Food Gal: Rind It Up

Did you know that rinds are gold — containing more fiber and a higher concentration of nutrients than the flesh of the fruits themselves?

Matt Weiss knows, as did his great-grandmother who had her own health food store in Michigan back in the 1920s that sold bulk natural foods. Following in her footsteps, Weiss has come up with RIND, dried fruit with skins intact.

The fruit snack is just that — simply fruit, with no added sugar, sulfites or additives. RIND comes in three varieties: California Kiwi, Tropical Blend, and Orchard Blend. I had a chance to try samples recently.

The California Kiwi includes its fuzzy brown skin, which normally gets sliced off the fruit when eaten fresh. When dried, the skin becomes the same texture of the fruit, making it barely perceptible. When dried, the kiwi turn the same brown hue as the skin. Like all the RIND fruits, the kiwi is quite chewy and leathery in texture. It starts out slightly tart and ends with a puckery punch on the finish. The seeds are pleasantly crunchy.

The Tropical Blend is a combination of pineapple, more kiwi, and bittersweet orange. The orange is a delight, with the rind giving it that wonderful bitterness like an expensive marmalade.

The Orchard Blend is a mix of persimmon, apple and peach. I especially liked the persimmon, which tasted a little like drier hoshigaki, the Japanese specialty of air-dried persimmons that are hand-massaged, giving them an almost sweet potato-like flavor.

Each 1.5-ounce bag has 120 to 140 calories, depending upon the variety. There’s zero fat, cholesterol and sodium. The Tropical has 35 percent of the recommended daily requirement of Vitamin C while the Kiwi has 15 percent of the recommended daily requirement of potassium.

These make for a great pick-me-up pre- or post- workout or as an anytime snack on the go.

A pack of three 1.5-ounce bags is $17.99 on the RIND site or on Amazon.