Freeze drying yogurt is not only easy – the result is delicious. We talked a bit about it in an earlier post, but thought we’d expand on the topic here.
Yogurt is such a healthy food, especially if it’s low-fat and low (or no) sugar. Yogurt drops make a great snack for little ones because they melt quickly in the mouth, and older kids and adults love the crunchy, creamy taste and texture that’s not like anything else.
These delicious, nutritious snacks are also very easy to make and can be freeze dried in the same run as any other food. But be warned, if you only make one tray you’ll wish you’d made four!
Just use a plastic baggie or cake decorator bag to make small dollops of yogurt on your freeze drying trays and they’ll come out as perfect bite-sized drops.
Or, you can fill your trays to the brim with yogurt. The freeze-dried result is like an airy-peanut brittle than can then be broken into pieces or crushed into a powder. It will store easily bags or jars. And, when you’re ready to rehydrate, just slowly mix water into the yogurt powder or pieces until you get the right consistency.
Powdered, freeze-dried yogurt also makes an excellent flavoring and additive to pastries and cakes. You won’t believe how moist baked goods are with the addition of powdered yogurt! Experimenting with different flavors is part of the fun. We love the coconut flavor of Chobani Greek yogurt.
Yogurt drops also make great party treats or gifts. In fact, one of our freeze dryer owners is busy making up batches of yogurt drops to give away to her neighbors in decorative jars instead of the traditional plate of Christmas cookies (congratulations to those lucky neighbors!). Yogurt drops are delicious by themselves, but they are also a healthy replacement for sugary chocolate candies in trail and snack mixes.
You can also make tasty drops from pudding or smooth pie fillings (we love key lime pie filling), but of course, these other options aren’t as nutritious as yogurt.
Share your favorite flavor of yogurt drops – and your initial reaction the first time you taste one – either here in the comments or on our Facebook page!
I just made a bunch of yogurt drops the other day. GREAT snack!!!!
I’ve read mixed comments on whether the probiotic yogurt freeze dries with the bacteria still alive. I’d really like a difinitive answer on what bacteria is strong enough to survive the process. Has anyone studied this?
I am thinking that the cultures stay alive because I just used a handful of my yogurt drops to make a new batch of yogurt. Turned out great.
This is slightly different and I hope helpful but I dehydrate my starter for bread and the cultures survive and reconstitute easily. I think natural
bacteria are strong and made to survive hostile environments. I can’t wait to try yogurt but I would bet money that the cultures survive.
Laboratories use freeze drying to preserve cultures for later use, so yes.
So while there are technically some bacteria that can survive freezing, there are very few that have a negative impact on humans. Freeze-drying would kill roughly half of those. (I’m a licensed lab tech & worked in a hospital lab for years.) If the yogurt was contaminated with Listeria (look into the past Blue Bunny recalls), there might be a slight risk. But that’s not usually something you’d come into contact with, as long as the yogurt didn’t have a recall on it for that specific bacteria.
For the good bacteria, you may have to go down an internet rabbit hole to find out if they’ve done studies to confirm if they can survive.
I have terrible luck with these. What is the secret? How long and what butttons do you push to make them turn out? Mine are always crumbly.
Check your extra dry time. Take your dry time down to 0 , the extra dry time makes them crumble to dust
That’s what mine did….turned to powder…I know this is an older post but willing to learn…My son 8 said to add milk to them….but that isn’t what I was going for..lol thank you
hello this is my first time ever on here I don’t know much about this site or you all at all . this looks good these yogurt drops but I didn’t see how to make them can you please tell me how to make them ?? I will need for you to email me because I have to use my best friends computer I can’t afford to have any kind of internet ; lights ; gas for heat or anything at all I am disabled with a spinal cord injury and freeze in my home every winter my best friend is letting me stay with him for a while . so this would be fun I think to make will you please send me the way to make them pretty please thank you kindly please have a very Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year .
You make them by using a ziplock bag filled with yogurt and dropping them onto the freeze dryer trays and putting them inside the freeze dryer. It’s really simple, but you do need a freeze dryer.
What effect does freeze drying have on the “active cultures” – does it kill it/them, or do they recover after rehydrating?
Theoretically, they recover after rehydrating, but we do not have extensive research to support this. Having said that, we have had customers successfully make yogurt after rehydrating freeze dried yogurt made with our freeze dryers.
I do not have a dryer YET, but would like to know the answer to the cultures surviving. Is it possible for someone with a dryer to freeze dry a yogurt with active culture, then try and use it as a start for a fresh batch with fresh milk? Thanks to whoever accepts this challenge!
I make yogurt often and know the cultures can be kept for extended periods if kept frozen. However, long term storage seems unlikely for them to survive under any circumstance.
It would be great to first see if short term they survive, and then try a yogurt that was freeze dried a year or more before.
I just bought a freeze dryer because I sell probiotic yogurt made into a formula for various illnesses. I am freeze drying the excess back into powder and I am also freeze drying the extra milk. It’s hard for some people to get really healthy milk. If I make it in the right proportion of milk to probiotic powder, then someone should be able to reconstitute both the milk and the yogurt powder at the same time and culture it!
I thought I’d reply to this post. we have a freeze dryer and LOVE it. Being a Naturopath, it allows me to control what is in my food and I can get the great local nutritious foods in season and enjoy it all year round.
I freeze dry organic plain yogurt or make my own yogurt and freeze dry it. The cultures are perfect and I just use a tablespoon or so in 1/2 gallon of milk to reculture the milk to make a fresh batch. I even take certain cultures I want incorporated for specific problems and incorporate those into my yogurt. (taking commercial probiotics that I like and culture them in plain yogurt cups overnight then freeze dry them later). I use these cultures to make yogurt when I have a surplus of milk or I can just rehydrate them if I want to use them when I don’t have the fresh milk available.
Since commercial cultures that you buy in the store are freeze dried anyway for shipping, they should work just fine. I just saw a post for bananas dipped in yogurt and frozen, and I will try freeze drying this but they probably won’t end up in mylar bags, I have to hide our freeze dried homemade ice cream!
You can probably do this with cheese making cultures too, although I haven’t done it yet… They often go bad in the freezer before I get to use them up.
If you fill a mylar bag with freeze dried food, can you take a portion of the food out and re-seal the bag?
Yes. If you want it to last a really long time (of for things like meat that can go rancid if air gets to them), it’s best to put a new oxygen absorber in it before you re-seal it.
I apologize in advance for the questions, but I’m very new and curious about this technology now available for the home owner.
1. Do you have any videos or can make one to show how to freeze-dry ice cream? I’m curious how the ice cream keeps from melting during the full 20-40 hours it takes to be completely freeze-dried.
2. Once dairy items such as ice-cream or the yogurt drops are freeze-dried, wouldn’t the heat of someone’s fingers (for example if you gave the yogurt drops to a child) be enough to melt the items?
3. How long would they last if kept out on a counter (i.e. apple slices in a bowl left on the kitchen table)? Is it comparable to taking something out of your freezer and having it slowly defrost, only it would take days instead of hours for the freeze-dried items?
1) We don’t have a video on making freeze-dried ice cream, but you just scoop it out on the freeze drying trays and put it in your freezer. When you are ready to freeze dry it, the freeze dryer first freezes the food to -30 to -50 degrees and then the food stays frozen while all the water is removed and the food is still really cold until the food is completely dry. But, inside the freeze dryer is always cold, so it won’t ever “melt” during the freeze drying process.
2) The items are dry and no longer have water in them, so they do not “melt” in your hands. At that point they are no longer frozen. They are just like the yogurt drops you buy at the grocery store for babies. They don’t melt or change with touch.
3) Apple slices left on the counter would slowly start to rehydrate from the moisture in the air. That’s not necessarily a problem, but if you would like your apples crunchy so you can continue to snack on them as you’d like, just keep them in a container that keeps out the air like a mason jar or a glass jar with a closable lid and they will stay perfectly crunchy. And, no, it’s not comparable to taking it out of your freezer and having it defrost. Freeze dried items have the water removed so they are not cold when they are done, they are crunchy or brittle or can easily powder. You can rehydrate items by adding water back into the food. You might enjoy watching some of our videos to learn more. http://www.harvestright.com/videos
I have tried three times to make yogurt drops. They are delicious but always spread out. They taste fine, but don’t look like yours do. How do I make them keep the drop shape instead of being a glob. Do I need to put the trays in the freezer for a while before putting the yogurt on them so they are cold?
Yes, starting with cold trays helps. We use Yoplait yogurt. Start with the yogurt nice and cold and then as soon as you finish a tray, put it right into the freezer to set up while you work on your other trays.
Try using Greek Yogurt. Or if you are making it yourself, take the yogurt and put it in a large fine mess filter. You can buy them on amazon for making greek yogurt. All it means is less water. That’s what we want for Freeze drying anyway!! They won’t spread out as much.
Get an instant pot. 1 gallon of milk, a tablespoon or two from the last batch (fresh or freeze dried) and make your own. To make it thick, when you run the first step – pasteurize – make sure you get the milk up to 190 degrees. Measure it and once it gets there keep it there for 5 minutes or so. That will result in a very thick yogurt, a full gallon of it! The process is simple, heat to 190 degrees, then cool down to under 100 degrees, add yogurt, and let it ferment for 8 hours. Put it in the fridge for a couple of days and you’ve got a gallon of yogurt that is so thick it won’t fall off of a spoon.
Is there an actual recipe here?
The Greek Gods now make a chocolate cherry yogurt!!!! It is thicker so easier to pipe onto the tray and it taste amazing! And they use honey and sugar cane versus HFCS which is a huge bonus; one in which doesn’t take away from the deliciousness!
What was the freeze and dry times? Can’t find the settings from anyone.
The standard settings are great for yogurt drops.
I use initial freeze -10°F
Zero extra dry time
Dry temp 125Degrees Fahrenheit
This is normal. The first couple of runs this happens because the oil will lubricate other parts of the pump.
I tried this and my yogurt drops came out SO brittle!! I couldn’t even pick them up. Any advise?
Our test kitchen typically uses Yoplait, which is a little more fragile once freeze-dried, but, still creates the drops like you see on our website. Some customers use shaped moulds to make them a little thicker, which also seems to help. And, if you use light greek yogurt, or something similar, that has a thicker consistency to start out with, they seem to hold their shape a little better, too.
I used plain Greek yogurt with small wild blueberries and put it into silicone molds. I froze them and popped them out of the molds and arranged them on the freeze dry trays. They held their shape through the freeze dry process but crumble to powder as soon as I touched them. HELP!
Traditional yogurt works much better than Greek. Small blueberries mixed in with traditional yogurt would be really great freeze dried.
I used nonfat organic strawberry Greek yogurt. They looked fine – like cute little drops. I put them on parchment and then slid them on the tray and kept it in the freezer until I was ready to dry.
Unfortunately nobody would eat them because they taste like chalk. I had one and it stuck so hard to the top of my mouth that I had to get a spoon to scrape it off.
I will turn them into powder and hope that is good for something.
Greek yogurt does not necessarily give the same sweet taste as, say, a yogurt with more/added sugar (and it tends to be much more brittle). Some customers add fruit to the Greek yogurt before freeze drying, just to give it a little extra boost of flavor. But you can use the powder you have as add-ins for your smoothies, etc. You can also rehydrate the yogurt and eat it fresh, which might suit your tastebuds better than the freeze-dried version.
Does it stick to the tray? Or is it better to use wax paper?
You can use parchment paper or silicone mats. They pop right off of either of those.
I tried to freeze dry yogurt dipped skittles. The skittles came out fine but the yogurt covering them was still soft. What am I doing wrong?
It’s nothing you are doing wrong. It is probably the ingredients of the yogurt on the Skittles. I have seen other customers say the yogurt is soft when the batch finishes, so, they let the yogurt harden for a few minutes before putting in jars or bags. Probably not a long-term storage item, but, fun for short-term.
Can you freeze dry yogurt drops without a dehydrator??
The only way to freeze dry yogurt drops is if you have a freeze dryer.
My yogurt drops were dry and powdery. When we tried to pick them up and they just crumbled apart.
I don’t eat sugar. So I just used plain Greek yogurt.
What did I do wrong? They tasted great. Just wont stick together. Is it the sugar that holds it together?
This is the nature of Greek yogurt. You didn’t do anything wrong. Regular yogurt works best for yogurt drops.
Just wondering….can you use freeze dried fruit…ie blueberries, strawberries, pulverize them into dust and add to the yoghurt before freeze drying the yoghurt drops?
Yes, you sure can!
I use parchment paper on my trays and they pop right off. I’ve been making Noosa Lemon yogurt drops with a sprinkle of True Lemon. Talk about Yummy. I either pre-freeze them or make sure to put them in the already cooling FD right away. They have come out wonderfully everytime.
Can you use silicone molds to freeze dry different shapes
Yes. We love to do this.
Is yogurt considered a liquid or non-liquid in the freeze dryer? Trying to determine which button to push. 🙂
When in doubt it is best to select “liquid.”
Can I mix honey or maple syrup or agave with my homemade yogurt to sweeten it? My FD finally has its own room built and plug ready so this is the 1st thing i plan to try, filling all the sheets with my homemade frozen yogurt for brittle 🙂
We recommend trying a small amount of any item that is experimental. So, you should do a full batch of other items and a small of yogurt on one of the trays in that same batch. Name brand yogurts like yoplait or dannon tend to do very well. Greek yogurt is not quite as good.
Ice cream sandwiches are great! Slice them into smaller pieces and put in freezer and the into FD.
I tried yogurt drips once and they were just extremely powdery and just fell apart. What did I do wrong or is there something else added to make them less powdery and hold together.
Not sure what you do with these once freeze dried? I know how to store long term in Mylar bags, but for snaking just put in jars? How long with they last in jars? Do you add water?
Has anyone used a non-dairy yogurt brand or made their own non-dairy yogurt and used it for freeze dried drops?
When you say take your dry time down to 0 what do you mean by that? Does it mean when your green progress bar has 2 hours left on it?
You need to remove the extra dry time when you start your freeze dryer. Once the green progress bar is done you need to take them out, no extra dry time required.
Has anyone tried this with vegan yoghurt? Our daughter and son are vegans, and both have babies. I’m thinking it would be good finger food when they get on solids.
Can you use Greek yogurt for this? I heard somewhere that it doesn’t work with Greek yogurt for some reason.
Can you use Dannon yogurt for yogurt bites?