Freeze-Dried Fruit: 3 Reasons It’s the Perfect Go-To Snack
What do you do when your favorite fruit is out of season? Take a vitamin to get the same nutrients? Let’s agree—vitamins don’t taste nearly as good as freshly picked blueberries or grapes.
That’s why we’re so excited to introduce another nutritious and tasty option that doesn’t get much press: freeze-dried fruit.
Fruit Nutrients: Advantages of Freeze-Dried
How is the freeze-drying method different from air-drying or dehydrating fruit?
Dried fruit is either sun-dried or machine-dried. Approximately 80-90% of the water is removed, and the fruit becomes chewy as it shrinks. Some loss of nutrients, flavor or color may occur. Some dried fruits, like raisins, are packaged with no added ingredients. But depending on the food manufacturer, some will add an unnatural form of sugar, preservatives, dyes or an oil to make the dried fruit more appealing in taste or texture. As always, we recommend that consumers always read ingredient labels to make sure you know what you’re buying. You might be surprised what added sugar can do to the nutritional value of dried fruit.
Dehydrated fruit is heated carefully to remove the moisture, but not cook the food. It’s usually withered and pliable, and about the same texture as dried fruit. Dehydrating does result in a loss of some nutrients and color or flavor. Again, check your labels for unnatural additives like oils, preservatives, sugar or dyes.
Freeze-drying locks in the nutritional composition (Yes, please keep the nutritional value!) and structure of the fruit by first freezing it, then drying it in a commercial vacuum process. The interior water is quickly taken to the vapor state and is pulled off the fruit. Approximately 96-98% of the water is removed from the fruit while maintaining its shape, color, and flavor. The result is a nutrient-dense, amazingly crunchy version of your favorite fruit—without added sugars and oils.
If you’re curious to learn even more, the U.S.Highbush Blueberry Council offers a detailed chart of the differences in each of the drying methods. It includes helpful information about common processing methods, moisture levels, and shelf life.
3 Reasons to Choose Organic Freeze-Dried Fruit
There are many reasons we love organic freeze-dried fruit, but here are our top 3:
1- On-the-Go Ease
Freeze-dried fruit has a shelf life of 18 months. The airtight packaging gives you year-round availability to any fruit, even when it’s not in season. If you’re low on groceries and can’t get to the store, freeze-dried fruit is a healthy alternative to fresh.
You can use freeze-dried fruit as a quick way to pack another fruit serving into yogurt, oatmeal, trail mix or dry cereal. It’s easy to mix a handful into bread, muffins or desserts too. Other ideas include a healthy snack between meals, grabbing a freeze-dried mix when you’re late and need breakfast, for sports games, hiking or school lunches. The possibilities are endless!
2- It Keeps Most of Its Nutritional Benefits
Overall other drying methods, freeze-dried fruit maintains its structure and nutrition best. Not only can you count on the essential fiber and antioxidants that are locked in, but freeze-dried fruit also maintains 95+% of its nutritional value.
3- No Added Extras in Your Fruit
When it comes to freeze-dried fruit (like our new Homegrown Organic freeze-dried fruit line), you can be sure you’re getting the whole fruit and nothing but the fruit. Most freeze-dried fruit has no sugar added, and no preservatives or oils. The freeze-drying process concentrates the sweetness of the fruit for excellent flavor. No preservatives. No sugar. Just pure fruit, in a perfectly crunchy form.
Freeze-Dried: the Next Best Thing to Fresh
You simply can’t beat freeze-dried fruit for its convenience. Its portability and year-round availability make it top dog in the organic snack category. Its crunchy texture could help add fruit servings for picky eaters, or maybe persuade someone to try new fruits that he/she wouldn’t eat fresh.
For unique ideas on using your freeze-dried fruit, visit our recipe section. Your taste buds will thank you!