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In June, Stretch Your Milk Budget

By Staff | May 29, 2015

During June, National Dairy Month, enjoy some dairy products, such as low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. Dairy products are some of our best sources of calcium and many are fortified with vitamin D, which helps build strong bones and teeth.

Did you know you can stretch your food budget by using nonfat dry milk (NDM)? – Be sure to choose instant nonfat dry milk fortified with vitamins A and D. Nutritionally, 1 cup of reconstituted dry milk has about the same calories and other nutrients as 1 cup of nonfat fluid milk.

Buy the amount you will use within a reasonable amount of time. Store nonfat dry milk in a cool, dry place, and use it within the “best if used by” date on the package. Prepare only as much as you need by adding water to reconstitute it so it takes up less refrigerator space and stays fresher. Nonfat dry milk and water can be substituted for fluid milk as a beverage, or it can be used in place of milk in recipes. (See chart for preparation tips.)

Tips to Use NDM

These are some ways to use reconstituted NDM in place of fluid milk:

Casseroles, cream soups and stews



Scrambled eggs


Homemade breads, muffins, pancakes, waffles*

Mashed potatoes

(* Add the NDM to the dry ingredients, then add the appropriate amount of water.)

Q: I have heard about vitamin D and its health benefits. Doesn’t our body make it? What foods contain vitamin D?

Vitamin D is important for strong bones, plus it may play a part in preventing heart disease, cancer and several other illnesses. Our bodies make vitamin D by the action of sun on our skin. However, skin cancer is on the rise, so we need to be careful not to overdo sun exposure during summer months. According to some studies, 15 minutes of sun exposure twice a week is all we need to make enough vitamin D. During winter months in northern areas such as ours, making enough vitamin D is hard. Ensure you get enough by including vitamin D-rich foods in your diet or with a supplement.

According to recent recommendations, most people need at least 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day. Your health-care provider might advise a supplement. Some food sources and the amount of vitamin D per serving are shown below:

Salmon (sockeye): 447 IU per 3 ounces

Tuna fish: 154 IU per 3 ounces

Milk: 115 IU per cup

Fortified cereal and some types of juice, some types of yogurt and cheese The amount of vitamin D they contain varies, so read the nutrition label to learn more.

Cheesy Macaroni Casserole

2 c. macaroni

4 Tbsp. butter or margarine

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

c. milk*

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

c. bread crumbs

tsp. Italian seasoning

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

(* Use the chart on the other side to substitute nonfat dry milk and water for fluid milk.)

Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain. In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute until onions have a rich golden color. Mix in the tomatoes and the spices. Stir in milk and cup shredded cheese. Let sauce simmer gently until the cheese is melted, stirring often.

Mix in the cooked macaroni. Transfer macaroni and cheese to an ovenproof pan. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cup cheese. Dice remaining 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, and spread evenly over the top. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 to 45 minutes.

Makes eight servings. Per serving: 270 calories, 11 grams (g) fat, 32 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 9 g protein and 270 milligrams sodium

From NDSU Extension Service Food Wise Julie Garden-Robinson, Food & Nutrition Specialist

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