With a gallon of milk topping $3.60, it’s more important than ever to extend its short life.
When stored below 40 degrees, whole milk lasts 5 to 7 days; non-fat 7 to 10 days; and reduced fat 7 days. But you can stretch the time between fresh and yech! by trying these strategies.
1. Store milk in the back of your fridge, the coldest part, and the farthest away from the light, which degrades milk. I have a side-by-side, so I store my milk on the left side of the fridge, which shares a wall with the freezer.
2. Pick up milk just before you check out of the store, so it’s not left in a warm cart while you cruise aisles for cereal bargains.
3. Place milk on ice during your ride home on a hot day. Sometime the fish section of the grocery will bag ice for you.
4. After you pour a glass, return milk directly to the fridge. Don’t let it sit on the counter any longer than you have to.
5. Add a ½ tablespoon of baking soda to a gallon of milk when you open it; then shake. Baking soda reduces the acidity in milk and retards spoilage.
6. Add a pinch of salt to a quart of milk to slow spoilage.
7. Transfer a gallon of milk to four, quart-sized Mason jars. Pour to the top so there’s little headroom.
8. Freeze milk, which will make it last up to three weeks. When you thaw, the color and texture of the milk may have changed, but it’s safe to drink and good to use in baking and cooking.
Spoiled milk may make you gag, but it’s not dangerous to drink. Here are some things you can make and do with sour milk.
• Buttermilk biscuits
• Waffles and pancakes
• Soups and casseroles
• Cottage cheese
• Sour cream
• Add to your bath water for a soothing soak (add essential oils to make it smell better).
• Pour around plants to add nutrients and keep deer away.
• Dab it on poison ivy itches.