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All About Evaporated Milk

evaporated milk, carnation, canned evaporated milk

For a creamy taste without the cream, try evaporated (canned) milk! Evaporated milk is made by removing water from fresh milk and then heating it. Heating the milk gives it the creamy, slightly cooked taste and darker colour.  When mixed with an equal amount of water, it can be substituted for fresh milk in recipes. Here are some great tips for buying, storing and using evaporated milk.  

Evaporated milk is nutritious

  • Evaporated milk belongs to the Milk and Alternatives food group in Canada’s Food Guide. One Food Guide serving is ½ cup (125 mL).
  • Just like fresh milk or powdered milk, evaporated milk is a healthy choice. It provides nutrients needed for healthy bones: protein, calcium, vitamins A and D.
  • Evaporated milk is sold in cans. It comes in skim, 1%, 2% or homogenized (3.25%) versions. Skim, 1% and 2% are all lower fat choices.

Tip: Sweetened condensed milk is a thick, syrup-like mixture used to make sweet baked goods like cookies. It is not the same as evaporated milk and does not count as a Food Guide serving of milk.  

Buying local evaporated milk

One way to be sure your evaporated milk comes from a farm in Ontario is to look for the Foodland Ontario logo. If there is no Foodland Ontario logo, you can contact the manufacturer. Buying locally produced food supports our economy and our rural communities. 

Buy it best

  • At the store, look for evaporated milk in the grocery aisle with baking goods such as flour.
  • Compare brands for the best price. 
  • Buy extra on sale. Keep some on hand if you find it hard to go grocery shopping.
  • Do not buy cans that are leaking, rusted, dented, cracked or have bulging lids. These are signs the food is spoiled and may not be safe to eat.
  • Check the best-before date before you buy. 

Tips for storing evaporated milk

  • Store unopened cans in a cool, dry place such as a cupboard. This helps prevent the can from rusting.
  • For best quality, use by the best before date or within one year. Also try to use older cans first.
  • Throw out cans that are: leaking, rusted, dented, cracked or have bulging lids.
  • Put any unused evaporated milk into an air tight container. Store in the fridge. Use within 5 to 7 days.
  • Freezing makes the milk watery. It is not recommended. 

Tips for cooking with evaporated milk

  1. Shake the can before opening. 
  2. For the same great taste as cream with less fat, use undiluted evaporated milk instead of cream in recipes.
  3. Evaporated milk cannot be used to make whipping cream.
  4. Use evaporated milk instead of fresh milk in recipes. Add an equal amount of water. For example, if a recipe lists 1 cup (250 mL) milk, add ½ cup water to ½ cup evaporated milk.
  5. Try leftover canned milk in tea, coffee, omelets, soups, hot oatmeal or even spaghetti sauce. 

Five things to do with evaporated milk

Make creamy mashed carrots and potatoes.

  • Cook potatoes and carrots until they are soft. Mash. Mix in enough evaporated milk to get the consistency you like. Enjoy these mashed vegetables on their own or as the topping for Shepherd’s Pie.

Make a white (béchamel) sauce and use in:

  • Creamy pasta sauces (like Alfredo sauce)
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Cheesy sauce over steamed broccoli or cauliflower.
  • Creamy tuna, salmon or chicken casseroles.
  • Moussaka (baked eggplant with ground meat and a white sauce)
  • Add sliced cooked mushrooms for a creamy mushroom sauce.

Lighten up desserts.

  • Cut fat from a recipe simply by replacing ½ cup (125 mL) of table cream (18% fat) with ½ cup (125 mL) undiluted evaporated 2% milk.
  • Try it the next time you make flan, bread or rice pudding, spice cakes or scones.  

Add to homemade and canned soups.

  • Get a nutrient boost. Use evaporated milk instead of water or milk in soups.
  • Try it in these soups: tomato, carrot, squash or chowder.

Drink it! 

Add equal amounts of water to diluted evaporated milk. Try it in:

  • Latte
  • Chai tea
  • Hot chocolate
  • Smoothies

Recipes where you can use evaporated milk:

Chicken and Corn Chowder
Curried Cream Of Parsnip And Carrot Soup
Stove-Top Broccoli and Mushroom Quiche
Whole wheat orange ginger scones
Spiced hot chocolate

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Last Update – May 8, 2017

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