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Two Shelf-Stable Yogurt Options – The Survival Mom

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Do you love yogurt, but hate how quickly it goes bad? If you’re looking for convenient yogurt options that don’t require refrigeration, here are two popular choices to consider: freeze-dried yogurt and yogurt powder. Both offer long shelf life and portability, making them perfect for busy families, outdoor enthusiasts, or anyone who wants a healthy snack on the bowl of vanilla yogurt

Shelf-stable yogurt offers a delicious and convenient option for busy families, outdoor enthusiasts, and preppers building food storage. Freeze-dried yogurt provides familiar, tasty bites for on-the-go snacking and offers a familiar, sweet treat that can boost morale during tough times. Yogurt powder shines in the kitchen. Both options offer longer shelf life than regular yogurt. Here are the unique advantages and best uses for each option!

Shelf Stable Yogurt Options

Freeze Dried Yogurt Bites

I asked a few of my friends what they thought of when they heard the words, “freeze-fried yogurt.” One said, “Outer-spacey astronaut food.” The other said, “Those Gerber things for babies.”

It may sound spacey and weird, but don’t underestimate the power of freeze-dried yogurt bites. They are delicious, handy, and great for bribing children to do their chores.

Freeze-dried yogurt bites are available in a wide variety of flavors:

At my house, these are prized above candy. On more than one occasion have I had to discipline a child for sneaking them without permission. Right now, the blueberry flavor are the reigning favorite and are referred to as “purples.” All freeze-dried yogurt are “purples,” even when they are pink or yellow.

Reconstituting freeze-dried yogurt bites to be used as actual yogurt is probably the most pedestrian thing to do with it (and powdered yogurt is the simpler option for that), but as with most food storage items, it can be used for much more than just that!

Yogurt Bite Trail Mix Recipe

  • 2 cups yogurt bites (any flavor)
  • 1 cups peanuts or almonds
  • 1/2 cups hulled sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cups dried cherries or craisins
  • 1 cup freeze-dried fruit (I prefer strawberry slices. Read all about using freeze-dried fruit.)

Combine all ingredients. Pre-package in smaller, snack-sized bags for school lunches, hiking, or road trips. The addition of yogurt bites will mean your kids will pick out something other than M&Ms from the rest of the trail mix. On the balance, I’d rather they pick out yogurt than chocolate.

Yogurt Powder

While freeze-dried yogurt offers a delicious and convenient snack, yogurt powder is another shelf-stable option to consider. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Similar Benefits: Yogurt powder, like freeze-dried yogurt, boasts a long shelf life and portability. It can also be a source of protein and calcium.
  • More Versatile: Yogurt powder has a wider range of culinary uses. It can be rehydrated and enjoyed as yogurt, but it also shines as an ingredient. Sprinkle it on granola, add it to baked goods for a tangy kick, or use it as a savory thickener in dips and sauces.
  • Consider the Taste: Since yogurt powder is concentrated, the flavor can be more tart than regular yogurt. You might need to adjust sweetness when using it in recipes.

Unlike traditional yogurt production that requires a starter culture, some yogurt powders are designed for ultimate convenience. These pre-cultured powders take the guesswork out of the process. Just follow the instructions on the package, typically adding a specific amount of water to the powder, whisk and refrigerate. The result? Fresh, homemade yogurt without the need for fancy equipment or special ingredients!

Tips for Shelf Stable Yogurt

  • Storage: Both freeze-dried yogurt and yogurt powder have impressive shelf lives compared to regular yogurt, but proper storage is key. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for maximum longevity. 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! Learn about the other enemies of food storage.
  • Consistency Preferences: Experiment with the amount of water used. Less for a thicker texture, more for a smoother, drinkable yogurt.
  • Yogurt Powder Portions: Yogurt powder is concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Start with a smaller amount when incorporating it into recipes and adjust to your taste.
  • Sweetening Up Yogurt Powder: Since yogurt powder can be tarter than regular yogurt, consider adding a touch of honey, maple syrup, or fruit puree when rehydrating it or using it in recipes.
  • Get Creative with Yogurt Powder: Don’t limit yogurt powder to baking! Add a tangy twist to marinades, salad dressings, or even scrambled eggs!

Which Shelf-Stable Yogurt is Right for You?

It depends on your needs…and you might need both!

  • Freeze-dried yogurt: Perfect for on-the-go snacking or emergency preparedness. Enjoy them straight from the bag or crumble them over cereal or trail mix for a delicious crunch.
  • Yogurt powder: A versatile ingredient in the kitchen. Use it for baking with a tangy twist, thicken dips and sauces, or even rehydrate it for a yogurt experience! Just remember, yogurt powder can be tarter than regular yogurt. Also good for food storage prepping.

Buying Freeze Dried Yogurt

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. Here’s a quick guide to purchasing it:

Focus on Snack Packs: While large #10 cans aren’t typically available for freeze-dried yogurt, you’ll find them in individual or family-sized snack packs. These are ideal for portion control and easy access.

Starter Cultures for Homemade Yogurt: Since freeze-dried yogurt isn’t typically used as a starter, you’ll need to purchase separate starter cultures if you plan on making your own yogurt at home. These are readily available online and at specialty stores. 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.

Health Benefits of Yogurt in General

  • Easier Digestion for Lactose Intolerant Folks: The lactose in milk can be difficult for some people to digest, causing bloating, gas, and cramps. During yogurt production, lactose is broken down by bacteria, making yogurt a much more tolerable option for those with lactose intolerance.
  • Probiotic Powerhouse (Potentially): Yogurt is known for containing live and active cultures, beneficial bacteria that contribute to a healthy gut microbiome. These probiotics can help with digestion, boost the immune system, and may even play a role in preventing certain health conditions. It’s important to note: Freeze-drying can destroy some live cultures, so not all freeze-dried yogurt will offer this benefit. Check the label for “live and active cultures” to ensure you’re getting the probiotic goodness. 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.
  • Rich in Essential Nutrients: Yogurt packs a punch when it comes to essential nutrients. It’s a good source of calcium, which is crucial for strong bones and teeth. It also contains protein, vitamin B12, and other vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall health.pen_spark

DIY Yogurt on a Budget? Did you know you can leverage the power of powdered milk to make your own yogurt at home? It’s a cost-effective way to enjoy the health benefits of yogurt and can be a fun kitchen project! Want to learn more? Check out our article on how to make yogurt at home from powdered milk.

Get your Freeze-Dried Food Primer now!

Click here for everything you need to know to get started using freeze-dried food.

  • What it is and how to use it
  • Which brands are the best quality
  • How to decide what to buy
  • How to save money buying freeze-dried food

Click here to get your FREE freeze-dried food primer!

Final Thoughts

Shelf-stable yogurt offers a convenient alternative to traditional yogurt, eliminating refrigeration needs. For those seeking on-the-go snacks or emergency preparedness options, freeze-dried yogurt provides a long shelf life and familiar taste in bite-sized form. Yogurt powder boasts an even longer shelf life and excels in baking applications, adding a tangy twist or thickening dips and sauces. Both options sacrifice some of the probiotic benefits of fresh yogurt but offer a practical solution for those with limited refrigerator space or a desire for long-term storage.

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