6 Fun Ways to Transform Freeze-Dried Fruit That Aren't Smoothies
Here’s how to take a basic bag of your favorite freeze-dried fruit and turn it into some delicious treats.
Chances are you’ve heard of freeze-dried fruit before; you might even have a bag or two of it in your freezer right now. Not only is freeze-dried fruit a great alternative to fresh fruit — which tends to spoil a lot faster —it's also pretty affordable too.
Though a variety of freeze-dried fruits are perfect for making homemade smoothies and juices, a handful of it can also go a really long way when it comes to adding a lovely burst of fruity flavor and a vibrant hint of color to a plethora of yummy snacks and treats. From mangos and peaches to raspberries and blueberries, here’s how to get the most out of your next bag of freeze-dried fruit.
Mango-Coconut Bark: Chop 1 pound white chocolate into 1/2-inch pieces. Microwave all but 1 cup of the chocolate in intervals until melted, then add the rest of the chocolate; stir until melted. Pour onto a foil-lined baking sheet; spread until 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup each chopped cashews, macadamia nuts, shredded coconut and chopped freeze-dried mango; press gently into the chocolate. Let harden completely, about 1 hour. Break into pieces.
Chocolate-Raspberry Cookies: Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat 1 1/4 sticks softened butter and 1 cup light brown sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed, 4 minutes. Beat in 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture on low speed. Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup each white chocolate chips and crushed freeze-dried raspberries. Roll into 1 1/2-inch balls; arrange on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake at 375˚ F until set, 12 to 15 minutes.
Peaches and Cream Popcorn: Pulse 1/2 cup freeze-dried peaches and 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar in a mini food processor until powdery. Drizzle 2 tablespoons melted butter over 8 cups hot popcorn and sprinkle with the peach sugar; toss. Add 1/2 cup each white chocolate chips and chopped freeze-dried peaches and toss.
Blueberry Overnight Oats: Mix 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, 2/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup plain yogurt, 2 teaspoons brown sugar and a pinch each of salt and cinnamon in a small jar. Add 1/4 cup crushed freeze-dried blueberries and 1/2 chopped banana. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with fresh or frozen berries.
Apple Cereal Treats: Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in one 10-ounce bag mini marshmallows until melted, then stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla; remove from the heat. Stir in 7 cups cinnamon cereal squares and 1 1/2 cups crushed freeze-dried apples. Press into an oiled foil-lined 9-inch baking dish. Let cool. Cut into squares.
Strawberry Whipped Cream: Pulse 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries and 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar in a food processor until powdery. Beat 1 cup cold heavy cream with the strawberry sugar until medium peaks form.
Whipped Cream Photograph by Ralph Smith
Bark, Popcorn, Cereal Treat and Oats Photographs by Travis Huggett
Cookie Photograph by Ryan Dausch