Freeze-dried (FD) fruit makes an excellent addition to your everyday pantry, particularly when you need to pack school lunches, work lunches, or need a quick, delicious snack. It can be used to make quick, simple breakfasts, fun and interesting lunches, and even great for emergency kit snacks.
Freeze-Dried Fruit Advantages
Before I get too excited in singing the praises of freeze-dried fruit of all descriptions, I will speak to some doubts I’ve heard about it over the years. A lot of people don’t like to purchase freeze-fried fruit because of the expense, and that’s understandable. Given the scope and purpose of food storage, I know there are some who think it’s an unnecessary luxury when there are so many buckets of wheat and beans and rice one must purchase. And what about the 3/4 cup of seemingly useless fruit powder to be found at the bottom of every can? Isn’t that a waste?
These are valid concerns, but are not a good reason to pass on making it a part of your food storage. It’s important to bear in mind fruit is prized not for its caloric value, but for its other nutrients and the positive affect it has on morale. Keeping this in mind, freeze-dried fruit is very cost efficient indeed.
TIP: Expensive freeze-dried fruit is on my top Food Storage Myths.
Because we are so used to our store-bought foods being full of ingredients we don’t want to eat, such as high fructose corn syrup, it’s easy to assume that freeze-dried fruit is tainted with something! Natural, plain fruit in a shelf-stable can is too good to be true, right?
Nope! If you check the labels on cans of FD fruit, you’ll find this:
These are wholesome goodies you can enjoy without feeling even a tad guilty that you just might be serving your loved ones something that isn’t the best.
Freeze-Dried Fruit in Beverages
When my family finishes up a can of FD fruit, we usually find some powder at the bottom of every can. This is just the result of the dried fruit rubbing against each other, all nice and cozy in the can. Rather than toss this powder, consider it a feature rather than a bug. It can easily be added to smoothies or other drinks. Try strawberry milkshakes for an after-school treat. What kid wouldn’t want to tell you all about their school day when there are milkshakes on offer?
- 2 cups Freeze Dried Strawberry Slices (or 2 cups powder from any FD fruit)
- 1 cup Cold Water
- 3/4 cup Dehydrated Fat-Free Milk
- 1/2 cup Honey
- 24 Ice Cubes
- 2 cups Freeze Dried Strawberry Slices
- 4 cups Dehydrated Fat-Free Milk (2/3 Cup Powder + 4 Cup Water)
- 1/2 cup Honey
- 24 Ice Cubes
1. Reconstitute your chosen fruit first according to the instructions on the can, and drain excess water.
2. Blend together with a hand or electric blender until smooth.
Variations: Try adding freeze dried bananas, blueberries and peaches.
You could also try my super-simple, no-fail recipe for raspberry lemonade using FD raspberries:
- Make lemonade, either from actual lemons or from a powdered mix.
- Add raspberries or raspberry powder to taste.
“Fresh” fruit year -round
One of the hardest parts of the family routine is in late summer when school begins. Mornings can be the most stressful part of the day during a hectic school year, but quick and easy breakfast options can go a long way toward keeping life simple.
- 1 cups Water
- 1/4 cup Apple Juice
- 1 cup Freeze Dried Apple Slices
- 2/3 cup Dehydrated Rolled Oats
- 1 tsp Brown Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 cup Dehydrated Fat-Free Milk
- 1 Tbsp Freeze Dried Raisins (optional)
1. Chop apples into small bite-size pieces.
2. Combine water, apple juice, and apples in saucepan.
3. Bring to a boil over high heat, and stir in rolled oats and cinnamon.
4. Return to boil; Reduce heat to low, and simmer until thick, about 3 minutes.
5. Spoon into serving bowls, and pour milk over servings.
Quick Oat Groats
For an even quicker, more convenient breakfast, consider making this recipe in a crock pot the night before using oat groats. Use 1 cup oat groats and 4 cups water, and keep on the low setting overnight. Treat this hot cereal the same way you would oatmeal and add your favorite mix-ins. Brown sugar and cinnamon, fresh fruit, and, of course, freeze-dried fruit!
READ MORE: What are oat groats?
More about freeze-dried fruit
While you can also use freeze-dried fruit for baking into cobbler, pie, and other baked goods, at my house we like to eat it straight-up plain. Strawberry slices are our favorite, but we have also very much enjoyed peaches and blueberries (careful, they stain!) – the small size of the individual pieces makes them perfect snacking for young kids.
All freeze-dried fruit is a great choice for healthy snacks and meals because they contain nothing but the fruit. No additives, preservatives, or sweeteners of any kind. Next time you’re making up your child’s lunchbox, consider including some freeze-dried bananas in a baggie. Your kid will be the envy of the school cafeteria. Another good choice for snacks and school lunches are freeze-dried yogurt bites. My kids adore these beyond candy, which makes them exceedingly useful as bribes. I hand them out straight from the can or mixed with dry cereal and nuts for a homemade trail mix.
The versatility of freeze-dried fruit means you don’t even need to wait until the SHTF to enjoy the delights of freeze-dried fruit. You can enjoy it right now!