What do you think when you hear the words, “freeze-fried yogurt.” Outer-space astronaut food Those Gerber things for babies?
In fact, freeze dried yogurt is incredibly delicious, versatile, and definitely something for all ages. Even my 14 year-old son asks to open a can, and then another can, and another!
A word about yogurt’s health benefits
Yogurt in general has a number of health benefits. The nutritional value of milk is well-known, but does not have a very long shelf-life as regular, straight-from-the-cow milk. Additionally, many people are allergic to one or more substances commonly found in milk. The biological process by which it is made breaks down a lot of the hard-to-digest enzymes and proteins found in milk, so many people who are lactose intolerant or have other milk-related sensitivities can eat yogurt without getting ill. In this way, you could argue that yogurt is milk, only better.
Another great health benefit of yogurt is the live cultures found therein. The term “live cultures” refers to the presence of live bacteria. These keep your gut populated with healthful microflora that keep you healthy, and fight off the evil bugs that cause the 24-hour flu. Freezing yogurt destroys the live bacteria, but due to the nature of the freeze-drying process, some brands of freeze-dried yogurt do contain live bacteria. Kept dry, the cultures are in a dormant state . If reconstituted, the bacteria “wake up,” and function just as well as those which have not been freeze-dried.
(Ever thought of making your own yogurt? Try making some from powdered milk!)
Yogurt for food storage
To the best of my knowledge, plain freeze-dried yogurt is not available from any manufacturers in #10 cans to be used as a starter for making yogurt at home. You can, however, purchase starter cultures that will keep for up to two years in the freezer. These are available from specialty online retailers as well as Amazon.
Conventional yogurt keeps better than plain milk, but even yogurt is not well-adapted to long-term storage – at least not without some commitment. If you are going to be making your own yogurt in a situation that would not allow you to buy it in convenient little cups at the grocery store, you need to either have commercial starter culture on hand and/ or making a new batch every 1-2 weeks.
Freeze-dried yogurt can be a good solution because of its long shelf life. Under ideal conditions, it can be expected to last 25 years or more in an unopened can. Once opened, though, store it in a dry location because it is affected by humidity. You’ll get chewy yogurt bites that might clump together rather than crunchy bites — I definitely prefer crunchy!
Reconstituting freeze-dried yogurt to be used as actual yogurt is probably the most pedestrian thing to do with it, but as with most food storage items, it can be used for much more than just that! Try this recipe for trail mix:
THRIVE Trail Mix
2 c. granola
1 c. milk chocolate chips
1/2 c. salted peanuts
.Mix together all ingredients. Add other bite-sized goodies as desired. Store in an air-tight container.
1/2 c. water
1 tbsp. THRIVE Simply Peach
1 tbsp. THRIVE Instant Milk
1 1/2 c. ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
A flavor to suit everyone!
Freeze-dried yogurt bites are available in a wide variety of flavors:
Straight from the can, combined with other goodies as a snack mix, added to a smoothie mixture or a bowl of cereal, or reconstituted for a cup of creamy yogurt, I recommend freeze-dried yogurt.