Making milk powder at home is not a quick process but it’s a great way to extend the life of your dairy when it’s nearing its use-by date. If your dairy is getting close to expiring and you want to reduce waste or ensure you always have a dairy supply on hand then milk powder is a great way to do it. Here’s how you do it;
What is milk powder?
Unsurprisingly milk powder is basically what you’d expect. It’s dairy that has been dried out through evaporation until it reached a powder form. Making milk powder at home basically involves removing all the liquid until it is just solids remaining.
It’s possible to get multiple types, including skin or full fat, and other dairy products like whey or buttermilk can be powdered. This can be a great way to keep dairy n hand because it doesn’t even need to be refrigerated and even better, the health benefits of dairy aren’t removed when the liquids are evaporated. All the vitamins and minerals you’d get in normal liquids are still intact, it’s just the water content that is reduced. You also won’t need to add any preservatives to keep it for months or even years.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Whilst you can use any dairy product, you should make sure whatever you use is pasteurized to ensure that there are no bacteria present when you reduce it.
- You will generally get a better shelf life from skim milk powder because it has a lower fat content
- There are different ways to make milk powder, you could use a dehydrator or do it without it
- It’s important to ensure all the moisture is removed because otherwise, mold could grow
- You should store it in an airtight container or in a vacuum-sealed bag
Reconstituting milk powder
After drying it out you’ll want to know how to reconstitute it, generally, you’ll want to add around one tablespoon of milk for every cup of water, if you’d prefer you can add more.
How to make it
To make it you’ll need around one liter, which should make around 150 g of powder. You’ll also need to have a number of oven-safe dishes on hand. First, pour the liquid into a dish, try and keep it as shallow as possible. Next, you should place the dish in the oven at a low temperature of around 50 degrees Celsius. It will work better if you have a fan, but if you don’t then open your oven slightly to let the evaporating liquid escape. As the liquid evaporates you will start to get a paste, if it begins to turn brown then it likely means the temperature is too high. As it becomes a paste you should start to stir it to let the water evaporate more evenly. Once it turns into a paste spread it thinly over baking paper and then return it to the oven, it will begin to flake. At this point, you should ground the results into a spice blender. Pass it through a fine-mesh until you get a very fine milk powder.
Once you’ve made it you should store it in an airtight container. Make sure it is definitely free of all moisture as it will spoil if there is any water content and won’t last for very long. If you have a dehydrator at home you can also perform this process on dehydrator trays at a similar low heat. This is a great process for reducing waste and getting more from your dairy.