While you are stocking up your prepper pantry, don’t forget about the essential milk and eggs! Although many people skip the hassle of preserving these two easily perishable items, it is possible to keep them for long-term storage. The three different preservation methods are freezing, canning, and dehydrating, which are all great alternatives in storing these delicate dairy items.
The least time-consuming method for long-term storage, freezing takes up more space but is more efficient for preparation. It allows you to use different sized containers such as jars, freezer bags, and plastic containers. After thawing, milk and eggs perform similarly to the fresh version.
Freezing milk: First, check the “sell-by” or expiration date on the carton. If the date is not passed, your milk is safe to freeze. Be cautious when choosing your container as milk expands when frozen, unlike water – so select items that allow expansion. The FDA recommends consuming milk within three months of freezing; however, others claim up to six months is ok. Sniff first and use your best judgment.
Freezing eggs: To freeze, crack and scramble in a bowl first, then pour contents into a Ziplock freezer bag or perhaps use an icetray for quick and easy measuring and thawing. 1 egg cube = 1 egg
Of these two essential items, milk can only be canned. There are no safety guidelines to can eggs and they ultimately turn green. The best alternative for store-bought eggs is to pickle them. On the other hand, people have been canning milk for generations. There are a lot of opinions on the matter, but it really boils down to – do your research! This process is fairly-labor intensive and there is a risk of bacteria forming if not done currently.
Canning Milk: Canning fresh milk turns into evaporated milk (much like that found in grocery stores.) The milk turns a slight caramel color and will need to be diluted with water (half and half) to bring the taste back to freshness. Store your canned milk in a cool, dark pantry for up to one year. Keep refrigerated once opened and use within a few days.
Pickling Eggs: Using a sterilized jar for storing, hard boil your eggs and transfer them to an ice bath to cool. Then peel and place in your jar. Make your brine, then add to your jar of eggs, ensuring to cover them completely. Tightly cover with a lid and keep in a cool location for up to four months.
If you are short on space, dehydrating is the way to go. Powdered eggs and milk take up a small amount of space and can be stored easily. While the process to dehydrate eggs can be fickle and difficult to reconstitute the texture of fresh eggs – it’s a great source for baking, nonetheless. Powdered milk has been used in kitchen pantries for years and is also an excellent option for baking.
Dehydrating milk: To reduce the likelihood of bacteria, only use pasteurized milk when dehydrating. This process should not be done by a novice but researched and tested to ensure safe consumption. This preservation method does lose some flavor; therefore, dehydrated milk is best used for cooking and baking. To reconstitute milk, add small amounts of hot water to the powder and stir until you reach desired consistency. 1 cup water and 3 TB powdered milk = 1 cup milk
Dehydrating eggs: The goal when dehydrating eggs is to do so in the best, safest, and most palatable way possible. There is a risk of Salmonella poisoning if you don’t know what you’re doing – so, do your research and invest in a quality dehydrator. To rehydrate eggs, add a two-to-one water ratio to powdered eggs and let the mixture stand for a few minutes. 1 TB egg powder and 2 TB water = 1 egg
Need some more long-term food essentials?
Check out Wolf Survival Gear’s selection of freeze-dried food to add to your prepping pantry.
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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.