Dehydrate Yogurt

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Introduction: 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. http://www.explore-mag.com/the-happy-camper-dehydrating-yogurt) and food websites (e.g. http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2012/06/22/how-to-dehydrate-yogurt-a-healthy-snack-or-long-term-storage-option/; http://dehydratingwaybeyondjerky.blogspot.com/2012/03/dehydrating-yogurt.html). 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 --> http://www.nesco.com/products/Dehydrators/Dehydrators/session_60f805f56d0c/)

Fruit leather trays for dehydrator (available from Nesco --> http://www.nesco.com/products/Dehydrators/Fruit-Roll-Sheets/session_60f805f56d0c/)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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.

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    40 Comments

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

    2 replies

    Hi - sorry just saw this - no trouble yet, police don't usually hassle little gray-haired old ladies--maybe they should tho!

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 Guess it helps to be an elderly, gray haired, little old lady with a backpack full of outdated camping gear!

    hey there... just read your instructable after drying some yoghurt in experimentation, too late .. yes it was on high and yes it went yellow but then i am used to colour change so I am sure it will just taste good right..

    Just been putting my drying experiences on paper on my blog.. how do you decided on your expirey dates?

    love to hear your thoughts and share ideas!

    https://hikingnewzealand.nz/2018/06/14/drying-food-for-hiking/

    1 reply

    just saw the expirey question - I put all my dehydrated things it in plastic bags and keep them in the freezer until I take it our for a trip - I don't actually know how yogurt would last that way, but I've had some in the freezer for over a year that I've used with no ill effect - but that is not really an answer!

    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?

    3 replies

    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.

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

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

    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!!

    1 reply

    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?

    2 replies

    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.

    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.

    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.

    David

    2 replies

    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.

    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

    1 reply

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