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How to Add Fat to Powdered Milk

Powdered milk is a staple in many pantries and emergency food stockpiles, and it represents an excellent source of protein and calcium.  However, most products also lack the flavor and texture found in regular milk because the fat has been removed.  This is necessary in order to give the powdered milk a long shelf life as fat can trigger bacterial growth that can lead to food poisoning.  Unfortunately, this trade-off leaves us with a product that is far from appetizing.

The good news is that adding fat to reconstituted milk is possible by following a few steps and using some basic ingredients.  Let’s take a look at the process, and you can start experimenting to see whether or not this approach can help to make powdered milk easier to swallow.

Emulsify

A common misconception is that you can add fat from whole milk or cream to non-fat milk, give it a shake, and everything will be fine.  However, the end result is similar to mixing water with oil where the fat will not blend with the liquid.  Milk that hasn’t been processed contains natural emulsifiers that cause the fat to bind with the liquid.  These emulsifiers are eliminated during the manufacture of powdered milk, and they need to be replaced.

Two of the most-common emulsifiers that are found in pantries are powdered eggs and honey.  Powdered eggs are the best option for adding fat to milk as it has minimal impact on taste while also creating a nice, creamy flavor and texture.  Eggs also add more protein and calcium which are important nutrients that are often in short-supply in most emergency stockpiles.

The Fat

The next question is what is a good source of fat to add to the milk?  While you can use cream to accomplish the same thing, fresh cream may be in short-supply during a survival situation.  Surprisingly, one of the best alternatives is vegetable oil.  Vegetable oil has compounds that will interact with the eggs and bind to the milk, and these fats are somewhat healthier than others.   

The Process

Mix the right proportions of egg powder to the reconstituted milk in a gravy shaker or similar container with a lid.  You can also use a blender, which will produce a creamier and smoother consistency, but try practicing with the shaker so you can get used to making this during a power outage or when energy is in short supply.

Shake the mixture until the egg powder has completely dissolved before adding in the vegetable oil.  Shake for another two minutes or so until everything is blended evenly.  Remove the lid, serve, and you’re good to go.  If you notice that the fats are starting to separate from the liquid as the milk settles, give it another good shake.  Just remember that this milk is meant to be consumed right away as the fat will contribute to bacterial growth and lead to rancidity.

Proportions

The amount of milk, egg and fat you incorporate will depend on how much fat you want in the finished product, as well as how much milk you want to produce.  For 1% milk, add in ¼ cup of powder.  To make a cup, add in 1/8 teaspoon of egg powder and ½ teaspoon of oil.  For a quart, add in ¼ teaspoon of egg powder and 2 teaspoons of oil.  For a gallon, add in 1 teaspoon of egg powder and 2 tablespoons and 1 ½ teaspoons of oil.

To make a cup of 2% milk, mix ¼ cup of milk powder with ¼ cup of egg powder and 1 teaspoon of oil.  For quarts, mix ¼ cup of milk powder with ½ teaspoon of egg powder and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of oil.  For a gallon, mix ½ cup of milk powder with 2 teaspoons of egg powder and ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of oil.

To make a cup of whole milk, combine ¼ cup milk powder with ½ teaspoon of egg powder and 1 ½ teaspoons of oil.  For quarts, combine ¼ cup of milk powder with 1 teaspoon of egg powder and 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon of oil.  Finally, for a gallon, combine 1 cup of milk powder with 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of egg powder and ½ cup plus 2 teaspoons of oil.

That’s about it.   While this process won’t completely-duplicate the flavor of fresh milk, this alternative will definitely make powdered milk easier to swallow.

 

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