Dinners at the Kelly household have been deficient in veggies of late, and working in some more greens has become imperative. There’s been buzz over the Vitamix Turboblend juicer ($378.95 on Amazon), but I can’t shell out that much moolah. Next best: sneak in some ready-made green drinks.
My man Pat and I headed over to our friends Frank and Bernice’s house last week for some comparisons.
“I’m not sure I love you enough to do this testing,” said Frank, opening the bottle of Trader Joe’s Essential Greens ($3.69 for 15.2 ounces). “Smells like an East Coast front lawn — wet, moldy, grassy.”
“Six vegetables and sprouts,” read Bernice from the label. “And lots of celery. This would be hard to pound all at once.”
“If I didn’t know better, I’d think this Trader Joe’s Very Green Juice Blend was artificially sweetened,” said Frank ($2.49 for 15.2 ounces). “A green drink hidden behind a thick, syrupy fruit drink.”
“Higher calories, sugars, and sodium than the last bottle, but more vitamin A, magnesium, and vitamin B,” I said. “You could get the kids to drink this.”
“I like this best of the three green drinks at Trader Joe’s,” said Frank, sipping the Trader Joe’s Green Protein ($2.99 for 15.2 ounces). “It’s the color of swamp, but the smell is neutral.”
Bernice tried the Fresh & Easy Mighty Green Superfoods ($3.49 for 15.2 ounces). “You’d give this to someone who didn’t like a green food drink.”
“Very much a juice, with a whiff of green up in the sinuses,” added Frank.
Its cousin, Fresh & Easy Vital Veggies ($3.49 for 15.2 ounces), didn’t fare as well. “A dirty taste,” grimaced Frank. “Cucumbers and carrot peels.”
“This is the gold standard!” announced Frank, holding the Bolthouse Green Goodness ($4.39 for 32 ounces at Target).
“A veggie drink disguised in fruit-juice form. The kids will love it.” said Bernice.
“Not so much green goodness as juice goodness,” quipped Frank. “With a lot of pineapple.”
“What’s with the ‘naked’?” asked Bernice, looking at the Naked Green Machine ($3.29 for 15 ounces at Target).
“It’s the Naked Truth,” I answered. “Ten green turbo nutrients.”
“Well, it has the best mouth weight — somewhere between watery and syrupy. I could pound this,” said Bernice.
“Tastes like the Bolthouse, though the Bolthouse was pineapple, and this one is apple,” said Frank.
“The smoothie I order from Jamba Juice tastes like this,” said Frank, sipping the Odwalla Original Superfood ($2.99 for 12 ounces at Ralphs).
“I like the peach, but I don’t like the watery finish,” countered Bernice.
Frank grabbed the Archer Farms Fruitful Greens ($2.19 for 15.2 ounces at Target). “Tastes healthy, in a bad way. As if it’s supposed to be good for me and it’s trying to convince me.”
“‘GT’s Enlightened Organic Raw Kombucha’” said Frank, reading the glass bottle ($3.49 for 16 ounces at Sprouts). “What the heck is ‘Kombucha’?”
“‘Red tea mushroom,’ the Japanese call it,” I said.
“‘Reawaken, rethink, retain, reactivate, relive, rebirth, repurpose, rebuild, reclaim, restart,’” said Frank, continuing the label reading.
“And revolting,” said Pat after choking down a sip.
“This says it has two pounds of veggies,” announced Patrick, opening the bottle of Columbia Gorge Organic Pure Pressed Just Greens Vegetable ($4.29 for 16 ounces at Whole Foods). “My stomach stirred just smelling it. I think I’d rather just sit down to a plate of vegetables.”
We finally hit a crowd favorite with the Columbia Gorge Organic VitaSea with Superfoods ($4.29 for 16 ounces at Whole Foods). “It has 3000 mg of spirulina and 1000 mg of chlorella,” said Patrick. “What are those?”
“Freshwater algae,” answered Bernice. “The banana and pear give it a little balance. With a lot of these drinks, a particular fruit stands out alone, but with this one, no one thing stands out.”
Another winner: Evolution Essential Greens ($4.99 for 15.2 ounces at Whole Foods).