DIY

9 Reasons Why You Should Never, Ever Throw Away Spoiled Milk

by Laura Caseley
Laura is a writer, illustrator, and artist living in New York City.

It’s the worst: you go to grab some milk for your morning coffee or to accompany some delicious cookies, but when you open the carton, the smell hits you — that unmistakable smell that tells you the milk has been sitting in the fridge for a little too long.

So not only do you not have milk, but now you have to toss all that milk. All that food, just going to waste. Such a shame.

Stop! You don’t have to toss it out. After all, not too long ago, people were stretching their food, clothing, and other items to make them last as long as possible without wasting anything, including their spoiled milk. Food waste is a huge problem these days, which is damaging to both the environment and to humans.

If you want to reduce waste just a little bit (and every little bit counts!), don’t just pour your turned milk down the drain.

Instead, take a cue from the past with these clever and frugal ways to turn spoiled milk into something great.

First, know what kind of milk you’re dealing with.

If you’re using pasteurized milk, like the kind most commonly found in supermarkets, be sure that the milk your using is just a bit off, still at the point when it’s too icky to drink plain or put in coffee, but before it gets really bad.

If it’s started to separate and you can see lumps, or if the color’s changed, unfortunately it’s too late and there’s nothing to be done.

If you’re using raw or unpasteurized milk, you don’t have to catch it as quickly, and you can actually use it for much longer. Raw milk turns into a thick substance called clabber, which can be used for all sorts of things.

Thumbnail Photo: Flickr

Spoiled Milk Use #1: Bake Just About Anything

Spoiled Milk Use #1: Bake Just About Anything
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Sour milk is perfect for baking.

The other ingredients and the baking process will mask any unpleasant taste, and your milk doesn’t have to get wasted.

There are so many recipes that use sour milk, you might start letting it go bad intentionally!

Try in corn bread, scones, pancakes, and anything you can think of.

Spoiled Milk Use #2: Make Dinner A Little Creamier

Spoiled Milk Use #2: Make Dinner A Little Creamier
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Like with baking, cooking with sour milk will cover up any gross taste, so it’s perfect for thickening up soups and casseroles.

If you feel that a soup or stew is a bit lacking, add a splash of the sour milk and you’ll have a richer experience.

Just go slowly and taste test to make sure the sour milk flavor doesn’t become too pronounced.

Spoiled Milk Use #3: Tenderize A Steak

Spoiled Milk Use #3: Tenderize A Steak
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

The lactic acid in the milk is great for tenderizing meat. Soak your meat in sour milk before cooking.

You can also use sour milk in marinades, the way you’d use buttermilk.

If meat isn’t your thing, you can also use sour milk to soak dried grains like wheat berries and barley.

Spoiled Milk Use #4: Make Some Cheese

Spoiled Milk Use #4: Make Some Cheese
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Sour milk is perfect for creating some homemade cheese, just like they did in the old days.

If your milk has turned, try turning it into cottage cheese right in your own kitchen, which goes great with salads, fruit, and as a snack.

Spoiled Milk Use #5: Make Your Face Glow

Spoiled Milk Use #5: Make Your Face Glow
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

The lactic acid in milk is also great for your skin, making it smoother and firmer.

Dilute some with water and splash on your face, rubbing to get it into your skin.

Rinse your face in plain water to avoid smelling like sour milk for the rest of the day, though!

Spoiled Milk Use #6: Take A Skin-Boosting Bath

Spoiled Milk Use #6: Take A Skin-Boosting Bath
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Sour milk doesn’t just help the skin on your face!

Add a cup or two to a bath for smooth skin all over.

If you can’t take the smell, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to cover it up.

Spoiled Milk Use #7: Make Your Plants Grow Strong

Spoiled Milk Use #7: Make Your Plants Grow Strong
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

You might not like to drink sour milk, but your plants do!

Dilute some sour milk with water and pour into flowerpots or garden beds to give your plants some calcium.

Just like it does for you, calcium makes plants grow strong. It’s said that this is especially good for tomato plants.

In the garden, the smell of sour milk will also help keep deer away.

Spoiled Milk Use #8: Make A Salad

Spoiled Milk Use #8: Make A Salad
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

If you’re using raw milk, the clabber, or the thick, sour stuff that results when the milk turns, is great on a salad.

Strain off the curds and use in place of sour cream for creamy dressings.

Remember: only do this with raw, unpasteurized milk. If pasteurized milk gets lumpy, toss it.

Spoiled Milk Use #9: Feed Your Pets

Spoiled Milk Use #9: Feed Your Pets
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Sour milk is a great additive to pet food, and pets won’t mind the taste if it’s masked enough.

Mix some into cat or dog food to give your pets a little extra calcium and protein.

Don't Want Your Milk To Spoil? Freeze It!

Don't Want Your Milk To Spoil? Freeze It!
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Milk actually freezes really well!

If you’ve bought too much, or if you’re going to be away but there’s still a full carton in the fridge, pop it in the freezer.

When you’re ready to use it, put it back in the fridge to defrost overnight, and it will be as fresh as when you bought it!

Have you ever used spoiled milk around the house?

Let us know how you’ve done it, and SHARE these thrifty tips with anyone who hates to see food go to waste!