While searching for food that can be utilized in survival situations, you’ll realize that powdered milk is the most expensive foodstuff. The prices can range anywhere from $10 to $100 depending on the amounts.
Canned milk has a 2-year shelf life, while dehydrated milk can last up to 20 years. Even though some people think it is impossible, you can dehydrate milk at home. It is an arduous task but it is worth the time.
Dehydrating milk is possible if you have the plastic dehydrating tray inserts (or fruit roll-up trays).
Place the inserts on each tray of your machine.
Then pour one cup of milk onto each tray. It takes a steady hand to do this because the trays aren’t very tall.
Depending on your machine, the temperature that is recommended to dehydrate milk is around 135 degrees. If this is your first time dehydrating milk, I would recommend only doing two trays to ensure your temperature settings are correct. Five trays of milk will take approximately 12 hours.
After the 12 hours has finished, the milk will have hardened and cracked into multiple pieces. Toss these pieces into your blender or food processor to turn into a fine powder.
You can vacuum seal your dehydrated milk to enhance its shelf life. There are some incredible vacuum sealers on the market. One is on sale at CostCo for around $130. They are worth the price because of its varied uses.
13 teaspoons of dehydrated milk powder will equal one cup of reconstituted milk. Add 1 tablespoon of hot water to your powder. It can have a muddy quality when you reconstitute it.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of hot water to it gradually until you get the consistency you want.
Purchased Whey Milk
The whey milk on the market is actually a bit cheaper than regular cow’s milk that has been dehydrated. It is a lighter taste and texture (for those of us who like skim milk).
Whey milk is usually available in packets instead of the regular loose powder in the large buckets. This is a great option because it keeps your stock from being reintroduced to air every time you need milk. It lasts for up to 20 years as well.
Ranges of pricing from stores:
On Amazon.com, I found Nonfat dry milk 25.6 oz for $9.31.
Hoosier Hill Farm has 1 pound of dry whole milk powder for $11.39.
Augason Farm Dehydrated Nonfat Milk (which can be purchased at Ridleys) is $17.39 for a 1-pound can.
Augason Farm (Merry Moo’s Chocolate Milk Alternative) is $19.79 for a 1-pound can.
I would recommend trying to dehydrate your milk on your own. It will save money, and even though it is a long task, it is worth it.
Emily Thornton is an English Teacher at Pocatello High School and is working on her Master’s Degree at Idaho State University.