Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Kitchen Tip: Milk

With food prices on the rise, it can sometimes be tough to be able to afford high quality foods.  For example, organic milk is costs between $6 and $8 a gallon here.

  

Then, there’s the whole debate on whether you should buy and consume skim milk or whole milk, or land somewhere in the middle. 

While I’m not going to touch on our personal milk choices today (or health benefits/research one way or another), I do want to share a tip with you that can possibly help you think about your own milk choices. 

Think about this:

  • If you can purchase a gallon or half gallon of 2% or whole milk for the same price as 1% or skim, why don’t you buy the whole milk?  


Buying Whole or 2% Milk

In an effort to save money where we can, and buy healthy products for my family, we’ve started purchasing smaller quantities of higher quality milk and then adding water to achieve the desired consistency. 

So far, we’re loving it. We can stretch a gallon of milk longer and each person in our family can enjoy their consistency. 

Now, I will say that we do not drink milk – neither Frog Prince or I are drinking it by the glassful for dietary needs.  Rather, we enjoy it on granola for breakfast or in recipes.  If you are, of course, consuming milk for dietary needs, then consider the impact of adding water to your milk.  

For cooking, this method has worked out wonderfully.  Adding water to the milk stretches it a bit further in dinner dishes, allowing us to enjoy a higher milk-fat serving with granola or baked oatmeal, or even in ice cream

Have you ever thought about this before?  Or, added water to your higher-fat milk? 

This post is linked to: Kitchen Tip Tuesday

55 comments:

  1. Awesome write! I'm on weight watchers and hate buying 2 kinds of milk for home. Now I don't have to. Ty

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  2. That's exactly what I do. After reading a couple of years ago about powdered milk (and possible health issues with that) being added to lower-fat milks, I started buying only whole milk and adding water to it. (I usually add about 20 oz per gallon). My family never noticed a taste difference, although when they caught me doing it once, they flipped out..."GROSS!!" they yelled. But now they're used to it. :)

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    1. Funny the things we have to hide from our families to spare them the 'disgust' :)

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  3. I never heard of that, but it's a great idea! Back when the type of milk that was on sale used to be 1/2% & 4% one week and 2% the next, my mom would by 1 gallon of each of the whole & skim and mix them to approximate 2%; cheaper milk with the right "texture" for our tastes. Now that a typical milk sale is "all varieties," we don't have to do that anymore. --Merri

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  4. I had no idea that powdered milk was added to skim! How much water do you add then?

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    1. It depends on how "thin" you want your milk. With 1 C whole milk, I've been using 1/2 C milk, 1/2 C water - especially for baking. With 2% milk, I do about 3/4 milk, 1/4 water.

      Hope that helps!

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    2. Powdered milk is not added to your milk that you buy at the store. It would have to state that on the ingredients.

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    3. Milkfat solids are used in some milk production to make lower-fat milks:

      http://www.realcaliforniamilk.com/products/dairy/milk/

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  5. I have never thought about doing this! I buy 2 gallons of skim milk a week, plus Almond milk for me, and that gets pricey! I am so going to try this, but will have to keep it a secret from the kids :-)

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  6. This is a great idea, but...please be aware you are diluting the amount of calcium (and other nutrients) in the milk as well. Most skim milk has the same nutritional profile as whole milk (with the exception of less fat and calories), so you are diluting these as well. I wouldn't recommend doing this if your children are drinking it!

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    1. The calcium does not matter as humans cannot absorb calcium from pasteurized milk.

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    2. As this is contrary to most thought a credible reference would be nice, please.

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    3. Wrong. The body is able to absorb approximately 1/3 of the elemental calcium in dairy products. I think you need to look into nutritional information a little deeper before spreading the wrong ideas :/

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    4. In a nutrition class I took many years ago, I was taught that the body absorbs calcium from milk better and more efficiently than any other source. I drink a lot of milk and at 74 years of age, my bone scan results still come out normal for my age. My calcium levels in my blood tests are at high normal, so the doctors do not recommend calcium supplements.

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    5. I have read recently that the body absorbs the nutrients easier from whole milk than from Skim milk.

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    6. My Grandmother who is 93 years old has never drank milk in her life, even as a kid she would sneak it down the drain. She just hates it. Doesn't like ice cream, yogurt, cheese, etc. She has never broken a bone, despite falling several times in recent years. Her bone density tests show her bones are great. Long story short, she eats plenty of greens (spinach, beet greens, dandelion greens, etc) and beans. She credits that to her strong bones.

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  7. In our area the price of whole milk is significantly higher than skin and 1 and 2% fall somewhere in between. So I'm not sure it would be worth it. My three year old still drinks whole milk (even though the official AAP recommendations say she should drink 1% or skim). Plus I like using whole milk instead of cream in a lot of recipies. It's lower in fat but still produces the creamy texture in soups and some baked goods.

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    1. I've found that I love whole milk in recipes rather than cream too!

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  8. I found this post very interesting as I'd never heard of doing this before. Do you and Frog Prince drink a lot of milk? My family of 4 barely gets through a gallon of skim milk in 10 days.

    With the holidays coming up, I thought it would be a great idea to buy whole milk and add water. There are many recipes that call for whole milk, and it really makes a difference, but we never drink whole milk.

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    1. We don't drink a lot of milk here; the only way I really drink milk is from the milk booth at the state fair ;-) We do use it on cereals & baked oatmeal, and use a lot of it for cooking. We've started buying half gallons of whole or 2% and then adding water to stretch it.

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  9. My mom always would make up a gallon of powdered milk and mix it with a gallon of whole milk to stretch it, and I did also when we had kids at home. I like your idea of just adding water, especially, as you say, for cooking! Great post!

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  10. Do you do this with just whole milk? Or 2% too? What is the ratio? Just 50/50?
    Also, do you save an old container so you have one to mix it in?
    I need more details please. :)

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    1. Hi Jenn--

      I do this with whole & 2% milk. The ratio depends on how "thin" I want the milk. For cereals -- we do about a 50/50 ratio with whole milk, and a 75/25 with 2% milk. For baking I use roughly the same, although depending on the recipe I may dilute the milk to 40/60 or 30/70.

      I hadn't thought of a container to mix it in! We usually just pour it into a measuring cup and measure it on the spot -- but saving a container would be a great idea.

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  11. We gave up milk mostly. When i bake i use powdered, i keep cans of condensed milk too...we drink almond milk. Only exception ice cream. Which is how i found you i think...looking for sonewhat healthy

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  12. My ex mother in law use to buy one gallon of whole milk and dump half of it in a empty 2% milk jug and do the same with the other half... then add water to fill the jugs up... Then she would discard of the whole milk jug so no one could see it... Making 2 gallons of 2% from one gallon of whole... It tasted just like 2% milk and no one ever knew the difference... I only knew because she ended up telling me the secret to making milk last around her house with all her grandkids being there just about every single day... I was going through a gallon of 2% every 2 days around my house with 6 people... I couldn't afford it so she let me in on her secret... So I would go to store while ex husband was at work and kids were at school and I would do the same except on Thursdays I bought 2 gallons of whole milk and made 4 gallons of 2% and took 2 gallons and froze it so I would make sure I had milk to get me through the weekend while everyone was home so they would never find out... I still do it to this day 10 years later... My husband of the past 4 years likes the idea cause it saves us money even though we get WIC, we have 4 growing kids at home and the 3 gallons we get on WIC does not last all month long... Our children have no idea what we do... But they have never complained and my 3 year old is very picky about her milk if it isn't 2% she will not drink it and she never complains about the milk I mix...

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  13. Thank You so much for SHARING your Skills! :)

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  14. I am a dairy farmer. I applaud your attempts to save money as we all need to stretch that dollar! Please be aware that by adding water to milk you are cutting the nutrition by however much water you add. For example, normally 8 oz of whole milk contains 30% of your daily calcium and 25% of your Vitamin D needs. Surprisingly, 8 oz of skim milk also contains 25% of your daily calcium and 25% of your daily Vitamin D. By adding water to any of these, you are reducing the nutrients. Honestly. My family and I have dedicated our lives to providing nutritious and delicious dairy products. Thanks so much!

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    1. Thanks for your feedback! I updated the post to reflect the nutritional content differences.

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    2. We all take vitamins in our house, so I think we will be ok.

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  15. I've done that when cooking for many years (mostly gravy). Also when the milk is running low I would dilute it as it is miles & miles to the nearest grocery store. I am not paying twice the amount at the corner store for milk.

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  16. Where I live, whole milk costs about 50 cents more per gallon than skim milk, so you ARE paying more for it. I buy skim and save myself money and the bother of adding water to my milk.

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    1. That makes sense if the price difference is as you describe! For us, surprisingly, skim - whole milk is the same price.

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    2. No it don't make sense. If it's only 50 cents a gallon more you are getting gallon for 50 cents when you add water.

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  17. Mm... I've noticed that watering down my own milk tastes pretty disgusting, but I don't buy organic milk, so that's probably why. I've done it simply because I really wanted some milk and all my friends get 2%, but I really prefer skim milk.

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  18. Wow I have heard of this. I'll have to try this. I drink 2 - 2.5 gallons a week just myself. Hope it's good.

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  19. They do not add water to skim milk, they remove fat. We milk our cow and when the cream separates to the top we skim it off for other things like icecream, coffee or butter. The milk that's left, if you take all the cream, is skim milk. It LOOKS watery but we added no water to it. The longer you let it sit the more the cream separates. They homogenize it so this doesn't happen to store milk. They also pasteurize it to extend its shelf life but in the process destroy many healthful nutrients.

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    1. Finally, the voice of reason. I have been scrolling through the comments. I am going to look it up, but I have never before heard of water being added to milk before bottling. I have only heard of "separating" which it is called by farmers using their own milk.

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    2. Thank you Anon. for that information. I have been reading these comments and just shaking my head. I cannot believe these people do not realize the nutritional difference in skim and watered down milk. They might just as well drink plain water nutritionally. That would be just the same as purring water on your cereal!

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  20. All milk costs the same where I live. My mom used to mix powdered with our milk in the 60's. Last time I checked powdered wasn't so cheap anymore. Find a way to do this with gas. That is what is killing my pocketbook!

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  21. Whole milk is a good choice for children aged 1-2 years and anyone else for whom fat intake is not a consideration. Whole milk must contain not less than 3.25% milkfat and 8.25% "milk solids not fat" (protein, carbohydrate, water-soluble vitamins and minerals). All milks are approximately 87% water. Whole milk contains 150 calories and 8 grams (g) of fat per 8-fluid oz. serving. Although not required, whole milk may be fortified with Vitamin A and/or Vitamin D .
    Reduced fat milk is a good choice for those seeking moderate restriction of their fat intake. Reduced fat milk is whole milk in which the milkfat level has been reduced from 3.25% to 2% (hence its popular name, "2% milk"). Reduced fat milk contains about 38% less fat than an equal serving of whole milk. Like whole milk, it must contain not less than 8.25% "milk solids not fat" and is approximately 87% water. Reduced fat milk contains 120 calories and 5 g of fat per 8-fluid oz. serving. Vitamins A and D are removed with the milkfat, so they are added back to reduced fat milk.

    Low fat milk is a good choice for those seeking somewhat greater restriction of their fat intake. Low fat milk is whole milk in which the milkfat level has been reduced from 3.25% to 1% (hence its popular name, "1% milk"). Low fat milk contains about 69% less fat than an equal serving of whole milk. Like whole milk, it must contain not less than 8.25% "milk solids not fat" and is approximately 87% water. Low fat milk contains 100 calories and 2.5 g of fat per 8-fluid oz. serving. Vitamins A and D are removed with the milkfat, so they are added back to low fat milk.

    Fat-free milk is a good choice for those seeking to restrict their fat intake considerably. Fat-free milk is whole milk in which the milkfat level has been reduced from 3.5% to essentially none (the PMO allows milkfat residuals of up to .5%). Fat-free milk is often referred to as "skim milk." Like whole milk, it must contain not less than 8.25% "milk solids not fat" and is approximately 87% water. Fat-free milk contains 80 calories and 0 g of fat per 8-fluid oz. serving. Vitamins A and D are removed with the milkfat, so they are added back to fat-free milk.

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  22. For those of you who are concerned about the dilution of nutrients, I understand this concern, but quite honestly, I don't think it's really a concern for avid drinkers of milk. I say this for two reasons... first, a serving of milk with 25% of this or that is one cup of milk, well, my kids (and admittedly, myself) are more inclined to drink more than one cup at a sitting. They also drink a comparable amount of water during the day. Diluting milk will only cause a loss of nutrients in those who depend on milk limitedly for calcium intake, but if they drink as our family does, they make up for it via their frequent and abundant consumption.

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  23. Wikipedia and a Washington State site describe fat being removed in order to have the different kinds of milk. Further to that, the Washington site says that since some vitamins A and D are lost with the removal of fat, the milk is supplemented. www.havemilk.com

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  24. My grandma raised 8 children and this is how she used to make two gallons of milk from one. No one ever knew the difference.

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  25. Have you considered not buying homogenized milk and letting it separate, pulling the cream off, I'm not sure what percent it is at that point, but closer to skim :)

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  26. I buy half a gallon of milk a week from a local farm for drinking and for the cream if I need it that week (if I don't need the cream, I just shake the milk up before I pour a glass). I buy 2% milk for baking, cereal, etc.
    My grandkids visit for a few weeks in summer. A few years ago I gave my 9yo grandson the fresh milk. He didn't really care for it. I told him why it was different and he said "Maybe I'd like it better if I knew the cows." We visited the farm and now he looks forward to milk from his cow friends every summer : )

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  27. If you add water to milk you will need to adjust the amount of protein and vitamins per cup. There will be less of both if you add water.

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  28. another way to stretch it is to add a little skim milk powder to water and then mix if half and half with the whole milk

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  29. If you have someone dieting or on a sodium restricted diet, please check the labels. It used to be that skim or 2% milk had MORE sodium cup for cup than whole. Diluting whole milk with water would actually be healthier as vitamins and minerals can be added, but salt can't be reduced by eating other foods or taking supplements.

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  30. Since you can never thin out whole milk enough and get skim milk out of it, I go in the other direction. I buy skim milk and heavy whipping cream, when I'm cooking something that calls for whole milk, I use 8oz skim milk + 4 teaspoons (1 1/3 tablespoons) heavy whipping cream. If I want 2%, it's 2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream.

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  31. This will probably help in our household considering two of us go through four gallons of skim milk a week! Just be sure to use clean containers.

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  32. However water added to whole milk does not change the fat content which is the reason for buying 2% or skim milk. Frankly id prefer the consistency and flavor for whole milk but the fat in 8 ounces is more than 2%. adding water means you just have thinner and more of the same higher fat content.

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    1. Well no - 1 cup of whole milk has 8 grams of fat and 150 calories. 1/2 cup of whole milk + 1/2 cup of water has 4 grams of fat, and only 75 calories.

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  33. Sorry, but I have got to blast this one. My grandmother did this to me when I was a kid--she wanted me to lose weight and tried to manipulate my diet in some rather sneaky ways. I HATED drinking white water!
    If you don't taste the difference, good for you. But some of us can't stand this.

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  34. You do realise that you can make butter with the whole milk and the so called water that is left over is basically skim milk? When butter prices get quite high around the holidays, this what I do using my Kitchen Aid mixer with the wire wisk.

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Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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