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Saturday, December 15, 2018

**REVIEW** Hoosier Hill Farm All American Whole Milk Powder

When you have a tiny household sans kids, it's hard to keep certain foods and staple items on hand without them going bad. I can always freeze vegetables (and some fruits) and I have learned to vacuum seal a lot of other things (flours, meals, mixes) to keep the bugs and other critters out. The one thing I waste the most though is milk and cream. I've tried freezing them but their texture (and, in my opinion, taste) are affected. I like shelf-stable - or UHT - milk and it's pretty tasty but I can't find a good price for the whole fat that stores will ship. Also, for some reason, once opened, it seems to lose freshness quicker than does "regular" milk.

Anyway, I wanted to try a whole milk powder. This is one that I now have:

That is a whole milk powder from Hoosier Hill Farm via Amazon ($15.15 at time of this review).

What I was looking forward to before anything else was taste. Also, I wanted something that was mostly or only milk. I didn't want a bunch of additives and such. The Hoosier Hill Farm milk is simply powdered whole milk. NOTE: One Amazon reviewer makes note that the product is "packaged in a facility shared by treenuts, peanuts, dairy, soy, and wheat products". Good to know.

Taste is the next and equal criteria. This one passes the test, It's really pretty yummy. I drank some straight (and not cooled) and liked it. I really liked adding it to my coffee. It had a slightly sweeter taste, in my opinion than my usual refrigerated variety gallons.

Now here is where it might seem like the powdered milk is way too expensive:
Ouch, yes? Not really.

When I spend that 3 bucks and change on "regular" whole milk and end up having to toss out some - sometimes as much as half the bottle and usually as much as the last third - I'm not saving a cent. I have saved slightly soured milk for baking but that was just so I didn't have to throw it out. With the Hoosier Hill, I can use the milk by the teaspoon if I want. Or, if I happen to need more, there are instructions for mixing it by 1/3 gallons. I will most likely be mixing it up by the cup since that's how I use for baking things or having the random bowl of cereal.

Another great thing is the shelf life of 7-9 months and that is if kept on the shelf. I have read various sources about shelf life. One states 3 years at best taste if properly stored, but safe to drink for a longer time. Another source states that if stored properly (sealed and in a freezer) the milk will last indefinitely. Now that means vacuum sealing it and freezing - not just closing up in a bag. Most sources go with "indefinitely".  I'm not stockpiling (yet) or looking to keep the milk forever. I just need it to last until I finish with it.

This is how I packaged mine for storing:

(Once again, folks, I have to tell you that Next Shine Food Sealer has paid for itself three or four times over.)

I kept out one slightly smaller quantity for the fridge so I can pull it out and use by the spoonful. I'm kind of excited that I won't be pouring any more chunky milk down the drain. When I can afford to, I plan to try some of the other powdered dairy products from Hoosier Hill Farm, especially the Premium Heavy Cream.

I do suggest that you use a blender and/or warm water for obtaining a good consistency, then refrigerating for taste. For baking, I will stick with warm or room-temp liquid.

Let me add another observation about mixing this product: I think that you can use slightly more or less powder depending on what you need the milk for. When baking, I plan to stick strictly to the suggested measurements. For my coffee and cereal needs, I will probably skimp a bit.

All in all, I think that I picked the right brand for my first try at powdered milk.