Jul 6, 2023
Yogurt is a fantastic snack and is so healthy. It’s full of nutrients like calcium, protein, and vitamin D. But most importantly, they’re rich in probiotics. According to FDA standards, you can’t call yogurt a yogurt without S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus. These probiotics help keep your gut healthy and aid in properly absorbing nutrients. But what if you don’t have a fridge or don’t have space for tubs of yogurt? That’s where freeze-drying yogurt bites come in.
Did you know that these probiotics not only make yogurt healthy but also make it delicious? Although you can dehydrate yogurt, the problem is the heat can kill the bacteria.
When you freeze dry yogurt bites, you get your own supply of a healthy snack that’s good for the gut. They’re tasty, easy to carry around and fast to rehydrate. Not to mention suitable for kids too!
What you’ll need for freeze-drying yogurt bites will depend on how simple or delightful they will be. In essence, you’ll
Try using a funnel if you can’t pipe the yogurt on your freeze-drying trays. It will require fast hands and rhythm, but they give faster, satisfactory results. Of course, your yogurt should be thick, but this works well if you got fruit bits.
Many have mixed results with their yogurt bites because of the brand and type of yogurt they use. So what kind of yogurt should you get?
Go of non-fat as much as possible. Remember that fat doesn’t freeze well. For freeze drying to work, water should be in a solid state in order to sublimate to vapor.
Look for the Live & Active Cultures (LAC) seal from the National Yogurt Association. This seal lets you know that your yogurt has 100 million cultures per gram at the manufacturing time. This is important because these cultures give yogurt its famed benefits and its distinct tart flavor.
Do avoid high-sugar yogurt. It’s inexpensive, and many experience success when they use this. The problem is you’re consuming too much sugar. A small 4oz or 6oz serving can contain as much as 12g-20g of sugar. That’s like ingesting 1 tablespoon of sugar in one sitting.
Although Greek yogurt tastes great, it’s hard to freeze dry because of its fat content. In addition, after processing, it won’t last for long outside at room temperature. On a similar note, yogurts with nuts like almonds and pili (whether bits or as a non-dairy base) are hard to freeze dry.
Freeze-drying yogurt bites are challenging because of the varying results. It’s not because of your freeze-drying process or prowess. It’s just that each brand prepares their yogurt differently. One of the things that can help you achieve success is to use “binders” to hold the yogurt together.
As a binder, you can use pudding mix or gelatin powder (unflavored). If you’re using plain yogurt, feel free to blend in fresh fruits. But this can make your yogurt runny, which is hard to pipe through. So we recommend using freeze-dried fruits like a medley of peaches, grapes, figs, apples, and strawberries.
If you prefer your yogurt as is and find it hard to pipe, you can do so as well. Chill the yogurt until it’s firm but not frozen. This will make it easy to scoop with a spoon a swell if you’re using silicone molds.
Remember to line your trays with a silicone mat or parchment paper to prevent sticking.
You might wonder what will happen with the probiotics when frozen. Amazingly enough, probiotics lie dormant when frozen. They survive in cold temperatures better and die at 115°F (46°C). A study even suggested that probiotics come alive after thawing at room temperature.
The answer to that is yes, they could. Freeze-drying played a significant role in modern medicine during World War II. It was used to preserve blood serum as well as penicillin. This means your probiotics are safe and fast asleep inside your yogurt bites.
Got your trays ready? Then let’s freeze dry!
Depending on the brand, your yogurt bites can take between 24-40 hours. Of course, what you used as a binder will also play a role. Fluid content and the room where the freeze dryer’s installed can also significantly affect the freeze-drying time.
We recommend you check the freeze-dry bites while the trays are still warm. Depending on your unit’s model, that can mean skipping the last 15 minutes of the cycle. Taking out the trays when they’re cold will lead to condensation and ruin your freeze-drying efforts.
Storage is vital for yogurt bites for two reasons: shelf life and stability. Depending on the type of yogurt you use, your freeze-dried treats can last 5-15 years.
Although probiotics can survive freeze-drying, you need to mind the environment. The more stable the environment you have, the better your probiotics will survive in a freeze-dried state. It’s crucial that you keep the room temperature lower than 72°F (22 °C). The room should be dark, cool, and dry as much as possible.
Your storage medium is also important. Mylar bags are great for long-term storage. If you love the fruit of your labors and can’t stop eating yogurt bites, mason jars are okay. Just remember to put oxygen absorbers before sealing, and replace them each time you open the bag or jar. About 1-2 of the 300cc packets can work for every gallon size of your container.
There are many things to consider when you freeze dry yogurt bites. But all that attention to detail and effort will be worth it. They’re good to snack as-is or reconstitute for a delicious yogurt meal.
What do you plan to use as a binder for your yogurt bites? Give us a visual of what you have in mind in the comment section.
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