Powdered Milk Is The Flavorful Way To Thicken Mashed Potatoes

Preparing mashed potatoes is straightforward: Just clean the spuds, boil them, then mash them. However, this deceptively simple process can be quite easy to mishandle. For example, if you boil the taters for too long, they'll end up waterlogged, resulting in a runny dish when mashed. If you manage to cook the potatoes just right but accidentally add in excess liquid when mashing, then you will again find yourself with a sad-looking soupy dish. Luckily, this dreaded runny mash is not irredeemable. The solution is to add powdered milk.

Powdered milk is essentially liquid milk that has undergone complete dehydration. The goal is often to increase the shelf life of the milk while maintaining its nutrients and flour. Milk powder should also be a pantry staple thanks to its versatility. You can add it to your bread for a nice golden crust or mix it into your ice cream and milkshakes for extra sweetness. When it comes to mashed potatoes, powdered milk works as an effective thickener. It not only restores the thick consistency but also introduces a delicious creaminess and subtle sweetness to complement the taters' flavor profile.

Why it works and how to add it

Since it's completely dehydrated, powdered milk has a high capacity to take in moisture from its surroundings. That's the reason it clumps easily if not stored in a well-sealed container and gets exposed to humidity in the atmosphere. This absorptive property is what makes milk powder a great thickener for mashed potatoes. Mix it into your runny bowl of spuds so that it can soak up the extra moisture, resulting in the firm mash you desire.

Put your runny mashed potatoes in a bowl and add the powdered milk bit by bit. Add one tablespoon at a time into the spuds, then observe the change in consistency. If it's still not firm enough, add another tablespoon and repeat the process until you reach your desired thickness, and that's it.

Alternatively, if you find that your mashed potatoes end up runny more often than not, then you might as well exchange the sour cream or milk you normally add when mashing and go for powdered milk from the get-go. This way, you'll have less liquid in your potatoes and significantly reduce the chances of creating a runny finished dish.