Milk Fat Product Matrix Spreadsheet

From the USDA Data base, the following are the percentages of milkfat in various products.

Why, you might ask, is this important?  Well as we move into frenzied cooking season and our time and energy is limited, sometimes we need MacGyveresque powers to get through our recipe preparation.  How many times have you been short on a necessary dairy product, have to drop eveything and go to the store?  Or, how many times have you over purchased and have to throw out because you needed just a cup of whipping cream but you have a quart?

My goal is to do dairy Garanimals, and do a mix an match between just two products:  skim milk and whipping cream.  With those two dairy products in your arsenal, all of the above iterations of milk fat end products that you would need to make your recipes can be achieved.  Skim is skim, but it makes half and half, 1%, 2% and whole milk when combined in the right proportions.  And there is no way to achieve whipping cream without having the full fat product which comes in 36% and 40% varieties.  And, you must know that half and half is NOT half cream and half milk--which is why when combined as such there is an oil slick on my coffee.

Yes, I had plenty of better things to do, but my goal was to breakdown the Goldilocks and the Three Bears math to achieve the right chemistry to transform a high fat product + a low fat product to just the right end product.  And, that distinguishing characteristic the fat percentage (per above) applied to the grams per cup (244) to calculate the fat grams per cup of product--hence the table above which has both.  It's interesting (though I would say immaterial to our math) to note that the full fat products have move volume and less weight (weighing in at 238 g v. 244).  But any of us trying to get a zipper closed post holiday eating knows that fact well!

Here's a handy formula for you to use to transform different fat milks to what you want to combine to get to the milkfat % that you desire.  I'll do this in grams for now, and then apply the ratios to ounces. 244 grams is the number of grams in a cup of end product.  X is the grams amount of high fat product that we need.  We simply subtract that from 244 to get the amount of low fat product that we need.  If you have a kitchen scale (which every serious cook should have!), then you could weigh them out.  Otherwise, apply the HFgrams/244 and apply that % to 8 oz.

In general: ( HF% - LF%)(X) + (LF%)(244)= (TF%)(244)

Of course, I'm lazy and math challenged, and I created an Excel spreadsheet which you can find  here for milk products only.  I'm not interested in adding butter to milk. Here's an example:

If we want to use skim milk (0%) fat and 36% whipping cream we would do the following:

.36% - 0% + 0 = 25    (in this case we have to get all of the fat from the whipping cream)

.36X=25   or X = 25/.36  or 69.44.67 g of HF product  and 174.55g (244-69.44) LF Product.

If we want to make whole milk from these two products, our ratio for 1 cup of whole milk (8 grams of fat) would be 7.25 ounces of skim milk and .75 ounces of  (1 tbs + 1.5 tsp) of skim milk. This is not science lab and rounding is not going to cause any problems.

Anyway, with Thanksgiving coming up, and so many recipes requiring milk, half and half and whipping cream, one can greatly simplify by just stocking skim milk and whipping cream.


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