Milk is one of those nearly perfect foods: it’s super nutritious, great for drinking and cooking, a good value for the money and usually on-hand when you need it. The problem might be that milk gets spoilt quickly. What most people don’t know though is that it’s easy to achieve the best conditions to keep milk fresh for as long as possible simply by applying some basic principles.
1. Start at the Supermarket. When shopping, pick up the milk last so it doesn’t warm up while you fill your basket. Refrigerate at a temperature of between 0 °C and 4 °C as soon as possible after purchase. Also check the milk’s best before date and choose the product with the furthest date.
2. Buy Just enough, not too much. Once opened, milk is safe to consume for up to 3 days. This is why it is better to buy smaller amounts more often rather than keeping larger containers open in the refrigerator for too long. Remember to open new milk containers in the same order in which you bought them.
3. Storing in the Fridge. Keep milk containers closed and stored away from strong-smelling food items in the fridge—the milk can pick up these odours. Store milk on refrigerator shelves where it is cooler, rather than in the refrigerator doors.
4. Frozen milk? Freezing is the least time-consuming method for long-term storage, but it is also the most energy dependent one. Milk can be frozen for up to six weeks in many different containers: freezer bags, jars, plastic freezer containers and they perform much like the fresh version when thawed and used. After you have frozen your milk, it can be thawed in the refrigerator or in cold water and is safe for consumption.
5. What not to Do. Whenever possible, leave milk in its original container to safeguard its flavour and nutritional value. Avoid exposing milk to light, as light destroys certain vitamins, such as vitamin D and riboflavin. To avoid spoilage, do not return unused milk from a serving pitcher to the original container.
6. Canned Milk? Yes! Apparently it is possible to can milk. The result is most like the evaporated milk that you can purchase at the grocery store. It has a slight caramel colour and tastes most like fresh milk when diluted 1/2 and 1/2 with water. Check out The survival mom blog for instructions on how to can milk.
As we have mentioned in a previous article the benefits of milk are undervalued, and there should be no reason to keep milk out of the equation when it comes to a healthy, balanced diet. Even when it comes to storage, that should not be a barrier, as Dairy Goodness, shares. Though when you already have that milk that has gone bad and it feels like such a waste to throw it out, don’t fret, having sour milk might even give you the opportunity to cook outside of your comfort zone.
The One Week Plan blog shares a recipe on how to make Thirattu Paal which is an Indian sweet delicacy. The recipe is quite simple and all you need is
• 1/2 litre spoilt milk
• sugar- 1/8th of a kilo
• Time-15-20 mins.
Simply melt some butter or ghee (clarified butter) (For 1/2 litre of spoiled milk, add as much as 7 spoons of ghee/butter) and 7-8 spoons of sugar and caramelize the sugar. Add some cashews (optional). Add the filtered cheese and fry in the caramel till it browned. Let cool and serve.
Huffington Post shares a delicious recipe where you can. Make your own Yoghurt!
To make your own yogurt, take the following steps:
1. Heat the spoiled milk to 150°F to pasteurize it (do not boil).
2. Cool the milk to between 105°F and 110°F.
3. Mix in 2 tablespoons of starter yogurt, (any normal yoghurt) per quart of milk. Add powdered milk if desired for added thickness.
4. Cover and keep warm until thickened. On top of a refrigerator overnight is a good place to keep it warm. Wrap the container in thick towels if there is no warm place.
This recipe can also be used to make mala if you substitute the commercial starter yoghurt for mala.
Featured image via Silicon.co.uk.