What Can I Do With Expired Evaporated Milk – Prevent Food Wastage

Published Categorized as Journal, Ingredients Tagged

Evaporated milk is a valuable ingredient when it comes to adding rich and creamy flavor to recipes. But you may be wondering, “What can I do with expired evaporated milk?” There are many things you can do with expired evaporated milk. Any recipe that has a cream or milk base may benefit from the addition of expired evaporated milk, provided that the evaporated milk is still safe to drink. Join us as we explore the various ways you can use expired evaporated milk in recipes.

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Table of Contents

What Is Evaporated Milk?

Evaporated milk is a shelf-stable dairy product made by removing about 60% of the water from fresh milk through heating and evaporation. The concentrated milk is then canned and sterilized. Despite the water removal, evaporated milk retains most of the nutrients found in regular milk, including protein, fat, carbohydrates, and calcium. However, it has a higher calorie content and a slightly caramelized flavor compared to regular milk. When using evaporated milk in recipes, adjust the amounts of other ingredients to account for its thicker consistency and richer flavor.

Differences Between Evaporated, Regular, and Condensed Milk

Texture and Consistency

Evaporated milk has a thicker, creamier texture compared to regular milk due to the removal of water. Condensed milk is even thicker and syrupy because of its high sugar content. Regular milk has the thinnest consistency of the three.

Sugar Content

Condensed milk is heavily sweetened, containing around 40-45% sugar. Evaporated milk and regular milk have no added sugar, making them suitable for savory dishes or adding your own desired sweetness level.

How To Store Evaporated Milk

Optimal Storage Conditions

To ensure your evaporated milk stays fresh for as long as possible, it’s crucial to store it properly. The key factors to consider are temperature, humidity, and light exposure.

Temperature and Humidity Control

Unopened cans of evaporated milk should be kept in a cool, dry place, ideally between 50-70°F (10-21°C). Avoid storing them in areas with high humidity, such as a damp basement or near a sink, as moisture can cause the cans to rust or develop leaks.

Protecting from Light

Exposure to light, especially direct sunlight, can cause the milk to deteriorate faster. Always store your evaporated milk in a dark cupboard or pantry, away from windows and artificial light sources. If you have a can that’s partially used, consider transferring the contents to an opaque, airtight container before refrigerating.

Storing Unopened Cans

For the best shelf life, store unopened cans of evaporated milk in a cool, dry pantry away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Aim for a stable temperature between 50-70°F (10-21°C). Avoid storing cans in damp areas like under the sink or near appliances that generate heat.

Always check the “best by” or expiration date on the can before purchasing. While unopened evaporated milk can last a few months past the printed date, it’s best to use it sooner for optimal quality and food safety. Rotate your stock, using the oldest cans first.

Following these simple storage guidelines for your unopened canned milk will help maintain its quality and prevent spoilage. Remember, once opened, transfer any leftover evaporated milk to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Storing Opened Cans

Once you’ve opened a can of evaporated milk, transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate immediately. This helps prevent bacterial growth and spoilage, keeping your milk fresh for longer.

Avoid storing opened evaporated milk in the original can, as exposure to air can cause it to develop an off-flavor. Instead, use a clean, airtight container like a glass jar or plastic storage box with a tight-fitting lid.

Even when refrigerated, opened evaporated milk has a limited shelf life. For the best quality and safety, use it within 5 days of opening. If you notice any signs of spoilage, such as a sour smell or chunky texture, discard the milk immediately.

Freezing and Thawing of Evaporated Milk

Proper Freezer Storage

To freeze your expired evaporated milk, pour it into an airtight, freezer-safe container, leaving some room at the top for expansion. Label the container with the date and amount, and place it in the coldest part of your freezer. Evaporated milk can be frozen for up to 3 months without significant changes in taste or texture.

Thawing Techniques

When you’re ready to use your frozen evaporated milk, transfer the container to the refrigerator and let it thaw slowly overnight. Avoid thawing at room temperature, as this can encourage bacterial growth. Once thawed, give the milk a good shake or stir to redistribute any separated fat.

Texture Changes

Keep in mind that frozen and thawed evaporated milk may have a slightly grainy or separated appearance. This is normal and won’t affect the taste or cooking performance. However, if you plan to use it in a recipe where texture is crucial, like a silky pudding or smooth sauce, you might want to stick with freshly opened evaporated milk instead.

Does Evaporated Milk Expire?

Yes, evaporated milk does expire, but not as quickly as you might think.

Unopened evaporated milk is shelf-stable and can sit in your pantry for months on end. In fact, most evaporated milk will stay consumable even up to a couple of months after the date printed on the label. Therefore, it is perfectly fine for you to use evaporated milk that is unopened, even if the milk is past the expiration date. Just be sure not to wait too long after expiry; the longer you wait, the better the odds that you could get food poisoning.

Having said that, once you open a can of evaporated milk, you will want to use it quickly. Evaporated milk lasts anywhere from 2-5 days depending on the brand. Carnation evaporated milk claims to last about 5 days versus other milk brands that only last 2-3.

To know for sure, be sure to read the label on the can. Discard any milk left over after the amount of time the opened evaporated milk should be refrigerated has passed.

CARNATION Evaporated Milk 12 Fluid Ounce Each 24 Cans per Case

How Long Can You Use Evaporated Milk After the Expiration Date?

Evaporated milk can be used a few months after the expiration date. Some even claim to have used their unopened evaporated milk for up to a year past expiry.

The most important thing is to use your eyes and nose to determine whether or not your milk is still safe for consumption. Especially if you choose to consume the evaporated milk much after its printed expiration date.

If upon opening your evaporated milk it ever looks chunky, thick, or has otherwise changed its texture, be sure to throw it out. Also, if the color or smell of the evaporated milk has changed, be sure not to consume it.

You also will not want to consume evaporated milk, or any other product that is canned, that has visible damage to the can. This can lead to botulism or an otherwise contaminated product.

Note: Evaporated milk has a slightly golden color. This is normal and is retained because of the heating process involved in making evaporated milk.

What Can I Do With Expired Evaporated Milk?

There are several things you can do with expired evaporated milk, but be sure you are using evaporated milk that is actually edible! As long as the evaporated milk you are using doesn’t have an odd smell, taste, or texture, you may consider doing the following:

  • Use It In Your Drink: Some countries prefer to use evaporated milk in hot drinks like coffee or hot chocolate, and we definitely can see why. This adds a lovely creamy texture to warm drinks that you may really enjoy. Evaporated milk also has a thicker consistency and will feel heavier in the mouth, so you may find that you like this replacement even more than traditional milk!
  • Swirl Evaporated Milk into Your Soup: Adding evaporated milk to soup and slow-cooker dishes can really thicken things up a bit and add a delectable creaminess that you’re sure to love! It is often used as a replacement for heavy cream but it has much fewer calories and fat. Score!
  • Make It Into a Sauce: Evaporated milk makes an excellent dressing and sauce base. It works particularly well in coleslaw and can be combined with an acid (like lemon juice or vinegar) to cause the sauce to thicken.
  • Use It as a Substitute For Milk: Because evaporated milk is concentrated milk with more water removed, it can often be reconstituted to make it into regular milk. When doing this, avoid serving the milk as a stand-alone serving, i.e., avoid drinking the milk by itself, as it likely won’t taste like your traditional cold glass of milk. Instead, simply reconstitute it to use in any recipe that calls for regular milk and you’ll have an instant substitution.
creamy pasta

Using Evaporated Milk in Recipes

Baking Made Better

It’s like a secret ingredient that makes your cakes, cookies, and bread taste even yummier. Just swap it for regular milk in equal amounts, and voila! You’ll love how rich and creamy your treats turn out. Whip up a tasty pumpkin pie or some gooey fudge brownies – your expired evaporated milk has got your back!

Dairy-Free Deliciousness

Can’t do dairy? No problem! Expired evaporated milk is like a superhero for lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. It lasts forever in your pantry and works great in all sorts of recipes. Whip up some fluffy pancakes or a creamy casserole – you won’t even miss the moo juice! Expired evaporated milk has got you covered.

DIY Beauty and Household Uses

Expired evaporated milk isn’t just great for cooking and baking – it’s also a secret weapon for your beauty routine and household cleaning! Who knew this pantry staple could be so versatile?

Milk Baths for Soft, Glowing Skin

Treat yourself to a luxurious milk bath using expired evaporated milk. The lactic acid in milk is like a magic potion for your skin, gently exfoliating and leaving it silky smooth. Pour a cup or two into your warm bath water, sit back, and let the milk work its wonders. You’ll emerge with skin that’s soft, glowing, and ready to take on the world!

Natural Facial Cleanser

Ditch the harsh chemicals and whip up a gentle, natural facial cleanser using expired evaporated milk. The milk’s enzymes and proteins will nourish and cleanse your skin without stripping away its natural oils. Mix a tablespoon of milk with a dollop of honey for an extra boost of antibacterial goodness. Massage onto your face, rinse with cool water, and marvel at your fresh, dewy complexion.

Eco-Friendly All-Purpose Cleaner

Put that expired evaporated milk to work around the house with this easy, eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner. Mix equal parts milk and white vinegar in a spray bottle, and you’ve got a powerful, natural solution for tackling grime on countertops, tables, and more. The milk’s enzymes break down dirt and grease, while the vinegar disinfects and cuts through stubborn stains.

Composting and Gardening

Expired evaporated milk is a nutrient-packed pantry staple that works wonders in your garden.

  • Mix a cup of expired evaporated milk with a gallon of water to create a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your veggies, flowers, or houseplants.
  • Spray a mixture of one part expired evaporated milk and four parts water directly on plant leaves to deter pesky critters like aphids and mites without using harsh chemicals.
  • Pour leftover expired evaporated milk into your compost bin along with other organic kitchen scraps to enrich your compost pile with nitrogen, an essential nutrient for healthy soil.
  • Use the calcium-rich expired evaporated milk to strengthen plant cell walls, making them more resilient to disease and damage.
  • Add expired evaporated milk to your garden’s soil to create a nutrient-dense superfood that helps your plants flourish naturally.

How Do You Tell If Canned Evaporated Milk Is Bad?

Canned evaporated milk is bad whenever it develops an off-color, strange texture, or bad taste. We recommend you look at the texture and give the evaporated milk a sniff before using it, especially if it is beyond the printed label date.

Consuming evaporated milk that is old can give you digestive issues the same as would regular milk that has gone bad.

Chunky bits in your evaporated milk, a sour smell, or a color that is different from the usual off-white hue are definite signs you should toss the milk and opt for a fresh can.

What Happens When Evaporated Milk Expires?

When evaporated milk expires, you may still be able to use it, but it will depend on a few things.

As mentioned before, you’ll want to observe the milk to ensure that it is still edible and smells okay, especially if the can has been opened.

If the can was opened, you must use the milk within 2-5 days to avoid getting sick. It also needs to be stored in the refrigerator during this period of time. Do not consume milk that has sat open and out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours.

If the can was not opened, the milk should be fine to consume as long as the can isn’t severely dented, bulging or the milk isn’t more than a few months past expiry. If the milk is older than a few months after the date printed on the label, be very careful when attempting to use it.

Consuming evaporated milk that has expired can lead to stomach ailments and food poisoning. Throw away any remaining expired milk, drink clear fluids, and get rest if you experience an upset stomach due to drinking expired evaporated milk.

Can You Get Sick From Expired Evaporated Milk?

Yes, you can get sick from expired evaporated milk just as you would get sick from drinking spoiled milk. As the milk sits, it will breed bacteria. This is true whether the milk sits at room temperature or if it is refrigerated.

As mentioned, all evaporated milk that is opened and refrigerated must be consumed within 2-5 days.

sick man

Is It OK to Use Expired Evaporated Milk?

Is Expired Evaporated Milk OK to Use?

Expired evaporated milk is okay to use, provided that it:

  • has only been expired a few months past expiry
  • doesn’t have a weird smell, taste, or texture
  • is unopened.

Evaporated milk that has been opened should only be consumed within 48 hours or up to 5 days (when using Carnation evaporated milk). Go by the directions for refrigeration listed on the can. And do not attempt to use expired canned milk that has been opened past its refrigeration window. Doing so can lead to sickness.

When using expired evaporated milk, only do so with milk that is deemed safe to drink. Add it to sauces, casseroles, baked goods, pasta, dressings, soups, and whatever else your heart desires to make good use of canned evaporated milk before tossing it out. You can even make your own whipped cream using evaporated milk; who knew!

You Can Do A Lot With Expired Evaporated Milk!

The bottom line is that you can do a lot with expired evaporated milk. This is provided that the milk is still edible. From sauces to baked goods and so much more, evaporated milk is a versatile ingredient. It lends itself to many cooking dishes that require a milk base or a creamy substitute.

Know that drinking expired evaporated milk that is unopened in a can is generally regarded as safe a few months after the date printed on the label. But we don’t recommend you drink evaporated milk any older than that. Evaporated milk that has been opened and stored longer than 2-5 days should be thrown out. It should not be used in any recipes as doing so may cause those consuming the dish to become sick.

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By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind CooksDream.com, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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