Whole Milk Substitute: Out of Milk? No Problem!

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Ever found yourself in the middle of a baking marathon only to discover you’re out of whole milk? Or perhaps you’re looking for a healthier, plant-based alternative to your regular cup of milk? Either way, the good news is that there are plenty of whole milk substitutes available. Whether you’re making a creamy soup or a batch of baked goods, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and explore some options you can find in your local grocery store or even in your pantry.

pitcher of milk

Soy Milk: A Plant-Based Option

Soy milk is a great replace whole milk in most recipes. It has a similar consistency to cow’s milk and is packed with protein. It’s also a good alternative for those with lactose intolerance. Use an equal amount of soy milk in place of whole milk, but keep in mind that it might add a slightly nutty flavor to your end result.

Soy milk in a glass and soybeans on a table.

Almond Milk: A Nutty Alternative

Almond milk, another plant-based option, is lower in calories and fat than cow’s milk. However it does have a distinct, nutty flavor. Almond milk works well in both sweet dishes and savory dishes, and you can use it in equal parts to replace whole milk. Just be mindful that its water content is higher, so it might thin out thicker recipes like creamy soups.

Bowl of almonds and a glass of fresh almond milk.

Oat Milk: A Creamy Option

Oat milk mimics milk’s creamy texture. It’s thicker than many other plant-based milks and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. It’s great in baking recipes and can be used in equal parts. Plus, it’s a good source of vitamin D and fatty acids.

Coconut Milk: A High-Fat Substitute

coconut milk

Coconut milk, with its higher fat content, is an excellent option in recipes that require a rich, creamy consistency. Its distinct flavor works well in both sweet and savory dishes. However, its high-fat content could alter the final product’s texture, so it’s best used in small amounts. A good rule of thumb is to use 1/4 cup of water and 3/4 cup of coconut milk for each cup of whole milk.

Skim Milk and Melted Butter: A DIY Substitute

Got skim milk and butter in your fridge? You can create your own. Mix 1/2 cup of skim milk with 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter, and voila. This DIY option works best in baking recipes, as it mimics the milk fat and moisture content of whole milk.

Glass of skim milk and a bowl of butter.

Evaporated Milk: A Shelf-Stable Whole Milk Alternative

Evaporated milk is another good whole milk substitute, especially if you’re looking for a dairy product with a long shelf life. It’s thicker and richer than regular milk, thanks to a process that removes about 60% of the water content. For the best results, dilute the evaporated milk with an equal amount of water before using it in your recipe.

Yogurt: A Tangy Substitute for Whole Milk

Bowl of plain yogurt as a substitute for whole milk

Both Greek yogurt and plain yogurt (or one of our recommended yogurt substitutes) can serve as a whole milk substitute. They add a tangy flavor and creamy texture to your recipes. Because yogurt is thicker than milk, you’ll need to thin it with a little water. A good substitute is a 3/4 cup of yogurt mixed with 1/4 cup of water for every cup of milk in the recipe.

Heavy Cream and Water: The Rich Whole Milk Substitute

If you’re looking for a substitute with a similar consistency to whole milk, consider using a mix of heavy cream and water. Combining 1/2 cup of heavy cream with 1/2 cup of water will give you a whole milk substitute that’s rich in flavor and high in fat content. This is a great option for baked goods and creamy soups.

Cream pouring from a jug into a bowl of water.

Water and Butter: The Emergency Substitute

If you’re truly in a pinch and don’t have any type of milk alternative on hand, you can use water and butter. Combine 7/8 cup of water with 1/2 tablespoon of butter to replace 1 cup of whole milk. This won’t work in all recipes, as it lacks the creaminess and richness of milk, but it can save the day when you’re out of other options.

So, the next time you’re out of milk or simply want to try something new, give these whole milk substitutes a go. Whether you choose a plant-based milk, a dairy substitute, or an emergency mix of water and butter, you can keep cooking and baking to your heart’s content.

⭐️ Have a look at all of our ingredient substitution recommendations! ⭐️

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