Friday, March 30, 2012
Dole Shakers: Mixed Berry Smoothie
I have to admit that I'm the first one to say I don't especially like smoothies. I like the idea of smoothies, but basically it stops there. Of course, as I also feel the need to say for around the four millionth time, I am currently stuck with soft foods only. And since I need to eat/drink things other than just ice cream (oh, don't I wish that could be a full diet!), I have to keep looking for new things. Hence...
The Dole Shakers in Mixed Berry. The Shakers are cool in that you don't need to pull out a blender. (Very helpful if you don't own a blender to start with.) You simply add the juice of your choice--the label suggests apple, orange, or don't-listen-to-us-use-whatever-the-hell-you-want. All right, I made that last part up; they used the far less witty "or your favorite juice." But let's actually follow the instructions in "real time" and disregard my need to ignore authority (AKA I do not feel like repeating myself).
So, first you open the cap. Then you're supposed to shake or break up the contents before adding the juice. Inside the container you will find frozen yogurt pellets and red chunks that I assume are the fruit...that, or the yogurt has Ebola Zaire. Either way, it's not pretty to look at (not that this matters).
Now that things have been loosened up, in comes the juice. I used orange juice because it was what I had on hand. You are supposed to add enough juice to reach the handy-dandy little window in the cup (helpfully shown below).
Next up is the "vigorous shaking for 30-45 seconds."
LIARS! PANTS NOT ONLY ON FIRE, BUT HIGHLY RADIOACTIVE AND SHOULD BE BURIED DEEP BENEATH THE NEVADA DESERT FOR THE NEXT 75,000 YEARS! YES, CAPS LOCK AND MULTIPLE EXCLAMATION POINTS NECESSARY HERE, SO SHUDDUP!!!!!
All right, maybe that was a little harsh, but I am grumpy and the above instructions were an epic fail. You see, despite the pre-juice-addition break up, it took more than five full minutes of vigorous shaking to get things fully mixed. (Yes, I did time it.) A decent aerobic workout undoubtedly, but hardly what the instructions indicated. To be fair, I am willing to admit that maybe my smoothie had partially defrosted on the way home from the supermarket and thus turned into something a little more solid than intended upon being re-frozen at home. Entirely possible. But the recommended 30 to 45 seconds just didn't begin to cut it, and I suspect they wouldn't have in any case.
Eventually, after the aforementioned workout, it did thicken up/mix properly and was ready to be put into a glass for your viewing pleasure:
Looks kinda like pink faux-marble, doesn't it? Like that stuff they make bathroom countertops in Florida retirement communities out of, only in liquid form. In any case, the smell was pleasant--just like strawberry yogurt. And regardless of my complaints on the mixing time, I do have to give it points for being pretty darn close to the thickness of a real juice shop smoothie. It was a just a little thinner than a professionally made one...but that was a selling point for me, as I prefer a thinner smoothie anyway.
So how did it taste?
Well, I liked the tangy zing of the yogurt. What I wasn't loving was the berries. Maybe OJ wasn't the best choice to use for a mixed berry smoothie, but it was all I had on hand. (And the label did suggest it, so...) The OJ quickly became the strongest flavor and drowned out the berries until they were merely an aftertaste. Still okay, mind -- but not what I was expecting.
Honestly, this smoothie was better than what I was expecting, and I think that with a different juice it could have actually tasted like berries. I may retry it using a cranberry or cranberry juice blend just to test that theory. (If anyone out there has tried that, what did you think?)
Not bad overall. Just expect to do a lot more shaking than the label tells you.
100 calories for the contents alone; 190 calories for the contents plus 6.5 oz of orange juice.
Made on equipment shared with products containing eggs, wheat & soy.