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Friday, July 24, 2015

Waste not, want not : what do you do with milk about to sour?

Make chocolate pudding cups, of course!

Somehow, we got ahead on the purchasing of milk, and there was no place to store it in the freezer. So, I had this 1/2 jug of 2% milk sitting in the fridge long past the sell-by date, over a week. I knew it was on its last legs, and quite frankly, I was very surprised that no one had complained that it was tasting off. (I can't drink milk, so I have no way to verify whether or not the milk was beginning to sour. And I'm not about to fill the minds of my family members with thoughts that their milk could be less than perfect, so I didn't ask any of them if it tasted off.)

So I set out to use it all up in a day. When I was thinking through all the different ways I could use up milk, pudding was a stand-out winner, as it could be flavored to mask any off tastes, and it uses a lot of milk in one batch -- I could use up over 3 cups of milk in a single batch of pudding cups (as opposed to pancakes, muffins or cake which would only use about 1 cup per batch).

My pudding recipe actually calls for 2  1/4 cups of milk, but I used 3  1/2 cups, and allowed it to heat, slowly, and evaporate some of the water content, leaving us with a very rich, nutrient-dense pudding. (It's the same sort of thing I do when making yogurt. I allow the milk to heat slowly, reducing the liquid by about 1/4. With yogurt, this yields a thicker product.)

To make sure it would taste yummy and be eaten right away, I made the batch of pudding, chocolate-flavored. Thanks to my resident pudding fiends, that jug of milk is now history, and we had happy tummies, here.

(The rest of that jug was consumed with dinner that night. For the future, I plan on watching how much milk I buy and whether or not there's room to store excess in the freezer.)


  1. Thanks for this suggestion. Kmart and our local grocer sometimes offe close dated milk for 50¢ per half gallon. I often decide not to purchase it wondering what to do with all that milk. Pudding is a perfect choice, I think it may also freeze well too and make good ice popsicle dessert. Also choosers and creamy soups.


    1. Hi YHF,
      You can freeze milk in 1-cup portions to use in cooking later, or even drinking. I freeze milk for drinking, with little problems. But for us, this week, pudding was the perfect solution!

    2. Not choosers...chowders!! Sorry, this is what happens when I type with little sleep on my kindle fire.

      I froze some milk too..made great choosers and cream of tuna. But I didn't want more frozen milk tubs....Next time I should freeze in smaller 1 cup quantities in tofu containers and Ziploc the rectangles.


  2. Interesting containers ( what are they from?), how big would you say you portioned out?

    1. They remind me of containers from instant coffee my Grandma used to use. I think it was called Sanka or something like that. Interested to know what they are as well.

    2. Hi Teresa and Cat,
      Those are 10-oz peanut butter jars from Dollar Tree. I filled each about halfway for 5 ounces per cup. They warp in the dishwasher, but the lids still fit fine.

  3. I can always tell old milk from smelling it. It doesn't need to be soured. I don't know if you do that, but you have a good sense anyway from looking at the date.

    I hear old milk use mentioned the most with pudding, but I can take or leave pudding, so I rarely make it. Yours sounds good though.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      The other thing I hear old milk used for is pancakes. I think covering up any off-taste is key.

      Since I don't ever drink milk, it all smells off to me. I have no sense of when it is still good vs gone bad. But dates are helpful.


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