Is Freeze-Dried Actually the Healthiest Kind of Dried Fruit?

While dried apricots and berries are deliciously sweet, most nutrition experts would advise you to stick to the fresh stuff. It’s a well-known fact that dried fruits are highly caloric — plus, they’re so small that they’re way too easy to overeat.

But what if we were to tell you that there is one method of drying fruit that makes the finished product just as yummy as those problematic sun-dried snacks, but much better for you? Well, you’re in luck: freeze-dried fruit, unlike its traditional counterparts, doesn’t contain a whole lot more sugar than a real mango or banana might, since the cryodesiccation process, which involves low-pressure freezing and sublimating, doesn’t drastically increase the sugar level of your snack.

Even more impressively, a recent study from researchers at Newcastle University shows that the health value of cryodesiccated treats goes beyond their relatively low sugar level: freeze-drying was actually proven to induce no significant change in nutrients from fresh fruit. That method of preservation, in other words, retains all the good stuff in its crispy, snackable form, unlike normal, chewy dried fruit, which loses a lot of its nutrients while being processed.

So for those of you who long to snack on dried fruits while staying healthy, treat yourself to some freeze-dried treats, from apple slices to pineapple chunks. Toss them on top of your favorite salad, nibble them at your cubicle, or have a handful for dessert; you won’t feel even a little guilty.

Isofrut Freeze-Dried Fruit, $23 for a 10-pack

Isofrut Berry Mix Dried FruitHomegrown Organic Farms Freeze-Dried Grapes, $7

Homegrown Organic Farms Freeze-Dried GrapesNatierra Nature’s Organic Freeze-Dried Pineapples, $4

Natierra Nature's Organic Freeze-Dried PineapplesCrispy Green Freeze-Dried Apples, $14 for a 12-pack

Crispy Green Crispy Fruit freeze-dried apple snacksTrader Joe’s Freeze-Dried Strawberries$19 for a 3-pack

Trader Joe's Freeze-Dried Strawberries