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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Let’s Talk About Powdered Milk!

Powdered Milk … AAAAAHHH and EEEEEEEWWW!!! If one of those reactions just went through your mind keep reading and hopefully we can change your mind. Powdered milk is not scary, and it is not gross … we promise! There we said it out loud. It seems like people have a lot of questions about powdered milk so we have put together this little FAQ to guide you through one component of food storage that you don’t HAVE to be intimidated by.

Powdered Milk FAQ

Why should I store powdered milk?
Food storage calculators generally recommend storing either 16 pounds or powdered milk per person or 75 pounds per person. The 16 pound recommendation accounts for one glass of milk per day. However, if you were to be living off of food storage and wanted to cook a variety of foods, you would definitely want to have more milk for baking, etc. Also if you have small children or a nursing mother it is important to have even more powdered milk. Because of the high nutrient levels in powdered milk, if you were unable to find ways to cook your food, you can actually sustain life by ONLY drinking powdered milk for quite some time. So storing more is never a bad thing!
What is the difference between instant and non-instant powdered milk?
Instant powdered milk is similar to instant rice in that it is faster and easier to reconstitute than non-instant formulas. Typically instant powdered milk takes about twice as much powder per gallon as non-instant, but it depends on which brand you are purchasing.
What is a milk alternative?
A milk alternative is NOT 100% milk. It contains a lot of ingredients to make it taste better including whey, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and high fructose corn syrup. As a result, it taste yummier, but has way less protein and includes some ingredients which are NOT great for you. If you want to use your stored milk in recipes or to make cheese, etc., they would turn out differently than if you used 100% milk. If you just want to drink the milk alternative as a milk flavored yummy drink, it’s ok. However you will be missing out on important nutrients which are even more critical in a time of emergency.
Which brand of powdered milk tastes the best?
The Utah Preppers blog posted an in depth taste test on the most common brands of powdered milk out there. We are so glad they did this because we’ve only personally tried a few brands ourselves. According to their study, the best-tasting milks were:
  • Milk alternative: Morning Moos
  • Instant powdered milk: Provident Pantry
  • Non-instant powdered milk: Rainy Day
Are there any options besides “nonfat” powdered milk?
Yes! Dry whole milk is available although it’s much more difficult to find, especially in bulk. If you just cannot stomach nonfat milk (like Jodi’s dear sweet husband) there is still hope. One brand that we have heard about a lot but haven’t tried yet is Nido. You can often find it in the Hispanic foods section at your local grocery store. Or I found it available online at Amazon.com (don’t you just love Amazon?) It’s pricier than nonfat milk and the storage life will be much shorter due to the fat content of the milk so make sure to watch out for that.
How can I improve the taste of powdered milk?
One trick we learned from Crystal at Everyday Food Storage is to mix a little bit of sugar and vanilla in to your powdered milk and then make sure to serve it cold. This will significantly improve the taste of your milk!
Where can I purchase powdered milk for the best price?
The LDS cannery is the least expensive place to get powdered milk. To find a cannery (home storage center) in your area click here. (Please note that a lot of canneries do not require you to be a member of the LDS church to purchase from them, so contact your local cannery and find out their policies). However, since milk from the cannery is not the best tasting powdered milk, here are some other options. Provident Pantry instant milk is available at Emergency Essentials stores or online. Rainy Day non-instant milk (made by Walton Wheat) is available from Alison’s Pantry online or via a local rep.
What is the shelf life of powdered milk?
While different sources claim the shelf life on powdered milk can be up to 20-25 years, we have also read that the nutrient level significantly drops within that time. So we would definitely recommend incorporating a habit of rotating your powdered milk to keep your supplies as fresh as possible.
What’s the best way to rotate my powdered milk?
Since most people don’t particularly enjoy drinking powdered milk as a replacement to regular milk, we highly recommend using it in RECIPES where it won’t be as noticeable. You can view our food storage recipes to see where we have substituted powdered milk successfully. Or you can also check out our sister site Everyday Food Storage for more great ideas on cooking with your food storage!
p.s. Check back on Wednesday for a recap of our fun at the Utah Valley Women’s Expo and a preview of the event we will be speaking at in Ogden this Saturday!