“ Brand: Urban Fruit / Type: Other Fruits „
I was scanning the aisles of my local Sainsburys a few months ago, searching for something vaguely healthy for my boys to snack on after school. Of course, given the choice they would choose fatty, salty crisps or sugary biscuits, but I had other ideas. I found the Urban Fruit range, which were on offer at two packs for £3, so I picked up some cherries and strawberries. These cute 90g packs are resealable and boast of containing 100% fruit with no added nasties. It is clear from the picture on the front of the packaging which fruit you are buying and I felt quite virtuous putting them into my trolley. When the boys returned from school they took one look at the packet and flatly refused to even try them. Defeated, I opened the strawberries and was immediately smacked in the chops with the smell of summer. The aroma was strawberries and sunshine, as if the fruit had been laid out on a sunbed and served chilled sangria. In fact, according to the blurb on the packaging they are gently baked in the oven to intensify the sweet flavour. So, the smell is divine but these dried berries are no lookers. Shrivelled and dark brown, they seemed rather sad but when I popped one into my mouth I was pleasantly surprised. They were chewy, a bit like a wine gum and although they still tasted of strawberry, the sweetness had gone to another level, almost to toffee. I can't abide gummy sweets like Haribo as they taste so artificial but these were like the best gummy sweet ever, sticky and satisfying. And one serving counts as one of your five a day - bonus! I tried the cherries and although they were ok they were quite sour. In my opinion the strawberries definitely taste the best and I now buy them regularly, though I still can't get the kids to try them! These are ideal for popping into your handbag or lunchbox for a guilt-free snack on the go. I recommend them.
===Motivation=== A few weeks ago I wrote a review of Urban Fruit Dried Cherries. As the Urban Fruit products were running a 2 for £3 offer, I also picked up some Urban Fruit 100% Fruit Dried Strawberries. As I mentioned in my cherry review, I'm one of those people that needs to eat regularly to function well. My mum and brother are both hypoglycemic, and although I don't pass out if I wait too long to eat, I do start to feel rather shaky and have difficulty concentrating. My husband and I do a lot of hiking and camping so I'm always looking for good "on the go" food. Dried fruits are one of my favourite types of snacks. Unfortunately, many companies feel the need to add sugar and preservatives to fruit. Processed sugar makes me feel nauseous if I eat it on an empty stomach (so very bad for snack foods). Therefore I was extremely pleased when I came across Urban Fruit in the supermarket. This company makes a range of dried fruits that are 100% fruit. Most of their products (cherries, pineapple and mango) have no added sugar, but the strawberries are sweetened with apple juice and lemon juice. While I normally take the stance that fruit is sweet enough on its own and doesn't need any additional sweeteners, I have a dehydrator and have made unsweetened dried strawberries at home. I'll admit these ones from Urban Fruit will appeal to more people. ===Packaging=== Urban Fruit strawberries come in white and red plastic bags which contain 90g of dried strawberries. The front has the Urban Fruit logo at the top, a drawing of a strawberry wearing a hat, and a prominent declaration of 100% fruit. The only ingredients are strawberries, apple juice and lemon juice. They are gently baked (to dry them). It does warn that the packing house also handles nuts and seeds. These strawberries are vegan friendly. The package also contains the standard nutritional and company contact information. Each bag contains 4 portions of your 5 a day. ===Look, Taste and Smell=== The dried strawberries are cut into pieces about the size of a wine gum. They are brown in colour and look slightly shriveled. They are slightly sticky to the touch and smell distinctly of strawberries. They have a soft, chewy texture. These strawberries taste absolutely divine. They are very sweet (much sweeter than the cherries I previously reviewed), but I can tell by the purity and intensity of the flavours that have used fruit juice, not processed sugar. They do not give the same sugar rush (and crash) as processed sugar; instead it has a similar effect on you body as eating fresh fruit. ===Price and Availability=== Urban Fruit 100% Fruit Dried Strawberries can be found at supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, and Asda. They are listed at £1.82 at Sainsbury's and £1.97 at Tesco. I bought mine while Tesco was running a 2 for £3 offer where you could mix and match across the Urban Fruit range. Considering the amount of fruit you get in each package and the cost of fresh strawberries, these prices are relatively reasonable. I wouldn't buy them all the time, but they make a wonderful treat now and then. ===Conclusion=== I absolutely love these strawberries. They are sweet and flavourful. They would make a fantastic natural snack for kids or adults. Warning: once you try these you will not want to go back to normal processed sweets! I will be posting this review on ciao as well, under the same name.