Oct 15, 2009

Review: Gluten-free Fruit Roll-ups and Fruit Shapes

After trying several fruit roll-ups and fruit shapes, my favorite brand is FruitaBu. Since the many varieties of Betty Crocker fruit snacks are now labeled gluten-free, my daughter and I decided to buy some. First, we tried the Create-A-Dino fruit shapes. They are various colors, which don’t correspond to the assorted flavors, so we found that confusing and they ended up stuck in our teeth. Neither of us could figure out how to create the dinosaur without looking at the box.

Next, we tried another Betty Crocker product, Fruit by the Foot. We purchased the strawberry flavor, which tasted artificial. My daughter liked it, but was very surprised when I told her that there are no strawberries in it. In fact, the only fruit in it is pears from concentrate.

Florida’s Natural Au’some Fruit Nuggets are labeled gluten-free and contain 66% real juices and fruit. Well, to put it simply, these nuggets are hard wax pellets, which I quickly threw away. Next up was strawberry fruit roll-ups called Simply Fruit made by General Mills. The box says “more than 90% fruit juice and real fruit”. They look and taste similar to the fruit roll-ups I remember eating as a kid. We liked the taste, but they were too thin. They only flavor is strawberry, and the only store near me that carries them is Target.

Finally, we tried FruitaBu organic smooshed fruit and our search was over. According to their website, all of their products are gluten-free. FruitaBu products have “over 90 percent real fruit and juice”, and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. While boxes of FruitaBu fruit rolls (also called twirls) are $4.99 at Whole Foods, the strawberry variety is sold at Target for only $2.99! There is one serving of organic fruit in each and the taste, texture, and thickness is perfect. While my daughter likes the strawberry variety we purchased, she said the Betty Crocker Fruit by the Foot is her favorite. However, I will not be buying the Betty Crocker fruit snacks again because of the artificial ingredients.

FruitaBu also makes fruit flats, which are made from a few simple ingredients and each small flat has ½ serving of fruit. My favorite flavor is apple and the ingredients are “organic apple puree concentrate, natural apple flavor, and organic lemon juice concentrate”. They are the perfect thing to satisfy a sweet craving. The fruit flats can be purchased individually at Whole Foods for 69 cents. FruitaBu is made by the Stretch Island Fruit Company.

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