Make the Most of Milk

June is National Dairy Month. To celebrate, we’re sharing some tips on keeping milk fresh and some different ways to enjoy milk that you may not have tried before. These tips come courtesy of Dairy MAX.

How to Keep Your Milk Fresh

Check the Date
The sell-by date is the last day the grocery store should sell the product. You can still use it up to one week past this date when properly refrigerated.

Check the Placement
Store milk on the bottom shelf to keep it as cold as possible. Keep your fridge temperature at 35-40 degrees to maximize freshness.

Check How It Smells and Looks
Discard milk products that develop an off flavor, odor or appearance.

Freeze It
Freeze milk in an airtight container with a half-inch gap at the top—it will stay good for up to three months. Milk often separates when frozen, so thawed milk works best for cooking and baking versus drinking. Stir well before using it.

20 Great Ways to Use Milk

Smoothie closeup

Got too much milk? No problem. A few clever ideas can help you use up your milk while adding flavor, protein and nutrients to your meals.

1. Begin your day with a bowl of whole-grain cereal topped with a cup of milk.

2. Put it in your coffee—this is especially good with chocolate milk!

3. Make oatmeal or farina (cream of wheat) with milk instead of water.

4. Make a smoothie: add your favorite fresh or frozen fruit and blend with milk.

5. Whisk eggs with milk when making a morning omelet or scramble.

6. Mix hot cocoa with milk on the stove.

7. Bake bread or muffins with milk instead of water.

8. Freeze milk into ice cubes to add to smoothies, sauces or soups. Add fruit for sweetness.

9. Whip up some eggnog: Whisk 1/2 gallon cold milk and 1 package instant French vanilla pudding mix until smooth. Add 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Refrigerate until serving.

10. Give soup a creamy kick by adding milk instead of water.

11. Bake in au gratin potatoes.

12. Tone down a dish that’s too spicy by using milk in the recipe.

13. Marinate and tenderize chicken: Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to whole milk. Let sit 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and favorite seasonings. Pour over chicken and refrigerate overnight.

14. Give grits extra creaminess by cooking them in milk.

15. Substitute milk for water with your boxed mac and cheese.

16. Replace your mealtime soda with 1 cup of white or chocolate milk for a nutrition boost.

17. Make pancakes, waffles or biscuits with milk and freeze for easy heat-and-eat breakfasts.

18. Create strawberry milk: Heat 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water on the stove for 10 minutes. Strain into a syrup. Add to 2 cups milk.

19. Prep homemade popsicles by blending milk with yogurt and fruit, then freezing in a popsicle mold.

20. Stir up your favorite pudding with milk.

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