People who do not like black coffee or tea have one thing in common in their homes – powdered milk. A spoonful of this product can add a luscious color to your morning beverage. It is also a helpful ingredient for making your own condensed milk, yogurt, dessert toppings, or any milk replacement. But is powdered milk gluten free?
Powdered milk is made from animal-derived fresh milk, an inherently gluten free product. Hence, powdered is also naturally gluten free. But it may acquire gluten from additives or due to cross-contamination. The same is true for non-dairy milk powder.
But is dairy really safe for people with celiac disease? How exactly is milk powder made – and what are its uses? Should you consume it even if it is free from gluten? Let’s find out all about powdered milk today!
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Is Powdered Milk Gluten Free?
Almost every home’s pantry has a box of powdered milk sitting on it. It is a standard product used as a beverage creamer – or an alternative to fresh milk in various milk-based foods. But if you are required to stay away from all things gluten-based due to medical reasons, you may wonder, “Is powdered milk gluten free?”
To answer that, you have to understand what this product is. Well, it’s precisely what the name suggests – milk powder. It is dehydrated milk in powder form to make it last longer than fresh milk due to the absence of water content.
Pure milk comes from animals and has nothing to do with gluten grains like wheat, barley, or rye. Hence, powdered milk, which is nothing but evaporated milk, is also naturally gluten free and safe for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
However, the problem with naturally gluten free products is the chance of cross-contamination and additives. If the milk powder production unit deals with other products made of wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients, the milk powder may come in direct contact with such gluten products. This can lead to the addition of trace gluten resulting from cross-contamination.
In addition, powdered milk may contain additives like coloring and flavoring agents, texturizers, preservatives, etc. These additives may contain gluten unless otherwise mentioned. Milk powder companies may not specifically look into the gluten status of these additives.
It’s essential that you check a milk powder’s label to know if it has gluten ingredients – and the brand’s statements regarding the gluten status and their facilities. Even if you find a product reliable, we suggest consuming only a small amount to see how your body reacts to it – though that’s not a good idea if you’re severely allergic to gluten.
However, you must be careful about your dairy intake if you have a severe case of celiac disease and your condition has remained undiagnosed and untreated for a long time. That’s because dairy might trigger some symptoms of celiac disease or reduce the effects of a gluten free diet.
Related Posts:- Is Ricotta Cheese Gluten Free?
Is Non-Dairy Milk Powder Gluten Free?
Did you know that 334,805,269 people in the US alone are lactose intolerant? You’ll be shocked to learn that in countries like Ghana, Malawi, South Korea, and Yemen, there’s a 100% prevalence of gluten intolerance in the population. Many countries are close behind – and people are naturally moving towards non-dairy milk options.
Such plant-based milk varieties are also available in powdered form. But is non-dairy milk powder gluten free? These plant-based milk powder varieties are usually made from almonds, oats, coconut, soy, rice, etc. All of these are naturally gluten free sources. So, non-dairy milk powder is free from gluten content.
However, just like regular powdered milk, non-dairy milk powder may gather gluten content resulting from cross-contamination in the facilities. It is also possible that the item has gluten-based additives.
So, just like in the case of dairy milk powder, plant-based milk powder should also be assessed for gluten content. So analyze the ingredients list and find out if the brand has any statement in this regard. You can test the product in small amounts or look for a certified variety.
Advantages of Milk Powder
Powdered milk, whether dairy or non-dairy, is a useful kitchen product. It is quite convenient to use as a milk replacement. And, since it is made by dehydrating liquid milk, which essentially preserves it, this non-liquid also has a long shelf life, lasting much longer than regular milk even without refrigeration – due to the lack of moisture content.
So, as long as you keep it in a cool and dry place, it will last for as long as three months once opened. Besides hassle-free storage and long shelf life, milk powder offers the convenience of easy and space-efficient transportation. A cup of liquid milk is the same as just a quarter of a cup of milk powder! Plus, you can use it in various recipes.
Uses of Milk Powder
If you’re always worried about gluten content in various food items before picking them off the shelf, you may have gotten into the habit of frequent home-cooking. In the case of milk-based products, you can choose to make the following at home – using gluten free powdered milk!
a) Milk Alternative
By mixing ⅓ cup of milk powder with 1 cup of water, you can turn milk powder into liquid milk. You can use it in various foods – like breakfast cereals, cake, desserts, pancakes, etc.
b) Evaporated Milk
Add 1 cup of powder with 1 ½ cups of water to make evaporated milk of the perfect consistency. It can improve the texture of sauces, chowders, smoothies, and more.
c) Sweetened Condensed Milk
A blend of 1 cup of sugar, ½ cup of hot water, and 1 cup of milk powder can give you delicious condensed milk. It can be an excellent addition to pies, cakes, dessert sauces, etc.
Make yogurt by adding 1 ⅓ cups of milk powder to 3 ¾ cups of water and mix. Add another ½ cup of milk powder and heat it to 110 F before adding ¼ cup of yogurt and letting it set for a day!
e) Cream Cheese
The first step is to make yogurt, which you need to place in muslin and hang for 12-24 hours. When it is drained, you have delicious cream cheese – made at home using milk powder!
f) Sour Cream
Put together ⅓ cup of milk powder and ¾ cup of yogurt to get delicious sour cream. You can use it as a dip, salad dressing, sandwich spread, and more, adding taste and texture to them.
g) Ricotta Cheese
Heat a mixture of 3 cups of powdered and 6 cups of water at 110-120 F; add ½ cup of vinegar and stir. Then, drain off the separated whey and add salt and sour cream for fresh ricotta!
Just ¼ cup of milk powder and 1 cup of water, with 1 tbsp of lemon juice, can turn into buttermilk in 5-10 minutes. You can use it to tenderize meat, make cookies and muffins, and more.
i) Pudding Powder
Why would you need ready-made pudding mixes when you can mix 8 cups of milk with 4 cups each of corn starch and sugar to get the perfect texture? Add any flavor of your choice to it!
j) Whipped Topping
Set a bowl to chill in an ice bath. Add ½ cup of cold water and ½ cup of milk powder – and start whipping. Gradually add ½ cup of sugar – and keep beating till you have a stiff topping!
There are plenty of other food items into which you can add milk powder. From pasta sauce to chocolate milk, from Indian sweets to cakes – everything can be made with milk powder! If you love DIY beauty products, you can also add it to face packs, makeup removers, milk baths, hair packs, etc., for a head-to-foot glow.
Gluten Free Milk Powder Brands
There are many brands of gluten free milk powder available on the market. Some of them are certified gluten free, while others are made of naturally non-gluten ingredients. Let’s look at some of the brands that are generally trusted by the celiac community!
a) Hoosier Hill Farm All American Whole Milk Powder
This milk powder brand proudly shows off its gluten free status on the container. It is also certified hormone-free and delicious.
b) Meyenberg Canned Powdered Whole Goat Milk
This dehydrated whole milk is marked naturally gluten free on the container and is considered a safe choice for everyday use by celiac patients.
c) Anthony’s Non-Fat Milk Powder
For people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, this milk powder is an excellent choice as a certified gluten free option for non–fat milk powder.
d) The SACO Pantry
This instant milk powder and buttermilk powder brand marks its products gluten free on the package. These powders can easily replace liquid milk.
e) Aadvik Camel Milk Powder
It might seem like a bit of an odd choice as it is camel milk. But you can use it in various recipes. Plus, it is lab-tested and found to have no gluten.
f) Judee’s Oat Milk Powder
If you’re looking for a vegan milk powder that’s certified gluten free, check out this powdered milk made from oats. It is safe for a dairy-free diet.
g) Nutricost Organic Coconut Milk Powder
This is another non-dairy milk powder made from coconuts. It’s a gluten free brand that’s safe for you if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
There are plenty of other dairy-based and non-dairy milk powder brands. Dairy-based powdered milk brands include Organic Valley, NIDO, Carnation, etc., while vegan brands include FG Roberts, Prescribed for Life, Well Versed, etc.
Connection Between Celiac Disease and Lactose Intolerance
A lot of people mistakenly think that there’s a connection between gluten allergy and dairy allergy. Even though they are different and unrelated, they present similar symptoms. So, in an undiagnosed condition, people may confuse the two.
Some of the common symptoms are bloating, stomach ache, diarrhea, nausea, acid reflux, intestinal inflammation, leaky gut syndrome, etc. While the two are different health conditions, it’s possible for the two to occur together. In fact, untreated celiac disease can eventually lead to lactose intolerance.
Recent studies also suggest that continuing to have dairy might cause gastrointestinal symptoms and sabotage the effects of a gluten free diet in a celiac patient. A gluten free lifestyle is the only respite for a celiac patient. This is especially true if your condition is severe and has remained undiagnosed and untreated for a long time.
Gluten Free Powdered Milk Recipe
If you are into the habit of making every food at home, here’s some good news for you: you can make milk powder at home, too! Take a look at this one-ingredient recipe below –
- Milk (full fat/skimmed) – 3 L
- In a double boiler, add 3 l milk and simmer for a few hours.
- The water content should evaporate, leaving the liquid with a creamy consistency. Pour this liquid into a large and shallow pan.
- Preheat your oven to 150 F and put the pan with milk in it.
- Let the oven door remain slightly open so that the moisture can escape.
- Once the milk dries, take the pan out of the oven.
- Put the dry milk piece in a blender and give it a good buzz to turn it into fine powder.
Is powder milk gluten free? The good news is that it is naturally free from gluten, and there are various certified gluten free milk powder brands. But note that it is better for people with celiac disease to avoid dairy products. So, you can choose non-dairy and non-gluten milk powder instead.