Get more milk than you can handle from your cows? Don’t let it go to waste, learn how to powder it yourself. This simple act of preserving milk often needlessly intimidates folks who have never seen it done before.

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Powdering milk is yet another way to preserve the milk garnered on your homestead. It is equally simple to canning or freezing milk. Approximately 13 teaspoons of powdered milk will yield about 1 cup of reconstituted milk.

Powdering (or “drying”) your own milk will not only save you money, it will ensure the constant access to dairy products on the homestead even if your favorite milk cow or goat suddenly dies or potentially long-term disaster strikes.

Powdered milk does not taste quite as good as fresh milk, but it doesn’t taste bad either – and will still be free of the ills that can come from commercially pasteurized and processed milk.

Dried milk typically has a shelf life of about 20 years, making it one of the most shelf-stable food items you will be able to stockpile in your homesteading pantry.

The two types of powdered milk most often made at home are regular non-fat powdered milk and instant non-fat powdered milk.

The latter has smaller flakes than the former, making it easier to either blend or spoon mix. Instant powdered milk typically dissolves in water more easily and some folks believes has a better taste when simply drinking it out of a glass.

Regular non-fat powdered milk must be chilled in the refrigerator after it is reconstituted and before it is served.

When reconstituting regular non-fat powdered milk, you will probably have to use a whisk or put it in either your food processor or blender to mix it thoroughly enough for either drinking or baking.

The heat process used to powder milk should not be confused with pasteurization. Drying milk does not destroy the iron, vitamins, beneficial fiber, and minerals found in milk.

What you eliminate during the powdering process is excess moisture and fluid. No chemical, preservatives, or additives of any type of necessary when powdering milk.

Any type of milk can be powdered. Skim milk seems to be the easiest to powder because of its low level fat content.

It is recommended to strain or at least, home pasteurize milk before drying and not use raw milk in the powdering process.

I have known other homesteaders who just love raw milk, drink no other type of milk, and powder it without any problems.

But, when consuming raw milk, the risk of bacteria being present in the liquid does exist and can cause illness or death if consumed.

To powder milk, you can engage in the drum drying process, spray drying, or the freeze drying method.

Spray Drying

This is often considered the simplest way to powder milk. It generally generates more particles than either of the other two powdered milk methods.

There is nothing wrong with either of the other two methods, as far as nutrient count and effort and energy used to complete the process, spray drying is merely often deemed the simplest and most effective method – because the end results has such longevity and takes up little space to store.

Proper drying and storage of powdered milk, and all other dried food stduffs, is crucial. Mold, bacteria, and fungus cannot grow in the absence of moisture.

The dehydrated milk must be 100 percent and thoroughly dry before being stored and MUST be kept in an airtight container – preferably vacuum sealed glass or plastic container.

Dried foods preserve really well because bacteria, fungus or mold cannot survive where there is no moisture. So, it is imperative that you ensure that all the moisture has been removed.

Consult the recipe to see what texture or consistency the final product should be. Let the pieces cool off because assessing their dryness.


After pouring the milk into the dehydrator trays, set your machine on the fruits and vegetables settings – or 135 degrees.

I recommend never using more than four trays in a standard residential dehydrator, no matter how many trays you have or machine capacity noted in the instruction manual.

The more trays you have, the longer anything will take to dehydrate, running up your electric bill in the process. I have found that it is actually less time-consuming to dehydrate four or fewer trays in two separate sessions, than to put too many trays on the machine at any single time.

Spray Drying Milk – Dehydrator Method


DehydratorMilkDehydrator tray liners – often referred to as fruit roll up sheetsPatience – it will take roughly 12 hours or the milk to dry in the dehydrator.

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Put dehydrator inserts into each tray being used to powder milk.Pour one cup of milk into each tray.Turn your dehydrator to the 130 to 135 degree setting.Check the milk at the end of 12 hours. If it is mushy, pour and scoop out the mixture and place it into a bowl. The dried milk should have the same peanut brittle consistency as other dehydrated dairy products. Clean the tray and start the process over again until the desired flaky powder texture is achieved. The dried milk should be thoroughly dry and crumble when you pick it up.Once the powdered milk is completely dry and flaky, pour it into your food processor or blend and condense it down to a small powder.Pour the powdered milk into a Mason jar and vacuum seal it.