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Uses of non-fat dry milk powder?

I've been given a whopping bag of it and haven't got a clue what to do with it. I mean, I know it's like, * mix with water! * but a tall glass of reconstituted non-fat milk doesn't really appeal. I was hoping for some more creative ideas.
I know they use it in the food industry all the time, but I'm not sure that means it's good....

One idea I had was this: I'm planning on whipping up a batch of ice cream. Would adding the nonfat milk powder actually improve texture and taste? Or would it more likely lessen quality/detract from the homemade-ice-cream-goodness?

Thanks for your tips and insights!

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  1. you can make hot chocolate mix, put it in your hot tea(dry powder form) & if you make it double strength, (use 1/2 the water hot to disolve completely, then add second 1/2 of water) it is good to use in cooking.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BootC

      Thanks BootC for the tea tip...nonfat though it may be, it is handy to be able to add some milk to tea or coffee without making it all watered down. The only thing I haven't figured out yet is how to ensure it mixes in lump-free when adding in powdered form...is the secret that the liquid has to be piping hot?

    2. Years ago I used to mix nonfat milk powder with peanut butter and a little honey to make energy bars for cycling. These would do a great job of staving off hunger while proving long-lasting energy. Try about half milk powder and half peanut butter to start, then change the ratio to achieve the desired consistency.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tripeler

        Hmmm! I'm going to try this.
        I was surprised to find out what a sweet taste the milk powder has on its own, so I understand now why you only need a little honey. I'm still not quite envisioning how they're going to become bars... I guess I'll figure that out when I get there. Is the idea to get a kind of roll-out-cookie-dough consistency, then roll out, cut into bars, and wrap individually, no-bake?

        1. re: Gracemama

          Yes, that's right. Essentially, you control the moisture level by the ratio of powdered milk to peanut butter, while the honey seems to bring the flavors together more than just add sweetness. Also, when refrigerated, the mixture firms up quite well. Be careful, it is very rich and filling.

      2. The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum has a lot of sandwich bread type recipes that call for non-fat milk powder.

        1. It is used for baking quite often. I find that a lot of Japanese bread recipes call for dry milk. It may be only a tablespoon here or tablespoon there but that is what I have my box of dry milk for. It uses up over the year and the stuff lasts forever.

          It can also be used as a protein powder when making high protein bars or similar for body building or meal replacements.

          1. I make ice cream frequently and dry milk powder definitely improves texture. But it's less than you might think. For 1.5 quarts, use 1/4 cup. Also, keep your whopping bag of powder in your freezer and add a few food-safe silica gel packets to absorb oxygen. It will last a year or more.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Chefpaulo

              Thanks, Chefpaulo! I made 2 batches of ice cream(walnut and mint w/ shaved chocolate) using the ratio you suggested. Both turned out delish...and disappeared rapidly;)

              1. re: Gracemama

                On the agenda for this evening is orange Creamsicle ice cream made with mascarpone and, of course, milk powder. I'm glad yours worked out well.

                I would have never associated powdered milk with Genghis Khan. I went to Mongolia in 2000 and feel lucky to have survived raw sheep's milk cheese, fermented mare's milk and camel milk. Powdered milk would have been welcome.

              1. re: girloftheworld

                Ditto here.
                It has a place in other sausage recipes as well

                1. re: girloftheworld

                  Curious. I've never made sausages.... What place would powdered milk have in that?

                    1. re: Kontxesi

                      Hi Kontexi-

                      Sausage making from ground Lamb, spices, and powdered milk, using a Kitchen Aid meat grinding attachment.

                  1. DH made rice pudding once that called for nonfat dry milk. It was pretty good, maybe a little creamier than usual.

                    1. Probably not what you're after but I make a bran-protein loaf using dried skimmed milk.
                      I use oat bran, wheat bran, wheat germ, milled flax, milk powder, egg-white powder, baking powder and yeast. Proportions variable, but generally about half the volume of each wheat ingredient, flax and egg white, one of oat bran, one of milk - and more yeast than you would add to normal bread. Add water to get a very wet dough, prove then bake in a lined loaf tin 30 mins.
                      It slices very thin and freezes well - a slice or two a day is pretty much all the grain I can take (I have digestive issues).

                      1. I use it when I'm making yogurt. My euro cuisine maker has a no pre-boil option so you just stir everything together and pop it in, but without an extra half cup of powdered milk it's just too runny for us.

                        Otherwise, there are always "camping Caucasians" the travel version of the white russian, using powdered milk, instant coffee and vodka for when one is backpacking/camping and weight/space are limited.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: autumm

                          I use it for making yogurt as well.

                          I like the "camping Caucasians" recipe. I don't think I will ever make it, but I like it. Back when I worked in the wilderness I never took booze with me. To dangerous when you are several days travel from civilization. But when I go camping nowadays I go luxury car camping. I don't even bring sleeping bags, although I use a nice tent, double to triple the size for the amount of people. so we can get comfortable. And I brings coolers of wine, booze, fruit, and mixers.

                        2. If you have any recipes asking for sweetened condensed milk, you can use the powder to make your own

                          1/4 C butter
                          2/3 C sugar
                          1 C powder milk
                          1/3 C boiling water
                          1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

                          Throw it all in a blender.

                          3 Replies
                            1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                              here's a use for the sweetened condensed milk you will make
                              (a friend of mine who traveled the world came back with this take off on a fruit salad):

                              in a shallow bowl mix fresh pineapple chunks, sliced strawberries, and sliced bananas.
                              sprinkle with coconut and with cocoa powder.
                              drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.

                              intuitively, it doesn't seem like these ingredients would necessarily go well together, but i've served this at many parties and it always goes over well.

                            2. re: Sooeygun

                              Once when making pumpkin pie, I forgot to purchase the condensed milk, so I simply used dry milk double strength - I could not detect any difference in the pie taste.now I use dry milk all the time for my pumpkin pie. It's cheaper and less garbage is created.

                            3. I was reading reviews of the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. I have never seen the book itself, but the reviews mentioned that one of pastry chef Christina Tosi's secret ingredients is milk powder. I am not sure if milk powder is the same as non-fat dry milk but you might want to skim (pun intended) the book at your library or bookstore.

                              Somewhere on Chowhound, someone once talked about making "creamsicle jello" using powdered milk mixed with packaged orange gelatin made according to package directions.

                              1. You can add it to a baking mix, for those recipes that call for milk, then all you need to add is water (and if you are making pancakes, eggs). Great for camping.
                                And yes, you can use if to make your own hot chocolate mix, mocha mix, chai mix, etc. It does help to put it in the blender with the other dry ingredients to pulverize and mix it.

                                1. i agree with WyoGal - if you have an overnight boat or cabin/cottage or RV - then look up "Better Homes & Gardens" recipe for "Favorite Pancakes" - it's in the bread section of those vintage red gingham (plaid) cookbooks -

                                  anyway - make the powder (dry ingred) mix - and I think it calls for maybe 1 cup milk - so instead of adding the liquid milk - add the 1/2 cup of powder ---- then bag up each batch - and when the time comes to use it at your cottage - add the 1 cup of water - plus the salad oil and the egg (or whatever it calls for in recipe)

                                  best pancakes ever
                                  i should say that we don't like the HoJo or other chain pancakes - no reason - we just prefer the Better Homes and Gardens taste better. And it is super handy for cottage camping etc.

                                  i suppose you could use Bisquick - but for a change this is fun.

                                  i also keep a little bit of powder milk at home cuz we live out in the country and no corner store - so if i am desperate for milk for making chowder or baking - the handy powdered version is there for me.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Georgia Strait

                                    I find having cans of evaporated milk on hand in the pantry is great for spur of the moment chowder, cream gravies, heck, even added to jello mix, as suggested by someone, kind of like a bavarian cream.
                                    The evaporated milk gives a creamy mouthfeel to the sauces and soups.

                                  2. You need a little cream of some sort to make decent homemade ice cream.

                                    1. Not food related, but if you add some to your bathwater, it's quite lovely. The lactic acid softens your skin...

                                      1. Last weekend on America's Test Kitchen Radio, they mentioned "breading" chicken in powdered milk before grilling it. This was to speed the development of grill marks so the chicken can be moved to a cooler section of the grill sooner, for slower, more even cooking. That's fussier than I'd care to be, but it's worth remembering, as a general principle, to try adding powdered milk to breading when broiling, baking, or sauteeing meats and seafood.

                                        1. Fun fact for those of you who, like me, are inclined to think of milk powder as being one of those slightly icky food products spawned by modern industrial food production:
                                          I read that Genghis Khan's army knew about, and carried with it, powdered milk or something very much like it. Who'd have guessed?

                                          1. It's indispensible for making Navajo fry bread, doesn't taste at all right without it.

                                            1. I'm so jealous, I have a ton of recipes (mostly pre-mixes) which call for powdered milk, and it's SOOO expensive where I live, I think they consider it a luxury product hahaha It makes me crazy that it's a low cost product just about everywhere else in the world.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. add it to cookies... makes em chewier. and brownies.

                                                can also make your own instant pudding mix... 1/4 cup milk powder, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, a pinch of kosher salt, and vanilla bean, scraped. combine thoroughly. to make add 2/3 cup milk and either heat and stir in segments in microwave, or stir over low heat on stove, until thick enough to coat back of a spoon. let chill for 4-6 hours. can make flavor variations, i.e. add lemon zest, or sub some cocoa powder for a bit of the milk and starch.

                                                as mentioned above, bread recipes -- my fave is portuguese sweet bread.

                                                1. These are all great ideas! My mom asked me if I wanted any of the powdered milk she has in her food storage collection, and I said no. Too many memories of drinking that stuff when we had to wait for payday to buy real milk.... I might have to go grab a can or two now!

                                                  1. I use it in some bread recipes.

                                                    1. It helps to stabilize whipping cream, it is good in smoothies.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                                        How much powder per pint or quart of whipping cream do you use? I've only used gelatine or the commercial stabilizer.

                                                        1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                          I would use 2-3 tablespoons per quart. I have seen Anna Olson use this on her baking shows.

                                                      2. I make a lot of desserts from the Momofuku Milk Bar book--many of the recipes call for non-fat-dry milk powder so I always have a bag on hand. Also..comes in handy if I run out of milk for my coffee.