[leadin]I owe you, dear readers, an apology. I should have written this review sooner so you could share in the fruit-flavorful joy that I’ve found, but I kept it to myself and for that, I’m sorry.[/leadin]
Whether you’re into vegan/non-GMO/gulten-free/organic foods or not (I don’t happen to care at all) these may be your new favorite snack, especially if your roadtrips require car seats and your trail time includes piggyback rides. Froodles happen to be healthy by pretty much every standard, reasonable or not, of today’s dietary fads. They’re also incredibly delicious.
What’s A Froodle?
Froodles are “Fruit Noodles” (hence the name) and are essentially a natural fruit leather, cut into strips and packaged for your convenience.
Made from pureed fruit, fruit juice, and a few spices, they’re one of the simplest snack foods to come out since people started picking fruit from trees. It’s seriously only just a little more complicated than that.
Froodles come in four flavors at the moment—Awesomely Apricot, Cherry Bliss, Peach Passion, and Wild Raspberry. I’ve had the chance over the last few months to sample (read: consume in mass quantities) all four flavors and must say that, between the Peach and Apricot, I can’t pick a favorite.
I’ve shared with a few people, mostly out of guilt, and they’ve come back with similar feelings about Peach, Apricot, and Raspberry. Cherry tends to be the least loved from what I’ve seen and, while it’s still good, it just doesn’t compare to the other three in terms of popularity.
They come in 1-ounce and 3-ounce bags—the 3-ounce option being equivalent to half a cup of fresh fruit. While I wouldn’t suggest anyone replace their fresh produce intake with Froodles on a daily basis, it’s good to keep in mind that, nutrient-wise, these are packed with good energy with none of the junk added in that you’d find in other snacks.
Each serving (1-ounce) has 60-80 calories, depending on the flavor, and carries with it all the nutrients of a serving of fresh fruit.
They packaging is perfect for travel—single servings come in small square packs and the 3-ounce bags are resealable via the built-in Ziplock strip that should, by now, come on pretty much every food container in the world.
The strips themselves hold up to a backpack beating pretty well, too. Without added preservatives, the strips already stick together in full-package clumps, which bugs almost everybody over the age of 10. Kids, however, have been equating this trait to string cheese and enjoying the process. Since they’re already clumped though, there’s no worry about cramming them into tight spaces or shoving them in your pocket.
As they heat up (hopefully from the sunshine on your pack rather than your leg-sweaty pocket) they become a bit easier to separate and eat individually. I’ve yet to care about this much since the 1-ounce bags tend to be inhaled as I drop onto some rock along the trail rather than being daintily dissected with my mess kit utensils.
The other issue I’ve found is that the packages, while recyclable, do need to be packed out. Don’t drop them in the fire and please, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t ditch them along the trail. We shouldn’t have to include that, but it still comes up sometimes so there it is.
As an adult (sort of), I like the fact that these taste like real fruit, pack well, and have the nutrients I need to fuel my adventures. Kids don’t care about most of that stuff, but they seem to, based solely on flavor and the cute animals on the packages, love these things. I’ve caught kids going through my climbing bag, my wife’s purse, and looking under my Jeep seats, frantically searching for a stray pack. While I would discourage parents from providing most addictive substances to minors, Froodles are a solid exception.
Individual packages of Froodles are available at several retail locations across the country—primarily specialty foods stores including Natural Grocers—but are also available in larger quantities on Amazon [www.amazon.com/froodles]. Individual packs retail for $2 for a 1-ounce pack and $4 for 3-ounce, with cheaper pricing for Amazon orders.
One more thing… actually two. For those of us who go out for multiple days/weeks at a time, Froodles are a handy way to get essential nutrients without turning to freeze-dried or foraging. They travel well, taste great, and give a great boost along the trail.
We all love multi-use products so, when it comes time part ways with your previously consumed Froodles, the 3-ounce bags come in handy once again. The bag’s wide mouth and strong Ziplock closure makes it a perfect waste bag for packing out from remote areas or down from big wall climbs. You could say it does “double doody.”