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Calorie Count Blog

Cubical Cuisine Test: Freeze-Dried Fruit


By Mary_RD on Jul 14, 2009 12:00 PM in Tips & Updates
Edited By +Rachel Berman

Picture those strange strawberries in the box of breakfast cereal or a brick of dehydrated space ice cream. Several manufacturers are marketing freeze-dried fruits as a snack alternative. They hope freeze-dried fruit will become a standard lunch box item.

Freeze-dried fruit is not dried fruit like a raisin or a prune.  Traditional dried fruit is made by evaporating water as fruit dries under the hot sun or in an oven.  But freeze-dried fruit is made by rapid freezing at a very low temperature, and then heating very quickly to change ice into gas while sucking out the moisture by vacuum pressure. 

Freeze-dried fruit is extremely light because it is 98% water-free.  Its portability makes it a favorite of hikers, campers and space travelers.  Freeze-dried fruit has a long shelf-life – up to 2 years.  It maintains most of its antioxidant phytochemicals and other nutrients, except for the full amount of vitamin C.   
 
Our reviewers tasted Crispy Green Apples, Pears, Pineapples, and Apricots, but Crispy Green is not the only company making freeze-dried fruits.  Funky Monkey, Today’s Farm, Just Fruit Salad, Brothers All Natural, Mountain House, Honeyville, and others all produce high quality freeze-dried fruit snacks.

This is what our reviewers had to say about Crispy Green freeze-dried fruit:

(1) Describe the taste:

The panel was divided down the middle.  The comments ranged from "almost tasteless" to "very tasty" indeed.  Other descriptors were yummy, plain, faint, diluted, and not as flavorful as the real thing.

(2) Describe the texture:

Freeze-dried fruit has a unique texture that words almost can't describe.  The texture was characterized as light, crispy, crunchy, spongy, squeaky, chewy, chalky, dry, and "something like Sea-Monkeys," those dehydrated shrimp eggs that come to life upon adding water.

(3) Did you like it? 

Some tasters liked knowing that freeze-dried fruit is healthy, while others liked that it didn’t make a mess.  One gracious reviewer could see it "as perfect for certain applications" but not as an everyday food.

(4) What didn’t you like about it?

The term "weird" was used again and again.  And no one could justify the cost of $1.79 (in New York) for the equivalent of ½ cup of fresh fruit.

(5) Did it satisfy your snack craving? Did you need something with it?

Testers said a bag of freeze-dried fruit may satisfy only the smallest of cravings.  Several testers said it left their mouths feeling quite dry.

(6) Would you recommend it to a friend?

Only half would recommend freeze-dried fruit - although it definitely has a place in the safe-room in case of a disaster.

There are additional customer reviews for Crispy Greens, Funky Monkey, and other freeze-dried fruits at Amazon.com.

The bottom line:

Freeze-dried fruit is a healthy and natural alternative to fresh fruit; however, it seems to be an acquired taste.  The cost is high, but then there is no waste and it surely is convenient.  It is a great product to have on hand for times when fresh fruit is not an option.  Expect to see freeze-dried fruit and vegetables more commonly used in the future.

Question for you:

Have you tried freeze-dried fruit?  Do you like it?

Nutrition Facts:



Comments


I've tried it and quite liked it. But the problem is, with all the water being sucked out you will eat more of it to feel full - thus have a lot more calories in your snack.

Freeze dried bananas are awesome though - they taste/feel like the banana sweets in pic'n'mix.

 



Original Post by: sophieannalie

I've tried it and quite liked it. But the problem is, with all the water being sucked out you will eat more of it to feel full - thus have a lot more calories in your snack.

Freeze dried bananas are awesome though - they taste/feel like the banana sweets in pic'n'mix.

 


Yup I totally agree. if you think about dense fruits like avocados or banannas they are filling but higher cal than grapes and apples. All the sugars are there but none of the bulky fluid.

doesn't mean they are bad it just means you have to be careful and not treat as "free foods"



I think I've tried freeze-dried bananas, raspberries and strawberries in the past. Berries are only in season for a couple of weeks here, so for the rest of the year freeze-dried is a decent alternative if you're looking for something to throw into your cereal. But yes, it's pricey, although berries aren't exactly cheap either where I live. Still, when I have the chance I will always prefer the fresh alternative.



I keep freeze-dried fruit in my car for "emergencies".  But I prefer the Bare Fruit 100% Organic Cinnamon Apple Chips that I get at Costco.  They're bake-dried and sooooo DELICIOUS!  Although they're tasty, I only eat the freeze-dried fruits when I "have to".  (Also, the freeze-dried strawberries get stuck in my teeth.)



I love freeze dried fruits and veggies, but they can be pricey.  You can buy in bulk online and drastically reduce the price.  Also, if you don't like them in their crispy state, just rehydrate them.  Freeze dried foods rehydrate much better than conventionally dehydrated typically achieving very close to original taste and texture.



I'm not a big fan of dried fruit...my favorite is dried strawberries...I put them in my Cheerios every morning. 

Does anyone have recipes for dried fruit?

 

 



It's ok, but isn't worth the added expense.  We have Brothers All Natural Fuji Apple Crisps and Pear Crisps.  They are the most expensive item in our "healthy snacks" machine at work.  It doesn't seem like you get very much and it sucks all the moisture out of your mouth when you eat it.



I have tried freeze-dried strawberries, but merely as a curiosity. I think that at 40 calories a bag it is not a bad snack choice, since the actual fruit can end up having more calories than that.  To avoid the feeling that you're not full and that your mouth's dry, it may be a good idea to chuck it down with a bottle of water.  I guess you can also&n bsp;add it to bran cereal to m ake it more tasty, or to yogur t.



Also not a big fan of dried fruit. In the office I put Javanu protein creamer in my coffee when I need a snack. 10 grams of protein in the coffee that I am drinking anyway and it is lo-cal.



We live in earthquake country and have freeze dried food as part of our emergency kits.  One day my husband bought something and I told him there was no way I would eat that even if we had no other food.  That was the beginning of a whole new world for me.  Now I eat freeze dried fruits and veggies almost daily.  I have found far less problems with "getting in" all my fruits and veggies and I NEVER throw away any food anymore.  I take my fruit salad with me wherever I go and all you have to do is make sure you drink pleanty of water or it will clog up so to speak LOL.

I just recently tried asparagus because it was on sale, I loved it and will look for the sales from now on.



i am diabetic so I must have food in my backpack if I go hypoglycemic

weight and shelf life are major factors.

 



Great for cereal - I use strawberries, blueberries, and banannanas.  Then I don't have to worry about them going bad, and they're not dry.



I have tried peach, and apple.  I loved the apple and the peach not so much.  I would love to try some of the others mentioned.  Will look for them.  Yes they are pricey but so is fruit going bad in the refrigerator.  So when the shelf life is so long there is absolutely no cost waste.  I like that.   I gave them to kids and they really liked them and they are so convenient with no mess.  The ones I had were prepackaged and therefore not tempted to take more.  I loved the calorie count and we usually have a drink with the snack anyway.   I would actually give them an A.  Maybe as they get more popular the price will come down.  Lets hope. 



i have mixed emotions about this style of fruit. most is yummy enough to be usefu, and super-handy to jazz up bran flakes, plain granola, or oat-based loop cerials. some is just icky; and of course, the cost is prohibative for me, as i am a professional student (going back in for 2 more masters), and by definition, i am broke most of the time.

overall, i give it a thumbs-up, if you can afford it! :D



Original Post by: albalovescholo

i have mixed emotions about this style of fruit. most is yummy enough to be usefu, and super-handy to jazz up bran flakes, plain granola, or oat-based loop cerials. some is just icky; and of course, the cost is prohibative for me, as i am a professional student (going back in for 2 more masters), and by definition, i am broke most of the time.

overall, i give it a thumbs-up, if you can afford it! :D


It's very inappropriate to use this site for sales, and just turns me off to ever buying anything from you.  Please respect us!



I haven't tried the freeze-dried fruit, but I have tried the veggies.  I thought they were quite yummy.  It was a great alternative to having regular potato chips!



This shows exactly why we are here.  I do not eat to feel full anymore, I eat by the serving.  If that does not fill me up I drink a glass of water.

Did you know that sometimes your cravings for food is actually your body telling you it wants water?  And as little as a 2% decrease in your water levels can cause fatigue.  I can't cite my source, but if you do some research of your own I'm sure you will find this information.

Freeze dried fruit is great for camping, too! 



I am diabetic and tried them all including dried Jujubu fruit. Theyre all very good except they can make my sugar shoot up of course. Those first responders wer eright. I do tend to eat more to get full because of the lack of water in them so they are good for emergency situations or very small snack for me. The sugar content is still high but the Jujubu fruit ones didnt raise my sugar much at all even though i at the entire small bag and its said that Jujubu helps regulate sugar.

 



We buy freeze dried fruit from Costco for our toddler son, I think its by Brothers Natural, and our son loves it.  He started eating it around 6months old, as he didnt have teeth and this stuff essentially melts in your mouth.  Its cheap in the bulk box at Costco, I think it is $12.50 for 20 packs (in CA), and has apples, pears, and a banana strawberry combo.  We pack it in his diaper bag for emergencies, and its with us on all outings.  Sometimes I toss it in my cheerios too...  ;)



I've had the freeze dried strawberries and bananas before and I love them. It's not a replacement for a meal or anything, but it satisfies a sweet tooth. It's like funky healthy candy.



Saying that there's no waste is ridiculous.  There's a package involved, probably non-biodegradable plastic.  That's a lot more waste than an apple core or banana peel, which would compost in a matter of weeks.



I love learning about new products on the market--I don't do the grocery shopping so I am not exposed to these products unless I read them here or in a magazine!

Freeze dried fruit sounds like a good idea when you can't eat the real thing or store it, ie. hiking! But, nothing beats the slurpiness of a ripe pear or apple--the water, to me, it a key ingredient!  I would try to reconstitute it, like another member here suggested...

Thanks for the info and review so that I can become a better informed consumer!



Original Post by: brynaschreier

Original Post by: albalovescholo

i have mixed emotions about this style of fruit. most is yummy enough to be usefu, and super-handy to jazz up bran flakes, plain granola, or oat-based loop cerials. some is just icky; and of course, the cost is prohibative for me, as i am a professional student (going back in for 2 more masters), and by definition, i am broke most of the time.

overall, i give it a thumbs-up, if you can afford it! :D


It's very inappropriate to use this site for sales, and just turns me off to ever buying anything from you.  Please respect us!


huh?



To be more understood I said there was no cost waste for  fruit going bad in the refrigerator.  But you are absolutely right there is packaging that makes waste.  I never thought of that silly me.  Thanks for pointing out the obvious.



I love freeze dried fruit on oatmeal, the heat and the water make them close to normal again, and I can keep a bag in my drawer at work with my oatmeal.



WHAT is bryna talking about here?  There are NO "sales" mentioned! Geessshhhh....



We buy ours in #10 cans so the only thing that is waste is the can and plastic lid which are being recycled.  They are also less expensive in the cans instead of all that packaging expense.



The only good freeze-dried fruit are the strawberries in Kellogg's Red Berries Cereal. Furthermore, it's only good when you add milk and make it wet.



Comment Removed

Original Post by: cgurgick

Original Post by: brynaschreier

Original Post by: albalovescholo

i have mixed emotions about this style of fruit. most is yummy enough to be usefu, and super-handy to jazz up bran flakes, plain granola, or oat-based loop cerials. some is just icky; and of course, the cost is prohibative for me, as i am a professional student (going back in for 2 more masters), and by definition, i am broke most of the time.

overall, i give it a thumbs-up, if you can afford it! :D


It's very inappropriate to use this site for sales, and just turns me off to ever buying anything from you.  Please respect us!


huh?


I'm confused too. Brynaschreier, I think you may have read the post wrong somehow...



My mom works at a company where they make freeze dried fruits and veggies and they are great for cooking, adding to ceral, yogurt, bakery goods, or just bunching on them as a snack.  Children LOVE freeze dried fruits and veggies and make a great healthy alternative for there sweet tooth!



Original Post by: lindsaymurphy

Original Post by: sophieannalie

I've tried it and quite liked it. But the problem is, with all the water being sucked out you will eat more of it to feel full - thus have a lot more calories in your snack.

Freeze dried bananas are awesome though - they taste/feel like the banana sweets in pic'n'mix.

 


Yup I totally agree. if you think about dense fruits like avocados or banannas they are filling but higher cal than grapes and apples. All the sugars are there but none of the bulky fluid.

doesn't mean they are bad it just means you have to be careful and not treat as "free foods"


Or instead of eating more you could just drink some water as you eat it.



Ever try fresh frozen grapes? Yep stick a whole bunch of them in the freezer and a few hours later..theyre heavenly!



Someone above mentioned frozen grapes.  I have a container of those in my freezer, even as I write this.  It gives me the goodness of the grape PLUS something I can really sink my teeth into.  They don't get as hard as ice, rather more like a solid slush.  They take longer to eat than regular grapes, so, for some reason, it seems to take fewer of them to satisfy me.  If you haven't tried them, please do, and ENJOY!



Original Post by: samhainaz

Ever try fresh frozen grapes? Yep stick a whole bunch of them in the freezer and a few hours later..theyre heavenly!


I just noticed your name up there, samhainaz.  I apologize for saying "someone" when I should have given you credit and used your name in my post.  Very rude of me.  But, I totally agree; frozen grapes are just great??



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