Low-Carb Powdered Milk Substitute


This sugar-free fudge recipe uses protein powder in place of powdered milk

avatar featureHi there! I’m trying something a little different at Your Lighter Side. You told me that you want to see more helpful “cooking lessons, substitutions and tips.”  This feature is meant to help with everything from cooking hacks, to kitchen replacements, to shortcuts and tips. I hope you like it! Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you’d like me to share next! Now let’s cut it up!

Ever look at yourself in the mirror and think, “In front of me stands the most talented, handy kitchen mistress diva goddess who has ever lifted a spatula and worked a Hello Kitty apron.”

Me neither. Well, save for the Hello Kitty apron part.

Thankfully, no one said you had to become a diligent pupil of Top Chef, or hug tight the ankles of Gordon Ramsay to make your way around the kitchen.

Case in point: powdered milk.

If you’re watching your carbohydrates, are lactose intolerant, or just don’t want to keep the stuff around because you have too many sullen memories of drinking it as a kid when the money ran low (to extend the milk), fear not, for I bring you good tidings of great powderless cow boob juice joy.

Unflavored, lactose-free whey or egg white protein powder behaves very similarly to dehydrated milk in recipes.

In fact, ounce per ounce, both protein powder and dry milk contain almost the same amount of protein. What’s pretty remarkable, however, is while both protein powder and dry milk behave the same in a recipe, protein powder contains fewer carbohydrates and more fat (even though, the two differ by only 13 calories), which creates greater satisfaction, both in terms of hunger and taste.

In short, with protein powders, one enjoys all of the benefits and none of the bovine-laden problems.

Other bonuses of protein powders:

Increased Copper intake. 23% of your daily allowance. Since this mineral cannot be produced in the body, and we don’t think sucking pennies is good for you, copper is necessary for ensuring normal metabolic function.

Calcium to Crow about. 25% of your daily recommended allowance comes from an ounce of protein powder. While dry milk contains 35% of recommended daily totals, the benefits of calcium from the protein powder is greater, especially if you’re one of many lactose intolerant individuals.

Phosphorus Phun. 22% of your daily allowance. Important for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, hormone balance, and helping the body use incoming nutrients, phosphorous only barely squeaks in behind dry milk’s 28% of recommended daily allowances.

Vitamin A(aaaah). 13% of your daily allowance. Precisely the same amount as the daily percentages in dry milk, Vitamin A helps protect your immune system, protecting you from diseases caused by viruses. You’re too fabulous for viruses.

Crunching the cost.
While there is a distinct cost difference, you’ll never need much of the protein powder fabulousness in any given recipe.
Dry Milk: $5.50/pound
Designer Whey Protein Powder: $13/pound

What should you look for in a protein powder?

Cost. First and foremost, if you can’t afford it, it’s not much of an option for pantry stocking, now is it? I tend towards Designer Whey unflavored protein. It’s easy to use, comes in a large container, and it’s reasonably-priced, which means I can use it in more applications.

Ingredients. Is the powder made from egg whites? Whey? Are you allergic to either? Make sure you read the labels. No one wants to see you rushed to the ER with an epi pen sticking out of your butt because you wanted to make fudge but didn’t bother looking at the ingredients.

Taste. Remember the taste of dry milk? Protein powder is about the same in terms of flavor. Buying an unsweetened, unflavored whey protein, especially, will net the same flavor profile as the dry milk. It’s not a sexy flavor, but the good news is it doesn’t have to be.

Swap out the Dry Milk for Protein Powder to Make:

My suggestion? Use unsweetened protein powder and ditch the moo. You’ll udderly never miss it.


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  1. Mary Schenten says

    Are you saying you can swap protein powder and powdered milk cup for cup?

  2. And our go-to low-carb goddess strikes again: Bloody Brilliant idea!!! I’d not have thought of that left to my own devises 😀 Looking forward to reading what other clever things and info you come up with but cannot for the mo think of anything to ask. As for hello kitty, am wearing underwear with her on but alas have no pinny. Greetings from dismal Amsterdam! x

  3. Dyanne Spease says

    I think you meant to say at the bottom of your post, Swap protein powder for dry milk, LOL. I’m gonna make this cheese in a few days. Can’t wait until I can have some sugar free sugar, so I can make the fudge!

  4. Hi Jamie-
    What brand of unflavored whey powder is your fav?

    • Hi, Jeanie! My favorite currently is the Designer Whey unflavored protein powder. I’ve had the same, huge, container in the cupboard for at least a year, so it’s lasted me a long time.

      • That’s funny. I thought when you said designer whey you meant a fancy brand…like Jillian or something. Didn’t know Designer was the name. haha! I lost 50 pounds on low carb, and am just starting to maintain. Love your coconut flour recipes! Thanks!

  5. Perfect timing as I so needed this information. I’ve never tried protein powder so this info is really helpful for me. Thank you Jamie.

  6. I just invested in a bag of egg white protein as I am allergic to all cow’s milk related products. It wasn’t cheap and I haven’t used it yet but I definitely have plans! Thanks, Jamie.

  7. My favorite protein powder is Wellness Whey from Nutritional Weight & Wellness.

  8. Thanks!

  9. Good to know, thank you.

  10. Oh Jamie!! That is why I love you, I didn’t even know I missed Velveeta until I read this post. I have made the velveeta fudge before, it is great. ! I also have a recipe I want to try for beef and cheese soup, will use this instead of the processed that has so many additives. Thank you!!

  11. You are truly a goddess!! Thank you so much for all the great tips and recipes – I don’t think I would have nearly so much fun going low-carb without you!!!

  12. Correction – I KNOW I wouldn’t be having as much fun . . .

  13. Helpful — thanks!

  14. I LOVE your site…congratulations on the win!
    Would you give some guidelines on how to use protein powder for making yogurt please? I am very intrigued by the concept.

  15. Very interesting! I’m wondering how the yogurt would be? I love it and have a yogurt maker, but rarely make it because I don’t have milk. Would it really “set” like yogurt should?

    I’m new her and thanks for all your great ideas!

  16. Cora Lyn Sears says

    Love this! Will you be able to have these wonderful tips in an easily searchable place for those of us who aren’t too organized?

  17. Why don’t you make a recipe. Take a picture and show it to us?
    I am working on a LC buttermilk right now. Don’t know if your idea
    would work with that concept or not.

    • Better yet, for the time being, I removed that option until it’s tested. Thanks for helping me to make that decision. The yogurt I want to make doesn’t use any powders at all, but I know the yogurt makers ask for powdered milk.

  18. Cow Boob Juice Joy!! Lol! Thank You so much for the laugh. I needed that!
    That’s for the tip on the protein powder. Very useful info. 🙂

  19. Some backpackers dehydrate almond milk on the fruit leather trays and then blend it until fine in a food processor. I can’t vouch for this as I have never tried it.

  20. I LOVE this site and all the great ideas I get from it! Which protein powder do you use or recommend?

    • Hi there! I like the Designer Whey brand because it’s less expensive and has produced consistently good results. It’s also really easy to find at many of the big box stores, like Wal-Mart. For people allergic to whey, I really like Jay Robb’s Egg White Powder.

  21. Sheri Applebaum says

    Can the protein powder be used in place of powdered milk in a peanut butter ball recipe? They do not need any baking, so I didn’t know if it would work, or not. I have a healthy recipe that I love, but would like to try making it without the dry milk, if possible.

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