When I heard a few years back about a New York restaurateur making breastmilk cheese, I was among the chorus of "ewwww!"s.
Cut to the present day with a 6-month-old, much more education on the virtues of human milk, and a freezerful of expressed milk. I can't help but find myself searching for ways to use the stockpiled "liquid gold":
If the milk is stored properly and is not too old (a good rule of thumb is 6 hours at room temperature, 6 days in the fridge, and 6 months in the freezer, and 12 months in a deep freezer), milk banks for mothers who cannot provide their babies with their own milk are a very worthy first option. If looking for alternative ways to feed extra milk to a growing baby, toddler, or even adults, check out these ideas:
- Make butter! Just put a few ounces of milk in a clean jar and shake vigorously until you have butter.
- Ice cream can be made by simply substituting human milk for cow's milk. A great option for moms on a dairy-free diet who are craving ice cream.
- Freeze it into popsicles or ice cubes for summertime or teething babies.
- Make cheese like the chef who first set off the media firestorm years ago.
- Use it as a creamer for coffees and other drinks.
- Substitute for cow's milk with human milk in baking or cooking recipes.
- Donate it to chemo patients, whose digestion can be aided by breastmilk.
- There is a seemingly-endless list of non-food uses for human milk with its antifungal properties, from removing makeup to relieving scrapes and burns.
Related: Cooking With Colostrum
(Image: Flickr member Daquella manera, licensed for use under Creative Commons)