ViBERi organic freeze dried blackcurrants are full of vitality and vitamins to provide you with good health. Let the intense flavours burst in your mouth or add them to your cereals, smoothies or salads. Also great for baking or garnish to give added flavour and colour. No preservatives or additives, just the pure goodness of 100% organic blackcurrants.
• No added sugar
• Gluten free
• No GMO used
• No preservatives
I love berries and all the health benefits that come from eating them so I was super excited to receive this product to review. Blackcurrants are a great source of vitamin C and are particularly helpful at this time of year for helping keep the winter ills and chills at bay.
The packaging is clean and simple, stating the key points about this product. If you're new to freeze dried food then you might think the berries look a little odd. They are very dry and brittle but are easily reconstituted in water or can be left dry and crushed into a powder. My partner enjoyed them this way, sprinkling them over his cereal in the mornings, but you could also add them to smoothies, yoghurt, pancakes or salad dressings for an extra vitamin C boost.
I find blackcurrants to be quite tart so I chose to add them to my morning porridge - they're a great way to add extra flavour and nutrition to otherwise bland foods. They were plump and delicious and turned my porridge a delightful shade of purple. I topped my blackcurrant porridge with a drizzle of maple syrup, a sprinkle of sliced almonds and a dash of milk for a wholesome and satisfying breakfast.
A serving size is 10g and there are 4 servings per packet. I'm also really excited by the fact that this is an organic product as berries are one of the worst foods for absorbing chemicals from pesticides. I will definitely be buying this product on a regular basis.
Ever since I was a little girl I have always been quite partial to blackcurrants especially if they were given to me in the form of Ribena juice. Blackcurrants are one of my favourite fruits after apricots and mandarins. While looking on the KIWIreviews site I saw there was a wide range of products from the Viberi range and thought I would try my luck to review some. Thankfully I was lucky enough to be chosen.
When I pulled the packet out of the review box I noticed that the packaging was easy to read and showed some nice, plump blackcurrants on the front. The packet also mentions that blackcurrants are rich in Vitamin C, perfect for helping fight off those winter illnesses. I was very impressed to see that the blackcurrants are organic and grown in New Zealand. The back of the packet has a brief description about the Viberi organic blackcurrants and their benefits. I liked the idea also of the company including a recipe for a Purple Smoothie to try.
I opened the packet and instantly smelt the contents, it was not a sweet smell like I was expecting and I wrinkled my nose. I poured some of the blackcurrants out onto my hand and had a look at them. They were a nice, vibrant colour, but the downside was that my hands got covered from the colour of them. I tried one straight from the packet and let it stay in my mouth for a while before chewing it. The taste was nice and not too overpowering, but I probably wouldn't eat too many straight like that. I then decided to try the Purple Smoothie recipe on the back of the packet. The flavour combination was amazing! I could have that to drink everyday it was so delicious.
I like the fact that the packet has a convenient resealable top as I still have about half a packet left to use. I have decided the next step with these freeze dried blackcurrants is to use them in some baking, so I can see if they are better to use than the frozen berries I currently use. I look forward to finding the other varieties in the Viberi range to try them and experiment with them.
With making changes to my eating habits recently I have been taking more notice of what I am eating and the benefits it has for my body and my well-being. Berries have long been a fantastic source of vitamin C and antioxidants and when I saw these Viberi berries up for review I decided to request some to try. I was happy to open my box and see them sitting there and straight away was trying to decide how to use them.
I have to admit, I have never had anything freeze dried before and wasn't quite sure what to expect. I wasn't sure whether they could be eaten as is but thankfully on the back of the packet were some suggestions for using them, including sprinkling them on salads and cereal mixes. This told me they were quite fine to eat just as is. I opened the packet and decided to try one just as they were to see what they were like. The texture was quite crispy, but it certainly did stick to the teeth just a little. As my teeth popped the berry there was the most amazing blackcurrant taste through my mouth. I haven't eaten many blackcurrants in my life, but I am very familiar with a popular blackcurrant drink and memories of drinking this as a child came flooding back to me.
Being breakfast time I decided to try the blackcurrants in my morning oats. I made up my oats as per the instructions (using a plain packet of quick oats mixed with milk) and after they were cooked I put in a small handful of the berries. Being a small packet I didn't want to use many, but my small handful ended up being quite enough. I mixed most of them through the oats, hoping they would soften up in the liquid, and then put a few on top. The blackcurrants that were mixed into the oats did soak in some of the liquid and start to soften, and this resulted in them becoming quite chewy. They added an extra dimension of flavour to my oats that was quite pleasant although the way they stuck to my teeth wasn't quite as enjoyable.
The cost of the bag at $7 seemed a little pricey to me, but when I realised that you don't need many to be able to enjoy them, and when considering the price of fresh berries they aren't too bad. They are on par if not a little less than buying frozen berries too. The best thing with these freeze dried berries is that they will be available all year around, and not just when it is berry season. They are certainly a very versatile product that could be used in a variety of ways and I look forward to finding other ways to use the rest of my bag (if only I can stop eating them as they are!).
I love berries and their various tastes, but I don't eat them often because I can't stand the seeds but I've had some freeze dried before and this made them slightly more edible for me, so I thought these would be perfect to try, plus I have two very berry mad kids in the house. I tried these just as they were, straight out the back, and boy were they tart, I did get a couple of seeds stuck in my teeth which wasn't too annoying but did put me off having more for another day. A good thing about this product is that there is nothing but blackcurrants in this so you know you're getting only the good stuff.
My two berry lovers swooped on this packet as soon as I gave them the go ahead and delighted over the tartness of these berries and would have happily finished off the entire packet if I had let them. I decided, last minute, to pop some of these on top of our ice cream. We let them sit for a little while and they plumped up nicely again and the kids were delighted with the streaks of colour the berries left behind. I am still not a fan of eat in the berries, hydrated or not but my daughters loved these, so as a handy snack for them, I would get this when the fresh berries aren't in season.
I was given these berries to review and started off my experimentation by just trying one on it's own, in it's freeze dried form. Immediately I was hit with the recognisable taste of blackcurrants - not something I eat much, except in jam form, but the underlying flavour was the same. The taste was pleasant, but also quite tart and overpowering on it's own. I enjoyed the crunchy texture of the berry, but didn't overly enjoy the feeling of seeds in my teeth afterwards, but decided that was something I could deal with.
I immediately started to think of different possibilities for the berries and gave some to hubby to put in his regular morning smoothie one day. He's not a huge berry fan, but obliged with a few and we discovered these mixed in well as he blended and gave a little colour to the drink and a small amount of flavour. Of course using more would enhance all this but as it wasn't really his thing I didn't push it. It seemed a great way to add some essential vitamin C plus and some superfood goodness to his morning routine though.
I'm more of a porridge girl, and I discovered these were a nice addition to my morning breakfast too - they rehydrated and warmed through as I cooked the porridge and added a nice burst of fruit. And again they are a good way to getting some goodness into my body at the start of the day, and a few a day can make a packet last a long time. On this note, I was pleased to see the packet does reseal easily and so far the berries are as crisp as the day I first opened them.
I've also tried these in pikelets - dropping a few in as I cooked the pikelets worked really well as I could control the quantities, plus leave some plain pikelets for fussy Miss 8! Again, they rehydrated nicely as the pikelets cooked and they aren't nearly so tart in your mouth this way - in fact they give a beautiful fruity burst. I loved that I could also crush the berry for a great little sprinkle of blackcurrant dust on my cream!
I love that this is a NZ product and I am impressed with the price too. A 40g bag is a reasonable quantity of berries as they are very light weight per berry. Their uses are unlimited and the health benefits huge. They are not something I would normally think of buying, but I'd consider buying another bag when these ones are used up. These are far easier to keep on hand and use over a long period of time than frozen or fresh berries, so are worth considering if you want to add blackcurrants to your diet, jazz up some plain foods a bit, or impress visitors with a nice dusting of crushed berries over a baking or desserts.
On their own, these berries are not very interesting. They are dry and quite crunchy but the dryness masks the flavour. However, they come into their own when they are mixed with other ingredients.
I put a few into a blender with soy milk, a little sugar, and some vanilla essence, and whisked it for a short time so that some of the fruit was crushed and other pieces stayed in larger lumps. The resulting mixture was quite tasty, reminiscent of the smoothie I had made with the blackcurrant powder in the same range but with recognisable "chunks" of blackcurrant included.
I had noticed that once hydrated the berries became interesting in their own right - they acquired their flavour and colour once more and generally bounced back to life. So the next way I tried them was floating in a glass of fruit juice as a garnish. They bobbed around for a bit and certainly plumped up, but they did not do much of anything else and when I came to drink the juice I found I was encountering discrete pieces of blackcurrant which was not particularly safe as I nearly swallowed one whole!
The way I did enjoy them was simply stirred into some plain acidophilus yoghurt and left there to reconstitute themselves (which takes only minutes). Because you don't expect natural yoghurt to be sweet, the slight sourness of the berries does not matter. It just makes the yoghurt more interesting. I tried this with a very hot lamb curry and it toned down the spices to the point where I could eat the meal. I like my curry hot, but this one would have been off the scale without the yogurt-and-blackcurrant addition!
Of course, you can crush the berries completely if you want a powder. The powder is also sold separately, but in this product the berries are packed whole so you can make the choice whether to use them intact (as with my yoghurt), partially crushed (as with my soy milk shake), or completely pulverised and added as a garnish (which I did for a cake topping in another review.) This gives the product more versatility although there is no discernible difference in flavour.
In terms of food value, blackcurrants are one of the highest sources of natural vitamin C, an essential dietary addition especially in winter months when the sun tends to be less in evidence. I like the idea of a vitamin being packaged in food form rather than as a synthetic tablet: in fact, I am all for eating well while knowing that the food I am enjoying is also good for me.
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