Freeze-dried fruit is shelf-stable and has had nearly all moisture removed while preserving flavor and nutrients. It has a light, dry, crispy texture and a robust and powerful fruit flavor. Freeze-dried fruit retains all of its original characteristics, minus the juices. Freeze-drying, also known as lyophilization1, is “a procedure in which water is removed from a product after it has been frozen and placed under a vacuum, allowing the ice to convert directly from solid to vapor without going through a liquid phase,” according to the FDA.
This technique gives the fruit a crisp, fresh-looking shell. Unopened, freeze-dried fruit can last up to 30 years2 (according to certain producers), but only if appropriately preserved. Meanwhile, it keeps most of its sugars, so the fruit tastes the same as before it was frozen. Sun-dried and dehydrated fruits can be used in many same ways as freeze-dried fruit. For example, you can use it in baked goods, candy bars, and trail mix.
What is Freeze Dried Fruit?
Freeze drying fruit is a method of preserving fresh produce such that it is shelf-stable and lasts longer without the use of additives. Fruit is freeze-dried to maintain its nutritional profile. Freeze-dried fruit can be eaten as a healthy snack, added to recipes for sweetness, or baked with.
Commercially, freeze-drying fruit entails placing berries or pieces of fruit in a vacuum chamber with a temperature below freezing. The solid water molecules in the apple dissipate as a gas, leaving the meal. The fruit and berries keep intact during this process, as does much of the nutrition3 found in fresh fruit. To keep its freshness, freeze-dried fruit must be stored in airtight, moisture-proof containers after processing.
With the right equipment, you can freeze-dry fruit at home. However, a freeze dryer and accessories might cost thousands of dollars. 4 Fruit that is frozen uncovered in your home freezer will dry up to some extent, but this is not the same as lyophilization. Strawberries, peaches, bananas, pineapple, grapes, blackberries, raspberries, apples, blueberries, and dragon fruit are all excellent freeze-drying possibilities.
Freeze Dried Fruit vs. Dehydrated Fruit
Fruit can be preserved for later use by freeze-drying or dehydrating it. Fruits, such as bananas, berries, apples, dragon fruits, apricots, and pineapples, become more shelf-stable and resistant to mold or decay when the moisture is removed. While dehydrating and freeze-drying are excellent methods for preserving fruit, the techniques and results differ. Freeze-drying uses sub-zero temperatures to eliminate all moisture, and this process preserves the shape of the fruit and, according to some, the flavor. Freeze-dried fruits can survive for decades while still retaining their vibrant flavor.
Dehydrated fruits have a density and distinct chew, but freeze-dried fruit is airy, light, and crisp. Because it retains around one-third of its water content, dehydrated fruit is chewy. Because dehydrated fruits retain some moisture, they frequently require preservatives to keep them shelf-stable, and even with additions, they don’t last as long as their freeze-dried counterparts. Dehydrated fruit tends to be sweeter due to the moisture level. However, freeze-dried fruit is less sentimental and can better exhibit the natural flavor of the fruits.
What is the Freeze-Dried Fruit Uses?
The most basic way to consume freeze-dried fruit is to eat it by hand, either alone or as part of a snack mix or trail mix. Freeze-dried fruit can also be used topping for cereal, yogurt, or ice cream. Because it’s so light and compact, it’s also an excellent option for hiking, camping, and traveling.
Freeze-dried fruit is a terrific way to add robust fruit flavor (and frequently color) to a recipe without adding extra liquid because of its concentrated flavor. It can also be used whole, crumbled, or powdered as a garnish to enhance the texture and appearance of a meal because it is so crispy.
Freeze-dried fruit must be pulverized into a fine powder in a blender or food processor for various applications. (Be sure to remove the desiccant packet before emptying the contents of the package into your blender.) Break it up with your hands or smash it with a frying pan or rolling pin for a coarser crumble.
How to Cook with Freeze-Dried Fruit?
Because freeze-dried fruit is such a shelf-stable meal, it may be used in various ways, including baking and adding to desserts and savory recipes. Freeze-dried fruit is used in baking just like fresh fruit, albeit more water is required to plump up the berries, banana chunks, or pineapple pieces. Waffles, pancakes, and baked goods like muffins, cookies, and short pieces of bread can all benefit from freeze-dried fruit. Add powdered freeze-dried fruit to frostings, fillings, whipped cream, or roll chocolate truffles in the powder for a pop of fruit flavor.
Freeze-dried fruit is the most commonly used topping for cereal, yogurt, confections, panna cotta, chocolate mousse, and other meals. Freeze-dried fruit is also an excellent addition to trail mix and granola. There is no requirement for moisture when using it as a topper or in a mix. Freeze-dried fruit’s light, crisp texture makes it ideal for many applications. Freeze-dried fruit works well in milkshakes and smoothies; include it with the other ingredients before churning.
What does Freeze-Dried Fruit Taste Like?
Imagine the ripest piece of fruit becoming airy and crisp rather than luscious and velvety. That’s very much how freeze-dried fruit tastes. During peak season, it’s the dried version of beloved fruits, including strawberries, raspberries, apples, bananas, dragon fruits, kiwi, blues, pineapple, and other sweet fruits. Freeze-drying maintains taste far better than dehydrating, resulting in brighter and more vibrant flavors. Freeze-dried fruit has a rugged, dry, and crispy feel that provides a delightful crunch between the teeth.
Where to Buy Freeze Dried Fruit?
Many grocery stores, natural food stores, food co-ops, baking supplies, and online retailers, notably health-oriented markets and specialty shops like Whole Foods and Sprouts, carry freeze-dried fruit. Trader Joe’s also has an extensive range of freeze-dried fruit snacks. Freeze-dried fruit is frequently seen with raisins and other dehydrated fruits in the same section. Order from one of the many online vendors for a broader range, including exotic fruits like dragon, star, and lychee.
How to Store Freeze Dried Fruit?
Keep freeze-dried fruit wrapped in its original packing in a cold, dark, dry location, such as your pantry or cupboard. To maintain the fruit’s flavor, color, and texture after it has been opened, store it in an airtight plastic bag or container. It’s recommended to keep it between 33 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Because moisture affects the texture of freeze-dried fruit, it’s critical to store it in an airtight container once opened.
According to some manufacturers, unopened freeze-dried fruit can live up to 30 years if kept in optimum conditions. Freeze-dried foods are a popular choice for emergency and survival kits, and Freeze-dried fruit has a one-year shelf life after opening. If you want to make sure your dried fruit lasts longer in the freezer, consider using a vacuum sealer. These devices remove all of the air from the bags or containers, creating a perfect seal that keeps the dried fruit fresh for longer.
Freeze Dry Fruit
Dried fruit is a great nutritious snack to have after a workout, and if you can find it for a reasonable price, I don’t blame you for stocking up. Still, eating stale dried fruit is unpleasant, and you can freeze-dried fruit, which is fortunate for you.
It is simple to freeze-dried fruit, and it doesn’t need to be flash-frozen to minimize clumping, and no additional special preparation is required.
- Make sure the dried fruit is calm and not sticky before freezing.
- Make individual serving sizes with your dry fruit.
- After that, separate each serving into a tiny freezer bag.
- Squeeze out any remaining air before sealing each freezer bag.
- To protect the bags from getting misplaced in the freezer, label and date them before placing them together in one large freezer bag.
- Place the large bag in the freezer after sealing it.
Place sliced fruit in a tray and place in a low-heat vacuum chamber. Allow sublimation to take place after that. After the water crystals on the fruit have entirely dried, check the fruit to ensure that all moisture has been removed. Place in an airtight container or ziplock bag and keep in the refrigerator.
Except for some fiber, vitamin C, and specific phytonutrients, protective substances present in plants, freeze-dried fruit preserves many of its nutrients. 6 Freeze-dried fruit has the same nutritional value as of fresh, in-season, or plain frozen fruit because it contains no added sugars or other additives. However, because freeze-dried fruit lacks water, it is easy to overeat because the fluid in fruit is filling and satisfying. Freeze-dried fruit includes nutrients that have a variety of health benefits, making it an excellent supplement to a well-balanced diet. According to studies, freeze-dried fruits can retain up to 90% of their original nutritious value. Even a modest serving pack can provide a substantial nutritional boost.