Best Bottled (and Homemade) Smoothies

For an instant breakfast or nutritious snack (for you or your kids), pick up a bottled smoothie from the grocery store. For “Taste Test” in the May 2011 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray, we tasted dozens of products. In addition to the five winners — Bolthouse Farms Berry Boost, Sunkist Naturals Pina Colada Protein Smoothie, Jamba All Natural Smoothies Strawberries Wild, Naked Green Machine, and Lifeway Low-Fat Pomegranate Kefir — the standouts were:

Berry: Jamba Juice Razzamatazz (freezer kit), Lifeway Blueberry, Stonyfield Farms Raspberry, and Sunkist Berry Cherry Bountiful

Banana: Yoplait Strawberry Banana (freezer kit), Bolthouse Farms Strawberry Banana, Edy’s Strawberry Banana (freezer kit), and Stonyfield Farms Strawberry Banana

Tropical: Bolthouse Farms Amazing Mango, Naked Juice Tropical Smoothie with Coconut Water, Trader Joe’s Mango, Odwalla Mango Tango, and Sambazon Amazon OJ

Oddball: Odwalla Red Rhapsody and Green Valley Organics Blueberry-Pomegranate-Acai

Green: Trader Joe’s Very Green, Bolthouse Farms Green Goddess, and Odwalla Superfood

Or, if you’re home and looking for a quick and delicious drink, try one of my favorites:

Make an agua fresca, a refreshing drink from Mexico (more a juice than a smoothie): In the blender, puree fresh fruit (such as any kind of melon, strawberries, or pineapple) with fresh lime juice, a pinch of salt, and–if necessary–sweetener (such as agave nectar). Sometimes, I’ll also add some cold water.

Whiz your way to a novel summer smoothie: Try pureeing fresh peeled ripe peaches with whole milk, a pinch of nutmeg, ice, and a bit of sweetener. For a grown-up twist, add some rum.

Make mango lassi, an Indian smoothie: Blend ripe mangoes with whole milk, ice, sweetener (honey, sugar, or agave nectar), a bit of fresh lime juice, a pinch of salt, and some ground cardamom.

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