A Multipurpose Fruit Product For Healthy Eaters & Busy Cooks
CAPSULE REPORT: e4B will find a market, because it’s a well-priced fruit purée that is first to market in the intersection of two hot categories: healthy-tasty and grab-and-go. Some of the flavors are better articulated: In addition to the marque name—Blueberry Raspberry, Kiwi, Mango, Pear Caramel and Strawberry Banana—each flavor contains apple, apple juice concentrate, banana and “other” ingredient—e.g. passion fruit juice in the Kiwi and cherry and aronia juices in Strawberry Banana. Those expecting the pure fruit flavor of the item blasted in large type on the package will find something less discernable. Yet, it is all fruit, if not the “100% purée” advertised, all-natural, no sugar added, and a easy way for the fruit-bereft among us to get more into our daily diets. After we opened them, the fruit purées stayed fresh for weeks in the refrigerator.
E4B fruit purées command attention. The idea of all-natural, no-sugar-added fruit-purees that can be drunk like smoothies, mixed with yogurt or enjoyed in any number of recipes certainly is appealing. The Japanese-made, squeezable, resealable packages, originally designed for NASA so that astronauts could sip from the screw-top nozzles, look nifty, and they are pliant to fit anywhere they need to in a crowded refrigerator (this will become meaningful when you try to fit in all 10 in an online order). The screw-top packaging maximizes the shelf life of the product: Although the company promises freshness for 2 weeks after opening, we have had packages open for 4 months and they taste as good as when first opened.
But, some things don’t add up, the first of which is how e4b is marketed as 100% fruit purée, when the ingredients include fruit juice concentrates. Aside from the 100% puree question is the 100% fruit variety. The bold lettering on the package leads you to believe that you are getting 100% kiwi, 100% blueberry and raspberry or whatever the flavor. However, read the smaller print underneath the big lettering, and find that an apple and a banana are blended in, and possibly some other fruits. And, back to the beginning, read the fine print on the back of the package and find that some of those fruits are in a concentrate form that does not entitle the manufacturer to call the product “100% fruit purée.”
To eliminate the confusion, here are how the purées are crafted:
Name Of Product
Apple, Apple Juice
Passion Fruit Juice
Natural Flavor, Vanilla
Aronia Juice, Cherry Juice Concentrate, Natural
Recipes and disclosures aside, these products fill a vacuum in the marketplace. e4b stands for “easy for busy”*: It’s easy for busy people who want fruit purée to get 11 ounces of it for $3.00. The purée can be drunk, spooned and enjoyed in a variety of ways, but the net result is more fruit in one’s diet, the easy-for-busy-people way. (See our serving suggestions in the next section.)
*The corporate entity is Easy4Busy, LLC.
The flavor profile is more European than American—not surprising as the products are made in Belgium and the company’s owners are of European descent. Americans like things sweeter, Europeans are accustomed to less sugar. We at THE NIBBLE have long railed against how mass marketers have sugared-up this country’s palates, by adding excessive amounts of sweetener into everything from cookies to tomato sauce to bread. We applaud the lack of added sugar in e4B (apple juice does provide sweetness), but it will appeal to a more sophisticated palate.
Which flavors anyone prefers will depend, as always, on individual preferences.
Our palate liked Kiwi and Mango the best.
We found the Blueberry Raspberry to be dark and unarticulated—we wouldn’t have been able to tell you that it was more than “mixed fruit.”
We are so accustomed to eating other strawberry-banana products that this one, mixed with apple, cherry and aronia (chokeberry), lacked clarity in a manner similar to Blueberry Raspberry. Had we been asked, we would have recommended sticking with single-note fruit flavors.
We couldn’t understand why this “100% fruit purée” line chose to add caramel and vanilla flavor to the pear, unless it was needed to cover up a lack of natural sweetness in the fruit. Pear is such a lovely flavor by itself, one of our favorite sorbet flavors. The caramel and vanilla flavoring gave it a sweeter dessert profile, so we’re sure Pear Caramel will have its fans.
Regardless of the flavor, a 4-ounce serving of any flavor is 70 calories...and as nobody really eats a half-cup of anything, 140 calories is still a healthy snack.
The purées are
an easy, convenient way to to creatively mix fruit into more and different kinds of dishes, to eat more fruit and to have a healthy snack on the go. For busy people, the purées have a variety of easy applications.
Fruit Drinks. The purées have the consistency of a thick applesauce, but can be quaffed directly from the container with a straw. Or, you can “go astronaut,” squeeze the bag and sip from the nozzle.
Smoothies. Blend with yogurt for protein and enjoy as a smoothie.
Cocktails. You don’t need to peel and blend fruits to make a kiwi-rita or a mango-tini.
Yogurt Topping. For plain or flavored yogurts, the purees add variation and decor. The nozzle provides a creative outlet for the artistically inclined, in shades of gold, orange, green bright red and dark red.
Dessert Sauces. The purées can be thinned with fruit juice (add a bit of a complementary liqueur) and used as a dessert sauce. Depending on how sweet the dessert is, a tad of extra sugar may be in order.