It’s super easy and delicious!
You will need:
1 cup of store-bought yogurt, plain is probably best. This will provide the starter bacteria for the yogurt.
1 airtight container or ziplock baggie (I used a quart-size freezer baggie)
1/2 cup dried/powdered milk such as made by the Nido brand (I prefer the taste of Nido whole milk, as opposed to the low or non-fat.)
1 cup or less of clean water
A small, black bag which you can attach to the outside of your pack (This will heat up the yogurt in the sunshine while you hike.)
A spoon to eat it! (I prefer the long-handled spoons because it can get messy.)
Yields 1 cup of plain yogurt
1. Scoop any amount of the store-bought yogurt into the airtight container or baggie. You can use as little as 1 tablespoon or as much as the entire store-bought cup.
2. Add 1/2 cup or more of powdered milk to the store-bought yogurt. However much dried milk & water you use, that’s how much yogurt you’ll get! (1/2 cup dried milk + 1 cup water = 1 cup of yogurt.)
3. Add 1 cup of water. This milk powder to water ratio is flexible. The larger your powder-to-water ratio you use, the thicker your yogurt will be. (The Nido directions for making milk recommend a 1/4 cup of powder to 1 cup of milk. I prefer thicker yogurt, so I use a 1/2 cup per cup of water.)
4. Mix well and place the air-tight container or baggie inside your small black bag.
5. Attach the black bag to the outside of your pack where it will receive ample amounts of sunshine for about 8 hours. I like to occasionally mix it throughout the day.
6. You can eat your yogurt at the end of the day and it will be slightly warm. You can also let the yogurt sit overnight in your bear bag or canister and it will be cool in the morning.
If you’d like to make more, leave a small amount of your recently cultured yogurt in your container and follow the directions again from step no. 2. This means you’ll want to bring a separate bag of powdered milk to resupply your yogurt.
If you’d like to add yummy things to your yogurt, do so in a SEPARATE bowl or cup. You don’t want any fruit spoiling in your yogurt over the succeeding week! Things to add may include:
Granola or cereal
Nuts or seeds
Fruit or pieces of fruit leather
Candy (M & M’s are delicious in yogurt!)
Note: I haven’t had success rehydrating dried fruit in yogurt. It’s better to add fresh fruit or to just expect the dried fruit to stay dried.
I learned how to make yogurt from Diane Soini’s excellent article on no-cook foods. You can check it out on Gossamer Gear’s website.