One of the most controversial topics in the homemaking world has been raised for discussion over at Frugal For Life: powdered milk:

I’ll bet that if you said powdered milk in a group of people you would get the most passionate of responses, either for or against drinking it.

I grew up on disgusting lumpy watery reconstituted skim milk, and whole-heartedly agree with blogger Dawn that you can’t rush the preparation — powdered milk has to be completely dissolved and then very very well chilled in order for it to be remotely drinkable.

But I couldn’t live without my “milk powder,” just the same!

First, there’s the issue of frugality:

…one of the best things about powdered milk is that a 20 quart box runs me almost 9.00 [dollars] and I can get the equivalent of 5 gallons out of it; which would run about 15.00 [dollars] for someone else buying fresh milk. It’s not a lot of money saved, but if you factor in that I don’t have to run to the store because I ran out of milk for dinner, then I’m happy.

Out here in the country, where we simply can’t run to the store on impulse — and do occasionally get stranded in the snowdrifts — we keep powdered milk on hand for emergency back-up to regular milk.

Also, if we lose electric power in a storm, the food in the fridge can go bad pretty quickly. But we don’t go hungry if there’s Raisin Bran cereal and (reconstituted powdered) milk to “keep body and soul together”!

Powdered milk also has its uses in cooking and baking. Throwing in an extra couple tablespoons of skim-milk powder is a good way to sneak some extra calcium and vitamins into homemade baked goods, without adding extra fat.

So, here’s my bottom line on the powdered milk controversy: it saves money, adds convenience, adds nutritional value, and cuts calories. For all that… I could learn to like the taste!

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