We know that fresh milk isn’t always available, especially in times of emergency: staples such as bread and milk fly off the shelves as friends and neighbors prepare for winter storms, hurricanes and health pandemics. As a wife and mother, I too worry about providing nutrient-dense foods.
Milk, in particular, is vital for a healthy diet. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends three cups of low-fat or fat-free milk and dairy foods daily as part of a healthy dietary pattern to maintain health and help reduce the risk of chronic disease.
The good news is that dry milk powder – reconstituted with water or used as an ingredient in recipes – can help meet those nutritional needs.
Also known as non-fat dry milk or powdered milk, dry milk powder is a real dairy food – made by removing all the water from pasteurized skim milk. It provides the same nutrition as fluid milk and is an excellent source of absorbable calcium. It’s also high in protein, potassium, riboflavin and vitamins A, D, E, K and B12.
Here are seven ways to enhance the nutrition of your family meals with dry milk powder:
- Cooked cereals such as oatmeal or grits. Add ½ cup non-fat dry milk powder to each cup of dry cereal. Use the same amount of water as called for in the package directions when cooking the cereal.
- Smoothies. For a thicker and more nutritious smoothie, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of non-fat dry milk powder per serving while mixing.
- Coffee or tea. Substitute non-fat dry milk powder for non-dairy creamer.
- Biscuits, muffins, pancakes, yeast breads, cookies and cakes. Add ¼ cup non-fat dry milk powder for each cup of fluid milk.
- Canned soup. Add ½ cup non-fat dry milk powder when reconstituting canned soup with water.
- Mashed potatoes. Add ¼ cup non-fat dry milk powder per 1 cup serving.
- Puddings, custards, gravies and sauces. Add ½ cup non-fat dry milk powder to each cup of water or broth.
Whether you’re buying your weekly groceries or preparing your food emergency kit, dry milk powder should be on your list! It’s shelf-stable and can last up to 24 months if kept in a cool, dry place such as your pantry.