When I go to the grocery store, it’s usually because I am out of milk, butter, sour cream, yogurt or eggs. Fresh eggs and fresh dairy products are hard to store and highly perishable. My husband and I have chickens and gather fresh eggs every day. But what do you do if you don’t have chickens or a cow or a goat, and what if you live in an apartment or an area of the city where raising animals is prohibited?
I believe dried products are the answer. You will hear them called dried, powdered and dehydrated. These are all terms for the same process. The water is removed, and the product is dry. It’s fairly simply to reconstitute them; you just add water.
The following items are available on my website. I can ship them to you in gallon-sized cans that are prepackaged in a case of six cans for long-term storage (five or more years). They have oxygen absorbers in them to preserve the food and increase the shelf life. The products available for purchase include: dried whole eggs, scrambled egg mix, powdered milk, dried buttermilk, sour cream powder, butter powder, cheddar cheese powder and mac-and-cheese powder. At www.peggylayton.com, you can pick and choose any six dried products to make up a case.
Any recipe calling for eggs or milk can easily be converted to use dried and powdered milk and eggs. I have written two books that are very informative: Cookin’ With Dried Eggs and Cookin’ with Powdered Milk. The egg book features recipes for scrambled eggs, omelets, egg custards, French toast, pancakes, waffles, crepes, egg noodles, mac and cheese, quiche, egg pie, breads, salads and desserts.
The powdered milk book explains how to make whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, buttermilk, quick and easy cheddar cheese, feta or farmer cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, cream cheese, cheese sauce, milk beverages, sauces, soups, chowders and puddings. The book also includes recipes for simple suppers. Both books are available on the website.
Dried eggs can be stored long-term
The only practical way to have a supply of eggs on hand for long-term storage is in the dried form. They can be reconstituted with a small amount of water to make them the consistency of liquid eggs. These reconstituted eggs can be used to substitute for any egg called for in a recipe. Because the product is real egg, it must be treated like fresh eggs. Kept in a cool, dry place away from moisture and cook thoroughly. I like to keep dried eggs in the refrigerator in quart jars with tight-fitting lids.
Dried eggs are made from fresh grade-A eggs that go through a special process to dehydrate or freeze-dry them. They are 100 percent eggs and can be used in baked goods or scrambled eggs, just like fresh eggs.
The shelf life of dried eggs
Once dried eggs are opened, they need to be used within one to two years. If unopened and kept cool, the eggs last five to 10 years. It is important to purchase the dried eggs that have been nitrogen packed or that have oxygen absorbers in the can to remove all oxygen. Oxygen left in the can increases rancidity and the loss of nutritional value.
Dried eggs should not be used in uncooked beverages or foods such as eggnog, salad dressing or ice cream. Cooking the product thoroughly will kill any salmonellae or other bacteria that might be in the product.
Reconstituting dried eggs
There are two ways to use dried eggs (make only the amount of eggs called for in the recipe):
- Method No. 1: Measure the dried egg with a measuring spoon. One fresh egg equals 2½ tablespoons of dried egg powder mixed with 2 ½ tablespoons of water. Put the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the egg over the top. Whisk it together until it is smooth.
- Method No. 2: Combine all dry ingredients, sift and measure the dried egg before combining it with the dried ingredients. The extra water needed to reconstitute the egg is added to the wet ingredients in the recipe.
Recipe for scrambled eggs or omelet
1 cup dried whole egg powder
2 tablespoons powdered milk
1 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until well blended.
- Pour mixture in the bottom of a frying pan with a little oil.
- Add 1 teaspoon each of other ingredients if you wish, such as dried cheese powder, dried bacon bits, reconstituted green pepper, mushroom and onion.
- Let the egg mixture cook until it can be broken up into scrambled eggs, or use it as an omelet and turn it to cook the other side.
Powdered milk for long-term food storage
Powdered milk was developed out of necessity. For years, man tried to find ways to preserve milk, because it will not keep in its natural state. The dehydration process was developed to preserve the nutritional value for longer periods of time. Powdered milk is made from 100 percent fresh milk that has gone through a process to remove the cream and water. The non-fat instant powdered milk contains no fat, which results in half the calories, yet retains the natural calcium, phosphorus, minerals, essential protein, carbohydrates and lactose, or milk sugar.
Powdered milk is made by removing some of the water, creating highly concentrated, thicker milk. This thick milk is then sprayed onto a revolving heated drum. The drum has a chamber containing hot air that pulls the water away from the milk, leaving powdered, or dry, milk.
The advantages of using powdered milk include:
- It needs no refrigeration
- It can be easily stored and used for long-term food storage.
- It prevents waste.
- It mixes and measures easily.
- It is low-fat and contains only half the calories of fluid milk.
- It’s economical.
Any recipe calling for fluid milk can be converted to using powdered milk by following the instructions on the label and adding water to reconstitute it. Powdered milk can be added dry to the dry ingredients in any recipe. Just add to the wet ingredients in the recipe the amount of water necessary to reconstitute the powdered milk.
Storing powdered milk
The ideal temperature for storing powdered milk is 40 degrees F. It needs to be in a cool, dry place away from moisture and light. The galvanized gallon-sized container the milk is stored in is ideal because it has an oxygen absorber that removes the oxygen and extends the life of the milk. Powdered milk can be kept on a shelf in a container with a tight-fitting lid for six months to a year. If you open a can or box of powdered milk, repackage it into quart jars with tight-fitting lids. I like to keep my powdered milk in the refrigerator so it will keep longer. Light will cause deterioration of the milk as well. If the flavor is changing and you smell an odor, make cheese with the powdered milk. I add sun dried tomatoes and basil to my cheese, and it is delicious.
To make powdered milk taste better, reconstitute it and chill overnight. Whip it in a blender to incorporate more air into the milk. I used to mix half and half regular milk with reconstituted powdered milk and put it in the milk jugs so my children didn’t notice we were using powdered milk. This is how I would rotate the milk. My daughter still teases me today for this.
Here’s how to incorporate powdered milk into recipes:
- Use 1/4 cup powdered milk to 1 cup of potatoes. Powdered milk in mashed potatoes makes the potatoes creamier. Use the potato water to get the right consistency of liquid.
- Add 1/4 cup powdered milk to each cup of cooked cereal before you cook it.
- Add 1/4 cup powdered milk to meatloaf for each pound of meat and mix well. Powdered milk will add tenderness and flavor by absorbing and holding meat juices.
- Powdered milk produces better browning in baked goods.
- Powdered milk can be sifted with dry ingredients for cakes and breads, or mixed into flour for sauces and gravies. Just add the liquid to the wet ingredients. It works as well as reconstituting it first.
Yogurt from powdered milk
2 cups instant powdered milk
2 tablespoons plain yogurt from the store
3 cups lukewarm water
- Blend all ingredients in the blender or whisk until it is dissolved.
- Place it in glass jars in a warm area of your kitchen. It can take anywhere from four hours to a day to thicken up and make yogurt. Do not stir or disturb it for the entire time. Placing the jars in an oven that is set at the lowest temperature (110 to 120 degrees F) will speed up the process.
- When the yogurt is finished, chill it in the refrigerator. You can add fresh fruit and ½ teaspoon of vanilla per quart jar of yogurt.
Yogurt is fermented milk. Bacterial microorganisms change the lactose of the milk to lactic acid. This helps preserve the milk longer. It can be kept in the refrigerator for a month. Yogurt is good for you and contains friendly bacteria, which aids in the digestive process.
If you are interested in purchasing any of the dried dairy products or books talked about in this article, click here.
I have been storing packaged meals called eFoods. They are ideal for long-term food storage because they are packaged in Mylar® pouches that serve four people. Everything is in the pouch except water. Just add water and cook the food for 15 minutes, and it’s done. The meals are delicious, and the company will let you try samples of the meals before you buy. Just pay $9.95 for shipping, and you get three meals that serve four people. I find them very delicious and easy to make. That is what you need in a crisis situation. I don’t just save them for a rainy day; I make the e-foods for meals when I am in a hurry, in the mountains, camping, hiking or feeding a crowd. I have decided that premade meals are the best food storage you can buy. They are fast, easy and convenient. You don’t waste food that way. This company has a program through which you can get one box of food per month. They call it “auto-shipment,” and it’s great! All you need is 10 minutes to set it up, and your food storage will be on auto-ship. Each month, you get a box of food delivered to your home. Go to the website, click on take the Freedom Tour, sign up for the free food and enjoy. Check it out here.