This article was first published on Thrive Life’s website.
Freeze-dried foods are becoming ever more abundantly available, and droves of people are experiencing the unique benefits. Here at Ruvi, we took the science of freeze-drying to a new level, and it resulted in the creation of a brand-new, freeze-dried food that brings four whole servings of fruits and vegetables to your smoothie, salad, cereal, yogurt, or simply on its own mixed with water as a refreshing drink. Those four servings include the whole fruit, including the skin, so that you can get all of the yummy fiber and enjoy the entire nutrient profile.
Freeze-drying is a process rooted in 15th-century Latin America when farmers in the Andes would store squashed, low-land tubers at high altitudes and leave them to freeze at night, resulting in a food called chuño. Chuño had a shelf life long past its seasonal availability, and it could be stored for use year-round.
The first industrial processes for freeze-drying food began in 1890 when Richard Altmann devised a method to freeze-dry, but this went virtually unnoticed until the 1930s. A significant turning point came about for freeze-drying when World War II came about, as plasma and penicillin were needed to treat wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Freeze-drying preserved plasma, penicillin, and other easily-spoiled medical necessities so that they could be used as needed during the war.
Postwar, freeze-drying food products got a major boost from the space race. NASA was determined to find a method of preserving food that would ensure they could provide a complete nutrient profile to astronauts. Now, our farms and food sources are moving farther and farther away from us and the mass transportation of food is required to sustain our society. More people are turning to freeze-dried foods as they can deliver the same nutrient content as fresh foods, and are shelf-stable.
Freeze Dried Fruits & Vegetables
It’s especially important for items like fruits and vegetables to be freeze-dried as they are able to retain their entire nutrient profile through the freeze-drying process. Freeze drying whole produce ensures that all of the available fiber in the fruits and vegetables, and in their skin, is also preserved. There are actually a lot of reasons that freeze-drying produce makes sense! Here are a handful:
- Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are allowed to ripen naturally instead of artificially. Artificially-ripened fruits and vegetables are often ripened using chemicals, resulting in lower nutrient levels in the produce, sometimes by up to 80%!
- When fruits and vegetables are picked early and then artificially ripened, they never develop as significant a nutrient profile. Nutrients are only developed through a natural ripening process.
- Once picked, fruits and vegetables go into survival mode, breaking down their remaining nutrients for their own survival. Every hour after the produce has been picked, it loses nutritional value — and flavor. Considering that produce travels an average of 2,000 miles from farm to store, their nutritional value is considerably lower than it was at harvest.
- Freeze-dried produce has no need for a refrigerator or freezer. Because there is no water or oxygen touching the product, it is good to hang out on your shelf for months, or your car, or your backpack, or anywhere you want to keep it. And with freeze-drying, you have no more need to throw out moldy, wilty produce.
- Freeze-dried produce, because it is freeze-dried at the height of its ripeness, tastes absolutely delicious. Many liken freeze-dried berries to candy.
- Freeze drying makes it possible to get a whole lot of produce in a fairly small serving. A single packet of Ruvi contains 4 servings of fruits and vegetables, including all of the beneficial fiber in the produce.
- The importance of phytonutrients directly from fruits and vegetables cannot be overstated. Fruits and veggies develop phytonutrients to keep themselves sustained and include powerful antioxidants and immune boosters. Fortunately, they’ are just as good for us as they are for the plants, and consuming them directly from the plant — not from the lab, as you do with supplements — is the best way to ensure you get maximum absorption and utilization.
- Freeze drying fruits and vegetables naturally preserves them. Because of this, you don’t have any harmful chemical additives as you do with other methods of preserving foods. Instead, freeze-drying uses low heat to gently remove the water and nothing else.
This is why in creating Ruvi, we chose to freeze-dry instead of simply freeze or dehydrate. Freeze drying is convenient, has an extraordinary shelf life, allows for maximum nutrient potency, and gives you a product that tastes great. The high heat involved in other dehydration processes destroys many of the produce’s nutrients, and regularly-frozen fruit or vegetables simply aren’t easy to grab-and-go on their own. (In smoothies, yes…but you can’t really grab a handful for frozen berries to nosh on when you’re heading to the gym.)
Sometimes people try to compare Ruvi to juice, but the truth is that juice is such a completely different product that it’s like comparing oranges to potatoes. Not even close, right?! Juice manufacturers pull all of the beneficial fiber out of the juice and concentrates the sugar. (That’s why juices taste so sweet.) At Ruvi, we leave everything in, including all of the fiber and nutrients from the fruits and vegetables and their skins.
Ruvi is a deliciously refreshing, flavorful way to get all of the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables without the hassle of preparation or the frustration of things sitting too long in your fridge and going bad. We hope you’ll join the freeze-drying revolution and pick up your first sample pack of Ruvi today!
*I am an independent consultant for Thrive Life and their product RUVI.