Freeze Dried Dairy Products_ What You Should Know

Freeze Dried Dairy Products: What You Should Know

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Freeze-dried dairy products are an easy way to combine convenience, nutrition, and appetizing in one package. Freeze drying extends the shelf life of dairy products by removing most of the moisture in the food while also preserving the nutritional value of the food.

In recent years, at-home freeze-dryers have made freeze-drying more accessible. As people are learning the benefits of freeze-drying, it has become a popular food preservation method.

Generally speaking, freeze-dried foods are perfect for long-term food storage or if you’re an outdoor enthusiast in search of lightweight snacks that are healthy and easy to pack.

We have written about the many cool items that can be freeze-dried,  but in this article, we will dive deep into freeze-dried dairy products.

Let’s get started.

freeze dried eggs

What Are Freeze-Dried Dairy Products?

Freeze-drying refers to the process of removing most of the moisture from your choice of food products. It also allows dairy products to last for more than 20 years while also allowing them to retain their smell, taste, and nutritional value!

Freeze-dried dairy products are used in restaurants, like grated mozzarella used in pizzas and other cheese-covered dishes. Additionally, prebiotic dairy cultures are used to make bread and other baked goods.

They’re also used as food rations for preppers, hikers, campers, and survivalists. Military personnel and space engineers also bring along freeze-dried dairy products on their missions because they’re easy to transport and store. Plus, they taste just as good as their fresh counterpart.

Another benefit of freeze-dried dairy products is that they help promote muscle repair in athletes and replenish their body’s energy supply. They’re also great at hydrating the body after workouts while replacing critical nutrients lost during exercise.

freeze dried ice cream

Which Dairy Products Can Be Freeze-Dried?

Freeze-drying liquid and solid dairy products is a great way to preserve flavor, nutrient content, and consistency. At the same time, it doesn’t affect their basic structure. In addition, they come in a wide variety of formats, such as powder, cubes, grated, and batons.

Note: We should mention that some products aren’t ideal for freeze-drying, like sour cream and cottage cheese. Both have a high fat content, which makes the end product too grainy and liquidy.

Alternatively, the types of dairy products better suited to freeze-dry include:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Kefir
  • Eggs
  • Cream

How Long Do Freeze-Dried Dairy Products Last?

It depends on the dairy product, but freeze-dried dairy products generally have a shelf life of 20-25 years.

Freeze-dryers can reach temperatures between -30℉ and -50℉, which increases their shelf life while preserving flavor, nutritional value, and consistency.

The best part is that freeze-dried dairy products don’t require chemical preservatives or refrigeration to keep them fresh. They can be consumed directly or rehydrated easily to restore their freshness.

freeze dried milk powder

How to Freeze-Dry Dairy Products

The best way to freeze dry dairy products is to use a freeze-dryer. Freeze dryers follow a three (3) staged approach to replicate the lyophilizer process. A freeze-dryer makes the process safe and is highly effective in removing moisture from the food products.

Simply spread an even layer of the food product onto a freeze-drying tray to freeze dry. Then, place it in the machine.

Select the appropriate settings according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Press ‘Start’ and wait for about 24 hours until the machine is done.

How to Rehydrate Dairy Products

The whole idea behind rehydrating freeze-dried foods, including dairy, is to allow them to reabsorb the moisture they lost during the freeze-drying process.

One way is to add water to the food, place it on low heat, and let it simmer until it reaches the desired consistency. You can also place it in a bowl, cover it, and warm it up in the microwave for a minute or two, depending on its size.

Another thing you can do is leave the dairy product on your kitchen counter and mist it lightly with some warm water. Then, let it sit for about five minutes to allow it to spread and regain its moisture content.

Note: It’s worth mentioning that this method works better during the summer when your kitchen is likely to be hot and humid.

How to Make Freeze-Dried Ice Cream

Otherwise known as ‘astronaut ice cream,’ freeze-dried is crunchy, porous, and delicious.

To make your own, you’ll need:

  • A freeze-dryer
  • About 1.5 quarts of ice-cream
  • Utensils like a cookie scoop or large spoon
  • Spatula
  • Parchment paper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Storage containers

Start by lining freezer-dryer trays with parchment paper. Using any kind of ice cream you have, place individual scoops on the trays.

Cover the trays with plastic wrap and place them in the freezer for 2–24 hours. After removing the trays from the freezer, place them in the machine.

It’ll likely take a full day to complete the process, so be patient. When the machine is done, the ice cream should be light and airy, almost like styrofoam. If it feels moist, return the trays and add a couple of more hours of drying time.

Once completely dry, remove the ice cream and place it in airtight containers for storage.

Can You Freeze-Dry Cheese?

freeze-dried cream cheeseDefinitely! Not only can you freeze-dry it, but it actually holds up really well.

Freeze-dried cheese tastes delicious by itself. It also makes a great addition to your favorite recipes like baked goods, pasta, and casseroles.

The best part is that the moisture from the other ingredients will rehydrate the cheese. So, that’s one less thing you have to worry about.

Freeze-dried cheese can be stored for up to 25 years.

Can Yogurt Be Freeze-Dried?

freeze dried yogurt dropsYes! Yogurt, Kefir, and other yogurt products can be freeze-dried and rehydrated like other freeze-dried products. They are often eaten as small, chewable yogurt bites or cubes.

Freeze-drying yogurt typically takes between 24-48 hours to make.

Like most other freeze-dried dairy products, freeze-dried yogurt lasts 20-25 years.

Can You Freeze-Dry Butter?

Even though butter is one of the least suitable dairy products to freeze-dry because of its high-fat content, it’s certainly doable.

If stored properly, freeze-dried butter can last between 5 and 10 years.

Can You Freeze-Dry Eggs?

Freeze-drying eggs may sound odd, but it’s quick, easy, and convenient. All you need to do is crack some eggs, mix the whites with the yolks, then place the mixture in shallow trays.

Place the trays in the freeze dryer, and the machine will remove all the moisture from the eggs.

Freeze-dried eggs have a shelf life of up to 25 years.

Can You Freeze-Dry Cream Cheese?

Yes, you can. However, you should note that freeze-drying cream cheese may alter its consistency. It can turn from smooth and creamy into slightly crumbled and even grainy.

So, it’s best to use it in recipes where the texture won’t be a major factor.

However, it’ll still have the same delicious flavor while being 100% safe to consume.

What is the Difference between Freeze-Dried Milk vs. Powdered Milk?

There is essentially no difference. Both dairy products are made by removing moisture from milk. The moisture is evaporated, so all that is left is dried powder.

By simply mixing the powdered milk with water, it will become reconstituted milk, and you can use it like you would any other liquid milk.

One of the main reasons people use dried milk is to preserve it. Dehydrated milk products have a much longer shelf life than traditional liquid milk. Freeze-dried milk has a shelf life of 25 years.

Final Thoughts

Freeze-dried dairy products are a great way to make them last longer while retaining their nutritional value and texture. Plus, they taste the same as if they were fresh.

Freeze-drying food products has become a popular alternative to traditional food storage methods. This is because it can preserve most food items for 25 years. And anytime you want to use them, simply add a bit of water, mix, and you’ll have rehydrated food.

Fortunately, you can freeze dry more than just dairy products. People also enjoy freeze-drying candyflowers, and other items. To learn more about freeze drying, see the related articles on Soulful Prepper.


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