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Food Find: Instant Trail Yogurt – Via The Baby Food Aisle

Last weekend Kirk and I were watching Walker making a mess of Gerber Graduates Yogurt Melts when a thought crossed our minds – this stuff is just freeze-dried yogurt. Hmmmm….off to the kitchen we went playing with it. Our thoughts were: Could you transform freeze-dried yogurt drops back into yogurt?

The answer?

You Can! But you have to be careful what brand you use, not all are equal as you will see below.

The ingredients for the test was one 1 ounce bag of freeze-dried strawberry yogurt snacks.

Gerber Graduate brand:

Happy Baby Happy Melts:

What the yogurt drops look like:

Closeup of the Gerber:

Closeup of the Happy Baby:

Now how do you transform the drops into yogurt once again? You must get it in powder form. The easiest thing to do is grind it in a dry blender or mini food chopper.

From there it is easy, simply add a 1:1 powder to water ratio, stir till blended and then let sit a couple minutes, stirring well after. The Gerber one comes out perfect, it is creamy, thick and smooth with an excellent flavor:

Now though….the organic version by Happy Baby doesn’t come out so great:

After studying the ingredients I think I have the answer. While the ingredients are pretty close between the two, there is one difference. The Gerber contains gelatin, where Happy Baby has natural pectin. Structurally the two work in same ways (oddly enough I was reading Cooking for Geeks this morning and it has a whole section on making natural pectin and how it is similar to extracting gelatin from bones….) but the key thing is the pectin doesn’t absorb water back in like gelatin does. So while the Happy Baby is vegetarian friendly it doesn’t work the way we need it to.

So next time you are in the grocery store or mega-ville store go to the baby food aisle and look for Gerber Graduates. 1 cup of the drops (a package) makes about 2/3 cup powdered freeze-dried yogurt. Pack the powder in 1/3 cup scoops in snack size zip top bags and add in 1/3 cup cold water when you crave creamy yogurt. Or add the powder to our well loved Protein Smoothie recipe instead of using plain yogurt powder (which doesn’t get thick without thickeners added). Not only does it work, it tastes great! (And no preservatives, artificial dyes or flavors and it has live and active cultures as well!)


7 thoughts on “Food Find: Instant Trail Yogurt – Via The Baby Food Aisle

  1. Brilliant! Scathingly brilliant. I remember seeing these on a recent shopping trip and thought of future grandchildren, not backpacking. I am in awe of your ability to think outside-the-box and inside-the-pack. I’ll have to try this on an upcoming dayhike on the Ouachita Trail. I dislike yogurt, but my daughter likes the stuff.

  2. i fell in love with the gerber ones when i tasted them while babysitting the twins. i love them, and now, thanks to you, i have shelf stable yogurt for the van! do you think that grinding them up affects their shelf life alot? i have kept the opened packages of the drops around for long periods of time and they kept well if ziplocked well……

  3. Kate, they should do fine – though you can crush them with a spoon if need be! I did that and my fingers to finish it up the first batch of testing.

    And Timothy, they are quite tasty as a snack right out of the bag 🙂


  4. Question: what you show in the dish there…is that the entire package? Just wondering how much one package makes.

  5. Nola,
    I know that wasn’t the entire package, just part of it. It doesn’t make a ton but is a nice addition – a treat if you will.

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