Yogurt powder is a popular ingredient used in many recipes and food products. It provides a tangy, creamy flavor and can help create texture in baked goods, smoothies, sauces, and more.
However, you may sometimes need a substitute if you don't have yogurt powder on hand or want to avoid dairy. Thankfully, there are several alternatives that can mimic the properties of yogurt powder.
Why Use Yogurt Powder?
Yogurt powder is made by drying yogurt to create a concentrated powdered form. The live and active cultures found in yogurt are killed during this process. However, the powder still provides the distinctive tangy, acidic flavor of yogurt once rehydrated.
Some key benefits of yogurt powder include:
- Flavor - Provides a tangy, sour taste and creamy mouthfeel.
- Texture - Helps baked goods and other items become fluffier with more body.
- Nutrition - High in protein, calcium, vitamins, and probiotics (prior to drying).
- Convenience - Long shelf life and easy to store. Doesn't require refrigeration.
Yogurt powders are commonly used in:
- Sauces, dips, dressings
- Breads, cakes, muffins
- Instant oatmeal and breakfast items
- Protein bars and shakes
- Dairy product substitutes
Key Takeaway: Yogurt powder offers a tangy flavor, improved texture, added nutrition, and convenience compared to fresh yogurt.
Dried Milk Powder
Dried milk powder is one of the most direct substitutes for yogurt powder. It provides a similar creaminess and color. Milk powders like nonfat dry milk, whey protein, and buttermilk powder can be used in place of yogurt powder in a 1:1 ratio.
However, plain milk powders don't offer the tangy, acidic taste of yogurt. To better mimic yogurt powder's flavor profile, consider:
- Adding 1 teaspoon of lemon juice per 1 tablespoon of dried milk powder. The acidity helps provide a yogurt-like tang.
- Using a cultured milk powder like kefir or buttermilk powder instead of plain milk powder. The culturing process gives a more sour taste.
- Combining milk powder with a small amount of citric acid or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) powder. Acids replicate the tartness created by lactic acid in yogurt.
- Mixing in sour cream powder or sour salt, usually 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per tablespoon of milk powder. Adds acidic, fermented notes.
With a little tweaking, dried milk powders can closely resemble the flavor and performance of yogurt powder in recipes.
Key Takeaway: Dried milk powders like nonfat milk, whey, kefir, and buttermilk powder can substitute for yogurt powder in a 1:1 ratio. Adding lemon juice, citric acid, ascorbic acid, or sour cream powder helps provide tanginess.
Soy powder is made from defatted soybeans ground into a fine powder. It has become a popular dairy-free, vegan alternative to milk-based powders.
Soy protein powder has a natural creamy texture and beige color that works well in place of yogurt powder.
Look for a neutral flavored soy powder, rather than added flavors like chocolate or vanilla. The nutty, slightly grassy flavor of plain soy powder is closest to yogurt.
As with milk powders, you'll want to add an acidic component to soy powder to provide a tangy yogurt-like taste. Try adding:
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice per 1 tablespoon soy powder
- 1/8 teaspoon citric acid powder
- Pinch of sour salt
Soy powder makes an easy swap for yogurt powder in recipes at a 1:1 ratio. It performs similar functionally while being dairy-free.
Key Takeaway: Plain soy protein powder mimics the texture and color of yogurt powder. Adding lemon juice, citric acid, or sour salt provides tanginess when substituting in recipes.
Sour Cream Powder
As the name suggests, sour cream powder offers a very close flavor profile to yogurt powder. It provides the same sour, tangy taste along with a rich, creamy background.
Sour cream powder is made by drum drying cultured sour cream into a powdered form. The culturing process gives it more acidity and yogurt-like qualities compared to regular milk powders.
Beyond having an almost identical flavor, sour cream powder substitutes evenly for yogurt powder in recipes, gram for gram.
Some brands of sour cream powder include:
- Red Star Sour Cream Powder
- Hoosier Hill Farm Sour Cream Powder
- First Street Sour Cream Powder
Just like yogurt powder, sour cream powder works well in breads, smoothies, frostings, sauces, dips, and more. No flavor adjustments needed.
Key Takeaway: Sour cream powder provides the closest flavor match to yogurt powder while substituting evenly in recipes.
Lemon Juice/Cream of Tartar
If you want to avoid milk and soy-based powders, you can mimic the tangy flavor of yogurt powder with lemon juice and cream of tartar.
Lemon juice offers natural acidity similar to the lactic acid in yogurt. It provides a bright, citrusy flavor that complements both sweet and savory dishes.
Cream of tartar is an acidic byproduct of winemaking, also called potassium bitartrate. It has a more subtle, slightly sour taste.
To substitute 1 tablespoon of yogurt powder, use:
- 1 tablespoon nonfat milk powder + 1 teaspoon lemon juice OR 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon soy powder + 1 teaspoon lemon juice OR 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
The milk or soy powder helps replace the body and texture of yogurt powder, while the lemon juice/cream of tartar mimics the tangy taste.
This substitution works well in pancakes, cookies, breads, dressings, fruit glazes, and drinks.
Key Takeaway: A combination of milk/soy powder and lemon juice/cream of tartar can replicate both the texture and flavor of yogurt powder without using dairy.
How to Choose the Best Substitute
When selecting a yogurt powder alternative, consider:
- Flavor - How closely does it mimic yogurt's tangy taste?
- Texture - Does it provide creaminess and moisture?
- Purpose - Will it work well in the specific recipe/application?
- Dietary needs - Does it fit with dietary preferences or restrictions?
- Convenience - Is it readily available and easy to use?
Test out small amounts of different substitutes in recipes to determine which alternative you like best. Combining a mild powder with an acidic ingredient often yields the closest results.
With the right substitute, you can enjoy yogurt flavor and texture without needing the yogurt powder itself.
Key Takeaway: Evaluate substitutes based on flavor, texture, purpose, dietary needs, and convenience when selecting the best option for recipes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best substitute for yogurt powder?
Sour cream powder provides the closest match in both flavor and functionality. Dried milk powders also work well with some added acidity. Soy powder offers a dairy-free alternative.
Can I make my own yogurt powder substitute?
Yes, you can make a homemade version by drying fresh yogurt or powderizing milk. However, this requires special equipment to achieve a fine powder. Store-bought alternatives are easier and more convenient.
Is yogurt powder the same as whey protein?
No, whey protein comes from the liquid byproduct when cheese is made. Yogurt powder is produced from milk fermented by yogurt cultures. They have different flavors, textures, and nutrition profiles.
What's the difference between Greek yogurt powder and regular yogurt powder?
Greek yogurt powder starts with thicker, strained Greek yogurt. It has a richer consistency and higher protein content than regular yogurt powder when rehydrated.
Why use yogurt powder instead of fresh yogurt?
Yogurt powder has a longer shelf life compared to refrigerated yogurt. It is more portable, convenient, and can be added easily to recipes. However, it lacks the beneficial live cultures of fresh yogurt.
Yogurt powder can be difficult to replicate exactly, given its unique tangy and creamy characteristics. However, alternatives like dried milk powders, soy powder, sour cream powder, and lemon juice combine to offer suitable substitutions.
Match the texture, color, and purpose of yogurt powder first when substituting. Then tweak flavors as needed by introducing acidity, culturing agents, or tart ingredients.