Note: This post is brought to you by Milk Unleashed and the Motherhood. I was compensated for my time, but all opinions are honest and are my own.
Yes, that’s right, I said pantry. I have to admit, until recently I had NO CLUE that shelf safe milk existed. I knew there were things like condensed milk, or powdered milk, but I didn’t know you could get regular, normal-tasting milk that can be stored unrefrigerated for months.
You’ve probably seen shelf-safe milk before, either on your grocery store shelves or even refrigerated in restaurants and coffee shops. I know I had seen it, but when I saw it in stores I assumed it must be different from regular milk – and when we had the milk refrigerated at a favorite restaurant, I assumed it was “regular” refrigerated milk. Now I know that it IS regular milk, but it’s pasteurized and packaged in a way that makes it extremely functional (and safe!) without refrigeration required.
Shelf safe milk is Grade A fluid milk that requires no refrigeration until the package is open, and it has NO preservatives! It has the exact same nutritional profile as the refrigerated milk you’re used to! The taste of this milk is very similar to “traditional” milk. My kids have had it (cold) and neither of them noticed a difference at all.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably got questions as to HOW this milk can be kept unrefrigerated… so here’s a look at the process!
Shelf safe milk is pasteurized at an Ultra High Temperature for a shorter time to preserve taste and nutrition – you can see below how the process works compared to the process for traditional pasteurized milk:
Once the shelf safe milk is heated, it is immediately put into a sterile, opaque Tetra Pak shelf-safe carton that keeps out light, air, and harmful contaminants. Packaging is 70% paper; there’s a layer of aluminum foil to keep out oxygen and prevent spoiling, and there’s a thin layer of BPA-free plastic in the packaging as well. Because of the process and packaging, shelf safe milk lasts up to six months without refrigeration or preservatives! Once you open it, the life of the milk is about the same as “traditional” milk.
As a mom of three kids who feels like we’re always on the go, I can think of a ton of uses for shelf safe milk. It’d be really easy to toss in the diaper bag or to bring along on road trips (did I mention the individual cartons typically come with built-in straws just like juice boxes? SO easy). And just think about staying in hotel rooms – no more worrying about having a fridge in your room to keep the milk cold! I love knowing that I can give my kids a nutritious drink on-the-go, whether it’s just out around town or on longer trips. You can even freeze the milk and stick it in your child’s lunch, and it will be thawed in time to enjoy some nice cold milk for lunchtime. Another benefit to shelf safe milk is that I can keep some on hand in our pantry and never have to be out of milk (like we were this very morning, for instance)! It’d be great to have for recipes, too – or if you live in areas affected by hurricanes, it’d be a perfect addition to your emergency kit.
You can buy shelf safe milk in many grocery stores, and you can even order it online at Amazon.com!
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