The Original Protein Powder: skim milk powder

Find out tasty ways to incorporate this ingredient into everyday cooking—along with getting a protein boost.

Long before fancy cans of protein powder supplements lined shelves in supermarkets and pharmacies to lure bodybuilding fans…there was skim milk powder. It turns out, skim milk powder is still one of the best low-cost, high-protein foods out there. And you don’t have to want to be a bodybuilder to reap the benefits of a little extra protein throughout the day.

Skim milk powder is typically sold at the grocery store in 500 g or 1 kg resealable pouches. For maximum freshness, keep the pouches in your freezer. Throw in a scoop—a 1 Tbsp scoop (15 mL) is a handy size for many uses.

Ideas for using skim milk powder

Skim milk powder is the secret ingredient chefs use for everything from better burgers, chewier cookies and silkier ice cream. If you’ve been put off skim milk because the flavour is different from fresh milk, give it a second chance. In the words of celebrity chef Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar, “it just makes everything taste better”.

Ready to improve the texture and flavour of the foods you eat? Here are some suggestions for how to add skim milk powder to your cooking.


Food Suggested amount to add
(per serving unless otherwise indicated)
smoothies 2 Tbsp (30 mL)
cooked cereal 2–4 Tbsp (30–60 mL)
casseroles 2 Tbsp (30 mL)
hamburger patties 2 Tbsp (30 mL)
macaroni & cheese 2 Tbsp (30 mL)

in addition to the milk you already use

cream soups 2 Tbsp (30 mL)

in addition to the milk you already use

scrambled eggs and omelettes 1 Tbsp (15 mL) for every 2 eggs
cocoa 6 Tbsp or 90 mL

per cup of water + cocoa powder

yogurt 2–4 Tbsp (30–60 mL) per litre of milk

(Add when making yogurt)

sauces and gravies sprinkle in as you would sprinkle in flour
fortified milk 2 Tbsp (30 mL)

for  each cup of fresh milk

chewier cookies 2 Tbsp (30 mL)
add to flour for a batch of cookies
(thanks Christina Tosi!)
silky-smooth ice cream 4–8 Tbsp (60–125 mL)

per 1–1.5 litres of ice cream

to stabilize whipped cream 1 Tbsp (15 mL)

per cup of whipped cream, then whip

Of course, you can simply use skim milk powder in place of fresh milk: Add 1/3 cup (75 mL) of powder to a measuring cup and add water until it reaches the 1 cup line. Stir. If you’ve run out of milk and need a cup for your baking, there’s nothing handier than a pouch of skim milk powder in the freezer, where it will keep fresh for up to three years.

Who can benefit from a scoop or two of skim milk powder?

Getting enough protein throughout the day is a challenge for many people. While most people do well with getting enough protein at the main meal of the day, breakfast and lunch are meals that are often low in protein. Most people need to shift their protein intake so that it’s eaten more evenly throughout the day.

You may be wondering how much protein there actually is in skim milk powder. Every 2 Tbsp of skim milk powder adds 3 grams of protein to the food you eat. Milk made from reconstituted skim milk powder has the same nutrition as fresh milk. In addition to protein, milk is an important source of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A and many other nutrients.

Getting protein-rich foods at each meal can help you feel full longer and prevent you from craving foods with little nutritional value. It can slow muscle loss associated with aging and preserve your lean muscle mass during weight loss. Take a look at FoodTrack—Check on Protein to see how you are doing with your protein intake.

Strawberry Sunrise Protein Smoothieskim milk powder smoothie

  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) skim milk powder
  • 10 fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey

Combine ingredients in a blender; cover and blend until smooth.


About BC Dairy

BC Dairy is a not-for-profit organization representing BC’s dairy farmers.