Thursday, February 25, 2016

3 Ways to Preserve Eggs and Milk for Long-term Storage

We have an abundance of milk and eggs on our farm due to our milk cow and flock of laying hens. Production slows down a bit in the winter, but in the summertime we run two fridges just to keep up with it all!
I’m desperate to turn my second fridge into a cheese cave, so I began trying to find some different ways to preserve the precious bounty that would free up my fridge and also tide us over in the winter months.

To Freeze, Can, or Dehydrate?

I focused on freezing, canning, and dehydrating to preserve eggs and milk. Instructions for completing each method, pros and cons, my recommendations, and pictures of some of the results are below. This way, you can decide which method would be best for you and your family, and your food storage needs. Even if you’re not trying to free up a second fridge, you never know when there will be a power outage. Not depending solely on your refrigerator is important!

Freezing: Takes up a lot of space in the freezer, but prep is quick and easy

Freezing is the least time-consuming method for long-term storage, but it is also the most energy dependent one. Eggs and milk can be frozen in many different containers: freezer bags, jars, plastic freezer containers and they perform much like the fresh version when thawed and used. If you are using farm fresh raw milk, freeze the cream separately. Once thawed, the cream will sit on top of the milk in flakes and the two will not mix together, no matter how hard you shake the jar!
freezing eggsTo freeze milk, simply pour it into your chosen container, leaving room for the milk to swell. My container of choice are ziploc freezer bags. I pour 1/2 gallon of milk in a 1 gallon freezer bag and lay flat in the freezer until frozen solid so they will be easy to stack.
Preparing eggs to be frozen is also extremely quick and easy. Simply break them into a bowl, beat to combine the yolks and whites or push through a strainer and pour them into your container and freeze. To save space, I pour the eggs into an ice cube tray and, once frozen, remove them from the tray and place in a freezer bag.
1 “egg cube” = approximately 1 egg
3 tablespoons frozen, thawed egg = 1 whole fresh egg
2 tablespoons egg white = 1 egg white
1 tablespoon yolk = 1 egg yolk
The beauty of freezing eggs in smaller amounts, such as in an ice cube tray, is that they thaw quickly and allow me to throw together a really quick meal. Between quiches, frittatas, and even “breakfast for dinner”, I’m never at a loss for a great egg-based recipe!
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