So wonderfully bright, vibrant and sweet – Fruit really is nature’s candy. It is the first thing that pops into my mind when my sweet tooth is nagging – it can certainly satisfy even the worst craving for sweets! Not only can fruits satisfy your cravings, but they're also nutrient rich. Fresh, frozen or dried, they are totally delicious on its own.
Fruits that will be frozen are generally picked at peak ripeness, when they’re the most nutritious. Once harvested, the fruits are often washed, cut, frozen and packaged within a few hours. They can be treated with ascorbic acid or added sugar to prevent spoiling. So be aware and read the package labeling!
I love homemade frozen bananas as one ingredient ice cream or to snack on frozen berries and grapes.
When made with care, dried fruit is just fresh fruit with the water removed – either by the sun, or low heat over or in hearths and ovens. The drying process leaves just enough moisture for fruits to be mouth-pleasing, yet naturally resist spoiling. Careful creation during the drying process leaves the fiber and nutrition intact and also concentrates its sugar. Most fruits shrink dramatically during the drying process, intensifying flavor and sweetness into a smaller package.
Naturally dried mango, ananas and goji berriy are so far my favorites.
Oh and not to forget coconut chips. Yum!
Avoid Dried Fruit with Added Sugar (Candied Fruit)!
To make some dried fruit even more sweet and appealing, they are coated with added sugar or syrup before being dried. Dried fruit with added sugar are also referred to as “candied” fruit.
Dried Fruit May Also Contain Sulfites, and May be Contaminated With Fungi and Toxins!
Some producers add preservatives called sulfites to their dried fruit.
This makes the dried fruit look more appealing, because it preserves the fruit and prevents discoloration.
This applies mainly to brightly colored fruits, such as apricots and raisins.
Dried fruit that is improperly stored and handled may also be contaminated with fungi, aflatoxins and other toxic compounds.
To avoid dried fruit that contains added sugar and/or sulfites is very important to read the ingredients and nutrition information found on the package. Or just make it yourself at home.