream with it, and the taste was not good, but the powder was a little old! Blending it, mixing it With ice cubes, all decreased the foul after taste! I always refrigerate the powder now in a plastic bag. Seems to last longer, and taste mot a horrible as the cabinet stored ones!
We grew up $$$ poor, My momma used sugar, however she has passed & cant remember how she made it taste sooo good using SUGAR! Us kids could not tell differ other than it tasted sooo much better cold! Don’t let kids see, hear, know, ect… how & when you are making it! And see how comments will change for yuk to yum!
try putting powered creamer in a water tight bottle add water shake vigorously add to milk
who can u add fat in powdered milk
when u add 1 kg powdered milk in 10 litre water your fat is 2.5 if u need 4.5 fat what can u do for this
Mom *always* mixed store-bought milk with reconstituted dry milk. I didn’t have 100% “fresh” milk until I started kindergarten.
add powdered creamer to powdered milk into a water tight bottle size dosent matter add water shake vigorously till mixed pour mixture into larger container add rest of the water post scrip may have to use clean funnel to get powders into bottle
Much depends on the brand you use. Buy the brand your tastebuds like best and add 1-2 packets of stevia per quart, then chill very cold.
Still makes no sense… if you extract water to make powdered milk… and you put the water back, it should taste the same, unless milk companies are extracting something else from the milk too… aha!
I put a little instant vanilla pudding mix in mine to make it taste better. It helps a lot and it doesn’t take much. Flavors it, sweetens it and gives the milk body all at the same time. You can even make flavored milk like banana or any flavor pudding mix come in.
That sounds good!!
Kristi Thomas says
Extracting the water and making powdered milk is done with very high heat. So it does change the flavor. I lived in Portales NM and there was a processing plant there. Powdered milk, powdered creamer, protein powder and powdered cheese, and right across and down the road was a cheese processing plant.
terena parker says
Im wondering if anyone has used a cap of vanilla extract? I mite try it
Graeme Bregani says
I’ve been using powdered milk since 1991. I now prefer it.
But it must be made up the day before.
Overnight storage in the fridge makes all the difference!
I tried Dan method that seems to be the best and makes the milk taste like milk
Thanks I grew up with powdered milk at the end of the month and no matter what Mom did it never tasted right so I just added some creamer and you really can’t taste the difference
My grandmother used this sometimes & I always added more powder cuz I liked the taste!
When I had my own kids I ‘sometimes’ mixed it with milk to make it last longer.
As a great grandmother, I recently bought some NIDO cuz I wanted some WHOLE powdered milk, not the powdered NON-FAT milk since things are getting bad out there. I don’t find the taste bad, but I found that it has SOY LECITHIN & that concerns me. I think I prefer the Carnation brand or another brand without SOY.
Now I am passing these ideas on to my granddaughter & I sent her this link since she has 2 little ones.