Friday, October 17, 2014

Sambazon Smoothies

You may recall me mentioning that for health related reasons I was on a liquids-only diet for several months a few years ago, and it left me pretty much never wanting another smoothie in my life.

So why am I reviewing smoothies today?  Well, sometimes, I get to try products, just because I write this blog.  Sambazon sent me coupons to try their smoothies, and I couldn't just let them go to waste, could I?

I also decided to share the wealth, and brought a large assortment of flavors to a brunch a friend hosted.  It was fun sampling them with all the participants at the brunch, and I gave out coupons for more to anyone who liked them.  My mom came to visit when my fridge was filled with these, so I also had a sampling party with her and Ojan, although their reviews were far from stellar.

Anyway, I tried products from Sambozon's entire smoothie product line, starting from their basic açaí juice, through their protein and energy enhanced ones.  I really did not like most of them, but did find one flavor that I did quite enjoy, and found very, very satisfying after a workout.  I probably wouldn't go buy more now that I've run out of coupons, but it was fun to try something new.  Sambazon also does make açaí powder and sorbet, but I didn't try either of those products.

Açaí

The base of all of Sambazon's products is their açaí, so I started with the basic açaí drinks, available in original, or with Blueberry and Pomegranate added.
The Original.
"Our Original Amazon superfood juice has a delicious cocoa-berry flavor that’s bursting with powerful antioxidants and healthy omegas".

This is basically just sweetened açaí juice, with 1 gram protein, 28 grams sugar.  It was sweet.  A bit fruity.  And just totally not my thing.  Perhaps açaí isn't for everyone?

My mother and Ojan also did not like this.
Açaí with Blueberry + Pomegranate.
"Açaí berries, blueberry and pomegranate combine forces to bring you the ultimate antioxidant juice experience."

Next I moved on to one enhanced with blueberry + pomegranate.

It really just tasted like mixed fruit juice.  I didn't taste açaí distinctly, just lots of assorted fruit.  Apple and grape juice are listed in the ingredients before the promised blueberry or pomegranate, and I they really just made it taste like generic fruit juice.

So, not as bad as the original, but, no real reason to drink this.

Protein

Next I moved on to the protein enhanced drinks, still with an açaí base, but mixed with soy milk for protein, available in chocolate and vanilla.

Chocolate + Almond + Coconut Milk.
"Delicious blend of açaí berries (over 90 in there!) with chocolate, coconut milk and a hint of almond".

I really didn't like this one.  It was kinda gritty (from the almonds?) and the coconut flavor was too strong.  I like coconut, so it wasn't that, but for some reason the coconut cream was just cloying.  It did have 8 grams of protein from the soy milk, but also 22 grams of sugar, so I couldn't really force myself to drink it based on health reasons alone.  It was also very thick, which should be good, like a milkshake, but just seemed strange in this form.  It also just had a slight funk to it, that I can't really explain.

Chocolate, coconuts, and almonds sound like they should combine together well (Hello, Mounds Bar!), but here it just didn't work.  My least favorite of anything I tried.
Açaí + Vanilla.
"Delicious blend of açaí berries (over 100 in there!) with vanilla soymilk and hemp protein".

I'm starting to disagree with their whole "delicious blend" marketing.  I did not like this.  It was crazy sweet, 22 grams sugar to the 8 grams protein provided by the soymilk.  Maybe I don't like açaí?  I dunno.  It was thick and a strange texture, too sweet, and I didn't taste any vanilla.  I was hoping for something resembling a vanilla milkshake and this was sadly not it.

Ojan and my mother thought this was the best flavor they tried.  Ojan still didn't want more than two sips, but my mother took at least three (sips that is).

Energy

Next up, enhancing things further, is the energy line, with yerba mate added, along with the classic açaí base and soy milk.  Available in the mocha flavor I tried, but also in one with guarana, that I was never able to find, no matter how many different stores I checked.
Mocha Java: Açaí + Chocolate + Fair Trade Coffee.
"A powerful blend of chocolate soy milk, yerba mate, and fair trade coffee".

This was one of my favorites, and everyone at the brunch agreed.  The thick consistency reminded us of a milk shake, and was best when super cold.  The chocolate flavor overpowered the coffee, so I did taste more chocolate than "mocha", but the flavor was good.

This product lives up to its "Energy" name, with 80mg caffeine per bottle, as someone who doesn't drink much regular coffee, it provided me quite the jolt.  The caffeine comes from both the coffee and added yerba mate.  There is also the signature açaí juice in here, but I didn't really taste it as there were enough other ingredients to mask it.

Since I liked this so much at the brunch, I picked up this flavor a few more times.  I found it to work really well for post-workout recovery, helping me ride out that crash post-workout high, providing me some needed protein, sugar, and energy.  Each bottle has 7g protein, which isn't a ton but isn't bad, although it also contains 22g sugar.

I'd continue to get this flavor, and it turned out to be the only one I'd regularly purchase.

Blended Breakfast

You'd think that they couldn't add many more things to basic açaí juice, but, they can.  The final line is "blended breakfast", which mixes in grains and seeds, along with the açaí and soy milk.

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Blended Breakfast: Strawberry + banana + chia + ancient grains.

"A delicious blend made from whole fruit, ancient grains, chia and non-gmo verified soy milk"

This was a strange one.  It reminded me of a liquid peanut butter and jelly, even though there is no peanut butter.  And, it turns out, liquid pb&j isn't actually a good thing.

Thick and gritty from the grains (quinoa and amaranth), and little bits of strawberry and banana, it was one of my least favorites, but the flavor was intriguing, so I did keep going back for more.  But I certainly wouldn't get another.

Supergreens

And finally, supergreens.  Only available in a single flavor.
Kale + Ginger.
Mostly a mix of juices, with apple, grape, ginger, and acerola juice, plus banana and mango purees, and of course, the supergreens: wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa, spirulina, chlorella, and kale.

I didn't like this at all.  But then again, I'm just not in to juicing.  I tried it just to fully experience the entire product line Sambazon has to offer.

The consistency was strange.  The purees made it thick.  It was sweet and bitter at the same time.  The ginger was way too strong.  I absolutely did not like this.  I don't care how good for me it was!

Ojan and my mother both tried this, took a single sip, and got some priceless expressions on their faces.  My mother pondered if it was the last thing left on the planet to drink, if she'd really bring herself drink it.  Do you wonder where I get my dramatic side from?
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