5 Substitutes For Skimmed Milk

Skimmed milk is an excellent source of protein and Vitamin D, which makes it a great addition to any meal. Whether you are drinking it or incorporating it in a dish, skimmed milk can be used in a variety of ways. 

Some great substitutes for skimmed milk include sour cream, yogurt, half & half, non-dairy milk, evaporated milk, and dry milk. Which skimmed milk replacement you choose will be based on what you are using it for, but these alternatives are some of the best. 

Oftentimes, you won’t have to modify your recipe when you use a skimmed milk replacement. Other times, this swap will make all the difference. Let’s take a look at this dairy product and see how you can sub it out with alternatives with ease.

Popular Skimmed Milk Alternatives

Whether you are looking for a skimmed milk replacement that can be stored in the pantry, used in baked goods, or as an alternative for lactose intolerance, here are a few viable replacement options to consider:

1. Sour Cream or Yogurt

This skimmed milk replacement can be used as a 1:1 ratio in any recipe as an alternative. Sour cream or yogurt will certainly add creaminess and volume when used as a skimmed milk substitute in baking. 

Although you likely won’t taste the tanginess these dairy products are associated with, sour cream and yogurt replacements may give your dish a different taste. Other ingredients may need to be modified to prevent this occurrence. 

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If you are using these alternatives in baking recipes, the extra protein in yogurt may give your baked goods a deeper brown color. Vanilla-flavored yogurt may also add a nice touch to baked sweet bread and cakes.

2. Half & Half

As a popular coffee additive, half & half is underestimated for the many uses it has. Half & half is the closest substitute for milk in any recipe. It isn’t overly sweet or different in texture than the real deal.

However, if you plan to use half & half in place of skimmed milk, you will have to modify it before adding it to your recipe. For every cup of skimmed milk your recipe calls for, you will need to mix ¾ cup of half & half with ¼ cup of water for an even swap out.

3. Non-Dairy Milk

This product is often used by those who are intolerant to dairy or prefer plant-based products over dairy consumption. Many vegans and vegetarians swap out skimmed milk for non-dairy milk regularly. 

Oat milk, soy milk, or nut milk, such as almond or cashew, are common replacements for their dairy counterparts. These replacements work well in casseroles, in coffee, or when drunk alone. However, they don’t make a good replacement for skimmed milk in sauces or gravy. 

Another thing to watch out for in non-dairy milk replacements is whether you select a sweetened or unsweetened version. Both are available in your local supermarket, but you likely won’t want sweetened almond milk in your mashed potatoes.

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4. Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk is a skimmed milk substitute that comes in a can and is shelf-stable. Its long lifespan makes it a popular pantry staple, as it can be used in extreme circumstances where fresh milk is not available. 

Also, evaporated milk can be significantly cheaper than skimmed milk. Many people use it in recipes where the difference isn’t noticeable, such as in macaroni and cheese or pancakes.

When using evaporated milk in place of skimmed milk, you will have to modify it, though. Use ½ cup of evaporated milk combined with ½ cup of water for straight across substitution.

5. Powdered/Dry Milk

As another shelf-stable skimmed milk alternative, nonfat dry milk can be reconstituted to replace fresh milk in nearly any recipe. Although it likely wouldn’t be enticing to drink along, dry milk can be used in food preparation and baking. 

To replace skimmed milk with dry milk simply add 3 Tbsp. of nonfat dry milk to ½ cup of water and whisk well. It’s great for use in sauce and gravy, too. 

Factors To Consider In Skimmed Milk Alternatives

Not every alternative to skimmed milk works best in all scenarios. There are a few factors and characteristics that should be evaluated to determine if a specific skimmed milk replacement will work in your unique scenario. 

  • Storage: Skimmed milk is refrigerated in an airtight jug, which means it is portable as long as it stays at an appropriate temperature. Some alternatives are shelf-stable, while others must also be refrigerated. Still, yet, others are packaged differently, requiring additional tools to open. 
  • Taste and Texture: With most of the fat removed, skimmed milk is a thinner version of whole milk. When using a substitute for this type of milk for consumption or in recipes, take a look at how it will affect the taste and texture of your dish.
  • Cost: Some skimmed milk alternatives are cheaper than the real deal, while some are substantially higher. Your budget may determine which skimmed milk replacement you are willing to buy.
  • Nutritional Value: A few genres of shoppers prefer skimmed milk alternatives because of religious beliefs, dietary requirements, or weight loss efforts. In these cases, the calorie content, fat grams, and sugar of replacement options should be weighed against those of skimmed milk. 
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Regardless of your reason for seeking out an alternative to skimmed milk, you certainly have plenty of options available. Many of these swaps can be easily found at your local grocery store or market, making it easier than ever to find a suitable alternative for skimmed milk.