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For better or for worse, cow’s milk is something that most families consume in generous amounts. However, when it comes to storing it, most of us realize pretty quickly that fresh milk won’t last more than a couple of weeks at most. As a result, milk is often an item that is frequently omitted from a family’s emergency food storage. But why should we let a short shelf life prevent us from storing a staple that is not only delicious and versatile but that also contains healthy vitamins and minerals? Here are some alternatives to help you to complete your food storage in the best way.
If you cannot stand the thought of having a non-cow’s milk in your food storage, you can actually lengthen its shelf life by freezing it. This will allow you to keep it for up to three months, so you will have to rotate your supplies every quarter. You might also want to try freezing just one carton first to test it out. The consistency can change slightly upon thawing, and it is not to everybody’s taste. If you like it, you can then work on filling up your supplies.
Powdered milk is probably the best milk for food storage. Not only is it as close to real milk as you will get, especially in taste and texture, but it is cheap and much easier to store taking up very little space. The regular shelf life for powdered milk is about 18 months, but if it is packaged properly, it will be good for much longer than that. It also doesn’t need to be refrigerated, which helps with storage. Instant milk is also an option. It is almost the same as powdered milk, but is created through a freeze-drying process.
Whether you have an allergy to lactose or dairy, you want an easier storage option, or perhaps you simply like the taste, soy milk is a popular alternative. The good thing about soy milk is that you can actually produce it at home. This makes it a good last resort for emergencies. Nutritionally, it has almost as much protein, less fat, and no cholesterol, when compared to regular milk. There is a different taste, so it is another one that you will want to try out first. Soybeans have a shelf life of about 18 months.
Rice milk is in some places a bit harder to come by than soy milk, but some people prefer the flavor. It is another milk that can be homemade and is free of cholesterol and lactose. It does contain more carbohydrates than regular milk however. Rice milk also has a thinner consistency than dairy or soymilk. It has about a nine-month shelf life.
Thanks to a creamy consistency and added flavor, almond milk is a popular milk alternative. It is also something that you can make yourself, tastes good in drinks or with fruit, and has an average shelf life of about a year.
By Lee Flynn – www.edthatmatters.com
Another alternative is simply to make your own nut milks – and it’s easy! The benefit of this is you can for example store your own almonds and then make almond milk when needed – so long as you have access to a blender. Tutorial here – How To Make Your Own Almond, Nut, Rice and Seed Milks
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