We all want to eat a balanced diet, full of fruits and vegetables (a recommended nine servings a day, per USDA guidelines), but how many of us come close to hitting that? Chopping and cooking vegetables takes time that many of us just don't have, and let's be honest: even if we did have time, how on earth are we supposed to cram nine servings into our daily diet? We'd have no room for anything else, least of all the essential food groups of wine and cheese.
That's where smoothies come in handy. It's super easy to scarf down a delicious vegetable or fruit smoothie and knock out a few of your daily servings. Plus, since you're actually eating real fruit and vegetables (not just taking a supplement), you'll get more of the benefits these much needed foods provide. Ah, but you say, if I don't have time to make chop and cook vegetables where am I going to find time to chop and make a smoothie out of them?
Enter the pre-made smoothie. With hundreds of brands and flavors to choose from, rest assured you'll never be wanting for your daily dose of fruit and veggie goodness ever again.
For those in need of a stomach soother
Probiotics have gotten a lot of attention in the past several years, and with good reason. Our bodies are filled with bacteria (gross, I know), both harmful and helpful. When our systems are balanced, our digestive system works efficiently to break down food, convert it into energy, and utilize the nutrients. However, sometimes our bodies get a little out of whack, messing up our digestion process. Antibiotics, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), stomach viruses – all these can wreak havoc on our system. While scientists aren't exactly sure how probiotics work, evidence has been piling up over the past several years indicating that probiotics do contribute to a healthier digestive system.
Five yummy flavors to choose from
Evolve Kefir has a super line of smoothies packed with billions (literally) of friendly bacteria that help to regulate your digestion and soothe tummy woes. Kefir – which means "feel good" in Turkish – is a tart-tasting fermented beverage. It can be made with a variety of bases, including coconut, goat, rice, and cow's milk. While it sounds a trifle gnarly (fermented milk?), it's actually quite tasty, and similar in flavor to sourdough bread or buttermilk. The Evolve product line offers multiple flavors including Strawberry, Blueberry, Vanilla, Peach, Pomegranate, and Goji, Acai & Cranberry. Each one cup serving packs 40% of your daily calcium needs to boot, so there's even more of a reason to slug one down in place of a sugary treat or nutritionally deficient vending machine snack.
For those who need more green in their life
You'll never taste the spinach, promise!
Starbucks has given us so much – how many of us would be as productive without our daily extra hot, no whip, soy mocha latte? – and their Evolution Fresh juice smoothies are just one more reason to love them. Evolution Fresh has multiple options for those who would sooner cut up their credit cards than force down a salad. Their Organic Superfoods Thriving Greens, for example, is packed with all those greens that some people find unpalatable when presented with them in real life: spinach, romaine lettuce, and kale, to name a few. Happily, it also includes coconut milk, mango puree, and banana to round out/cover up the taste of greens. Take a swig and you'd never think you were gulping down some of nature's top contenders for healthiest foods.
For those who love yogurt
Like Gogurt for adults
Dannon fans rejoice, because they've got a tasty berry smoothie just for you. With just 90 calories in a seven ounce serving and seven grams of protein, this grocery store staple is hard to pass up. It may not pack the antioxidant punch some of its more exotic brethren delivers, but it only has seven grams of sugar and is one of the lowest calorie smoothies you'll find, not to mention one of the least expensive. If you're hungry and in a rush (and need to grab something healthy you can eat on the go), this beats a trans-fat and sugar laden pastry or a candy bar hands-down.
Best for those in need of a tropical vacation
Just add a straw hat and sunglasses and it's like you're on vacation
The Bolthouse Farms 1915 organic line has a lot of contenders for delicious smoothies, but their clear standout is their Mango Smoothie. With just six ingredients, the contents read like something you could have made yourself (if you had the time, or the motivation, obviously). Combine fresh mango puree, coconut water, peach puree, and a few juices thrown in, and you've got yourself one hell of a luxurious tropical smoothie. Think of this is as your mini-vacation when you're dying to bust out of your office and head to the beach. While it may not be as relaxing as lapping waves and sea breeze, it's definitely a step up from your average drink.
Great for those looking to boost muscle
Almost as good as lifting weights
Savse has two vegetarian-friendly smoothies that provide 10 grams of protein for just 140 calories. Both the Protein Punch (inspired by a tropical Piña Colada) and Protein Smash (strawberry-coconut flavored) are created through "High Pressure Processing (HPP)" – a non-thermal preservation process that eliminates harmful bacteria, but retains the nutritional benefits of raw, unprocessed fruits and vegetables.
If you're looking to add some additional protein in your diet and want a bit more variety, check out Odwalla's line of protein smoothies. Choose from flavors like Chai Vanilla, Vanilla Al'mondo, and several fruit infused choices. You'll chug down almost 20 grams of muscle boosting protein plus up to 90% of your daily calcium needs (depending on which flavor you choose).
Of course, if you're feeling particularly ambitious, you can always make your own smoothie at home, using your own fruits and veggies (frozen fruits are pre-chopped for extra convenience). But if you're the type of person for whom cooking means ordering Pad Thai from Uber Eats, pre-made smoothies are a gift straight from heaven.