Food Finds · Trail Cooking

Freeze-Dried Yogurt Review

Years ago, when our boys were little I would often write about all the baby and toddler products I found. One was freeze-dried yogurt drops when they first came out on the market. The old blog was destroyed a couple years ago, by a mean spirited hacker. When I rebuilt TrailCooking, I left out all the old food finds – because they were old and not relevant, with old links and some items no longer produced. As I was doing the ice cream bar review the other week, it reminded me of the yogurt. So I made two boys head to the baby food aisle with me this week. At 9 & 11 they were rolling their eyes a wee bit.

So yes, you can find freeze-dried yogurt drops quite easily, and at a fair price, in most grocery and big box stores. Head to the baby/toddler aisle and peruse the packaged food section. We picked up two brands: one mainstream, one organic. The price is in the $3-4 range usually, with about a cup of drops in each 1 ounce bag. For an adult, a bag is a serving, for young children it is 4 servings (30 calories a serving for both brands). Both brands are similar in the nutritional profile of calories, sugars, protein and such.

The thing about freeze-dried yogurt is it can be a fun thing to bring along in your food bag. It can fill a craving, and if you have small children along, a fun treat. And it tastes great no matter your age. And yes, you can rehydrate it into yogurt.

One note: For both brands it has its best texture within 24 hours of opening the bag. The Gerber brand goes softer faster once opened up (the gelatin may play into this), Happy Baby stayed firmer once opened. Even then, best texture on freeze-dried food is to use up quickly after opening, especially if you are in a humid area. The bags DO NOT contain oxygen absorbers (this would be a choking hazard for small children, so a liability issue). If you as an adult are going to eat them over a longer period, it would behoove you to buy some and add one into the bag, after opening.

Gerber Yogurt Melts

So let’s put this here. Gerber is owned by Nestle. This is a real issue for many people to not buy them. It bothered me to buy it. All I am saying politically is be happy if they haven’t tried to take your town’s water supply yet. Nestle tried where we used to live and thankfully were run out of town.

Now then, onto the review in an unbiased way. The taste is mild, like a bland strawberry yogurt. The drops are prettier looking, but they don’t melt on the tongue as fast as Yogis do. The odd part is the yogurt sticks to your teeth, most likely due to the added gelatin. These drops are not vegetarian nor do they contain yogurt cultures.

But they are pleasant enough to munch on.

They are quite pretty.

To make yogurt:

¼ cup drops, crushed as good as you can, then stir in 2 Tablespoons cold water, stirring often, letting rest for at least 15 minutes. And yes, it does taste like yogurt. Little children would love it on the trail.

Happy Baby Organic Yogis

Happy Baby is 90% owned by Danone, which is Dannon in the US. In the world 10 multi-national companies control most of the world’s processed food….so you can choose what suits you. Happy Baby is organic, so there is also that.

The shape is a flat disk. They melt instantly as they touch your tongue. The flavor is mild, not too sweet and the melted texture is like eating natural yogurt. These do not contain gelatin to thicken so are vegetarian. They also contain actual yogurt culture and whole milk is the first ingredient.

To make yogurt:

¼ cup drops, crushed as good as you can, then stir in 2 Tablespoons cold water, stirring often, letting rest for at least 15 minutes. And yes, it does taste like yogurt. Little children would love it on the trail.

My final thoughts? I far preferred the Happy Baby Yogis. They tasted like actual yogurt. However, if your child is more used to mainstream yogurt, they will prefer the Gerber ones.

~Sarah

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