Apr 23, 2010

My Name is Mrs. Morgan and I'll be Your Substitute Today

My top priority was finding reasonably tasty substitutions or alternatives for the foods I cannot live without. My biggest concern is milk. I drink 2 gallons of whole milk a week. Tuesday I tried powdered milk (*hork*) and Wednesday I tried evaporated milk (*gag*). My friend Jen pointed me to a blog she had found, Family Home Evening. Crystal had written a post that has made my milk worth drinking again! Basically, mix your regular milk with the reconstituted powdered milk (half and half). Then gradually wean yourself off regular milk by increasing the ratio of powdered to regular milk. I mixed 1 quart of whole milk with 1 quart of powdered milk. She didn't stop with the tips there - she also suggests adding vanilla and sugar to the powdered milk to help disguise it. So I did that as well - adding 1 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla to my "half and half". I made sure it sat in the fridge overnight so it would be ice cold for my morning shake and cereal. The moment of truth came, and I was blown away! I have even treated myself to several glasses of plain milk with no need for chocolate or strawberry powder. I'm almost through that pitcher of "half and half" and am ready to make the leap to a half quart whole/one & a half quart powdered mix. I drank through it so fast I forgot to get a picture of the full pitcher!Side note: My Pampered Chef Quick Stir pitcher is perfect for mixing the milk - if you don't have one, get one!!!

The next big thing is yogurt. Lily eats 6 ounces of yogurt every day. I have had several friends tell me how easy it is to make yogurt in your crockpot. There are a million sources out there for this one - just google crockpot yogurt. The top four links that show up were my main sources. Since I'm trying to do this all "food storage-y", I decided I would have to make my yogurt with dry powdered milk. I wasn't able to find a recipe using all powdered milk, so I used a trick that I read on one of the blogs - unflavored gelatin. This yogurt turned out so incredibly thick and creamy, even Mike couldn't believe it was from powdered milk.
As for eggs, I had 2 dozen in the fridge that my friend Beth suggested I freeze. Just crack one egg into a mini tupperware container or ice cube tray and break the yoke, then freeze overnight. The next day, pop them out and store them in a freezer bag. She says it's best to let them thaw in the fridge the day before you use them, but she's been able to thaw them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds at a time. Beth also reminded me that you can use plain yogurt instead of sour cream in cooking!

I've given up on finding a good substitution for cream cheese, or cottage cheese, so I used a Walmart gift card to buy those in bulk before we started our 6 week adventure. That counts, right?

In my online searching, I found some marvelous websites for other ingredient substitution. Joy of Baking has a big list. The Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen has a whole category of homemade ingredients that I'm just dying to try and make.


  1. If you are using sour cream in cooking, you can use your yogurt. You probably knew that though. I have frozen sour cream and cottage cheese though. You just can't be in a hurry to thaw it. You HAVE to let it thaw in the fridge for the consistency to stay the same.
    I decided that incubating my yogurt in the oven was WAY easier than trying to regulate the temperature of my crockpot (impossible). It's so much easier now.
    I've heard that mixing your milk is MUCH easier to switch to. If you mix evaporated milk the same way it's another option for making everything last longer.
    Good luck on your adventure! Sorry this was so long... I love to hear about all the fun things you are doing! I hope we can get together when you come out for the wedding!

  2. You are AMAZING!!! Wow-- I'm so impressed, lady! :-)


  3. Beth, I feel like such a moron! Blame my pregnancy brain - you're right, I knew I could sub sour cream with plain yogurt :)
    And thank you for your tip on freezing eggs! I need to edit my post to give you credit!

  4. That's so cool, I had no idea that you could freeze eggs. Good suggestion. Although, what if the power dies when the world is ending and we need to use our food storage? Oh man, we totally used to drink powdered milk as kids and it kind of makes me want to throw up at the thought of having to drink it again. That's a good idea though, maybe I could wean myself into it.

  5. I really should be in bed and not reading your blog. I make yogurt from all powdered milk. If you want to know how I can share it with you. My girls use it so much. I think you will have a fun adventure. Try browsing through Crystals website everydayfoodstorage.com or net I don't remember. She has lots of great stuff. Your boy is a cutie.