Recently, I was stocking up on groceries and noticed cans of evaporated milk in the baking aisle. Since I’d never purchased evaporated milk, I wondered if you could drink it. So, I bought a can and did some research. Here is what I learned.
Can You Drink Evaporated Milk?
You can drink evaporated milk, either directly from the can or diluted with water. Evaporated milk is made from cow’s milk and has a thick, creamy texture. The flavor is rich, caramelized, and slightly sweet. Although it is safe to drink on its own, evaporated milk is primarily a recipe ingredient.
Many people overlook evaporated milk in the grocery store. But, there are many ways to drink and cook with this type of canned milk. With so many uses, evaporated milk is a pantry staple for those that know how to use it.
How To Use Evaporated Milk for Drinking
Evaporated milk comes from heating whole cow’s milk and removing approximately 60% of the water. This process results in a concentrated milk product with a long shelf life. Evaporated milk is sold in cans and stored on a shelf instead of in the grocery store’s cold dairy section. Evaporated milk is a good option when refrigeration isn’t available, when fresh milk is difficult to get, and when you need to stockpile necessities for a long while. More importantly, evaporated milk is a tasty beverage, a necessary ingredient in many recipes, and helpful addition to many foods.
Many people ask, “Can you drink evaporated milk out of the can?” You can use this delicious dairy product straight from the can, but you should always shake it very well before opening it. Evaporated milk can settle, which causes it to be thinner at the top of the can and thicker at the bottom. Shaking distributes the liquid into the solids and gives evaporated milk the correct texture. However, even after shaking, evaporated milk is usually too thick to drink directly from the can.
So, can evaporated milk be converted to regular milk? Yes! Mixing evaporated milk with an equal amount of water will give it a consistency much like regular milk. When you dilute evaporated mile this way, it has a similar taste and texture as regular milk. Evaporated milk reconstituted with water can be drunk from a glass. Reconstituted evaporated milk can be substituted for regular milk in recipes. Usually, the labels on cans of evaporated milk will include instructions for reconstituting or diluting it as a substitute for fresh milk.
However, there are a few evaporated milk bad effects that some people may need to avoid. Evaporated milk is made from cow’s milk and contains the same lactose and milk proteins as regular milk in a more concentrated form. Some people experience lactose intolerance, in which their body cannot process the sugar in milk. People with lactose intolerance should not use evaporated milk. Similarly, anyone that is allergic to milk or dairy products should not drink evaporated milk because it contains the same allergens as fresh milk.
What Does Evaporated Milk Taste Like?
Evaporated milk usually has a slightly nutty or caramel flavor. It may also taste a little sweet because of the heating process. As fresh milk is heated, the fat, protein, and sugar concentrate into a smaller amount of liquid. The resulting flavor is stronger than that of fresh milk.
Once evaporated milk is reconstituted, the flavor becomes closer to fresh milk. However, many people will still notice a difference. You can add a drop of vanilla extract to cover up the difference and make it taste more like fresh milk.
Is Evaporated Milk Nutritious?
Evaporated milk contains many nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are important parts of every diet. Evaporated milk contains all of the same nutrients as fresh milk in more concentrated amounts. Evaporated milk contains large amounts of calcium, which is important for healthy bones. It also contains protein, vitamin A, vitamin D, and magnesium.
However, evaporated milk contains more calories and fat than fresh milk, making it a good choice for anyone trying to gain weight without adding a lot of extra food. Like regular milk, evaporated milk comes in several different varieties, including whole, skim, and low-fat. The amount of fat, calories, vitamins, and minerals vary depending on the type. It is important to read the label to understand the nutritional content.
Can You Drink Evaporated Milk in Coffee?
You can use evaporated milk, straight from the can, in coffee. Evaporated milk is thicker than milk or coffee creamer, so that it will add a creamy consistency to your coffee. Evaporated milk also has less fat than cream, so many people prefer to add the canned milk to their mug of coffee.
To find the best amount for your coffee, start by adding half the amount of evaporated milk as you would normally add milk or creamer. Since evaporated milk is sweeter than fresh milk but less sweet than most creamers, you may also need to adjust the amount of sugar you use. Drinkers of hot tea who use milk in their mugs may also prefer evaporated milk.
Can You Drink Evaporated Milk With Cereal?
If you run out of milk before breakfast, evaporated milk is a good way to save your corn flakes or rice crispies. You can add evaporated milk to your cereal, but it is best to dilute or reconstitute it with water first. Evaporated milk directly from the can is too thick to pour into a bowl of cereal, but reconstituted evaporated milk has the right consistency.
Since sealed cans of evaporated milk do not need to be stored in the refrigerator, adding evaporated milk is a good option for people that do not want a cold bowl of cereal. You can use evaporated milk to make oatmeal, especially if you prefer a thick bowl of oatmeal without extra liquid.
How Do You Use Evaporated Milk?
Evaporated milk is present in many recipes in which a creamy dairy flavor is needed, without the excess liquid of fresh milk. Since there is no added sugar, evaporated milk is at home in both sweet and savory dishes. In many cases, evaporated milk thickens a sauce, such as spaghetti, béchamel, or cheese sauce. This technique adds thickness without adding extra fat.
Evaporated milk is an excellent addition to many drinks. Add it to a smoothie, in place of yogurt or fresh milk, for a creamier texture. Likewise, you can blend ice cream and evaporated milk into a milkshake. The result is the type of ultra-creamy, rich milkshake that calls for a spoon instead of a straw. For a warmer treat, try making hot chocolate with evaporated milk by adding equal parts of whole milk and evaporated milk. Plus, evaporated milk is a tasty addition to lattes and chai tea.
In savory dishes, evaporated milk is perfect for creating smooth creaminess. You can add evaporated milk to macaroni and cheese, mashed carrots, or mashed potatoes to create a thick, creamy consistency in place of milk and butter. Evaporated milk is also an easy way to enhance the flavor and texture of canned soups and sauces.
Evaporated milk is also an important ingredient in many desserts and pastries, such as pies, puddings, flans, cakes, and scones.
Do you want to know how you can make whipped cream using evaporated milk? Check this video out:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between evaporated milk and condensed milk?
Evaporated milk and condensed milk are similar and often confused. Both are created by removing much of the water from fresh milk. However, condensed milk has sugar added to the final product, and has a significantly sweeter flavor. Here’s what you need to know:
- Condensed milk also has a thicker, more syrup-like, texture than evaporated milk.
- Evaporated milk does not have any added sugar.
- The slightly sweet flavor of evaporated milk comes solely from the lactose in the fresh milk.
- Condensed milk and evaporated milk are not interchangeable in recipes.
How should evaporated milk be stored?
Store unopened cans of evaporated milk in a cool, dry pantry or cupboard. Since evaporated milk is shelf-stable, there is no need for unopened cans to take up space in your refrigerator. Watch for and toss any dented, leaking, or bulging cans. Most cans should have a “best by” date stamped on them.
Always use evaporated milk by the date indicated. If there is no date on the can, use it within one year of purchase. Though unopened evaporated milk has a long shelf life, it should be refrigerated and used quickly once opened. After opening, place evaporated milk in an air-tight storage container in the refrigerator and use it within five days.
Where do you buy evaporated milk?
Evaporated milk is normally in the baking aisle, near the flour, sugar, and cake mixes. Since evaporated milk is shelf-stable and canned, it does not need refrigeration. Grocery stores generally place evaporated milk in the baking section because it is often an ingredient in pies, cakes, and other baked goods.
Is there a substitute for evaporated milk?
If a recipe calls for evaporated milk and you do not have any in your pantry, you can substitute a mixture of fresh, whole milk and half-and-half. Add 3/4 cup of whole milk to ¼ cup of half-and-half. The result will stand in for one cup of evaporated milk.
Can I make homemade evaporated milk?
Though canned evaporated milk is inexpensive and easily found in most grocery stores, some prefer to make a homemade version. Homemade evaporated milk can be created by slowly reducing fresh whole milk. Add 4 cups of milk to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the milk to a boil, and then reduce the heat to the lowest setting.
While stirring frequently and removing skin that forms on the top, allow the milk to simmer until it reduces by over 50%, which takes roughly 45 minutes. Allow the evaporated milk to cool and then store it in the fridge for up to one week.