Thursday, March 13, 2014

Naked Blue Machine - Aldi: Cherry Hill, NJ

Naked Blue Machine - Aldi: Cherry Hill, NJ
I've had a few of these Naked juice smoothies in the past, they are something I occasionally grab when I feel like I don't have enough fruit in my diet, but I've never taken the time to write a review. While shopping at Aldi I saw this Blue Machine flavor, which I've never had before, so I thought, why not review it? (This isn't a new flavor by any means, I just tend to buy the same strawberry-banana flavor over and over.)
The packaging for these Naked juice smoothies is pretty similar to Bolthouse Farms and other fruit-based beverages. The juice is packaged in clear plastic bottle, so you can see what you'll be drinking, and there is a shrink-wrapped plastic label with a logo and some information. The only difference between this drink and Bolthouse, which I have reviewed before, is that this label has some pretty nifty features.
Not only is it easy on the eyes, with it's alluring fruit images and textures, but it's pretty informative. Along with the basic nutritional information that is standard for all food items, there is a chart that (roughly) estimates how many fruits are actually in your bottle of juice. I'm pretty sure the fruit estimate isn't entirely accurate. I mean, how do you know there are exactly 57 blueberries in this thing? Whether this juice correctly calculated each and every berry or not, it's still pretty neat to think about all the fruits that went into making this smoothie. To sum it up, I like the packaging.

Now, this stuff is marketed as a smoothie, but I think the consistency is rather thin. Don't get me wrong, there is no way you can mistake this for plain fruit juice, but it's thinner than the fruit smoothies I have made in the past. Maybe the company adds more water to their fruit puree, or they might strain out excess pulp, either way, pouring this into a cup was as easy and pouring a glass of orange juice.
Once poured in front of my photo lamps, I could smell a sweet fruity aroma. The scent has some nice blueberry notes, but there was a heavy dose of apple in there as well as a hint of banana. The scent is really appealing. (Especially after all of the processed sweets I have been eating/photographing lately.) As someone who photographs and eats a lot of junk food, this juice smells sweet, authentic, and really refreshing.

I took a sip and the blue juice coated the side of my glass with the thin layer of purple-toned pulp. The pulp may show up on the edge of my glass, but I didn't feel it as I drank the smoothie.
This flavor may be called "Blue Machine," but it's pretty apple-heavy. Looking at the side of the container, that makes sense. According to the label, there are 6 and 3/4 apples in this plastic bottle. (Apple is ALWAYS a filler fruit. If this was made with straight up blueberries we'd need hundreds just to fill the bottle.) Once the initial apple flavor dissipates, there is a pretty earthy blueberry aftertaste. As for the banana, I can't taste much of it at all, but you can tell it's in there. Bananas add a velvety texture to fruit juice that no other fruit can recreate. (I freaking love bananas. You might say I'm bananas about them. BOOOO)
This juice was really yummy, but it'll take me two or three days to drink all of it. I find the  blueberry flavoring gets a bit cloying, and after a small glass or two it makes me want to reach for a bottle of water. If there were a few more tart blackberries in there to offset the sweetness of the other fruits, this would rival my go-to strawberry banana smoothie. I would definitely buy this flavor again, it would just last me a while.
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