I have a love-hate relationship with powdered milk. I hate that it’s only available in fat-free. Also, I hate that it costs more than fresh milk where I live right now. More than anything, I hate the smell of it when it’s freshly mixed up. Despite all that, I have included it in my food storage. It’s impossible to store fresh milk, and it just doesn’t freeze well. Even if it did, it would take up lots of space for something that’s mostly water.
Powdered milk can be extremely useful. I don’t recommend drinking it straight, but my husband says it’s all right with cereal. I wouldn’t know, because I’m weird and eat my cereal dry.
1/4 c. powdered milk + 1 c. water = 1 c. milk
1 lb. powdered milk makes 1 gallon of milk
These are my favorite uses of powdered milk. I’d still rather own a cow and milk it every day, but hey, this will do for now.
I had never tried making yogurt with powdered milk until today, but I can say that it improves powdered milk greatly. (If you are new to making yogurt, I recommend searching Google for tips. I use the stove top and a Thermos to make mine. The crock pot and Instant Pot are other options.) We did a taste test between powdered milk yogurt and fresh, whole milk yogurt. There wasn’t a lot of difference, really. James actually liked the powdered milk yogurt better! Plain yogurt is a decent sub for sour cream, even though it’s a little runnier. I use it in smoothies more than anything.
If you’ve never bought buttermilk from the store, DO IT! The substitute with lemon juice just isn’t the same. I know that it’s a little bit expensive at first, like twice as much as regular milk, but you can make it well worth your while.
My mother-in-law showed me this awesome tip. When the buttermilk is almost gone, fill up the jug (I get the half gallon) with regular (or powdered, reconstituted) milk. Let the jug sit out for a couple of days in a warm place. Do a sniff test to see when it’s done. It should smell tart, kind of like plain yogurt. I don’t know how long you can do this for, but I know I did it at least 4-5 times with the same jug of buttermilk. Make sure to shake it well before using. Buttermilk lasts for quite a while in the fridge, but it can also be frozen.
I still have a few problems with storing dairy. Mainly, there is no good storage option for drinkable milk. There is also no way to make a good white sauce or creamy soup with powdered milk since it’s nonfat and gives it an aftertaste. I will be working on some possible alternatives, but there just may not be any. If anyone has suggestions, I’d be glad to hear them! So far, I’m considering coconut milk as a good sub for heavy cream (since Greek yogurt is not a good one, no matter what Pinterest says.)