Freeze Dried Strawberries Nutrition by Andrea Cespedes
Freeze-dried strawberries are sliced strawberries that have had most of the water removed. This concentrates their flavor and nutrients while extending their shelf life. They may be rehydrated in water, tossed into cereal or baked goods, or eaten on their own as a snack.
Calories and Macronutrients
One oz. of freeze-dried strawberries, about 1 1/4 cups, contains about 90 calories. Of the 24 g of carbohydrates, 12 g are from natural fruit sugar. Freeze-dried strawberries contain no fat and 2 g of protein.
Additional Nutritional Benefits
One oz. provides 316 percent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Recommended Daily Allowance, or RDA of vitamin C, based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet. As noted by the USDA, values may be higher or lower depending on total calorie intake. In addition, an ounce of freeze-dried strawberries contains 4 percent of calcium needs and 8 percent of iron.
Compounds in strawberries called flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors. In the "Journal of Nutrition" issue from September 28, 2009, researchers from Oklahoma State University tested freeze-dried strawberry powder's effects on cholesterol and markers of stress and inflammation. After four weeks, women with metabolic syndrome who consumed 25 g of the freeze-dried strawberries two times a day experienced significant decreases in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol -- the bad kind.
Unlike conventional dehydration methods that allow the texture, flavor and appearance of fruits deteriorate, freeze-drying maintains fruits' appearance and flavor. The method of freeze drying strawberries begins with partially freezing the strawberries at a temperature that breaks down their cellular structure and freezes 25 to 45 percent of water within the fruit. The strawberries are then sliced and frozen completely. They are dehydrated in a vacuum, resulting in a product with a moisture content of approximately 3 percent.
Freeze drying does not affect the nutrition content of strawberries as do other preservation methods like microwave drying notes a study in an issue of "Food Science and Technology International" published in February 2006. Many companies sell bags or cans of freeze dried strawberries. They are also found in packaged cereals listing "with real strawberries."
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.