Yogurt is one of the healthiest elements you can add to any of your meals. But the probiotics in the yogurt are also highly perishable. Dehydrating the yogurt would mean taking the moisture out, allowing it to last longer. But how do you do this without a dehydrator?
You can use an oven to dehydrate yogurt. You’ll just need a tray, parchment paper and a large soon or spatula, as well as your plain Greek or natural yogurt. Spread the yogurt thin on the parchment paper on the tray, and set the temperate as close to 125ºF as you can.
Thankfully, these are things that you will have lying around in the kitchen and do not need to go too far out! If you are looking to dehydrate yogurt without investing in a dehydrator, the following sections might prove helpful.
Table of Contents
- How to Dehydrate Yogurt Without a Dehydrator
- What Is the Shelf Life of Dehydrated Yogurt
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Dehydrate Yogurt Without a Dehydrator
A dehydrator is a great appliance to have in your home, but there is only so much you can do with it other than dehydrating food items. If you have a small kitchen or simply do not want to spend money on an appliance that has limited functions, then investing in a dehydrator only to dehydrate yogurt makes no sense.
The following are ways in which you can make delicious dehydrated yogurt treats without using a dehydrator:
What Is Dehydrated Yogurt
To begin with, let’s get into what is dehydrated yogurt. As the word dehydrate suggests, this is the process of removing moisture (water) from the yogurt so it can be preserved for longer.
Just how when meat is sundried, it lasts longer without going bad. Similarly, dehydrated yogurt lasts for much longer and is easy to preserve, allowing you to enjoy it over a long time.
Dehydrated yogurt is easier to carry if you want to take some snacks on a camping trip or if fresh yogurt is not always easily available where you live. They can be converted into roll-ups or yogurt drops for easy consumption. Not to mention, dehydrated yogurt is one of the healthiest snacks you can keep on your person and since it is super easy to make at home, you barely have to spend money on it.
How to Dehydrate Yogurt in Oven
Now, let’s get to the main point—which is what you will need to dehydrate yogurt if you do not have a dehydrator. An oven is a perfectly good substitute for a dehydrator. All you need to dehydrate yogurt in the oven is the following things:
Once you have all the things you require for this process, place the parchment paper on the tray. Then, spread the yogurt on the parchment paper as thinly as possible (approximately 1/8th of an inch). The thinner you spread the yogurt out, the more evenly it will get heat and dehydrated.
The key, now, is to set the oven at the right temperature. A dehydrator is typically set to 125ºF, so you certainly want your oven’s temperature to be below 200ºF. If the temperature is too high, it will scorch the yogurt and kill off the beneficial bacteria.
If the temperature is too low, it may do the same thing through wet heat as the yogurt may boil over. In some ovens, the lowest temperature is at 200ºF. If that is the case with your oven, you can simply set the knob to “warmest” and that should do the trick.
If you can adjust the temperature settings, between 120ºF to 140ºF should be fine, but you may want to keep an eye on the oven. Sometimes, people also like to crank the heat up high to around 150ºF until the moisture on the surface dries up, before reducing it to around 120ºF. If you are using this method, be sure to keep a close eye on the yogurt. The moment you think the surface has dried, reduce the heat of the oven. You do not want to end up burning the yogurt only to save yourself a few minutes.
How Do You Dehydrate Yogurt Drops
Yogurt drops are a delicious and exciting snack, especially for the little ones. You can also involve your kids in the preparation of these drops, they are that easy to do. However, you’ll need a few more ingredients and things to make these drops. To begin with, you need a piping bag to get drops of the uniform shapes and sizes. You will also require egg whites which will give the drops a lift.
To get started on the drops, you will need to beat the egg whites into stiff peaks. Typically, an electric whisk or egg beater would be more appropriate here as it simply makes the job easier. But a regular whisk and your hands should work just fine too, though it will take slightly longer and your arms will definitely hurt. Once your eggs are of the right consistency, fold the yogurt in gently and combine. Fill the mixture into piping bags and then make small drops on the parchment paper. The drops can be of any shape or size, as long as they are uniform.
Then, you can simply pop the tray into the oven and let the heat do its magic for two hours (or more depending on the size of the drops). Again, the temperature can be anywhere between 120-140ºF depending on your oven. Be sure to keep an eye on the drops though.
How Long Do You Dehydrate Yogurt
Depending on the type of the oven, the drying time may vary. Typically, yogurt may take 4-6 hours but you should be prepared for a few hours more. Food items that are on the drier side of the spectrum, will naturally take less time to dehydrate. Yogurt tends to contain more moisture than certain fruits and vegetables so it can take longer to dehydrate.
The make of your oven will also make a difference. Some ovens have hot spots and tend to heat unevenly. If that is the case, it may even be wise to turn the tray midway through to ensure all parts of the tray are getting heated evenly.
What Is the Shelf Life of Dehydrated Yogurt
Like most other dehydrated food items, dehydrated yogurt is also likely to have a long shelf life since the moisture that can cause it to go bad has been removed. Often, people think of dehydrated yogurt as yogurt powders that you can use with your breakfast fruits and nuts and even on various types of desserts.
When stored in a temperate and dry climate, dehydrated yogurt can have a shelf life of up to two years. Of course, depending on the type of yogurt you have used, the shelf life can vary. If the yogurt has more fat content or is high on refined sugar and flavors, then it is likely to have a shorter shelf life.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you still have more concerns about dehydrated yogurt, then the following section will cover some frequently asked questions:
How to Dehydrate Yogurt with a Dehydrator?
The process of dehydrating yogurt with a dehydrator is not too different from the method described above. Instead of using the oven, you simply place the tray with the parchment paper and the yogurt in the dehydrator. This method is easier than using an oven since the appliance has been designed especially for this process. It is also easier to set the temperature using a dehydrator.
How to Dehydrate Yogurt Culture?
Simply take a small amount of the starter (even 2 tbsp. will do) and put it on parchment paper. Then find a warm spot for the yogurt to dry in. Ensure the spot is not more than 80ºF as any hotter than that the bacteria in the culture will die, making it useless to you. Once the culture has dried completely, you can pack it up in a bag and place it in the refrigerator. This starter should be able to stay for a few months without going bad.