Whether you take in a lot of extra milk from your dairy cow or have a cup of leftover milk from the store, these dessert, breakfast, dinner, and baking ideas are recipes that use a lot of milk, so it never goes to waste in your homestead kitchen.
Why You Need Recipes That Use a Lot of Milk
Our milk cow is a serious milk producer for several months out of the year. On average, three to six gallons a day, so we learned what to do with raw milk and that making homemade dairy products practical keeps our family eating well on a budget.
Our daughter also took on raising goats for dairy, so we have a steady supply of milk that requires us to keep on top of our abundance. I can’t bear to throw out one cup, let alone a gallon of milk.
It might seem challenging, but many creative ways exist to put milk to good use. Some techniques differ depending on whether you are using raw milk from your farm animals or store-bought dairy.
Pasteurized Milk vs. Raw Milk
Pasteurized milk has been heated to 161°F and ultra-pasteurized to 280°F to prolong its shelf life under refrigerated conditions. However, this heating process kills off beneficial enzymes and good bacteria.
When using proper sanitation practices, raw fresh milk straight from the cow is clean and safe to consume. When stored properly, it provides superior nutrition and health benefits to pasteurized milk. (Source)
We always say, “Raw milk doesn’t go bad; it goes different!” and understanding what happens to milk as it is processed is key to knowing the best uses for your milk.
For example, you shouldn’t make most hard cheeses with ultra-pasteurized milk; the proteins have been destabilized and won’t bind enough to make a good curd. However, you can make a good farmhouse cheese from store-bought milk that’s been pasteurized and homogenized.
Cheese is a great way to use up a surplus of store-bought milk. However, raw milk makes the most delicious hard cheeses; the longer it is stored, the better it tastes.
Store-bought pasteurized milk and ultra-pasteurized milk work best in recipes such as puddings, baked goods, and casseroles. You can also freeze milk to use later. Just make sure to freeze it or use it up before the expiration date on the carton.
I have developed a system where I can make all of my dairy products within two hours. Sometimes, however, something unexpected happens, and I need to pivot and preserve the milk before I can make my homemade dairy products.
Using the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer to freeze-dry milk is a great solution. Check out my honest one-year review of the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer here.
Recipes That Use a Lot of Milk (and Cream)
Here are some creative ideas to use excess milk so it never goes to waste again:
- Cheese – Making hard or soft cheeses uses a significant amount of milk and can be eaten immediately or stored and aged. We use our goat’s milk to make this delicious chevre cheese recipe, and you can use cow or goat’s milk to make this cultured dream cheese.
- Yogurt – This easy Instant Pot yogurt recipe is delicious and uses almost a quart of milk per batch.
- Smoothie – That last cup or two of milk (or homemade yogurt) is handy when making this green smoothie recipe.
- Ice Cream – The milk and cream used in this vanilla ice cream recipe are guaranteed not to go to waste!
- Milkshake – If you happen to have excess milk and ice cream on hand, milkshakes are another way to use up milk.
- Butter – Homemade butter is an easy project even the kids can do to use up extra cream.
- Buttermilk – You can make faux buttermilk by mixing one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and enough milk to make one cup. Let sit for 5-10 minutes and use in any recipe that calls for buttermilk.
- Beverages – This aged eggnog recipe (and our quicker version of summertime homemade eggnog), hot cocoa, golden milk, and lattes are delicious treats that all use up a cup or so of milk per serving.
- Puddings & Cream Pies – This is a great way to use 2 or 10 cups of milk, depending on how many pies or pudding cups you make.
- Soups and Bisques – Potato soup, tomato soup, butternut squash bisque, and clam or corn chowder are all popular ways to use milk in soup.
- Cream Sauces & Gravies – Cream sauces and gravies are a great way to use up 1-2 cups of milk and enhance the flavor of your meat and vegetable dishes. You can even add some milk to this basic pan sauce.
- Pastas – Mac and cheese, fettuccine Alfredo, or lasagna with bechamel sauce and homemade mozzarella are all ways to use a lot of milk or cream efficiently.
- Baked Goods – Homemade pumpkin pie, biscuits, rhubarb breakfast cake, and these delicious Parker House rolls; use milk in varying amounts.
- Breakfast Foods – Breakfast items like French toast, this flexible frittata recipe, pancakes, waffles, crepe batter, and my make-ahead breakfast casseroles use milk in varying amounts.
- Freeze-Dried Milk – Freeze-dried milk powder is shelf stable for 20-25 years, holding onto 90-95% of its nutritional value. Freeze-dried milk is the most delicious preserved milk I’ve ever tasted! There’s virtually no flavor or texture difference after it’s been freeze-dried and reconstituted.
Practical Homemade Dairy Masterclass
If you consistently have milk coming in and need a system to process your dairy products in just a few hours a week, then grab my Practical Homemade Dairy Masterclass.
This class will equip you with everything you need to know about mastering delicious dairy products in your own kitchen; no cow is required!