Freeze dried fruit, I love freeze dried fruit! I can admit it, I am probably the world’s biggest fan of freeze dried fruits! I just love the stuff and it’s way better than candy and most other snacks. It’s so lightweight and crunchy yet smooth and rich, just bursting with flavor. Plus, freeze dried fruit still retains fiber, protein and other nutrients and antioxidants without additives or preservatives!
The Many Varieties of Freeze Dried Fruit
Anytime is a great time for a freeze dried fruit snack-they come in just about every variety imaginable too so it’s easy to find something you’re in the mood for-I’ve personally tried freeze dried banana slices, mangosteen, mango, strawberries, and freeze dried rambutan (which is to die for!) I am desperately eager to get my hands on some of the other great freeze dried varieties too like blueberries, peaches, apricots, freeze dried apple slices, blackberries and grapes. I’m game to try just about anything I guess!
I think freeze dried fruits are a great way of sampling fruits from other countries that you may not other be exposed to-that’s how I found out about freeze dried rambutan – an intriguingly sweet fruit that comes from a popular garden fruit tree in Southeast Asia. It does not transport well in its fresh form, so trying the freeze dried rambutan was my first glimpse of the wealth of worldly flavors still unknown to me, but thanks to freeze drying technology, my taste buds are one step closer.
The Time for Freeze Dried Fruit Has Come!
There are many great things do with freeze dried fruit. For starters, you can eat it, it makes a very tasty treat and is much healthier than potato chips and other easy to reach snacks. I know people who take them to work as a mid-day snack. Freeze dried fruit makes a great snack on the go and is also perfect for college kids, students, and other people who are on the run and just don’t have a lot of time to sleep-let alone shop for healthy food choices. Freeze dried fruits make a wonderful gift for students, but let’s not forget the little ones…
Whenever I bring freeze dried fruit over to my 2 year old nieces house, she just can’t get enough! She can devour an entire bag all on her own-my selfish impulse is to hide the bag, Otherwise I won’t get any! And to think-some parents actually have to force their kids to eat healthy snacks! Little kids love them-they’re soft and gentle on their mouths, fun to chew, and begin melting the moment the freeze dried fruit hits the tongue (which is also why big kids like me love them too).
Oh! And you can also add your favorite freeze dried fruit to your morning cereal-before you know it you’ll be wanting cereal for lunch, snacks and maybe even supper too!
Freeze dried fruit and vegetable snacks are great for hikers and backpackers. You don’t have to worry about keeping it cold or getting squished in the bottom of your bag like you would fresh fruit, plus its a good source of quick energy.
Freeze dried fruit also makes a great addition to your emergency planning kit. You can keep some in the basement in case bad weather hits, you can stash some in your glove compartment or truck in case you get stranded or stuck in a snow storm and it might be a while before help comes. I think it’s a great idea to keep freeze dried fruit on hand because you never know when you might need it. Stored properly, many varieties of freeze dried fruit will stay good for 10 or 15 years!! That’s incredible-most canned food won’t even stay good that long. Freeze dried fruit is convenient, healthy and delicious-what else is there to say? I think I’ll get some today 🙂
What is Freeze Drying?
Freeze drying is a simple process to understand, but the technology used is complex. First the fruit must be frozen. The frozen fruit is placed under a vacuum in a drying chamber. The heated chamber quickly works to evaporate the moisture from the fruit while the fruit is still frozen. This is called the sublimation process. The water vapor condenses on freezer at the bottom of the chamber and when there is less than 3% moisture remaining, the freeze drying process is complete!
Once the freeze dried fruit is sealed into a moisture free package, protected from UV rays, it can last for many years! Microorganisms can not survive in this kind of dry environment so the fresh fruit taste will remain in tact, their is no moisture or air to cause spoilage. (There is usually an oxygen absorber packet inside the bag of freeze dried fruit for best results)
Since fresh fruit contains at least 80% water the finished freeze drying product will be significantly lighter but the volume will stay the same! It takes almost 9 ounces of fresh mangosteen to make 1.5 ounces of delicious freeze dried shelf stable mangosteen product. It can take more than 10 pounds of fresh fruit to produce just one pound of freeze dried fruit.
Unopened packages of freeze dried fruit should be kept in a cool, dry environment. I left a bag on the counter top above the dishwasher once without thinking-oops! The heat from the dishwasher made the fruit more dense and a little stale. Since then, I am careful to store freeze dried fruit well away from heat sources, including the cabinets above the stove and dishwasher.