Why in the world would you want to dehydrate perfectly good yoghurt?
Australians love camping! And why not? We have great weather, unbelievable hidden oases and an expanse of beautiful open country! Most often hiking and even biking go hand in hand with a camping trip, especially in some of South Australia’s great camping spots such as the Flinders Ranges, Rapid Bay or the banks of the Murray River at Mannum.
For a trip like this, ideally you want food that is light, easily fits in your backpack and most importantly, wont spoil or need refrigeration.
So today we are going to show you how to take the water out of our yoghurt so you can put it back in later! It may take a bit of time and effort but with some strategic preparation your camping trip is going to be awesome plus you will be the envy of all the other campers!
You don’t need any fancy equipment for this, we are using our personal dehydrator, a Sunbeam round dehydrator that has 5 trays and three temperature settings. This dehydrator cost around $130 a year or two ago and you can find similar dehydrators for as low as $30. But if you already own one, get it out of the cupboard and dust it off.
How to Dehydrate Yoghurt at Home
What you will need:
- Your favourite yoghurt
- A dehydrator
- Baking paper
- Container or zip lock bag
Choose your favourite yoghurt flavour, we chose Mixed Berry and Mango from the Fleurieu Milk Company. Open up the tubs and stir the yoghurt thoroughly so that the fruit flavours are evenly distributed (You wont need to do this with plain yoghurt) These 200g tubs will yield approximately 63g of dried/powdered product.
Next you will need a tray or a mat that will fit over your dehydrator tray so you can spread your yoghurt. The best and easiest way to do this is with baking paper, just cut it to size. We want to get the yoghurt dry to the point it is brittle so using the fruit leather tray may not be the best option, the baking paper allows a little more air flow.
Place the baking paper on your dehydrator tray and thinly and evenly spread the yoghurt carefully using the back of a spoon then place the trays of yoghurt in your dehydrator.
Dehydrating is not an exact science, well, it is and it isn’t! We would like to give you exact timing and temperatures for those who like to follow recipes but I’m afraid we will have to give you some guidelines here and get you to make your own judgement.
You see, it will depend on the dehydrator you own, where your dehydrator is located and even the temperature outside your dehydrator (is it in a hot room or air conditioned room etc) so here is what we did!
- Set the dehydrator at the lowest temperature (around 35c)
- Left it overnight (around 12 hours)
- At this stage the yoghurt is a little fruit-leatherish so we peeled it off the tray and ripped it up into smaller pieces
- Put it back into the dehydrator at the middle temperature (around 55c)
- Let it dry for another 8-12 hours
Once you feel your yoghurt pieces are ready (they should be completely dry and easily snap in half) you can package them straight away or turn them into a powder using a spice grinder. You can reconstitute the pieces but we find the powder is easier, more effective and takes less time.
So that is really it, do you think you would give it a try? And what about the taste? Well, our verdict is that while it is not the real deal, the taste and texture is rather enjoyable, we also thought the Mango came out on top! It is definitely worth the effort if you are serious about getting out and about in nature with the bare minimum!