Dining

Spoiler Alert

Stop throwing away sour milk (and start baking with it)
Photo: Tasting Table
Milk

Half asleep in your kitchen, you've only just managed to brew your morning coffee, when a rancid smell seizes your nostrils and jolts you awake. The milk you were about to—or maybe just did—pour into your cup of joe has gone bad. We've all been there, and it's rude wake-up call.

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Next time this rank tragedy befalls your morning, don't throw away the carton in disgust. Instead, calmly return it to the fridge and make a mental note: You have a great excuse to bake this weekend.

Yes, you can use sour milk for baking.

While you may not want to drink a glass of spoiled milk straight up, baking is a great way to use the stuff. The extra acidity the milk acquires as it ages can actually yield added flavor in baked goods, like cakes or muffins.

Dan Barber thinks cooking with sour milk is delicious. "It's a substitute for buttermilk," he says. "You can [use it] in pancake or biscuit batter. And you can't taste the sour! I've pushed it and let the milk get really old. The pancakes turned out fluffy and really good."

If you're worried about getting sick, Eat Clean explains that a different set of pathogens causes food illness than the ones that develop in aging milk. Eat Clean does advise tossing milk if mold has formed, because that could indicate the development of unwanted bacteria. If the milk has simply soured, it's still OK, and, in some cases, preferable for baking.

If you fall into the "I never go through all the milk before it goes bad" camp, have no fear. You can now fight the good fight against food waste and have a great excuse to bake brownies.

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