The snack food industry is constantly changing. As consumers are becoming more health-conscious, many innovative healthy snack ideas have increased in popularity. Freeze-dried fruits and other food products are among the hot trends on the market. These products are also used by the food service industry. They can be used in various recipes or assist a restaurant’s marketing efforts if they are used in the food plating process. In this article, we’ll share more information on the topic of freeze-dried fruits. This blog post is part of our series on freeze-drying. Make sure to read more about wholesale freeze-dried products or freeze-dried candy.
Most Popular Freeze-Dried Fruits
In the past decade, various fresh produce trends have gained popularity. Some of them include consuming organic products and eating superfoods that are rich in nutrients like berries. With the increased popularity of freeze-dried fruits, some wholesale produce distributors have started offering them as well. Let’s dive a little deeper into the most popular fruits that can be freeze-dried.
- Freeze-dried raspberries. They can be mixed with milk or yogurt and become a delicious breakfast or dessert.
- Freeze-dried strawberries. Like raspberries, they can be freeze-dried and rehydrated when mixed with cereal. Furthermore, they can be consumed without rehydrating them. The crunchy texture makes them a wonderful and healthy snack.
- Freeze-dried blueberries. As they are rich in fiber, they can be a great addition to a granola bar.
- Freeze-dried apples. The easiest way to dehydrate them is by slicing. Apples can be a wonderful trail snack in their dehydrated state.
- Freeze-dried bananas. Freeze-dried banana chips can be a healthy and nutritious alternative to regular potato chips.
- Freeze-dried pineapples. The high fiber and sugar content of pineapples makes them a sweet and refreshing snack in their freeze-dried form.
- Freeze-dried peaches. Prepare the peaches by cutting them into slices. The result will be a healthy alternative to peach rings.
- Freeze-dried cherries. Their natural sweetness makes them a great ingredient for baked goods or a healthy whole-grain breakfast like an oat bowl.
- Freeze-dried oranges. Orange slices are among the popular fruits that can be freeze-dried. They can be used as snacks or as decoration.
- Freeze-dried lemons. Their sour taste makes these citrus fruits a great addition to cocktails or infused water. Furthermore, powder from freeze-drying lemon juice can be used as a flavor enhancer.
The freeze-drying method of dehydration is suitable for many different foods and beverages. However, there are some that can’t be dehydrated with this process. Before starting the freeze-drying process, make sure to check online whether the items you plan to dehydrate are suitable.
Key takeaway: Most fruits can be freeze-dried. Their texture becomes crunchy and they can be consumed without rehydrating them as a snack. Dehydrated food products can also be used as ingredients in various recipes. There are fruits like avocado that cannot be freeze-dried properly.
Fruits to Avoid Freeze-Drying
Fruits that have a high fat content cannot be properly freeze-dried. That is because they have a low water content. Olives are another example in this category. You can still put them in a freeze-dryer but the result won’t be a crunchy texture like with other fruits.
There are some nuts that can be freeze-dried. However, the ones that are rich in fat might still go rancid in a few months.
Jams and Jellies
When fruits are preserved by adding additional sugar, that means they cannot be properly freeze-dried as they will become sticky instead of crunchy.
Recipes with Freeze-Dried Fruits
Online eCommerce stores that specialize in freeze-dried products often sell ready-to-eat desserts made with freeze-dried fruits. Here are some recipes that you can try at home or add to the regular or seasonal menu of your establishment.
- Muesli bars. They are a great alternative to commercially sold granola bars. The ingredients you’ll need include oats, butter, various seeds, and your favorite freeze-dried fruits.
- Oatmeal. Mixing milk, oats, maple syrup, nuts, seeds, and your preferred fruits will give you the necessary nutrients and fiber for a great start to the day.
- Smoothie. People who enjoy preparing a lot of smoothies might do so with freeze-dried fruits. The prolonged shelf life means you can buy them in large quantities and don’t have to worry about their freshness.
- Tarts. Pies and tarts can be made with freeze-dried fruits as well. You can even decorate the desserts on top with the crunchy dehydrated fruits.
- Vitamin-rich salads. A good example of such a recipe can be a salad with cabbage, apples, and freeze-dried berries. The combination of sweet and tangy flavors will be a great addition to a restaurant’s menu.
Other Things You Can Freeze-Dry
Freeze dryers can be used for a wide variety of products.
- Beverages. You can freeze-dry coffee or tea. The result is a powder-like texture that can be mixed with hot water and enjoyed.
- Meals. Meal prepping is much easier if you own a freeze dryer. You can dehydrate a variety of cooked dishes like scrambled eggs or meat.
- Soups. Freeze-drying soup or broth is also an option.
- Dairy products. You can freeze-dry milk or cheese. Fully dehydrated milk becomes like a powder that can be used as a coffee creamer or for various recipes. Keep in mind that some plant-based milk varieties might have high fat content and not be suitable for freeze-drying.
Frequently Asked Questions about Freeze-Dried Fruits
Many business owners in the restaurant industry benefit from the latest trends. Whether you wish to prepare freeze-dried fruits at home or to incorporate them into your food service business, you might have a lot of questions. Below we have answered some of the common ones.
Are Freeze-Dried Fruits Healthy?
Yes. Freeze-dried fruits are as healthy as fresh ones. The process preserves more than 90% of the nutritional content of fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, the crunchy texture of freeze-dried food makes it an excellent choice for a healthy snack. That’s why it’s one of the popular food trends.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Freeze-Drying Fruits VS Dehydrating Them?
When it comes to freeze-dried vs dehydrated products, both methods have their pros and cons.
- Pros of freeze-drying. It increases the shelf life substantially. If stored properly, freeze-dried fruits can be consumed even after 10 years. Another advantage of this method is that the products retain most of their original nutritional value.
- Cons of freeze-drying. Home freeze-drying machines can be expensive and bulky. In addition, not all products can be preserved by freeze-drying.
- Pros of dehydrating. It’s more convenient compared to freeze-drying. You don’t need special equipment to dehydrate fruits. You can do it in an oven or an air fryer.
- Cons of dehydrating. The process gives products a shelf life of about 1 year. Even though that’s a significant increase compared to fresh fruits, it still is much less compared to freeze-dried ones.
Can You Freeze-Dry Fruit Juices and Freshes?
Yes. Freeze-dried drinks are popular as well. That includes juices and other beverages. When freeze-dried, their texture becomes similar to crumbs or powder. They can be easily rehydrated by mixing them with water. A lot of manufacturers purchase freeze-dried bulk juice. It can be used for the production of hard seltzers or fruit-flavored liquor. In addition, freeze dryers have other applications in the beverage industry. They can be used to dehydrate coffee or tea. That’s how instant coffee is usually made.