Seattle Times food pros taste-test a variety of prepackaged smoothies, judging taste, texture and nutrition.
IF ALL IS GOING well on days you want a smoothie, you might blend one at home before heading out, your nutrient-rich homemade snack tucked safely into a cooler, ready when you are done working out.
Then there are all the other days, when the most realistic option is to grab one at the store.
In honor of those days, I gathered professional food folks at The Seattle Times — food writer Bethany Jean Clement, assistant features editor Paige Collins and features producer Shirley Qiu — to taste-test several premade smoothies. As per usual, their standards were high. The ratings below are an average of taste, texture and nutrition, based on a scale of 1 to 5.
Best: Odwalla Original Superfood
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Overall rating: 4
Odwalla Original Superfood has been around as long as I can remember smoothies showing up at grocery stores. It was the top vote-getter for taste and texture. Bethany liked its “floral bouquet,” while Shirley said it was her go-to in college. The ingredients include apple juice; peach and mango purees from concentrate; and barley grass, kale, wheat grass and Jerusalem artichoke. Paige noted, “It’s green, and it doesn’t taste green.”
Worst: Naked Protein Zone
Overall rating: 1.3
Protein powder always adds risk in smoothie world, particularly for texture. The Naked version didn’t succeed on this front, with all judges giving it low scores for its chalky, thick texture. For taste, Shirley said it reminded her of the drinkable yogurt Yakult. The flavor didn’t bother Paige, though Bethany called it, “chalky and sweet and awful.” Fruit juice is mixed with soy and whey protein, but soy lecithin pulled this lower on the nutritional scale.
Naked Green Machine
Naked’s Green Machine came in second for green smoothies. The judges noted…