Fruit puree can be tasty and functional in a variety of circumstances when fresh fruits just won't do the trick. For example, BettyCrocker.com notes that you can replace some butter or oil in baked goods with fruit puree to cut calories and fat in the finished product. Although fruit puree is more concentrated than fresh fruit and so may offer more calories per serving, it contains just as many vitamins, minerals and beneficial nutrients.
Video of the Day
Fruits with high water contents naturally have lower calorie counts when pureed. For example, strawberry puree has just 40 calories per 1/4 cup, with 4 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g fiber and 2 g sugar. Mango puree has 35 calories in 1/4 cup and 9 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber and 7 g sugar. Purees that come from dried fruits or fruits that are more nutrient-dense are richer. Avocado puree has 96 calories, 8.5 g fat, 5 g carbohydrates, 1.25 g protein and 4 g fiber per 1/4 cup, and the USDA reports that 1/4 cup of prune puree has 185 calories, 1.5 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates and 2.4 g fiber.
Because they are more concentrated, fruit purees have higher energy density values than fresh fruit. That means they have less fiber and water per serving and higher fat and calorie counts. The lower a food's energy density value, the better that food is for weight loss and healthy weight maintenance. As a comparison example, 1 cup of whole strawberries has just 46 calories and 2.9 g fiber, which is only 6 more calories but about six times the fiber as values in 1/4 cup of puree.
Getting more fruit into your diet, whether you do it by eating fresh fruit or fruit puree, has remarkable health benefits. ChooseMyPlate.gov states that increasing the amount of fruit you eat can potentially cut your risk of a variety of chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, heart attack, high cholesterol, cancer, bone loss and kidney stones. As with fresh fruits, pureed fruits also contain beneficial antioxidants that may boost general immunity and help neutralize free radicals, which normally cause cell damage in the body.
Since fruit puree has more calories per serving than fresh fruit and may also contain added sugar, it's helpful to be vigilant about how much you consume if you're watching your weight. Dr. Melina Jampolis of CNN.com writes that fruits have approximately three times the calorie value of nonstarchy vegetables, so they can contribute to unwanted weight gain more easily. Before you modify your diet in any significant way, get approval from your doctor.