The use of freeze-dried fruits dates back to the 15th century, when the Incas discovered that leaving their fruits to freeze and then dry out at the high altitudes the Andes created a dried fruit that was tasty, nutritious and easy to store for a long time.
The modern freeze-drying process has allowed for a wide range of uses, including ice cream that that has been eaten in space, as well as fresh, flavorful fruits that have been enjoyed at the top of Mount Everest. Clearly, freeze-dried foods have numerous applications that are only limited by your imagination. Moms will be happily surprised when their kids request freeze-dried fruit for their lunchboxes, never knowing how healthy such a sweet tasting food truly is for them. And when added to their morning yogurt, they’ll leave the house full of energy and ready to take on the day.
Besides convenience, freeze-dried fruits retain their natural composition, ensuring that they maintain their inherent vitamins and nutrients, plus, they are low in calories and are great source of fiber and antioxidants. They also have a shelf life of up to 30 years, making them a great addition to any food storage program. Freeze-dried fruits can be rehydrated with warm or cold water, making them easy to prepare and enjoy. Some of the best fruits to freeze-dry are raspberries, bananas, blueberries, apples, mangos, pineapples, blackberries and strawberries, to name just a few.
In addition to food storage, freeze-dried fruits are a great way to add nutritious flavoring to cereal, oatmeal, muffins, pancakes, waffles, cookies, cobblers, smoothies and trail mix. Their versatility and light weight make them a favorite for hikers, mountain climbers, bikers, campers, fishermen, hunters and just about anyone who enjoys a healthy and flavorful boost to their meals and snacks, wherever they choose to enjoy them.
If you have never cooked with freeze-dries fruit, here are two great, easy to prepare recipes that will surprise you with their fresh taste and ease of preparation:
- Berry Smoothie: take one cup of your favorite freeze-dried fruit and put it in a blender. Add one cup of non-fat milk and ½ cup ice. Simply blend until smooth and you’ll end up with the best tasting smoothie you’ve ever enjoyed.
- Strawberries & Cream Milkshake: start with placing two cups of freeze-dried sliced strawberries into a blender. Add four cups of low fat milk and ½ cup of honey. Toss in 24 ice cubes and blend until smooth. You can share this rich tasting, low fat dessert with your family and watch how happy they’ll be with such a delicious treat.
Another added benefit to using freeze-dried fruits in your meals on a regular basis is the low to no waste factor. Studies have shown that Americans waste up to 40% of their food. That totals out to 1.3 billion tons of food per year, costing a combined total of over $680 billion annually, or approximately $1,600 per family. A vast majority of our wasted food is attributed to spoilage. That’s why using freeze-dried fruits that can last up to 30 years is a great way to conserve food and money.
Another way to enjoy freeze-dried fruit is to use it as a way to add a new spin to your old favorites. Experiment on your tried and true recipes—like chocolate chip cookies—by adding a cup of rehydrated blueberries or strawberries and you’ll pleasantly experience a whole new taste sensation. Not only will your meal be healthier and tastier, it will open your eyes to all kinds of future possibilities with other favorite recipes.
There’s one last use for freeze-dried fruits we haven’t mentioned yet. We would be negligent if we didn’t include a mention of how fantastic freeze-dried fruits are in beverages for grown-ups—with or without alcohol. Everything from Mango Margaritas to Strawberry Daiquiris can be made with rehydrated freeze-dried fruits. Everything from a tropical Mai Tai to a strawberry Margarita are easy to whip up year round when you have some freeze-dried fruit in your cupboard. All you’ll need is some Hawaiian music to make a November indoor beach party seem like summer.
As you have just discovered, keeping plenty of your favorite freeze-dried fruit on hand can open the door to fresh and fruity meals and drinks. The more you use freeze-dried fruit, the more ways you’ll discover their true versatility.
Macey’s has teamed with Augason Farms to offer emergency food supplies and long term food storage to our valued customers for good reason. They’ve been in the business since 1972 and guarantee their products for great taste and superior quality. Maintaining a supply of Augason Farms products in your home is ideal not only for your emergency food supply but for everyday use as well. With Macey’s and Augason Farms, preparedness is simple and affordable!