Practical Prepping With Powdered Milk – How To Make, Store And Bake

Share this article:

Milk is not an absolute necessity to sustain life, not like water, but When SHTF, it is like coffee, it provides that emotional lift that makes it worth the effort to have some, just to lift the spirit in those heartbreaking times.

I have always tried to find ways to make prepping supplies myself. I believe that it is, in most cases, cheaper and more beneficial to learn to make what you will need yourself, hence, Practical Prepping With Powdered Milk – How To Make, Store And Bake.

As we draw nearer to the SHTF times, goods will be more difficult to find on the supermarket shelves and it will be necessary to make it yourself, so why not learn now and probably save yourself some money in the process?

What Are The Benefits Of Milk

Yes, I said milk is not as important to sustaining life as Water is but it does have its benefits:-

  • Were you aware that the lack of Potassium can lead to high blood pressure? It is absolutely true according to Web MD! “Too much sodium and too little potassium together are risk factors for high blood pressure,”.  As a prepper who may have high sodium content in their food storage, you will want to have more Potassium in your diet.
  • Avoiding Rickets should be quite an important reason to stockpile milk. During the Great Depression Malnutrition was a factor in children getting Rickets, along with inadequate housing and medical care. “A skeletal disorder, Rickets is a
    disease that’s caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate“. As a result, many kids had a stunted growth.
    Rickets may cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and liver diseases. Having milk in your diet will certainly help prevent this.
  •  Vitamin A: A cup of milk has about 9% of an adult’s daily requirement of Vitamin A? Vitamin A is a necessity for good vision and immune health.  It is also required for the healthy development of body tissues.
  • Vitamin B:  Vitamin B is responsible for producing energy, and helps maintain healthy nerves and red blood cells, as well as normal cell division. Now “B” good and drink your milk!
  • Vitamin C: So you “C”, milk has a variety of vitamins, including  Vitamin C! Milk makes a very small contribution to the body’s Vitamin C requirements. In a prepping situation, each small little bit counts.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant! It prevents cell damage and reduces the risk of certain cancers. 
  • Finally, milk is a huge contributor of iodine. Iodine is vital to life. You will also find iodine in eggs and

Dehydrating Milk in the Dehydrator

All you’ll need to make powdered milk, is a dehydrator, fruit roll sheets (Which are unavailable in South Africa), and milk. The process usually takes about 12 hours. Also, the more trays you stack, the longer it takes.


Any milk can be used for drying, but it should be pasteurised to reduce the bacteria present.

Raw milk (non-pasteurized milk) should not be used for making powdered milk. Skim milk gives you the best results as the less fat there is, the better the milk powdered will store.

Using skim milk does impact on taste etc when making cheese and other items.


  1. Place a fruit roll insert ( I have modified a tray with silicone to hold milk for dehydration) into each dehydrator tray and slowly pour one cup of milk onto each tray. (Make sure the counter/surface is level)
  2. Set the dehydrator at 130°F – 135°
  3. Dehydrate until dry and flaky.
  4. If after 12 hours, there are some areas that are ‘goopy’, gently remove the dried milk, re-tray and dehydrate it again.
  5. After the milk is completely dry and flaky, crumble it into pieces.
  6. Place the pieces into a blender and mix until it forms a powder. (Not a necessary step, but allows for more compact storage and makes it easier to measure).
  7. Pour powder into a jar and vacuum seal for a longer shelf life.

Note: Making such small quantities in the dehydrator is time-consuming and costly in electricity. The oven method is more practical.

Dehydrating Milk In The Oven

If you don’t have or do not wish to use a dehydrator, there is an alternative to make powdered milk. That us to use the oven instead.

The directions are simple:
-Place 1 to 2 gallons of milk into a double boiler (add water as needed).
-Simmer for several hours till most of the water has evaporated from the milk.
-When milk gets to a creamy consistency, pour into a large pan with sides.
-Place into an oven preheated at 150°F (the oven should be around 140°F to 160°F). Leave the oven door slightly open to allow moisture to get out.
-When milk is dry, flip out onto a dishtowel.
-Once cooled, grind the pieces in a blender and store.

A benefit of oven drying is that most of us have an oven, and so there isn’t a need to invest in special equipment. A disadvantage of this method is that it does result in some flavour loss.

Reconstituting Powdered Milk 

The ratio for reconstituting powdered milk is as follows: 

  • 1 part milk powder to 2 parts water.
  • 13 tsp. of dehydrated milk powder will be equal to roughly one cup of reconstituted milk. 
  • When reconstituting the powder, add 1 tbsp. of hot water to your powder and mix. Continue adding ½ tsp. of hot water until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Some additional conversion facts:1 Cup Milk = 1 Cup Water + 3 Tbsp. Powdered Milk
  • ¾ Cup Milk = ¾ Cup Water + 2 ¼ Tbsp. Powdered Milk
  • 2/3 Cup Milk = 2/3 Cup Water + 2 Tbsp. Powdered Milk
  • ½ Cup Milk = ½ Cup Water + 1 ½ Tbsp. 
  • Powdered Milk1/3 Cup Milk = 1/3 Cup Water + 1 Tbsp. 
  • Powdered Milk¼ Cup Milk = ¼ Cup Water + ¾ Tbsp. Powdered Milk

These measurements are guides and tastes will differ depending on the method used to dehydrate the milk.

Make Butter with Powdered Milk

Contrary to popular belief, you can actually make butter (and even yogurt) with powdered milk and a few other ingredients. It is not the normal dairy butter but it is definitely better than nothing.

Skim Milk Powder is not going to give you the same taste as full cream powdered milk, irrespev\ctive of how much you use.

I Have not personally tried this recipe so please do not take it as gospel. Try it first!

  • pour ¾ cup Sweet Cream Buttermilk Powder into a bowl
  • Add ¼ cup coconut oil (you may have to warm this up a little to get it more blendable),
  • A splash of water to get to the right consistency
  • Pinch of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt 

Could you see yourself doing this for a healthy butter substitute for regular use? It seems easy to make but does it taste anything like butter?  Would It better than not having anything creamy to spread on bread though?

Using a food processor, blender or mixer can speed up the process a bit but could make clean up more labour-intensive if you are only making a small batch of butter substitute. If you use coconut oil that is unrefined the coconut flavour definitely comes through.

Is there a milk alternative?

Milk alternatives contain many ingredients to make it taste good including whey, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and high fructose corn syrup. It is definitely not milk. It may taste better but does not have the protein, calcium and other nutrients of milk that could be critical when SHTF.

It also includes some ingredients that are not exactly healthy (high fructose corn syrup?).

Reconstituting Powdered Milk

The ratio for reconstituting powdered milk is 1 part milk powder to 2 parts water.

13 tsp. of dehydrated milk powder will equal roughly one cup of reconstituted milk. When reconstituting the powder, add 1 tbsp. of hot water to your powder and mix. Continue adding ½ tsp. of hot water until it reaches your desired consistency.

Some additional conversion facts:

  • 1 Cup Milk = 1 Cup Water + 3 Tbsp. Powdered Milk
  • ¾ Cup Milk = ¾ Cup Water + 2 ¼ Tbsp. Powdered Milk
  • 2/3 Cup Milk = 2/3 Cup Water + 2 Tbsp. Powdered Milk
  • ½ Cup Milk = ½ Cup Water + 1 ½ Tbsp. Powdered Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Milk = 1/3 Cup Water + 1 Tbsp. Powdered Milk
  • ¼ Cup Milk = ¼ Cup Water + ¾ Tbsp. Powdered Milk

How To Store The Milk Powder

If Your Molk Powder is well stored, it can last up to 25 years. This will also depend on where you store it and the temperature.

The best way is to vacuum pack it is in Mylar bags with oxygen removal tablets. Do not make the bags too large as the milk powder will draw moisture once opened.

Store your sealed bags in a plastic container to avoid accidental damage or rodent damage. Keep in a cool dry place and avoid direct sunlight.

According to the Latter-Day saint’s food storage chart, if stored properly, dehydrated milk powder can last 20 years or longer in your food storage.

Quick Uses for Powdered Milk

After you have made the powdered milk, there are various things you can make from there. Below, we have given you some of our favourites.

Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 oz. can)

This is a winner in any kitchen. Here is how to make it:

  • Pour ½ cup hot water into a container
  • Add 1 cup powdered milk
  • Add 1 cup sugar and
  • 1 tbsp. butter 
  • Mix thoroughly. Vary water volume to the consistency you require.

Buttermilk/Sour milk

  • pour 1 cup water into a bowl
  • Add ¼ cup powdered milk and
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice OR white vinegar (mix and let it stand for 5-10 minutes).

Cocoa / Chocolate Milk Mix

  • Place 2 cups of dry milk powder into a container
  • Add ¾ cup sugar (or substitute),
  • ½ cup cocoa powder and
  • ½ cup powdered non-dairy coffee creamer (or use an additional ½ cup of powdered milk)

If storing, whisk all the ingredients together, and store in airtight containers or vacuum pack with the oxygen tabs.

If making, add three to four tbsp. of mix to 1 cup of boiling water. Mix until well incorporated.

Whipped Topping

  • Pour ½ cup of ice cold water into a bowl
  • Add ½ cup sugar,
  • ½ cup powdered milk and
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Mix very well.

REMEMBER: You can also incorporate powdered milk into cooking recipes.

Safety and Concerns

Dried foods preserve really well because bacteria, fungus or mould cannot survive where there is no moisture. So, it is imperative that you ensure that all the moisture has been removed. Vacuum pack where possible for longer shelf life.

I vacuum pack and then freeze all my cereal, flour and powdered goods for 7 days before storing to ensure that there are no “bugs”.


Buying in all your prepping is not always the best and is definitely not the cheapest in most cases. Often the goods are subgrade cheap imports and I have had Dried, Vacuum-packed foods that had worms and moths in them. I won’t even talk about the vacuum-packed goods in the thinnest plastic bags available that often don’t last the trip home.

When SHTF, there will not be a supermarket to go to to buy your goods and online purchases will be non-exsistant. It is far better to prepare your own stores so that when the time comes, you know how to make your own.

If you have any suggestions or questions, please leave them below.

Share this article:

Leave a Comment