We all know we're supposed to get a minimum of five daily fruit and veg portions into our (and our children's) diets, but sometimes that's easier said than done. Now that the hotter weather is on the way, the soft fruit in the fruit bowl is often past its prime within a few days and sadly ends up in the bin (or a fruit salad, if I have time). Speaking of having time, other fruit, like pomegranates, pineapples and mangoes, take a fair bit of effort and dexterity to prepare so they often end up getting neglected if I don't have time when the kids want a quick snack. Then there's the fact that the kids may want sweet treats instead of fruit. Well, I have a new solution that ticks all the right boxes : freeze dried fruit. It may sound a bit space age but it's been on the shelves in Japan for over a decade and has finally made it to the UK.
Natur Boutique sent us through a couple of bags of their freeze dried fruit snacks to try and the Madhouse kids thought they were just as appealing as sweets ! The fruit is freeze dried as soon as it's picked to retain its sweetness and nothing at all is added - no preservatives, no sugar and no additives. It is also organic and GM free.
We started off with the organic pineapple and were very impressed to learn that the 20g bag of freeze dried pineapple is made with a whopping 600g of fresh pineapple. The Madhouse kids thought that the texture was a bit strange for the first bite because it's quite dry and spongy, but as soon as the sweet, natural, fresh pineapple taste came through, they were hooked - plus I loved the fact that there was no juice running down their arms as with fresh pineapple ! 100g of product (that's five whole bags) provides 388 calories, 71.6g of sugar (which is all naturally in the fruit), 0g of fat and 10.4g of fibre.
When we moved on to the papaya, the reactions were more mixed. They weren't so keen on the flavour, suggesting that it had a background taste of tea or potato (sweet potato maybe ?) and while they happily nibbled their way through half a bag, they didn't polish the whole lot off and fight over the powder at the bottom as they had with the pineapple ! A 20g bag of freeze dried papaya is made from 380g of fresh papaya and 100g provides 382 calories, 61.9g of sugar (all natural), 0g of fat and 10.8g of fibre.
The resealable foil pouches keep the freshness in and make it easy to take just a few pieces as a snack or to add to muesli or granola. As well as the pineapple and papaya that we tried, the range includes banana and mixed fruit. Hopefully they'll add more as I could see this working really well with peaches, strawberries, raspberries and mango, to name just a few.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £2.99 for 20g
Natur Boutique’s freeze dried fruits are available online at www.naturboutique.co.uk
Disclosure : We received the products in order to write an honest review.