Shelf-Stable, no-spoil or UHT milk as it is sometimes called is simply milk that doesn’t go into the refrigerator until after it’s opened. The process that allows it to do this is called Ultra High Temperature (UHT) pasteurization which is used to remove dangerous organisms from the milk before it is boxed, which in turn allows months of shelf life before it needs to be used. This is still real, all-natural, 100 percent milk that only needs to be refrigerated once it is opened.
You are probably used to seeing the alternative or nut milks in this shelf-stable form at the grocery store, however, we are focusing today on the real, 100 percent milk from cows that we grew up drinking. Below are some natural milk options that come in a variety of individually-sized boxes that can be a great and convenient alternative to your standard gallon-size milk cartons.
Options include organic, pasture-raised cows milk in small eight-ounce containers that are perfect for kids and adults and make for a great mid-morning snack, and an excellent addition to lunch boxes. Or you can choose from larger, 32-ounce containers that are still small enough to be consumed within the recommended seven days.
1. Organic Valley 1% Milk Boxes (Pack of 24)
Organic Valley’s individual organic milk boxes come with 24, 6.75-ounce shelf-stable boxes of 1% low-fat milk with a conveniently attached straw. The milk is ultra-pasteurized and packaged in special, shelf-safe cartons, which is what makes it stay fresh for up to six months before opening. Packed with naturally occurring omega-3, CLA, vitamins and seven grams of protein, these cartons make the perfect snack for kids and for those always on-the-go. This milk is also sourced from pasture-raised cows on small family organic farms, ensuring the milk is healthier and more nutritious.
Pros: Organic Valley milk is certified organic, gluten-free, non-GMO and Kosher with no preservatives, antibiotics, synthetic hormones, rBGH or rBST.
Cons: These are not available in a whole milk option.
2. Natrel Whole Milk (Pack of 18)
Natrel’s Whole Milk, 100 percent shelf-stable packs come with 18, eight-ounce cartons of full-fat milk. Natrel is all-natural without any added preservatives and has undergone UHT pasteurization which is used to remove any dangerous organisms in the milk before it is completely boxed. These single-serving boxes make the perfect breakfast, lunch or snack for adults and kids, to ensure their nutritional needs are met.
Pros: For its price point, this is a great option for shelf-stable milk and will help contain excess waste.
Cons: This milk is not organic.
3. Natrel 2% Reduced Fat Milk (Pack of 6)
Natrel’s Reduced Fat 2% Milk comes in a convenient 32-ounce carton that uses UHT pasteurization to stay fresh for months. By utilizing this process you get the same benefits as traditional milk while allowing months of shelf life before it needs to be used. When you are ready to drink, simply chill in the refrigerator and open. Natrel is all-natural, gluten-free and made without any preservatives.
Pros: For its price point, you get six individual, 32-ounce containers.
Cons: It is recommended to use the milk within seven days of opening.