Even if you've got your smoothie-making routine down to a science, there are times when you just don't feel like getting out the blender (and cleaning it afterward.) So we're always on the lookout for decent premade smoothies—do delicious ones exist? Bolthouse Farms recently unveiled four new flavors to add to their refrigerated drinks lineup, including a Peach Parfait Blended Smoothie, a Strawberry Parfait Blended Smoothie, as well as an Orange + Carrot juice and a blended protein drink flavored with Arabica coffee. We cracked open all the bottles at Serious Eats Headquarters and gave them a try.
At first glance, we didn't realize that the 'parfait' smoothies were meant to evoke a complete parfait—not just layers of fruit and yogurt, but also the granola you might sprinkle in to your morning dish. If you're not expecting the taste of oats (and whole grain brown rice flour) in each sip, it might come as a surprise.
The crowd favorite among Bolthouse Farms' new flavors was the Peach Parfait. It had a bold and appealing peachy scent, and it managed to retain the tangy flavor of yogurt (a rarity in the often overly sweetened field of breakfast smoothies.) That oaty grain flavor is just as strong as the ripe peach and yogurt, though, so be prepared. But if you like to toss some granola into the blender when you make your morning smoothie, you'll be right at home with this stuff.
We had a mixed reaction to the Orange + Carrot juice. Though we would have preferred fresher-tasting OJ (this stuff is from concentrate and has a slightly sour flavor) the carrot made for a pretty easy-drinking vegetable juice for beginners. This wouldn't win our orange juice taste test, but the basic combination is a good one.
We aren't likely to seek out the other two flavors again. The Strawberry Parfait had the nice tart yogurt and oaty flavor again, but the strawberry side reminded us more of strawberry fruit leather than fresh berries. The coffee-flavored protein drink didn't work for us at all—the coffee flavor of this thick stuff felt burnt and stale.
Have you found a good bottled smoothie to drink on the go? We're definitely interested in recommendations.