Why You Should Keep Milk Powder In Your Pantry

Milk powder, also known as powdered milk or dry milk, is one of those things that tends to live unused in the back of the pantry or is only bought for emergency food storage. As a literally dehydrated milk, with the liquid components taken out leaving only the milk solids, reconstituting the powder with water is an effective way to get milk when there's an emergency or shortage of fresh milk. You've probably also seen people keep powdered milk at home or in break rooms and waiting rooms as a creamer option for coffee and tea, a great way to add the creamy flavor without the extra liquid via Baking Bites

If these are the only ways you've ever used powdered milk, then it might seem like something you don't need to have on hand, but there's so much more this powdered milk can do. This kitchen ingredient is a staple for those who really know how to use it.

Both sweet and savory

Powdered milk is a lot more versatile than you might think. A quick Google search of recipes using powdered milk will give you many results, including using it to amp up the flavor and creaminess in ice cream and milkshakes, to get that perfect golden crust when baking, and to make homemade white sauces or extra cheesy macaroni and cheese. Dairy Discovery Zone even suggests using it to thicken and add some nutrients to canned soups, hot cereals like oatmeal or grits, or even mashed potatoes.

Sara Hauman, chef and contestant on Top Chef Portland, tells Food & Wine, "Dry milk crystals can be added to enhance the creaminess of sauces, both sweet and savory." Food52 adds that using milk powder to thicken sauces, gravies, or soups, as you would flour or cornstarch, may not have the exact same thickening results but will definitely add the flavorful richness of milk.

Hauman also says that her favorite way to use dry milk is to brown it with butter and to create a brown butter powder, which can add texture to all types of dishes from salads to ice cream. According to Bon Appétit, this is the secret to getting more flavor out of browned butter. The site explains, that it's actually the milk particles in butter, which produce that wonderful browning flavor, however, milk particles only make up about 2% of butter. So to get more browned butter flavor, add in more dry milk particles ... and voilà you now can add this toasted milk powder to a variety of recipes. 

You never knew you could do this much with powdered milk, did you? We think it's time to pull it out of the back of the pantry.