Cooking with Powdered Milk: 5 Frugal Recipes
by Miss Maggie
If you’re looking to cut food costs, try cooking with powdered milk. It can be such a handy resource in the kitchen. Here are some frugal recipes to get you started saving.
The following recipes have one thing in common. They all use your ubiquitous box of Powdered Milk to great advantage.
From a delicious (and remarkably stable) low cholesterol Whipped Topping, to decadent Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese, you will be in awe of the broad range of products possible for you to create with a simple box of milk.
Prepare with pleasure.
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon tap water
1/3 cup boiling water
1 cup tap water
1 cup dry powdered milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 teaspoons lemon juice
First take the cup of tap water and pour it into a large deep bowl. Put this bowl of water into the freezer while you do everything else. I use a metal bowl because the water chills faster. Next place the unflavored gelatin into a small cereal bowl. Add one tablespoon of water and let it soften up. Add the boiling water to the gelatin mixture. Stir it with a fork for several minutes, to dissolve the gelatin completely. Let it sit and cool down some. Meanwhile measure the oil, vanilla and lemon juice all into a small container. Set it aside. Also measure the sugar and set aside.
When the water in the freezer has ice crystals forming on it, take it out and place it on the counter. Pour in a full cup of dry milk powder. Using electric beaters (you have to have electric beaters to make this recipe), whip the mixture at high speed until it forms stiff peaks. This will take a full five minutes. Continue beating, and gradually add the sugar. When it is fully incorporated, gradually add the cooled gelatin mixture. When this is fully incorporated, gradually add the oil, vanilla, lemon juice mixture, in a small stream. The texture of the topping will change a little bit, becoming bright white and creamier. This is normal.
Store in the refrigerator for a few days, and use as desired.
This doesn’t taste the same as the non-dairy whipped toppings you find at the supermarket. It actually tastes much better. The dry milk powder gives it a dairy flavor, which, to my taste buds, is much more satisfying than the chemical fluff available in the freezer at the market.
This recipe is actually quite easy after you’ve made it a couple times, and find the rhythm of it. Serve it anywhere you would regular whipped topping and even use it in fancy pudding or gelatin creations. It holds up nicely. Great as a topping for Cream Pies. If you are trying to cut down on cholesterol, this recipe will work as well as real whipping cream on most deserts.
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Cream of Something Soup Mix
2 cups of dry powdered milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken bouillon granules
2 tablespoons dry onion flakes
1 teaspoon each basil and garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons dry celery flakes (optional)
This is a convenient mix for making the equivalent of a can of cream of celery, or mushroom soup, which so many recipes call for. To make the mix, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix them up, distributing everything evenly. Store the mixture in a quart size container, well sealed. It will keep for several months.
To cook: combine 1/3-cup mix and 1-1/4 cups cool tap water in a small saucepan. Stir it well and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Boil and stir for a full minute. Remove from heat. It is now ready to use in any recipe calling for a can of Cream of Mushroom or Celery or Chicken Soup. I tested all of the casseroles in my website with this recipe and it worked perfectly without exception.
You can also make this in the microwave, in which case, reduce the liquid to 1 cup, because none will evaporate during the cooking process. An additional benefit to this recipe, it contains no added fat. If you wanted to, you could add a tablespoon of margarine or bacon grease for more flavor, but it really doesn’t need it.
Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup hot tap water
2 cups sugar
2 cups non-fat dry milk powder (instant powdered milk)
6 tablespoons melted margarine
Blender or electric beaters
First get out your blender. You can beat the mixture with electric beaters if you prefer, but a blender really does a better job. A food processor would probably work pretty well too, but I’ve never tried it. Measure your hot water into the blender. Add the sugar, dry milk powder and melted margarine. Put the lid on the blender and whirl it around for a full minute. The mixture will be kind of thin, but will thicken up after standing for about an hour.
This recipe makes about 3 cups, or the equivalent of two cans of condensed milk. Each store-bought can of sweetened condensed milk contains about 1-1/2 cups. So this recipe is equivalent to two cans. The mixture may be measured and used right away in any recipe calling for sweetened condensed milk. Or for longer storage, divide the mixture equally between two clean pint size canning jars. Store them in the fridge for a week. Or for longer storage, freeze them for a few months and then just thaw before using. Every time you use this recipe instead of buying the name brand stuff from the store you will save.
And for anyone who is skeptical: Yes, this recipe really works in all of the recipes the canned stuff does.
Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese
2 cups dry macaroni
3 cups water
1 cup instant dry milk powder
1/4 cup margarine, melted (1/2 a stick)
2 medium eggs
3 cups shredded cheese (Colby is traditional)
4 oz. of Velveeta type cheese, cut into chunks (OR the equivalent of sliced sandwich cheese, torn into smallish pieces )
a pinch of dry mustard
a pinch of salt
This is an incredibly rich version of that old favorite, macaroni and cheese. It isn’t the cheapest recipe for Mac ‘n Cheese. It is, however, the least expensive of all of the deluxe versions I have found in my potluck travels. It is also really high in protein, which is a good thing when your first born won’t eat meat, but loves Mac ‘n Cheese. First boil the macaroni until it is tender in plenty of boiling salted water. When it is soft, drain it very well.
Meanwhile, oil a 3-quart casserole, or a 9″ by 13″ rectangular pan. Combine the dry milk powder, water, melted margarine, eggs, dry mustard and salt in the oiled casserole. I use a whisk to get it all emulsified nicely.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese and Velveeta-type cheese (or torn up sandwich slices) into the milk mixture. Add the macaroni too. Stir it all up until the cheese is sort of evenly distributed. One needn’t be obsessive about this part; randomness of the cheese distribution stands out as one of the charms of this creamy delicacy. Every third bite or so, has an extra gooey bit of cheese in it, which delights the palette of even an unsophisticated hillbilly.
Bake the casserole at 350 degrees for about half an hour. The cheese should be melted, and the milk should be absorbed into the dish, making it creamy and delicious. If desired, a bit of shredded cheese may be sprinkled on top of the casserole before baking.
This recipe serves about 8, fewer if they are gluttons. Which means it feeds my family for one meal as the main dish, without leftovers. I like to serve it with a plain green vegetable like broccoli or spinach, and a light dessert like gelatin with fruit, or even plain canned fruit cocktail. As a side dish, this quantity serves about 10 or 12, once again, depending on how many macaroni cheese gluttons are in attendance. Excellent for potlucks and the like.
Related: Cheap and Easy Casserole Recipes
Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 cup dry powdered milk
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
Good dash of salt
Chocolate Pudding Mix
1 cup dry powdered milk
1/3 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
Good dash of salt
Choose either the vanilla recipe or the chocolate recipe. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a small container or plastic sandwich bag. Seal and store in the cupboard until needed. I use plastic sandwich bags closed with a twist-tie. Normally I prepare about 6 or 8 bags worth at a time.
To cook: In a sauce pan, slowly whisk together 3 cups of tap water and the contents of one bag of Pudding Mix. Stir and stir until the mixture is smooth. Cook and stir the pudding over medium heat until it begins to boil. This will take a few minutes. I used to be tempted to make the cooking time go faster by turning up the heat. It took many batches of burned pudding for me to realize that a few extra minutes of cooking and stirring over medium heat give much better results than risking the ruination of the whole batch over high heat. After the pudding boils, count to 60. Remove the pudding from the heat. It may seem thin, but rest assured, it will thicken as it cools.
If desired you can quickly whisk in an egg now. I almost always do this for the Vanilla Pudding. Without the egg, vanilla flavor tastes like sweet milk gravy to me. With the egg though, it rivals some of the most exquisite custards I have ever eaten. Usually I crack the egg right into the pan and whisk very quickly until it is incorporated. If you stir too slowly, you will end up with cooked egg, instead of smooth pudding, so be sure to stir quickly. Next mix in 3 tablespoons of margarine and a teaspoon of vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool a little before serving.
I turn the slightly cooled mixture into small resealable plastic containers and send it with the children for lunches. It also makes a great after school snack.
Reviewed August 2021
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