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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