When I was growing up in Connecticut, we lived waaaay out in what some would call “the country”. The nearest grocery store was at least 15 minutes away and that impacted how we did things. For instance, we got into the habit of not letting the gas tank on the car get too low (as the nearest gas station wasn’t much closer than the nearest grocery store) and just running to the corner for a gallon of milk wasn’t really an option either.
One of the things we did to make sure we were never caught without was keep powdered milk on hand. That way, if we did run out when we couldn’t get to the store right away, we still had our favorite beverage around. Now, I will admit that powdered milk was not one of my favorite things growing up. I definitely preferred the real thing. Lucky for me, where I live now is just a stone’s throw from both a gas station AND a grocery store. However, we do keep powdered milk on hand for a number of reasons: we occasionally get bad snow or ice storms here in Wisconsin (I know, I’m being optimistic by saying occasionally, right?) and I hate having to drive anywhere in that weather. There’s no way I’m going out in it, even for milk. Also, I’ve found a number of recipes that I really like that actually call for powdered milk as an ingredient. Who knew? Thirdly, I love taking baths and I found a really nice DIY moisturizing bath recipe that uses – you guessed it – powdered milk.
Plus, I’ve learned that using a high quality powdered milk and mixing it up correctly makes all the difference in how it tastes! I never knew that before and so I am going to save you all the trouble of drinking so-so powdered milk and share my tips with you.
How to Make Great Tasting Powdered Milk
1) Start with cold water. I thought I had read somewhere to use warm water when dissolving the powder in the water the way you would when making hot chocolate from a mix. It turns out this is the wrong way to do it. I start with the coldest water I can get (which means out of the tap in the winter – brrrr) and have had much better results.
2) Mix the milk with a mixer or blender. One of the things I always hated about milk made from powder was the texture. If you mix it completely with a mixer – or better yet, a blender – it is as smooth and creamy as the real thing.
3) Mix it at least eight hours before you are going to drink it. Yes, I realize that you may need to whip it up on a moment’s notice because you just realized you are out of milk, but if you can let it sit for a while, it really helps the flavor develop. Let it sit in the fridge as the milk tastes best when it is thoroughly chilled.
4) Use a high quality dry milk powder. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it took me years to figure out that part of the reason why I didn’t care for powdered milk was because I had been buying the store brand which was not the highest quality. I recommend Milkman low fat dry milk (with the kiss of cream – it really does make a difference!!). I love that it comes in packets that make a quart at a time – no open box sitting around waiting to be used up. Plus, Milkman does not contain any GMO products and is made right here in Wisconsin where we know dairy! Milkman is back after having stopped production in 2011. Regular powdered milk users, like campers, hikers and boaters, had to try other brands and quickly realized how special Milkman’s recipe is. Now Milkman back and you can easily stock up from their website (where shipping is free) or from Amazon.com.
Thanks to Milkman and Marron foods for partnering with us on this sponsored post.