My friends at Crunchy N Yummy freeze-dried fruit send me a fabulous sampling of their complete product line. Now I know what you are thinking – freeze dried fruit – what am I supposed to do with that? Well, that’s the beauty of this product – you can eat it straight from the bag for a sweet and healthy snack while on the go (or at home) or you can add it to a range of recipes to add a sweet kick to some of your favorite meals or desserts.
There are five fruit varieties in the line-up: Banana, Mango, Papaya, Pineapple, and Strawberry. All are Kosher Parve and USDA Organic Certified. What you see is what you get – fresh fruit picked, freeze-dried, and packaged. The first thing you will notice when you crack open a bag is that the fruit is actually identifiable. It looks like it should – real fruit.
First up was a personal favorite of mine, the strawberry variety. These are absolutely out of this world. Once you pop one in your mouth you immediately get that tangy yet sweet bite that is the perfect strawberry. The crunchiness of all the fruit makes for an interesting contradiction in terms. Your brain says this is crunchy but your taste buds say this is fruit.
Next in the sampling was the mango. Now mango is one of those fruit that when traditionally dried kind of loses its unique flavor. Not the case with these. You can taste the wonderfully sweetness that is a fresh picked mango. If it wasn’t freeze dried it would be a wonderfully juicy slice of mango – but these are no mess, no fuss, and ready to go.
Moving on in the sampling line-up I moved on to the papaya. Again, perfectly sweet and most importantly natural tasting. These were mild in flavor, just as the perfect papaya should be. The Pineapple was a real surprise. Sweet yet still with that slight acidic kick that is the perfect slice of pineapple. What’s nice about the freeze drying process that they use it that it allows for the true flavor of the fruit to shine through.
Last in the line-up was the banana. These were such a surprise. I was expecting the tradition hard, dried banana slices you all know – but instead, I was pleasantly surprises with light, almost air puffed rounds. These packed so much flavor it was unreal and the crunchiness really pushed them over the top.
The fantastic taste aside, the versatility of these fruit is what sets them apart. I made a delicious hot gluten-free oatmeal and added the strawberry and mango. They fruit quickly softened and took my plain oat meal to the next level. Having some ice cream or sorbet for dessert? Break up some of your favorite fruit and sprinkle it on top – you’ll never go back to candy sprinkles.
You all know by know that I am all about portable gluten-free snacks as I am always on the go. Well my friends, I have a new item that is now a regular staple in my travel pack. Check out their Web site for more information and to find out where you can purchase your very own.
Oh, and next month Crunchy N Yummy have graciously offered to send one of my readers one of everything they make. Very nice indeed! So stay tuned for more details as March approaches.