The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

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Tuesday 21 July 2015

Pantries and Preparedness. Powdered milk in your pantry.

Today I want to talk about powdered milk as a staple. The number one thing I know people run out to the shops for is milk. It is also one of the first things we run out of when the shops are shut or for some reason we can't get to the store. It is also the base of so many recipes and things I rely on like milk in my cup of tea!  Powdered milk as part of our pantry and storage just makes sense. But we might not think about what a good idea it is until we need it and then it is often one of the first things to be sold out. Here it is often sold out anyway for the same reason the baby formula is in low stocks. Powdered milk is given as a gift in some countries it is so valuable.

I have kept powdered milk on hand for emergencies. But I have not had much experience using it otherwise. Once upon a time I did use it to stretch fresh milk. I would mix half made up powdered milk with half fresh milk in a jug. No one could tell the difference when I did this.
I asked Teri about this subject and how she used powdered milk in cooking etc. She replied...

 "When I am baking, I just add the dry milk to the dry ingredients and the amount of water to the liquid ingredients.  When I am making a white sauce or scrambling eggs, I use the milk reconstituted.  If I want to use milk in my smoothie, I will often put dry milk in and just add a bit more juice/water/yogurt.  It just adds a bit more nutrition, I think."

I could see Teri knew all about this so I asked her to share and she has kindly written up information for us.
So over to Teri....

I started using powdered milk years ago. It was hard
at first but I needed to learn this skill because it would
help with the budget, our kids were young and
growing and I wanted a way to have shelf-stable milk
since running to a supermarket (big or small) wasn’t
always an option. I was also looking for a way to
have long-term storage. So, today, I would like to
share some ways I have found to use powdered milk.
1. To have “fresh” milk on hand, I mix up a quart of
milk at one time. My powdered milk is noninstant,
so I use . Cup of powder to one quart of
warm water. I stir this with a whisk, adding 1
teaspoon of sugar and store in the refrigerator. I
use this in my coffee, with cooked oatmeal or
granola, stir a bit into eggs when scrambling, I
make white sauce and gravy, etc.
2. During winter, I drink a lot of hot cocoa
(sometimes just stirring some into my coffee). So, I
make my own using powdered milk, sugar,
unsweetened cocoa powder, salt and a small
amount of powdered vanilla. I store it in a reused
#10 can and then fill my pantry jar from
that. It tastes much better than the packets from
the store and costs much less. (I also buy my
unsweetened cocoa in bulk or in a large
container from Costco).

3. When our kids were home, I would mix half
regular milk and half reconstituted powdered
milk, then put it all in the jug from the store and
they never knew until they were grown! Lol If I
need half and half for a recipe or to pour over a
fruit crumble or cobbler, I mix a small container of
heavy cream with some reconstituted powdered
milk and use that. Works great!
4. We have talked a bit about making our own
mixes. This is just one more way to use powdered
milk, cut expenses and stay out of the store for
just one item.
5. I love using my SOS mix for condensed soup but
here’s a recipe I use when I have lots of extra
chicken broth. I make a BIG batch of
homemade condensed cream of chicken soup,
using reconstituted powdered milk. This recipe
makes approximately 2 cans worth (that’s why I
3x or 4x the recipe, storing extra in the freezer).
1 1/2 Cups chicken broth, . 1/4 teaspoon onion
powder, .1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, . 1/4teaspoon
salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon dried
parsley (any other seasonings you would like
depending on what you made your chicken
broth with). Bring this all to a boil. Meanwhile,
mix 1 1/2 cups milk with 3/4 cup flour. Whisk well.
Add to broth, stirring constantly with a whisk and
cook until thickened. I use this as is but you could
add some leftover cooked chicken. Also, if you
would like to use fresh mushrooms and/or fresh
onions and garlic, just chop and add to the broth
to cook a bit before thickening. This stores well in
the freezer and is so convenient!
6. One of the items Brandy (The Prudent
Homemaker) mentioned she was buying this
month was powdered cheese. I shared my
Cheese sauce recipe in the comments of her
post but thought I would share it here, since you
make the mix with powdered milk. (This makes a
lot so I cut the recipe in half when I made it a few
years back. I still need to get some cheese
powder). Mix together 4 1/2 cups cheese powder,
2 2/3 cups powdered milk (this is the non-instant
kind, more if using instant), 2 2/3 cups butter
powder (this is optional-I just use a pat of butter
when making the sauce as the butter powder is
hard for me to find sometimes and expensive),
2 2/3 cups flour and 2 teaspoons onion powder.
Store in an air tight container. (Other
herbs/spices could be added if desired). To
make the sauce: combine 1 cup water and a half
cup cheese sauce mix. Bring to a boil stirring with
a whisk; cook a couple minutes to thicken. If
desired, sprinkle a little dried parsley on top for
color. (If cooking in the microwave, watch to
make sure it doesn’t boil over and stir a couple
times! That’s because I have had the pleasure of
cleaning my microwave! HA!)
7. I make my own sweetened condensed milk and
evaporated milk from my powdered milk. The
sweetened condensed milk can be frozen, so I
make several batches at a time and freeze the

SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK:  (makes a 14 oz. can) 
1/2 cup hot water         1 cup dry powdered milk
1 cup sugar        1 Tablespoon butter
Blend very well in a blender or processor.  It thickens after being in refrig. for awhile.

EVAPORATED MILK:  (makes a 12 oz. can)
1 1/2 cups water   1/2 cup+ 1 Tablespoon dry powdered milk
Blend very well in a blender.  A whisk works too as that's what I have done.

8. When baking muffins, cookies, breads, etc. and
your recipe calls for milk, just add the powdered
milk dry to the dry ingredients and the water to
the liquid ingredients. If I need buttermilk (I don’t
buy the powdered buttermilk cans), I just add
vinegar or lemon juice to the liquid ingredients
with the water.
9. (here) has tons of information,
conversion charts and mix recipes all using
powdered milk, powdered eggs, whole wheat
and other shelf stable food. I use Crystal’s
pancake mix which is way better than store
bought and gleaned lots of information on food
storage from her.
10. Having `our pantries full of food/supplies that
we use on a regular basis is so convenient. I save
trips to the store plus make my own mixes, which
saves money. When you invest your time in
making your own “boxed/packaged” items, you
will save yourself a lot of time by just pulling things
off your pantry shelf and making an easy meal,
lunch treat or yummy dessert!
One thing that I wanted to mention is the
measurements are different for non-instant/instant
powdered milk. Crystal explains this on her blog, if
you are interested in knowing this.
I hope this helps you get started/continue using
powdered milk. Rotation is so important with all our
pantry staples, so try using your powdered milk! Start
by baking a batch of oatmeal cookies! No one will
be the wiser!  Teri

Thank you so much Teri! I am going to use much more powdered milk now especially in cooking and save myself so much lugging around heavy containers as well. Milk also looks lovely made up in a jug in the fridge or on the table. 

How have you added to your pantry this week? I have reached the stage I need to spend some time organising and labeling in the cellar. But I have made progress!
Like little ants if we keep at it we will make amazing progress! xxx


  1. Great information, Teri. I love making my shelf stable mixes out of powdered products. All of your information is so helpful.

    I normally stock the following powdered items: milk, butter, shortening, buttermilk, sour cream, eggs, cheese, and tomato. I make up pancake mix, biscuit mix, ranch dressing mix, cheese sauce mix, etc.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Glenda. I'm wondering how you like the powdered sour cream? I'm sure you could share lots of information, too! Teri

    2. Please share where you purchase these items. Thanks

    3. Crystal, I purchase powdered milk from the LDS cannery. is where I purchased my powdered eggs, although those prices have gone up a lot! (I bought mine in #10 cans about 6 years ago.)

      I make my own tomato powder with my dehydrated tomatoes. And if I need buttermilk, I just use lemon juice or vinegar in the milk.

      I have found #10 cans of butter and cheese at supermarkets in the city but this was a number of years ago. There are stores that have bulk bins and you can look online. I've ordered some things from a few years back (they have bulk spices, candy, etc. but I haven't look recently). I hope this helps! Teri

  2. Thank you Teri for all the ideas! I have some powdered milk that I need to use up. I'm also passing this along to my son. He adds powdered milk to his smoothies instead of the expensive protein powders, so he already has it in his pantry.

    I spent time decluttering to make room for food storage and organize things a little better and making a list of what I need to buy.

    1. Debbie, great job on the decluttering! I am doing some of that myself. Each time I empty a vinegar jug, I fill it with water. I am running out of shelf space, so trying to be creative and re-organize, shifting items to make more room!

      Glad this will help your son, also! Teri

  3. I am just looking into what powdered items we can get here in Australia, noticing the US ladies can et all kinds of dehydrated and powdered things. Obviously packet mixes contain them ie pack mix macaroni cheese MUST have cheese powder. Also campers use a lot of dried things being light and keeping without being in the fridge. All perfect for emergency storage of course. So Im off to do some sleuth work! xxx

  4. My children were brought up on powdered milk as we couldn't afford fresh milk. I still used powdered skim milk until I gave up sugar and started drinking full cream fresh milk. We ran out today so I used powdered milk and couldn't believe the difference in taste. I might try and stretch the fresh milk out by using half and half. A great post as usual, Annabel and Teri.

  5. Thanks so much Teri and Annabel. There is a catering supply place in our town that stock some powdered products. I must investigate! There are some places here in Australia online also, but mainly for manufacturers or stores and sold in huge quantities. I haven't found any good places here with competitive pricing and retail quantities as yet. Will be very interested in what your sleuth work yields Annabel!

    UHT is bulky to store, but we keep a few dozen of them for my husband and some powdered for cooking. Cheese I bag and freeze, but powdered items are great to store and not reliant on power or masses of space.

  6. Hi Annabel, I love powdered milk. When things were tight for us, powdered milk was cheaper than fresh so I used it for everything and my kids grew up with it. I use it for all baking, custards, sauces and so on, and make up bulk packets of "instant" custard and white sauce with powdered milk as the base.

    One thing to remember though when you are adding it to food storage is that it will go rancid, Even the skim/light powdered milks have some fat in them so be sure to only keep as much as you can use before the BB date, otherwise it's just money down the drain. It will freeze in the packet, which will extend it's life if you have the freezer room, I don't, so 12kg in my stockpile at a time.

  7. Dear Annabel,

    You might check out Ballantyne Foods, in Australia. We stock shelf stable Red Feather Brand creamery butter from Ballantyne, New Zealand. I did some research on Ballantyne and it seems they supply powdered cheeses, etc., to various restaurants; they might sell to homes, also, if asked. I saw they were in Australia.

    Vitacost is an online source for many powdered items. We recently purchased our organic tomato powder and cheese powder from them. They have a huge variety of foods, personal items, and supplements at very reasonable prices. I checked and they ship to Australia for a flat rate. It seems shipping internationally is rather expensive regardless....

    For information on Vitacosts international shipping rates and Free Trade agreement with Australia, go to

    To see all of the many items they carry and prices here's the website:

    They do have sales on many items at different times. Right now many of the grains and baking items from Bob's Red Mill is on sale for 25% off of the retail cost. Vitacost, normally, sells below the retail cost anyway.

    Another option for powders is to dehydrate and grind to a fine powder in a food processor. I've done this with mixed vegetables, single vegetables, and tomatoes. I saw some instructions, recently, for dehydrating cheese, then grinding it for cheese powder, but I haven't tried it.

    We normally stock several jars of Ghee and Coconut Oil. These are not powdered but are fairly long term shelf stable items to use for cooking and as a butter replacement.

    Love and Hugs,

    1. Glenda, thank you for the information about Vitacost. I will need to look into it. Teri

  8. Thank you to Teri! Great information. I'm trying something new that I ordered from Amazon (USA) but is hasn't arrived, yet. It is a powdered full fat cream. My husband cannot have the chemicals in nondairy creamer so I have been looking for a pantry alternative. Hoping this works.

    1. Brenda, Please let us know how the powdered full fat cream works out. I can't use the nondairy creamers either. That's why I found a recipe for hot cocoa mix that only uses a few ingredients. Too many chemicals, etc. in so many "store bought" shelf stable items! Thanks!

    2. Dear Brenda, I cannot have the chemicals in non dairy creamer either and would never give them to anyone else. I use evaporated milk in its place. It is rich and creamy and nutritious. And yum! While it is not powdered small cans of it have long shelf lives. Love

  9. I gave up on having fresh milk in the fridge quite a while ago. Its cheaper to buy a gallon than two 1/2's, but it seems to spoil twice a quick. Unless I'm doing something for a holiday meal, like scalloped potatoes, I always use powdered milk. I'm partial to the Emergency Essentials brand.

    Thanks ladies for the tip on evaporated milk. I'll add that to my recipe book. Evaporated milk will go funny in the can, mixing from powder never will. I never knew there was full fat powdered cream either.

    1. mdoe37 Thank you for your comment! I just wanted to mention that fresh milk can be frozen. If I do have fresh milk, I pour it in quart containers, leaving about an inch headspace and freeze. Then it isn't wasted. When, thawing, plan a couple days in the refrigerator.

      I've had cans of evaporated milk go bad, unfortunately. So, now I just use powdered milk. I even make my scalloped potatoes with reconstituted milk, just add a bit of butter. :) Teri

  10. This is a great idea. I have dry milk on my grocery list. In the reference to dry cream - is that real cream or non-dairy creamer??

    1. I checked for dry milk at the store this morning and have more questions: What's a reasonable price to pay? Two brands on shelf, both instant, is that better or not? Your advice/help is much appreciated.

    2. Young77, the reference for the powdered cream would be similar to powdered milk, with higher fat. This is NOT non-dairy creamer. I have not tried powdered cream. The powdered milk I buy is non-fat and would last longer on the shelf.

      I pay $14.25/#10 can, which works out to about .83 cents/quart. I have not checked prices in the store for awhile. I do know that this works out to be a small amount higher than fresh milk for my area, however, I like that I don't have to drive over 20 miles to just get milk. Having my powdered milk on the shelf saves me a lot of time and money!

      I prefer the non-instant milk. It needs to be dissolved in hot water and clumps a bit, that's why I use a whisk to stir it smooth. Instant dissolves quicker. Hope this helps. Teri

    3. Thank you, Teri S. This helps a lot. Exactly the info I was looking for about the powdered milk. I did Google powdered cream and found a site that answered my questions. My Dad was a dairy farmer back in the day - I wonder what he'd think of this!! : ) Thanks, again!

  11. Annabel, Thank you for letting me share again! I enjoy your input and I'm sure you will find, hopefully, some sources for powdered ingredients in Australia!

    Your pictures are lovely, as always!

    Thank you everyone for your comments. Cath, I'm glad you mentioned best buy dates, as I forgot that. I have my milk in #10 cans but when opened, they have a shorter shelf life. I just use my powdered milk so often it doesn't last longer than a couple months, sometimes sooner. I do know shelf stable items help so much on a daily basis!

    Have a great week everyone! Love, Teri

  12. Thank you Teri and Annabel for the useful information and recipes!
    I like to use powdered milk in baking or cooking, too.
    I had an e-coupon for $5 off a tin of powdered milk. When I couldn't find that brand in the size specified on the coupon, the manager graciously allowed me to use it to get a small container for free!
    The savings on using homemade sweetened condensed milk is quite a bit, plus the convenience. We have a favorite desert bar that I liked sending to my son when he was deployed that uses sweetened condensed milk. I also have easy fudge and cheesecake recipes using it. I have often bought the cans, but am thinking I need to get back to making my own. Thanks for the reminder!
    Have a lovely week! Elaine

  13. Hi Annabel and Teri and thanks for this detailed info. I always have powdered milk on hand for baking, and use it as you describe Teri. I also make a white sauce premix that's invaluable for quick meal prep, and use it in that. It's great for making pepper sauce for steak or chicken too. You are a wealth of information guys! Love, Mimi xxx

  14. I'm on a plane now but will return to read and reread this. I had no idea you could make sweetened condensed or evap using powdered milk!

    I always used this in recipes when the girls were growing up. Streeeeetched my grocery dollar for sure!

    Really fabulous today, Annabel!

    Hugs and happy highways.

  15. I used powdered milk to make white sauce for lasagne, to make hot choc drink mix, dry white sauce mix, baking muffins etc.

  16. I always have powdered milk in my pantry. It is used in all my recipes that require milk. I just whisk it up as needed. I also use it to make my yoghurt.

    Great informative post Annabel and Teri.



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