Introduction: Dehydrate Yogurt

Picture of Dehydrate Yogurt

Planning backpacking food is a challenge to make meals that are tasty and nutritious and that weigh as little as possible. Dehydrated yogurt can add favor and calories to any meal of the day. The process has been described on several camping (e.g. and food websites (e.g.; Some yogurts dehydrate better than others. Greek yogurts work well. Some blended fruit yogurts can be made into a yogurt-fruit leather. Lumpy fruit yogurts can be difficult to dry evenly.

Supplies and materials:

Yogurt (Six ounces (170 grams) of yogurt will make a little over an ounce (30 grams) of dry yogurt.)

Dehydrator (there are many brands and styles, Nesco has a good selection -->

Fruit leather trays for dehydrator (available from Nesco -->

Large bowl, Large spoon

Coffee or spice grinder

Small (about 3 x 3 inch; 20 x 20 mm) plastic bags (or other storage containers)

Note: The process could probably be adapted to utilize a low temperature oven, cookie sheets, and a blender)

Step 1: Spread Yogurt on Fruit Leather Drying Tray

Picture of Spread Yogurt on Fruit Leather Drying Tray

Spread 6-8 ounces (170 - 225 grams) of yogurt relatively evenly about 1/8 - 1/4 inch (3 - 5 mm) thick on a fruit leather tray.

Step 2: Dehydrate

Picture of Dehydrate

Place the trays in a dehydrator. If the dehydrator has a temperature control, use a fairly low temperature (115 - 125 deg F / 46 - 52 deg C) or the yogurt will discolor. One can also place empty trays between the loaded ones and the heat source.

Dry for several hours until the yogurt is flaky and completely dry.

Step 3: Remove Dried Yogurt From the Tray

Picture of Remove Dried Yogurt From the Tray

This can be a messy process as the flakes are very thin and friable. Hold the tray over a large bowl and flex it to release the pieces into the bowl.

Step 4: Break Flakes Into Smaller Pieces

Picture of Break Flakes Into Smaller Pieces

Once all the yogurt from a tray is in the bowl, break up the larger pieces by hand so they will fit into a grinder. Unless the flakes are pulverized, they will not rehydrate well.

Step 5: Place the Flakes Into a Grinder

Picture of Place the Flakes Into a Grinder

The flakes can be ground in a coffee grinder (if you like coffee yogurt!) or a spice grinder.

The result will be a fine powder.

Step 6: Package the Powdered Yogurt

Picture of Package the Powdered Yogurt

Individual servings can be packaged in small plastic bags or other containers. If the dried yogurt will not be used within a few days, it can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Step 7: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!

The dried, powdered yogurt can be added to cereal or other dishes for flavor and to boost calories. To re-hydrate to yogurt-like consistency, add about 2-3 ounces (60 - 90 ml) of water to one ounce (30 grams) of powder, mix well, and let set for 10-20 minutes. The result will not be as smooth as the original yogurt, but will be as tasty.


MichaelAtOz (author)2016-09-04

Any trouble from the police, carrying powder around in small baggies? ;)

judypalmer (author)MichaelAtOz2016-09-05

Not yet! Guess it helps to be an elderly, gray haired, little old lady with a backpack full of outdated camping gear!

Yonatan24 (author)2015-09-17

Step 5: Looks like a yogurt chips snack ;)

I'm lactose intolerant, But it would be nice to try this with soy yogurt!

Now that I think of it, Isn't it basically the same as baby powder formula?

judypalmer (author)Yonatan242015-09-18

I pulverize the chips in a spice grinder as the chips don't re-hydrate well, haven't tried them as a snack. Yes, would be interesting to try with soy yogurt as well skyr (a thick yogurt-like product popular in Iceland). I don't know about powdered baby formula and how it is made.

Yonatan24 (author)Yonatan242015-09-17

And, While the yogurt is dehydrated, It doesn't still have to be refridgerated?

judypalmer (author)Yonatan242015-09-18

Hi, I actually keep my powdered yogurt in the freezer until I'm ready to go on a backpacking trip.

spark master (author)2015-05-25

Nice, I did fruit leather years before fruit roll ups existed, do a bunch of pears and apples and powder them as well, mix a bag of fruit and one of yogurt to make fruit yogurt or pancakes!!!! Very nice on the trail. Nice job!!

judypalmer (author)spark master2015-05-25

Sounds yummy, thanx!

gigiopil (author)2015-05-25

Great idea, and thanks for sharing. How are you going to reprocess it for using? just add some hot water as usual and for how long?

judypalmer (author)gigiopil2015-05-25

If I am having it for a snack or at lunch, I just add 2-3 ounces of cold water, mix well, let set for 10-20 minutes, and eat. More than that amount of water and it becomes a drink, less it is more like a custard. At breakfast I generally just add the powder directly to dry cereal (to which I've previously added some dry powder milk), add water, and eat. In both cases it is not as smooth as the original product, but retains its flavor and is nice as a trail treat.

gigiopil (author)judypalmer2015-05-25

Thanks again!

susanrm (author)2015-05-24

I have a dead one of these dehydrators with four trays and a fruit leather tray. I would like the usable parts to find a new home. Please message me if you are interested in purchasing some extra trays.

Beekeeper (author)2015-05-24

Thank you for this as it is something I have been wondering about for years. I make sourdough bread occasionally and keeping the starter going or just alive in the fridge for any length of time is a pain, so I dehydrated some starter and though I haven't re-hydrated any yet I believe it is quite simple. One can buy dehydrated sourdough starter and dehydrated yogourt starter so going from dry to active must be possible. You say to let it set for 10 - 20 minutes but the result will not be as tasty as the original yogourt. What happens if you leave it over night at about 35 deg C? Would it make a proper yogourt? i.e. do the bacteria come out of dehydrated dormancy and become active again? Thanks in advance.


judypalmer (author)Beekeeper2015-05-24

Interesting thought to use the dehydrated powder as a "starter" to recreate the original product. My aim has been to create a light-weight backpacking food, so I've not thought of that, but it would be interesting to try.

It works. You can even by it at Amazon.

xmascarol (author)2015-05-24

Middle eastern women have carried around the yogurt culture from their families for centuries when they would get married or move to a new place. Just spread a thin layer on a cloth, let it dry and carry it on to the next place. We modern people think nothing can be without refrigeratio

Very true. My Armenian GrandMothers had told me of this.

judypalmer (author)xmascarol2015-05-24

Thank you for the comment--there are many lessons to be learned from the past.

Sunglowart (author)2015-05-22

Wow i must try it! How long can u store it?

judypalmer (author)Sunglowart2015-05-23

Thank your for the questions about length of storage for
dehydrated yogurt. I have wondered
about this myself and unfortunately don’t have a good response, and I would
welcome information from food science authorities. However, there are so many factors involved, I doubt a
definitive answer is available.

“Wet” (conventional “hydrated”) yogurt has been produced by
farming people and desert dwellers for centuries in situations where
refrigeration was suboptimal or did not exist. A quick web search suggests the safe unrefrigerated time for
commercial yogurt to be from a few minutes to several hours or even up to a
day. If the FDA has guidelines
about this, I was unable to find them on their website <>
(let me know if you do!).

With regard to the shelf life of “dry” (dehydrated) yogurt,
several factors need to be considered. As with any food preparation, one would want to use the best hygienic
practices to reduce the risk of contamination. I store the dehydrated yogurt in plastic bags that are not food
grade, so if you worry about that sort of thing (as my daughter does!), one
would want to use containers designed for food storage. I dehydrate all my dried food just
prior to a trip and store it in the freezer until I leave or until I send it
off to a resupply location. One should inspect the item before consuming it and
discard if there is any sign of mold or a rancid odor is detected. To decrease the possibility of spoiling
an entire meal, I carry the packets separately and add the “dry” yogurt to my
meal at the campsite.

All that being said, I have not had any problem with
spoilage. I just ate some
dehydrated yogurt that had been in a plastic bag in my freezer for 5 months,
and have taken some on several multi-day trips including a 2-week long desert-backpacking

I will instruct my heirs to update this answer if anything
happens to me as result of eating my dehydrated yogurt!

Sunglowart (author)judypalmer2015-05-24

thanks for your elaborate research! I suppose in the freezer it will hold on 'endlessly'.

I am planning to make this this summer.I shall then experiment with its storage life and let you know too.

WVSundown (author)2015-05-24

Great ible, thanks for posting! This dehydrating technique also works well with active sourdough starter.

judypalmer (author)WVSundown2015-05-24

Thanks, what is the temperature range for dehydrating sourdough?

Beekeeper (author)judypalmer2015-05-24

You thinly spread some active bubbling sourdough starter on pieces of parchment paper and leave it to dry overnight or longer in the oven with the light on. Put the parchment paper on cookie sheets. It goes much like the dried yogourt in this 'bile and you can crush it then put it in the blender to make powder. Store in bags in the freezer. A temperature between 25 and 30 degrees C (77 - 86 deg F) would be about right. Too high and you will kill the bacteria and or yeast. (Yogourt bacteria are more heat tolerant I believe). Although I haven't done it yet, to re-hydrate, you mix a teaspoon of dry starter with a little flour and water then wait. In a day or two you may see signs of activity so give it some more flour and more water. Build it up until you have enough for bread.

WVSundown (author)judypalmer2015-05-24

As low as you can go, less than 110 degrees or you may cook and kill it.

judypalmer (author)WVSundown2015-05-24

Thanks, I believe the same principle applies to yogurt.

robert.latterman (author)2015-05-24

Fantastic !!!

miwin1000 (author)2015-05-24

I've recently gotten into making my own homemade yogurt from organic milk from grass fed cows. this looks like an excellent way to preserve for the long term. thanks.

judypalmer (author)miwin10002015-05-24

Let us know how long-term storage works out as this is an unresolved issue.

JesusG33k (author)2015-05-23

Fantastic idea! Can't wait to do this next time I go camping or on a hike!

xxlauraxx (author)2015-05-21

What a cool technique; I didn't know you could do this. Thanks for sharing.

You should enter this in the Outdoor Cooking Contest!

judypalmer (author)xxlauraxx2015-05-23

Thanks for the suggestion--I did just that--would appreciate your vote!

fred3655 (author)2015-05-22

This would work well in a solar oven. Mine holds at 170 to 210 deg F for several hours around midday.

judypalmer (author)fred36552015-05-23

Great idea! that temperature might be a bit toasty for yogurt, but perhaps some partial shade midday might take care of that problem

The Gift of Thrifting (author)2015-05-21

Love this idea! I hadn't ever thought about yogurt! Do you by any chance know how long this is good for?

Wolfbane221 (author)2015-05-21


amberrayh (author)2015-05-21

Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

About This Instructable




Add instructable to: