You can find plenty of evidence for the popularity of fruit smoothies at just about every other strip mall in cities and towns all over the USA. Smoothie bars are everywhere, charging between $3 and $4 a pop, on average, for their frosty fruity concoctions.
Making smoothies at home, on the other hand, is a bit of a challenge many of us are not always up to.
Stepping into the breach are new Chiquita Smoothies, launched as a collaborative effort between the familiar Chiquita Banana brand and Old Orchard Brands, the nation’s second largest frozen fruit juice manufacturer.
Making Smoothie Prep Simple
Chiquita aims to make home smoothie preparation easy and affordable, and these blend-and-serve frozen smoothies certainly do that. They cost less than a dollar per 8-ounce serving, and about the hardest part of the prep is getting the frozen concentrate out of the plastic can. (Just run some hot water over the can for a minute or two.)
â€˜Until now, consumers craving a fresh smoothie had to visit a smoothie bar or purchase multiple ingredients to make one at home,â€™ says Judy Chen, group leader of marketing and business development at Chiquita. â€˜Chiquita Frozen Smoothies are made with Chiquita bananas and real fruit to deliver a delicious and refreshing smoothie experience at a great value.â€™
Promoted as All-Natural
Chiquita Frozen Smoothie concentrates contain no artificial sweeteners, colorings or preservatives, and are gluten and dairy free. Each serving contains at least 1/2 cup of fruit and 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C. They’re sold in the grocer’s frozen foods section.
They’re available in four flavors:
â‹… Peach Mango
â‹… Mixed Berry
â‹… Banana Colada
â‹… Strawberry Banana
The Taste Test
Our chefs-and-foodies panel put them to the taste test at The Food Channel and found the blend-and-serve beverages to be quite light and refreshing. They have a mild fruit flavorâ€”not at all heavy like some Smoothie Bar blends can beâ€”and they’re definitely not overly sweet.
The texture is uniformly smooth and icy coldâ€”some of our tasters experienced occasional brain freeze. These smoothies would be ideal for a sweltering summer day. The Peach-Mango and Mixed Berry were our consensus favorite flavors. The Banana-Colada left us wanting to add a shot of rum.
The group thought the addition of some fresh fruit (bananas, berries, peaches) would be an excellent flavor enhancement that would be easy to do.
As the summer starts to heat up, these convenient smoothies are definitely worth getting out the blender for.