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.