Since we’ve switched to soymilk in cereal and coffee, it’s been inconvenient to keep milk on hand for cooking. I either don’t use it before it expires, or I end up short of what’s needed for a recipe.
Powdered milk has turned out to be a perfect solution and it’s one of my favorite frugal cooking secrets. I use it in recipes as a substitute for regular milk, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and buttermilk. I even make yogurt with it! (but that’s a future post)
Most powdered milk packages give instructions for mixing a quart at a time, but it’s possible to mix exactly what you need:
1/4 cup milk = 1/4 cup water + 1 1/2 T milk powder
1/3 cup milk = 1/3 cup water + 7 t milk powder
1/2 cup milk = 1/2 cup water + 3 T milk powder
1 cup milk = 1 cup water + 1/3 cup milk powder
In my experience, lukewarm water works best. I whisk the milk powder into the water until it dissolves. Then I let it sit a few minutes and whisk again before adding it to my recipe.
Buttermilk Substitute Using Powdered Milk
The proportion here is 1 T white vinegar to scant 1 cup reconstituted dry milk. I add 1 T vinegar to a measuring cup, then fill it to the 1 cup line with the reconstituted dry milk. Give it a stir, let it sit for a minute or two to sour.
Where I shop, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk costs over $1 per can. Here’s how I make my own for a lot less:
Evaporated Milk Substitute Using Powdered Milk
Whisk 1 cup milk powder into 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water. This is the equivilant of a 12 oz. can of standard evaporated milk.
I use this in place of half and half. It’s wonderful in quiches, soups, and creamy pasta dishes. Not only is it less expensive, but it’s practically fat free!
Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute Using Powdered Milk
I’ve done this on the stove, but a blender is much easier. Blend together 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 cup milk powder, 2/3 cup sugar, 3 T melted butter or margarine, and a few drops of vanilla until smooth.
This is the equivilant of a 12 oz. can of standard sweetened condensed milk.
With the price of milk being out of control, why pay a premium where it’s not needed? I used to look down on powdered milk, but now it’s one of my most cherished frugal cooking secrets. I hope you find it helpful in your cooking :)
Tracey McBride says
What a useful substitutes list! Also, I wanted to ask you about making homemade yogurt. Do you use a yogurt maker? If so, would you recommend it? Please forgive me if you’ve already posted on this topic (I took a quick look and didn’t see the subject listed…but I may have missed it :-).
Thanks so much for all the great information.
P.S. I made your Greek salad, with the dressing, and it was delicious!! Thanks again.
I use the Salton YM9 1-Quart Yogurt Maker.
I ordered it from Amazon. The price fluctuates, I got mine around the holidays for $12.99. I don’t like the plastic insert, but a quart size mason jar works great and I made excellent yogurt on my first try.
I’m going to post my process & recipe next time I make a batch (soon). I actually photographed the last batch, but I’d forgotten to put the memory card in the camera :(
I’m glad you liked the Greek salad, it’s one of my favorites!
I have really been enjoying your blog! Thank you for your post regarding substituting powdered milk for evaporated milk. I had never thought of doing that and I use it often when I make soup. I agree that powdered milk is excellent in thickening yogurt.
Have a wonderful day! Barbara
Aaah, I am in love with this post! Thank you! I never buy fresh milk as I am trying to eat (mostly) vegan, and I never drink it anyway. But sometimes you just really need it for cooking and baking (true vegans, don’t bite!) I usually keep some canned milk on hand for this purpose, but as you point out, it’s costly. Adding powdered milk to my grocery list!
We use all powdered milk, too~but I will benefit from your precise measurements. I always eyeball it and am writing them down! LOL! (((((HUGS))))) sandi
You are so smart! I wonder how powdered milk would work in making ice cream or sorbets? I might just give it a try. :)