Powdered milk

Powdered milk or dry milk is a manufactured dairy product made by evaporating milk to dryness. One purpose of drying milk is to preserve it; milk powder has a far longer shelf life than liquid milk and does not need to be refrigerated, due to its low moisture content.

 

At my office, we drink a lot of coffee. The workers meet every morning for a coffee and a quick chat about the day’s schedule and yesterday’s whereabouts. Some of us like to put milk in our coffee, some cream, some whitener, and some just drink the coffee black. To spice things up a bit, my boss was eager to have ‘the boys’ try milk powder in their coffee rather than whitener.

That didn’t go very well. They didn’t like it very much. They laughed and asked if he was trying to make their day worse.

Sigh. 

There is a full bag of ‘skim milk powder’ in our kitchenette and nobody dares to touch it.

Google to the rescue!! I did a quick search about uses and recipes of milk powder and I was pleasantly surprised to find out it has many, many uses. For example, some people buy it in bulk and store it in their pantry for easy access to add to baking recipes; some just use it in their hot drinks or puddings. The possibilities seem to be endless – if the recipe calls for milk, milk powder could be used.

I noticed there are a couple of variations of this dried milk. There’s the powdered milk, which comes packaged as fine crystals, and there’s instant powdered milk, which comes packaged as flakes, and, as the name says, dissolves in warm water fairly quick. On the other hand, the (non-instant) powdered milk takes up to 8 hours to reconstitute. The difference in reconstitution times affects the taste and more people prefer to use instant milk powder, but all in all, powdered milk tastes better than instant milk and is also better for you.

Powdered milk also comes with different fat content. There’s the non-fat dry milk, the skim milk powder, and the whole milk powder. Even though liquid milk has to go through a process of drying in order to make it into powder form, the final product keeps a lot of the original vitamins and minerals (for example: a cup of powdered skim milk includes 25% of your daily required Vitamin A, 4% of Vitamin C, 30% of calcium and 50% of Vitamin D).

***

Sweetened Condensed Milk:
(14 oz. can)
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup dry powdered milk (non-fat, skim or whole)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
*** mix well with a blender

Evaporated Milk:
(12 oz. Can)
1-1/2 cup water
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon dry powdered milk (non-fat, skim or whole)
*** mix well with a blender

Cocoa or Chocolate Milk Mix:
1 cup cocoa
4 cups instant powdered milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar (or equivalent sugar substitute)
*** mix well and store in an airtight container

Peanut Butter Fudge
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup dry powdered milk (non-fat, skim or whole)
*** mix well in a bowl. You can also add 1 cup chocolate chips and/or 1 cup toasted coconut. Spread on a pan and press lightly. You can cut into squares, or roll into balls.

You can also add it to pancake/biscuits/cake mix or muffin batter, add to scrambled eggs before cooking, prepare with macaroni and cheese, make cream of potato soup, add to mashed potatoes…endless possibilities. I told you!

Boss, taking this one home!

What’s even nicer is that Guyanese cuisine is full of recipes that include powdered milk (as it is the number one imported dairy product! because of its extended shelf life and of course endless uses) and I am very excited to try a few. Think I could impress Mitchell? 😀  we shall see.

 

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