When recipes call for fat-free milk, can I substitute evaporated fat-free milk? If so, how much evaporated milk would equal 1 cup of fat-free milk? —D.M., Flanders, New York
In a pinch, most recipes calling for fat-free milk can be adapted to use fat-free evaporated milk. Evaporated milk is made when milk is condensed to about half of its original volume in a heating process using a vacuum evaporator, which removes 60% of the water in milk. To reconstitute it, combine equal amounts of fat-free milk and water. For instance, if a recipe calls for 1 cup fat-free milk, combine 1/2 cup evaporated fat-free milk and 1/2 cup water. This reconstituted milk can be used in baked goods, meat loaves, soups, gravies and sauces. However, evaporated milk has a light caramel color, so I would suggest using it in recipes where the color won’t detract from the final food’s appearance. It also has a slightly sweeter flavor. The nutrient composition is similar to that of regular fat-free milk. Once opened, treat evaporated milk as you would fresh milk. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.