We’ve written about the difference between dehydrated food and freeze-dried foods in a previous article, and we think it’s pretty awesome! Just think about it: Astronauts spend months in outer space, able to consume their nutrients from food that has been freeze-dried and preserved at the molecular level. This literal “space-age” food has the ability to sustain full-grown men and women in an environment outside of this world. And it’s a food technology that is readily available to us, everyday consumers and snackers!
Freeze-drying as a practice actually began several thousand years ago among indigenous people of Peru, way up in the Andes mountains in an area called the Puna. This primitive method of freeze-drying was for their potato crop, which they would freeze in the sub-zero mountain air first, then dry in sunlight. This process allowed the potatoes to dry out quickly so that they could remain unspoiled for an extended period of time. The potatoes remained flavorful and still retained their nutrients. Fast-forward to today, and the freeze-drying process is, of course, modernized and perfected to seal in all the nutrients of fruits and vegetables (and in some cases, meats), so that these can last for years without being depleted of nutrients.
Freeze-dried food is nutrient dense. Since the freeze-drying process requires that food be preserved at the peak of its ripeness, it means that that nutrient content of that food is locked-in. It is literally preserved until we need to eat it. In fact, the nutrients Vitamin A and vitamin C begin to break down in produce once the fruit has been picked and has begun to ripen even more off the vine or branch. Freeze drying actually stops this process of degradation, keeping all those vitamins locked into the produce. This is true of freeze-dried berries, which are a good source of cancer-fighting properties, in particular freeze-dried strawberries and black raspberries.
Freeze-dried foods are a natural source of energy. So yes, while freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients, they are also highly concentrated and contain more calories than fresh produce. For instance a cup of fruit (225 grams) is 100 calories per serving. When you freeze dry that same amount of fruit, then you will need more of the fruit to fill up a 225 gram cupful. More pieces of freeze-dried fruit translates to more calories, which means more energy-giving qualities. Tip: This means that the carbohydrate content is greater, so eating too much freeze-dried food can actually lead to weight gain if you don’t exercise! For this reason, it’s recommended that you don’t replace freeze-dried foods for fresh options during a meal, but rather eat them to supplement your meal.
Regardless of whether you choose to eat freeze-dried food, you should already be consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily meals. For a balanced daily intake, have six servings of vegetables and two of fruit daily, along with the appropriate portions of protein and complex carbohydrates.
Raw Bites Recommends: If you’re on a freeze-dried frenzy, may we suggest indulging in some Fresh As Lychees, a brand from New Zealand that prides itself in the latest innovations in freeze-drying food tech. Lychees are bursting with vitamin C, with a staggering 119% per 100-gram serving. It’s also packed with B vitamins (which help preserve the health of our blood cells and DNA!), potassium, thiamin, niacin, folate, and copper. Dig into your Raw Bites Box, stat, or order yours now!