How to make yogurt leather for snacks, camping, or hiking trips. Higher protein and less sugar than regular fruit leather! Experiment with all sorts of flavor options!
When my daughter turned 10 years old, I knew we were ready for a new challenge. Though she was still rather short and too small to carry a large pack, she was mighty and determined. Our family was finally ready for a backpacking trip!
However, as I have mentioned before, my son has a sulfite sensitivity, which means that we really can’t serve him instant anything. Dried fruit, instant mashed potatoes, and minute rice are never sulfite-free. So when we go light-weight camping, it always involves a lot of homemade meals.
This yogurt and fruit leather is something I came up with for our first backpacking trip. We were going to be hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail, spread over 5 days. I knew that we would need plenty of protein and calories to sustain us.
Fruit leather and dried fruit are both really high in sugars. That’s great if you need a quick burst of energy. But it’s not the best option for sustained energy. That’s why I decided to add yogurt to my fruit leather. Strained yogurt offers a lot of protein to slow down and balance the digestion of fruit sugar, offering a more sustaining snack.
Strained Yogurt and Flavorful Fruit
The key to this recipe is to use strained yogurt (aka Greek yogurt). As a fermenting foodie, homemade yogurt and strained yogurt is definitely something I make regularly. However, if that’s not your thing, simply start with a tub of Greek yogurt.
Choosing a fruit that isn’t too tart or juicy is also key. The yogurt doesn’t add any sweetness so it’s important to choose fruits that will bring a lot of flavor to the leather.
It’s also fun to add spices and other flavors. Here are a few delicious fruit and flavor combinations.
- Bananas (with vanilla bean)
- Strawberries and blueberries
- Mangos (with rosewater)
- Figs (with cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon)
- Kiwis (with lemon zest)
- Apricots (with cinnamon)
I love playing with flavor and adding toppings to your leather is another great way to change up your fruit leather! Toppings are sprinkled on before dehydrating.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Unsweetened coconut
- Chopped nuts or seeds
- 1 cup of pureed fruit (see above for suggestions)
- 1 cup strained yogurt (or Greek yogurt - see notes)
- A pinch of salt
- Spices and other flavors (see above)
- 1/4 cup of a topping (see above)
- Puree the fruit, yogurt, salt, and other flavors in a blender until smooth. If you want to keep a few pieces of fruit whole to decorate your leather with, set these aside.
- I recommend using non-stick dehydrator tray liners (see notes). Lightly coat your dehydrator tray liners with oil. Then spread the fruit and mixture out on the tray liners. You want the puree to be about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick in all areas. If you want, garnish your fruit leather with a topping at this point.
- Follow the instructions on your dehydrator to dry the fruit leather. Typically, this is done at 140 F (60 C). Check the leather after 6 hours to see if it is fully dry. It may need up to 8 hours depending on your dehydrator.
- Remove the leather from the dehydrator tray while it is still warm. The leather can be rolled up at this point, or left to cool, then cut into serving-size pieces.
- Store your fruit leather in an air-tight container. Freeze the leather if you aren't planning on eating it within a few days. Dehydrated yogurt will last for up to 5 days at room temperature when stored in an air-tight zip-top bag.
- To make strained yogurt, start with 2 cups of yogurt, then strain through a double layer of cheesecloth for 8 hours. The whey is nutritious, so save it for smoothies!
- The yogurt doesn't add any sweetness to this snack. If you want a bit more sweetness, feel free to add 2 Tbsp. of honey.
- The pinch of salt isn't necessary, however, it will help you stay hydrated when hiking on a hot day.
- If your dehydrator doesn't come with non-stick tray liners, you can line the trays with parchment paper. Don't use wax paper or tin foil, which may stick to the leather... resulting in a big mess.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1/4 batch
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 63Total Fat: 1.2ggSaturated Fat: 0.8ggCholesterol: 3mgmgSodium: 17mgmgCarbohydrates: 8.2ggFiber: 0.7ggSugar: 7.7ggProtein: 5.4gg
Nutrition information is based on using mango puree and 2% yogurt.