Do you ever struggle to use up the milk in your fridge?
Sometimes we buy milk for a recipe or a weekend brunch, and then it lingers in the fridge, half-used, with the expiration date barreling down upon our guilty heads. It’s a sad waste to pour expired & sour milk down the drain…but you never need to do that again.
Here are some simple ways to use up leftover milk before it goes off; before it becomes actual waste!
1. Got too much milk? Freeze It for Later!
A few of things to keep in mind when freezing milk:
• Allow for expansion: Freeze milk in moisture- and vapor-resistant containers with 1 to 1 1/2 inches of space at the top to prevent bursting.
• Thaw it safely: Place the frozen milk in the refrigerator to thaw. Depending on the size of the container, it may take a day or longer to defrost.
• Shake it up: Freezing may cause the milk to separate and develop a grainy texture. To restore some smoothness, you can stir, shake, or beat it with a hand mixer or immersion blender.
Because of the potential changes in quality and texture, frozen milk is often better for cooking and baking than straight drinking.
Chai-spiced tea cubes served in a glass of icy-cold milk. The ice cubes are made of strong black tea steeped with whole spices and ginger. Plunked into a glass of cold milk (or non-dairy milk), they slowly melt, transforming into a glass of iced chai tea that gradually gets stronger. Yum!
What You Need:
1/2 gallon whole milk, not UHT pasteurized (see Recipe Notes)
1/3 cup lemon juice (from 1 1/2 to 2 lemons), 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar, or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid (available from cheese-making suppliers)
1 teaspoon salt, optional
Instant read thermometer or candy thermometer
- Warm the milk to 200°F: Pour the milk into a 4-quart pot and set it over medium heat. Let it warm gradually to 200°F, monitoring the temperature with an instant read thermometer. The milk will get foamy and start to steam; remove it from heat if it starts to boil.
- Add the lemon juice and salt: Remove the milk from heat. Pour in the lemon juice or vinegar (or citric acid) and the salt. Stir gently to combine.
- Let the milk sit for 10 minutes: Let the pot of milk sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. After this time, the milk should have separated into clumps of milky white curds and thin, watery, yellow-colored whey — dip your slotted spoon into the mix to check. If you still see a lot of un-separated milk, add another tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and wait a few more minutes.
- Strain the curds: Set a strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with cheese cloth. Scoop the big curds out of the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the strainer. Pour the remaining curds and the whey through the strainer. (Removing the big curds first helps keep them from splashing and making a mess as you pour.)
- Drain the curds for 10 to 60 minutes: Let the ricotta drain for 10 to 60 minutes, depending on how wet or dry you prefer your ricotta. If the ricotta becomes too dry, you can also stir some of the whey back in before using or storing it.
- Use or store the ricotta: Fresh ricotta can be used right away or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.Leave us a comment and left us know how you use up leftover milk!