The Hungry Family

Feeding My Family Body and Soul


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Three Tips for Making Powdered Milk Your Family Will Actually Drink

The idea of saving money by making powdered milk may seem like a bit of a stretch. Sure, there are other ways you can save money, but when you have kids, milk can be one of your big ticket items at the grocery store.

For example, if you bought 6 gallons of milk a week at the average price per gallon ($3.70) you would spend $22.20 a week on milk. That’s $1,154.40 a year.

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A #10 can of powdered milk costs $11.63. The brand I buy makes 7.75 gallons of milk per can. That means a gallon of powdered milk costs $1.50. Let’s switch out the regular milk with powdered milk and we’re spending $9.00 a week on milk. That’s $468.00 a year or a savings of $686.40.

The Right Mix

Now, I’m not suggesting that you switch over to powdered milk completely. What I’m saying is to mix it half and half. Since you probably have a half-empty gallon of milk in the fridge you can start right away. Simply mix up enough powdered milk to fill that gallon back up. If you have a gallon that’s almost gone, open a new gallon, pour half of it into the empty gallon, and mix enough powdered milk to fill them both up. You’ve double the amount of milk in your fridge without a trip to the store. You will need to buy milk to replenish the fresh milk you’ve used, just save a couple containers for the next batch of milk cocktails.

While my family doesn’t particularly like the taste of powdered milk, they don’t notice the flavor is different as long as I do the half-and-half thing. In fact, no one has even noticed. Not even the discerning taste buds of my hubby have picked up on the change in our milk delivery.

Blending and Mixing

Texture is a big deal to kids and husbands alike. That’s why it’s so important that your milk be smooth, not lumpy. To get this important consistency, use a blender to mix your milk. Most dried milk products require that you mix warm water with the powder and then add the cold water. You can do this in your blender. You may end up with a bit of froth at the top, but don’t worry. When the milk gets cold, simply shake the jug a little and the bubbles disappear.

Storing the Milk

Discreetness is essential to tricking, I mean convincing, your family to try powdered milk. By now, your kids are probably conditioned to drink milk from a plastic jug that comes from the store. That’s why it is imperative that you store the mixed milk cocktails in original milk containers.  If their eyes tell them it’s just like always, their taste buds are likely to follow.

If you can’t remember which jugs are mixed and which ones are new, you can put a little dot on the top of the mixed milk. That will help you to keep things straight even if the jugs get shuffled in the fridge.

With these tried and true techniques, you’ll be on your way to saving money in no time. Now, what are you going to do with all your savings?


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Berry Nog Smoothie

In honor of the Berry Nog Smoothie, we’re going Very Berry today!!

Teaching my kids to use the blender was pretty easy. There are a couple smaller rules they needed to know and then one really big one.

The first rule is to make sure the blender is on a solid surface and won’t rock when it’s turned on. This is really simple at my house because I usually leave the blender in the same spot and the kids don’t think to move it.

The second rule is to put the liquids in first. If you put the ice in first and then pour the liquids over the ice, the ice will stick together in a big clump.

 

The third – and most important – rule is to always – ALWAYS – put the lid on. Because of the intense surge of typhoon power, the liquids inside will climb the walls and look for a way to escape. If the lid isn’t on tight the liquid will fly out of the blender. Up and out actually. It’s kind of cool to see once. Not so cool the second time. If the lid is on tight, the liquid will flow into the center of the cyclone and be pulled to the bottom of the blender for blending.

(Left: My 11 year old is using the two-handed press technique.)

Another good idea is to put your hand on the lid as you turn the blender on. That way if there is a surge and things come loose you can minimize the damage. As you can see, my blender is part of my Bosch mixer package. I do have a surge setting but I don’t have a chop. That said, this blender is a work horse. I have put all sorts of ice/smoothie/ice cream/cookie combos in there and everything turns out smooth and delicious.

 

We didn’t even take time to find the fancy cups (or comb our hair) before downing a glass of this delicious smoothie.

 

Side Note:

I looked up ‘nog’ to see if there was a specific definition. The word came from Europe and was used to describe a strong beer served in small glasses. Egg nog, traditionally made with spirits, was reserved for the wealthy who could afford to use the milk and eggs to make it. Rum was introduced into egg nog in the Americas.

 Berry Nog Smoothie

To print this recipe click here.

Ingredients:

1 cup vanilla yogurt

 

1 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1 cup egg nog

1 cup ice

1 cup frozen strawberries

 

Directions:

 

1. Put all the ingredients in a blender.

2. Turn the blender on to the lowest setting or chop setting.

3. Blend for one minute or until smooth.

4. Serve and enjoy!

See how pretty it is? Very pink and lots of holiday involved. We loved it. Normally, strawberry smoothies have too much tang for my early morning taste buds. But, the egg nog really mellowed out the strawberries. I also like that this is a totally adaptable recipe. If you prefer whole milk, use it. If you’d like to throw in a peach yogurt, go right ahead. What would you do to mix it up?


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Old Fashioned Limeaide Recipe

I remember watching shows like Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie and thinking that they made an awful lot of fuss over lemonade. To my young girl mind, lemonade was as prevalent as soda fountains at gas stations. What’s the big deal?

I’ll tell you what the big deal is: Lemonade made from real lemons and a simple syrup is waaaaaay better than the junk they make out of a powder!

Due to circumstances beyond my control I was blessed with a bushel of lemons. 🙂 I decided to make lemonade. It turned out so good my kids (okay I helped) drank the whole gallon. I didn’t have quite enough lemons left to make another batch so I threw in some limes. Heavens! 

What came about is the recipe for Old Fashioned Limeade. It doesn’t take too long to make and it’s totally worth it! 

This is my set up for getting the lemon and lime juice out of the fruit. First, I roll the fruit against the counter. Push down until you feel the fibers in the fruit give way. Then I cut the fruit in half and put a fork in the flesh to twist as I squeeze the juice out. The fork helps to further break up the fibers that hold in the juice. This way I feel like I get every drop possible. I squeeze the lemons/limes over a strainer placed over a cup to catch the seeds.

 

Old Fashioned Limeade Recipe

Ingredients

8 lemons

4 limes

1 cup water

1 1/4 cup sugar

7 cups cold water

 

Directions

1. Squeeze the juice from the lemons and limes and set aside. Or, you can have your kids do this part of the work while you make the simple syrup.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the 1 cup of water and the sugar. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Set this simple syrup aside to cool for 5 minutes.

3. Pour the 7 cups of cold water into a large pitcher. Add the lemon/lime juice and the simple syrup. Stir well and serve. Can store in the fridge for a couple of days but it’s not going to last that long!