Getting the Most Out of Your Milk


Keeping food out of the landfill is one of the simplest ways consumers can take action to have a positive impact on the food system. However, it can sometimes be difficult to use up perishable foods before they expire.

Since milk is fresh, getting the most out of it can sometimes mean finding clever ways to preserve it or incorporate it into different meals to avoid waste. Here are 3 ways to use up milk that’s approaching its expiration date.

  1. Smoothies
    There’s no quicker way to make a healthy breakfast or lunch than blending all your ingredients together. Milk is a great base for smoothies and provides immune-boosting nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, and protein that help you feel your best and take on whatever comes your way. Smoothies are versatile and can be made with a variety of ingredients that you may already have on hand, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and spices. Pairing milk with these ingredients helps ensure you are getting a balanced meal or snack with various food groups.
  2. Popsicles
    Sugar is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of popsicles. The benefit of making your own is having control over what goes into them, like the amount of sugar. Using milk as the first ingredient is a great start because it contains 8 grams of protein in 1 cup. You can flavor your popsicles with crushed or chopped fruit, cocoa powder, nut butters, or vanilla extract. Try sweetening your popsicles with fruit or vanilla yogurt. No matter what combination you choose, you can feel assured that your homemade dairy dessert is full of beneficial nutrients.
  3. Pancakes or Waffles
    Whether you’re organizing a family breakfast or prepping meals in advance, pancakes and waffles should be included in your planning process. They’re an easy, crowd-pleasing breakfast that can also be frozen to serve later. Using milk, in an otherwise carbohydrate-rich dish, can add protein, fat, and micronutrients like vitamin D, potassium, and calcium. You can increase the fiber by using whole-wheat flour and adding fruit, like berries and bananas. Having extra pancakes and waffles in the freezer is a good way to ensure you’ll have a quick and healthy breakfast on even the most time-crunched mornings.

Don’t let nutrient-rich dairy go to waste. Click here for more tips to get the most out of your milk.

Rachel Hahn is a dietetic intern at VCU Health completing the last leg of her education before becoming a registered dietitian. Part of her training includes gaining experience working with advocacy groups, like The Dairy Alliance. She’s excited to share her passion for nutrition and healthy living with the community.