Simply Nature Freeze Dried Fuji Apples (ALDI)

An opened bag of Simply Nature Freeze Dried Fuji Apples, from Aldi
Almost like healthy candy.

I’ve mentioned before in a previous post that one of the (many) joys of being married is how you inevitably end up trying different things that you typically wouldn’t try. Think about it: she buys something (or vice versa), it sits around for a while, or somehow piques your curiosity, and then you have to give it a shot. In fact, I singlehandedly credit my wife for turning me on to blue cheese, something I hereditarily hated for years; my mom still can't stand it. And while that's the biggest example that jumps out at me, I know there are dozens of other foods that she has turned me on to.

And the latest example of that are Simply Nature Freeze Dried Fuji Apples. 

I have to say that the texture is a little weird to me, but that’s probably because I don’t really eat freeze dried anything. I kind of expected it to almost be like that astronaut food - you know, the ones that come in silver packages and that are basically bricks of hard, crunchy powder that melt in your mouth the moment you put them there - but these do have a little bit of chew once you dig your teeth in. It’s kind of an odd combination that certainly doesn’t endear itself to me, but it also doesn’t gross me out, so we’ll consider the texture a wash. It's kind of like chewing on a sponge, only not quite as unappealing as it sounds.

The flavor is where I’m really the most surprised: these things are sour. I see why my wife likes them so much. I’ve certainly had (regular, fully juiced) Fuji apples before, but I didn’t recall them to be even the least bit tart. These, on the other hand, are almost Granny Smith levels of sour, although thankfully, without the rest of the Granny Smith experience; at least these Fuji’s are a little bit sweeter overall, which helps offset the tanginess somewhat. 

Once the shock of that wore down, I have to say I grew to appreciate the taste. It’s almost like candy levels of sweet and sour, but without any added sugars; once again, it's clear to me why my wife fell in love with them. They are not filling in the least, which is a shame, but it does have one thing most “diet” foods lack: flavor. And lots of it. Say what you will about the taste, one thing you have to say is that they're not boring.

I think my biggest complaint is the price: it’s $2.99 per 1.2 oz. package. Obviously, we’re dealing with fruits that have had all of their liquids removed, so a bag goes a lot farther than 1.2 oz. would initially seem to suggest. But, working against that theory, is the fact that each package equals one serving. So, if you wanted to eat a bag of these every day for a week, it would run you $21. I know freeze dried fruits have a habit of being expensive (and probably moreso now with the rising cost of...uh, everything), and they are good, but that’s a lot of dough for a single-serve snack that wouldn’t even come close to filling you up.

Another random observation: if these are made to be eaten in a single serving, then why are they packaged in a resealable bag? Another random observation: according to the package, these are meant to be served with actual apples, as well as cartoon leaves and a flower. 

Overall: 6.5/10. My wife was obsessed with these for a time, and now I understand why: it’s a great guilt-free snack that packs in a lot of flavor with a minimal amount of calories and “bad stuff” (there are 22g of sugar per single-serve bag, but none are added). One surprise: these are really sour, something I wasn’t expecting considering fully-juiced Fuji’s aren’t noticeably tart, but I grew to appreciate the added hit to the tastebuds. The retail price is a little high ($2.99 per 1.2 oz, single-serve bag), but that’s usually the case with freeze dried fruits. It’s not cheap enough to get all the time for us, but it’s a great, nearly guilt-free alternative to sugary candy; that rare healthy snack that actually packs a lot of flavor. 


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