Food Finds · Trail Cooking

Dry Milk and Substitutes

When developing recipes for Trail Cooking, I often call for dry milk (powdered milk) in them. Why though do we use it so much? It adds nutrition and easy extra calories. Body and creaminess to recipes. A little powdered milk in your rice dishes will finish it off. It is a lightweight ingredient that is easy to use!

We do get asked if one can use non-dairy substitutions and yes, you can! There is alternatives out there for almost everyone these days. About the only recipes you can’t do a sub is with instant pudding mixes. You need dairy dry milk to get best results with it. Otherwise all of the alternatives work great.

One thing to remember is that the higher the fat, the better tasting your finished recipe will be. Nido is by far the most popular dry milk for hikers – it is 26% fat, meaning it is like heaven in your coffee. Puddings are rich and creamy. Often Nido can be found in Super Wal-Mart grocery sections, and at Hispanic grocery stores. Non-fat dry milk can be found in most grocery stores in the baking aisle. Non-fat works fine, but won’t produce as rich of a result. For storage non-fat stores fine in your cupboard.┬áPreferably in a glass mason jar, but Nido does best in the refrigerator for long-term storage once opened. The higher the fat, the mo

For the alternatives, when there is a choice in plain or vanilla think this: plain for savory, vanilla for breakfast or sweet items. Coconut cream powder doesn’t taste overly coconut nor sweet and works for both savory and sweet dishes. It is high in fat, working perfectly for cold weather trips. In curries it is what finishes it. With your morning mocha? Delicious!

Dairy Milk Powder:

Full fat:
Hoosier Farm Full Fat Milk
Nestle Nido Milk Powder

Carnation Non-Fat Dry Milk
Bob’s Red Mill Non-Fat Dry Milk

Soy Milk Powder:

Soy milk powder

Rice Milk Powder:

Rice milk dry powder

Coconut Cream Powder and dry milk:

Sold in most Asian grocery stores, often in foil packets of 1.76 to 2 ounces. It isn’t dairy free though, buyer beware – it contains a small amount of casein.

Coconut milk powder (which is dairy-free)

Powdered Goat Milk:

Meyenberg Powdered Goat Milk

Almond Milk Powder:

Not easily found but can be sourced in large Asian grocery stores at times. Comes in metal tubs similar to Nido. Also on Amazon.

Buttermilk Powder:

While not for making a drink per say, this is excellent added to items being steam baked, or in some meals for that tangy taste! On Amazon.

4 thoughts on “Dry Milk and Substitutes

  1. Sarah,
    I appreciate your website and work a great deal. You’re very creative and have worked hard to come up with great trail food.
    You’re laser like focus has paid off.
    I’m halfway to Canada on the PCT. I’m always working on my trail food. In the last year I’ve been changing to a Paleo low carb diet in general. I’m reducing my carbs on the trail a little and wanted to figure out how I could do something with eggs in the morning. (powdered eggs?) I’ve been mixing up instant breakfast with extra Nido in the past.
    Any ideas?
    Dana Law
    San Diego, Ca
    P.S. I’m so far up the trail that the minimum annual trip is at least 12 days.

  2. You can always add dry eggs (like Ova brand) to the instant breakfast for an eggnog shake….personally you can leave the instant breakfast out and make it with sweetener, eggs, flavoring and whole dried milk.

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