I remember a time in raising my children in which I was never without one of those zip-top bags of frozen yogurt bites. If they needed something while we waited for dinner to arrive at the table, or a quiet snack at library story time, there they were. And while I loved making baby food for them and freezing yogurt for snacks, there was just no beating the commercial yogurt bites — even I enjoyed my fair share of the sweet, tangy, melt-in-your mouth texture of those bites.
It almost pains me to have discovered a hack for making dried yogurt bites at home after that season of my child-rearing is coming to an end, but when I discovered I could turn a kitchen staple's leftovers in to tender snack bites, I knew I needed to share this splendid secret.
What Are Dried Yogurt Bites?
Commercial yogurt bites go by a few names: yogurt puffs, yogurt melts, and yogurt bites. The premise is the same — dots of yogurt are dehydrated, creating a melting bite that is also shelf-stable. The internet is full of claims that frozen yogurt bites are a cheap alternative to these commercial products, and while they are brilliant and delicious (and great for teething babies), you can't plop them in your purse for the park. Oh, unless you buy a super-expensive dehydrator.
How to Hack Dried Yogurt Bites at Home
The short story: Use aquafaba, the liquid leftover from a can of chickpeas, to make a lightly sweetened meringue, and flavor it with yogurt powder and fruit powder if desired. Then dry the resulting dots in a low oven for an hour. This discovery happened by chance when I was testing vegan meringues at home during the same time I discovered that yogurt powder was easily available online.
For Your Information
- This recipe uses the liquid from one can of chickpeas.
- You can buy yogurt and beet powder online. You can also grind dehydrated fruit in a spice grinder for the same effect.
- Bake the bites at 200°F for one hour.
Making Yogurt Drops, Step by Step
- Whip the aquafaba with cream of tartar. Make sure you use an electric mixer — handheld or stand — to really whip the chickpea liquid. This will make the puffs easier to melt in your mouth.
- Add a little sugar — or don't. Because these bites are intended for small children and babies, I opted to significantly cut the sugar called for here. I've also tested it without sugar and the resulting puffs can be a bit tangy, but nonetheless delicious.
- Gently fold in the yogurt and beet powder. Adding the yogurt powder will thicken the meringue considerably, so work quickly once you add it.
- Pipe the dots onto parchment paper. Use a gallon-sized zip-top bag to pipe the drops on the parchment paper, and don't worry about placing them too close together — these will not spread in the oven.
- Bake for one hour at 200°F. Bake the puffs for just one hour in a low oven to dry them out.
Storing Yogurt Bites
These bites are best eaten within a week, especially by early eaters, as they become stickier and harder as they age. Store the cooked and cooled drops in an airtight container or a zip-top bag for stashing in your purse or diaper bag.
How To Make Yogurt Bites
What You Need
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons yogurt powder
1 tablespoon beet powder
Measuring cups and spoons
Stand mixer with whisk attachment, or electric hand mixer
Piping bag or gallon-sized zip-top bag
- Preheat the oven and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat to 200°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Drain off the chickpea liquid. Drain off the liquid from the can of chickpeas through a fine-mesh strainer into a measuring cup. Save the chickpeas for another use. You should have about 3/4 cup of this liquid (called aquafaba).
- Whip the aquafaba and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Transfer the aquafaba to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and add the cream of tartar. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer and large bowl.) Whip on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.
- Add the sugar and vanilla and whip to stiff peaks. While continuing to whip on medium speed, gradually add in the sugar and vanilla. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to whip until stiff peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes more.
- Gently fold in the yogurt and beet powders. When the aquafaba is fully whipped, gently fold in the yogurt and beet powders until fully incorporated.
- Transfer the meringue to a piping bag and pipe the drops. Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a small, round tip. (Alternatively, use a zip-top bag as a piping bag and cut a small hole in one corner.) Pipe the meringue onto the baking sheets into dime-sized rounds. The piped rounds can be spaced close together.
- Bake for 1 hour at 200°F. Bake until dry to the touch, about 1 hour.
Cool and store. Remove the drops from the oven and cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.