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Published Sep. 13, 2021

Do you lead an active lifestyle on-the-go but want to make sure you’re getting the proper nutrients throughout the day? The best dried fruits might be just what you’re in need of. Dried fruits are either oven-dried or sun-dried to remove the moisture from the fresh fruits. While this process concentrates the calories and sugar content, it also provides most of the vitamins and minerals from fresh fruit in a more compact bite. 

Dried fruit is a healthier alternative to other sugary snacks, especially when there is no added sugar or sweeteners. Next time you’re running out of the house and don’t have time to eat an apple, grab a snack pack of dried apple, which contains the same amount of nutrients. 

How We Picked the Best Dried Fruit

Methodology 

When making the best dried food selections, we considered about 12 to 15 brands and products so we could have a better understanding of what makes certain dried fruit companies stand out amongst a sea of dried fruit. As dried fruit tends to naturally have a high sugar content due to the process of drying fruit, which removes most of the water from fresh fruit, and concentrates a majority of the sugar and calories, we wanted to make sure there was no added sugar in our choices. Ingredients were high on our list since we wanted our choices to be healthy and delicious. Products that listed only fruit definitely peaked our interest. Additionally, we wanted to be sure most of the fruits’ nutrients were retained in the dried fruit. 

Flavor offerings were also important. Of course, there is the dried fruit we all know but we wanted to give the option of flavor blends as well. If a company uses sustainable farming practices and is eco-friendly, we were more likely to include them on the list.

Best Overall Dried Fruit: Mavuno Harvest Organic Dried Fruit

Great Flavor Variety

Mavuno Harvest offers USDA Organic and all-natural dried fruit with no added sugar and no preservatives. Mavuno Harvest

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Why It Made The Cut: Mavuno Harvest comes in six delicious tropical varieties and the only ingredient is the fruit listed on the label.

Specs: 

  • Fruits: Banana, Coconut, Jackfruit, Mango, Papaya, Pineapple 
  • Bag Weight: 2 ounces pack of 3 or 6 or 16 ounce  pack of 1
  • Ingredients: 100 percent fruit
Pros:Cons:
  • Contains high fiber
  • Pricey 
  • No fat, sodium, or cholesterol 
  • Direct Trade certified
  • When the only ingredient on the bag is the fruit listed on the label and there’s no added fruit or preservatives, you can trust you’re in good hands. Mavuno Harvest Organic Dried Fruit offers six tropical varieties such as banana, coconut, jackfruit, mango, papaya, and pineapple. All of the fruit is USDA organic certified and when dried, is gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, and has zero fat (except for the dried coconut), cholesterol, or sodium. Plus, this delicious dried fruit is filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

    What’s perhaps most interesting about Mavuno Harvest is that they are Direct Trade Certified, meaning the company builds and maintains relationships with the farmers who grow the fruits used in this product. Direct trading removes the expensive steps between the farmer and consumer and benefits both the farmers (they get paid more) and the consumers (who are getting better products). This also limits food waste, secures existing jobs, and even creates new ones. Mavuno Harvest works with small scaling farming cooperatives mainly based in sub-Saharan Africa. 

    Best Value Dried Fruit: Sunny Fruit Organic Dried Fruit Assortment

    Sun-Dried Perfection

    Sunny Fruit Organic Dried Fruit is sun-dried to maintain just the right amount of sweetness. SUNNY FRUIT

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    Why It Made The Cut: This brand uses fruit grown in Izmir, Turkey, which, thanks to the soils and unique climate, are delicious and nutrient-rich. 

    Specs: 

    • Fruits: Apricot, Cherries, Fig, Mulberries, Plum, Mango, Prunes, Banana, Dates
    • Bag Weight: 1.76 ounces (Pack of 15) – Variety Pack
    • Ingredients: 100 Percent Fruit and Water
    Pros:Cons:
  • Organic and vegan
  • Limited variety pack flavors 
  • Sold in portion control packs
  • No added sulfurs, sugars or syrups
  • Sunny Fruit offers many delicious dried fruit varieties, all organic and vegan. On the ingredient list, you will find the fruit and water listed, and that’s it. Grown in fertile soil in Turkey, the fruit is rich with nutrients such as fiber, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants. After the harvest, Sunny Fruit uses the sun-drying method to maintain the ideal sweetness. The company also packages the dried fruit at the source for quality control and freshness. Additionally, the fruits are non-GMO and have no added sugars, sulfurs, preservatives, or syrups.

    As dried fruit typically has a high calorie and sugar count, Sunny Fruit sells dried fruit in portion control packs. This also makes it easier to take on-the-go. If you want to try multiple flavors, you can purchase the variety pack so you don’t have to choose just one. If you’re not into Sunny Fruit’s dried fruits, they offer your money back, no questions asked. 

    Best Dried Fruit for Gifting: Oh Nuts! Dried Fruit Basket

    Sweet Gift

    This array of organic dried fruit on a wooden tray is a perfect gift for any holiday or event. Oh! Nuts

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    Why It Made The Cut: This dried fruit basket is a great gift. It’s a healthier alternative to candy or chocolate, the variety provides an option for everyone, and the tray becomes a basket to be used over and over again.      

    Specs: 

    • Fruits: Apple Rings, Dates, Pears, Apricots, Peaches, Plums, Prunes
    • Bag Size: Fruit Tray/Basket
    • Tray Turns into a Basket
    Pros:Cons:
  • No added sugar
  • Pricey 
  • Organic and vegan
  • Lots of dried fruit variety 
  • Oh Nuts! Dried Fruit Basket includes a variety of dried fruits such as apple rings and California peaches, which contain the same amount of nutrients as the fresh fruits in a condensed version, dates, which are filled with polyphenols, fiber-rich pears, Turkish apricots that are loaded with Vitamin A and iron, and vitamin-packed plums and prunes. Not only is there an option for everyone but they will be getting their fill of vitamins and nutrients too. All of the dried fruit is organic, dairy-free and vegan with no added sugar or additives. This gift basket is a much healthier alternative to candy or chocolate baskets, and just as flavorful. 

    In addition to the delicious and nutritious variety of dried fruits, they are delivered on a beautiful wooden tray that folds from a countertop trivet into a standing fruit basket. 

    Best Dried Fruit for Snacking: Crispy Green Freeze Dried Fruit

    Just Like A Chip

    Crispy Green freeze-dried fruit snacks are made with 100-percent pure fruit and have the texture of a crispy chip. Crispy Green

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    Why It Made The Cut: This freeze dried fruit is a healthier and sweeter alternative to chips and crackers. Made from 100 percent fruit, this snack has 95 percent of the nutritional value of fresh fruit. 

    Specs:

    • Fruits: Apple, Banana, Mango, Pear, Pineapple, Strawberry, Tangerine, Cantaloupe 
    • Bag Weight: 0.35-ounce Pack of 12 or 16
    • Ingredients: 100-Percent Fruit
    Pros:Cons:
  • No added sugar or additives
  • Some flavors taste better than others 
  • 60 calories or less per serving
  • Gluten-free
  • Looking for a crunchy treat that’s still healthy? Crispy Green freeze dried fruit is made of 100-percent fruit with no added sugar, sweeteners, or preservatives. It is also certified non-GMO, vegan, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, allergen-free, and kosher. With zero fat and cholesterol and 60 calories or less per serving, freeze dried fruit is the perfect healthy snack. Plus, with 95 percent of the nutritional value of fresh fruit, this freeze-dried snack is essentially like eating fresh fruit, just a bit crunchier. Each fruit is handpicked, washed, cleaned, sliced, and freeze-dried during production. 

    What is freeze-dried fruit? It’s a process that involves freezing fruit and placing it into a vacuum under very low pressure. Crispy Green freezes their fruit at -10 ℉ to remove 98 percent of the fruit’s moisture. While freeze dried fruit has a lighter, airier texture, more of the water from the fresh fruit has been removed, so it does have a higher sugar content. 

    Best Healthy Dried Fruit: Peeled Snacks Organic Dried Fruit

    Spicy Variety

    Peeled Snacks Organic Dried Fruit is dried fruit, offered in multiple flavor varieties, made with 100 percent fruit. Peeled Snacks

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    Why It Made The Cut: Peeled Snacks is a sustainable company that creates its dried fruits thoughtfully using “ugly apples” that don’t make it into the grocery store to cut down on food waste. 

    Specs: 

    • Fruits: Mango, Apple, Chili Mango, Paradise Blend (Banana, Mango, Pineapple), Tropical Blend (Mango and Papaya)
    • Bag Weight: 7 ounces 
    • Ingredients: 100 Percent Fruit
    Pros:Cons:
  • USDA Organic
  • Pricey
  • No preservatives or sugar
  • Gently Dried 
  • If you’re looking for some variety other than straight fruit, try Peeled Snacks Organic Dried Fruit’s tropical or paradise blend or chili mango. The ingredients are organic except for the crystallized lime flavoring made from crystallized lime (citric acid, lime oil, lime juice) and maltodextrin, which is used in the tropical blend. Most of the varieties contain fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin C,  so you’re boosting your health while enjoying a tasty snack. Each snack bag has no preservatives, sulfites or sugar, is gluten-free, vegan, and kosher. 

    During the product process, the fruit is carefully dehydrated to preserve the maximum retention of flavor, vitamins, and minerals. Also, Peeled Snacks encourages fair labor practices and sustainable farming practices so you can feel good eating the mango from Mexico or the pineapple from Sri Lanka. 

    Things to Consider Before Buying Dried Fruits

    Dried Fruit vs. Freeze-Dried Fruit

    The two processes mean essentially the same thing in that the water is being removed from the fruit. Dried fruit is either oven-dried or sun-dried while with freeze-dried fruit, the fruit is frozen and then the temperature is raised, which evaporates the moisture. The texture between the two is different in that dried fruit is slightly tougher and freeze-dried fruit is airier, so it’s a matter of preference. 

    Snack Packs

    Since dried fruit can be highly caloric and have a high sugar content, the portion size is typically about a quarter of a cup. So you don’t have to measure out the right portion every time, snack packs may be the way to go. Lots of companies are offering dried fruit in snack packs to encourage healthy snacking and an easy on-the-go treat.

    Budget 

    If you’re on a budget, you can still enjoy the delicious flavors of dried fruit. Companies that use organic fruit with no added sugar or preservatives will be slightly pricier but might be worth it to know you’re eating high-quality products. No matter what, it’s always a good idea to read the package. 

    FAQs

    Q: What are the benefits of dried fruit?

    Dried fruit is rich with antioxidants, especially polyphenols, which are associated with health benefits such as improved blood flow, digestive health, and reduced risk of many diseases. It also contains nutrients, including vitamin A, C, iron, potassium, and fiber. However, the vitamin C content is significantly reduced when fruit is dried. Additionally, dried fruit has a longer shelf life than fresh fruit so you can enjoy it for longer periods of time. 

    Q: Why is dried fruit bad?

    Fresh fruit contains a high amount of natural sugars. When fruit is dried, all of the water is removed, concentrating all of the sugar and calories in a smaller package. Due to this process, dried fruit is high in sugar and calories, including glucose and fructose. Consuming a lot of fructose can lead to weight gain and various health problems. 

    Q: Which dried fruit is lowest in sugar? 

    Dried fruits that have the lowest sugar content include dried peaches, apricots, apples, plums, and prunes. 

    Final Thoughts

    While nothing can quite replace fresh fruit when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, dried fruit is a close second. The best dried fruit maintains a majority of the nutrients and vitamins that fresh fruit offers so the health benefits remain intact, and are a healthy alternative to sugary snacks. Whether dried apples, apricots, or mango are your jam, your new favorite snack is just a few bites away. 

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