CAPSULE REPORT: Fruit, freeze-dried into powder, can be sprinkled onto yogurt, cereal, made into smoothies. It couldn’t be more convenient to get your daily quota of antioxidant-high fruit—and it’s a great product to keep at work to perk up lunch stand foods. It has decorative culinary applications, too, for creative cooks looking for an artistic new garnish for their arsenal. These 100% pure berry products (plus banana), containing no additives, healthy and low-calorie, are a dual find.
The Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon has been packing delicious Northwest berries since 1931. The third generation of family members have taken the berries into the 21st century by freeze-drying the fruit, enabling health-conscious consumers to get their berries nutrition year-round. Freeze-drying is a process that removes only the water from the fruit, concentrating the full nutritional value of fresh berries into a small volume that does not require refrigeration. They then turn the fruit at the peak of ripeness into a powder that has the flavor of the original fruit, and can be sprinkled on cereal, yogurt, added to smoothies, and enjoyed in other ways. The powders are all-natural, with no additives. They’re a convenient, easy and tasty way to add nutrition and fruit flavor to snacks and meals: just one tablespoon is the equivalent of 1/3 to 1/2 cup of fresh berries, and is just 20 to 30 calories, depending on the fruit.
Brightly-colored fruits, especially berries, have been widely-touted for their cell-protecting antioxidants* (plus vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber). ORAC, short for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a measure of the total antioxidant score of foods. Nutri-Fruit cites research which suggests that we can benefit most by eating fruits and vegetables that provide 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC units per day.
*Antioxidants are chemical substances that deactivate potentially dangerous free radicals before they can injure a cell’s machinery. Among the most recognized and dedicated antioxidants are vitamins A, C, and E, with C being the most powerful. There are numerous types of antioxidants: Vitamins are just one. Each living cell produces its own antioxidants, but the ability to produce them decreases with age.
There are seven Nutri-Fruit flavors: six berry flavors plus banana.
Bananas have a natural blend of minerals, vitamins, and sugars that are especially noteworthy for their ability to provide an energy boast.
Nutri-Fruit Banana Powder can also be used as a natural sweetening agent.
Bananas are high in potassium, which plays a beneficial role in the regulation of blood pressure, protecting against atherosclerosis, helping muscles contract properly during exercise and improving mental alertness.
Black Raspberry Powder
Black Raspberries (this is the Munger variety) are especially noteworthy for their extremely high ORAC value and are a good source of Vitamin A.
Each serving provides nearly 4,700 ORAC units, a higher ORAC value than all fruit types except chokeberry and bilberry.
Blueberries are especially noteworthy for their very high ORAC value.
Each serving provides nearly 2,400 ORAC units.
The very high levels of condensed tannins (phenolics) in blueberries act as astringents, and have been shown to significantly reduce the ability for certain bacteria to attach to cells.
Cranberries are especially noteworthy for their high ORAC value, and may be effective in promoting urinary tract health.
Each serving provides nearly 1,100 ORAC units.
As with blueberries, cranberries contain a very high level of condensed tannins (phenolics) that have been shown to significantly reduce the ability of certain bacteria to attach to cells.
Marion Blackberry (a.k.a. Marionberry)
Marion Blackberries are especially noteworthy for their high ORAC value, and provide a good source of Vitamin C.
Each serving provides nearly 2,000 ORAC units.
Marion blackberries also are an excellent source of Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside, an anthocyanin compound found at exceptionally high levels in blackberries. Ellagic acid, also present at very high levels, works to block various unwanted hormone reactions and metabolic pathways.
Red raspberries are especially noteworthy for their high ORAC value, and provide a good source of Vitamin C.
Each serving provides nearly 1,300 ORAC units.
Red raspberries also are an excellent source of ellagic acid and quercetin, phenolic compounds.
Strawberries are especially noted for their very high ORAC value. They contain more iron than most berry types.
Each serving provides nearly 2,300 ORAC units.
Strawberries also are an excellent source of phenolic compounds, particularly ellagitannins and hydroxycinnamic acid.
The Nutri-Fruit powders are unsweetened and have a pleasant tartness. They can be sweetened with sugar or a non-caloric sweetener. In most cases, we enjoyed them without adding any sweetener.
Sprinkle one tablespoon onto plain, vanilla or flavored yogurt.
Mix it into plain yogurt to create “flavored yogurt,” which you can enjoy as is, or with the sweetener of your choice. We found it very practical because we like some artisan yogurts that are not sold flavored but only plain by the quart, or else have versions flavored with sugar, but we really don’t want the sugar. When we’re not enjoying them plain, we flavor them with the Nutri Fruit du jour and enjoy a wonderful solution, whereas eating supermarket yogurt flavored with artificial sweetener has always tasted...artificial.
“Fruit Quota” Uses
Get your daily fruit fix:
Use multiple flavors to make a “fruit salad” atop plain or flavored yogurt.
Add to smoothies: 1 tablespoon in a cup of milk or soy milk.
Sprinkle on toast or bagels as a fruity alternative to sugary jams and jellies.
Combine 1 tablespoon with favorite fruit juice; shake or blend well.
Note: to balance natural tartness, sweeten to taste.
The powders can be enjoyed straight; and unlike the sweet-tart sugar powders we ate as children, these are actually good for you.
Culinary And Decorative Uses
The powders retain the beautiful colors of the fruit, and can accent and enrich many dishes on the table.
Sift one or more powder colors onto dessert plates—they look good and taste good (we used a mesh tea ball to shake the powder).
Garnish ice cream and sorbet.
Sift powder onto fruit tarts and puddings, analogous to confectioners sugar on cakes.
Mixologists will enjoy playing around with drink recipes.
We tucked several flavors into our desk at work, to spruce up (and health-o-lize) our yogurt and cottage cheese lunches, and to experiment with when any potentially matching foodstuff passes by. Unrefrigerated, an open can will keep for a month. For less frequent use, keep the freeze-dried powder in the freezer, so moisture doesn’t cause the powder to clump.
NUTRI-FRUIT™ FREEZE-DRIED FRUIT POWDERS
Banana, Black Raspberry, Blueberry, Cranberry, Marion Blackberry, Red Raspberry and Strawberry
Organic Blueberry, Cranberry, Mango, Pomegranate and Raspberry
Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth (OTCO)
Certified Kosher by Kosher Overseers
$19.95 plus shipping
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