Freeze Dried Fruit Snacks

We have recently tried two types of freeze fried fruit snacks.  The first type was made by Googly Fruit.  We tried the apple and blueberry flavour, and the banana and raspberry flavour.  In both cases, you have freeze-dried pieces of one fruit (apple or banana) mixed with whole freeze-dried berries (raspberry or blueberry).  The Allergy Brothers were not impressed.  The freeze-dried blueberries were a little yucky looking.  Also, the fruit starts rehydrating in your mouth as you eat it, which is an unusual sensation.  I thought they were okay.  I was hoping to be able to keep a couple of packets in the cupboard for the days when I am disorganised and have run out of fresh fruit or salad to put in their packed lunches, but the freeze-dried fruit just came back home minus one or two tested pieces.

Sour_Cherry_bar

I also tested a Freya’s Sour Cherry crunchy fruit bar.  This product is more processed so it is in the form of a bar (it is broken into chunks in the photo; it’s like a chocolate bar), and has more ingredients (Sour cherries (30%), fruit extract (carob) and fruit juice concentrate (apple and grape), Trehalose, Maltodextrin, Gelling agent:Pectins).  I think this product looked nicer than the slighty weird looking whole freeze-dried berries.  It still rehydrated a bit in your mouth, but not as much as the Googly Fruits products.  You could actually crunch into it as you ate it.

The Allergy Brothers quite like eating fruit (well, at least the ones that they aren’t allergic to) so I don’t think these products are that helpful for us.  However, I do think they have their uses.  If you needed to pack an easy to store, non messy fruit snack (perhaps for a long journey), then these might be good for you.

I think the best use for these products are for children and adults who don’t like fruit normally.  People with sensory processing dysfunctions and who are on the autistic spectrum often find the wet textures of fruits unpleasant to eat.  If you have a child who is happy to eat dry, crunchy foods then these freeze-dried fruits might be a way of encouraging them to eat fruit.  They get the fibre and nutrients in the fruit without the distress of eating a food that has a disagreeable, to them, texture.

 

Rhubarb, apple and ginger crumble

A really lovely, warming crumble for Autumn.

 

For the crumble topping:

25g margarine

60g gram flour

30g sugar

30g polenta

For the fruit filling:

400g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm pieces

2 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped

100g caster sugar

30g piece of ginger, peeled

 

To make the crumble topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5.  Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Rub the gram flour into the margarine until it resembles bread crumbs.  Stir in the sugar and polenta.
  3. Spread the mixture out on the baking tray, and put it in the oven.  After 10 minutes, give it a stir and then return to the oven.  Keep an eye on it and remove from the oven when the mixture is golden, but not brown.ToppingFor the fruit filling
  4. Mix together the rhubarb, apples and sugar.  Finely grate the ginger into the fruit and mix well.  Transfer to a dish for the oven.  Add enough water to cover the base of the dish so it doesn’t catch.
  5. The oven should still be at 190C/Gas Mark 5 so put the fruit in the oven for about 15 minutes.  Very carefully, remove from the oven and spoon the crumble topping over the fruit.  Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is nicely browned.

Naturelly Apple & Blackcurrant Jelly Juice

Ingredients: Apple juice from concentrate (60%), Water, Apple puree (8%), Blackcurrant juice from concentrate (2%), Thickener: Gellan Gum, Natural flavouring, Acidity regulator: Malic acid, Antioxidants: Vitamins A, C & E.

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As you can see from the photograph, Naturelly Jelly Juice was a big hit with the Allergy Brothers’ small relative.  Allergy Little also really enjoyed it too.  Actually, this was a bit surprising because the jelly juice has no added sugar or sweeteners, but these two little ones really enjoyed the tart, naturally fruity flavour.  This also made these pouches parent -guilt free snacking.

I liked the fact that they are a cross between jelly and juice.  The pouches are like a refreshing drink, but less prone to squirting everywhere.  Plus, they are a bit more filling than just a drink so perfect for the car journey on the way home from school.

Thanks to Naturelly for providing us with free samples, when all I had emailed them for was a complete ingredients list so I could check for allergens.  We also really enjoyed the free stickers and had a fun game of sticker fight (a bit like paintballing with stickers).  I lost!