Saturday, January 2, 2016

Kale Blazer Naked Juice - Aldi

Kale Blazer Naked Juice - Aldi
Before I start today's review I have to make my first ever foodie-decree. (Imagine the text below being read in a town-crier voice, complete with a ringing bell.)
Oyez! Oyez! On this day, the second of January of 2016, I declare that all trendy, health-based, hipster-y foods shall henceforth be referred to as buzz-foods. God save the foodie!
Even though kale isn't as "hip" as it was a year ago, I still consider it to be one of the biggest buzz-food offenders. Everyone tosses kale into their recipes to make themselves seem hip and relevant, while also making their dish seem fancier and healthier than it really is. Plus, it was just last year that NY and NJ had this news-worthy kale-shortage. For those of you who don't know, winter storms were coming and all the foodie hipsters ran to the grocery stores to stock up on kale for their green juices before the blizzard hit. Really? A giant storm is coming and kale was the grocery staple you went for? If green juice and kale are hibernation-hoarding-worthy, I figured, why not check it out for myself?

I love cooking, and I have quite a few kitchen gadgets at my disposal, but a juicer isn't one of them. So instead of pressing my own, I went for the pre-squeezed one that just so happened to be sold at Aldi that week. (They've been carrying a lot of juices lately, although the flavor variety varies from week to week.) 
This isn't my first time drinking Naked reviewing a Naked juice, but this is the first time I'm drinking one that isn't entirely made of fruit. Since the packaging is consistent from flavor to flavor, expect for the flavor-related imagery and a palette swap, I'm going to skip the overall design and focus on the juice itself for the rest of this review. (I will take a moment to say that I absolutely love the name of this juice. Kale Blazer? That's freaking dad-joke-level adorable.)
As always, there is a handy little breakdown on the side of the package showing us just how many fruits and veggies are supposedly inside this bottle. The order usually goes from most to least, but for something that gets it's name from Kale, it looks like there's more spinach in this than anything else. Unless they are using that giant dinosaur kale that Laura Miller gets, I feel like this is leaning towards the spinach side of things. Looking at this list...I gotta admit I'm a little nervous about drinking this stuff. Sure, this mixture sounds healthy, but I don't know how this is going to taste. All of those juice-happy foodies out there swear you can't taste the green stuff in these smoothies. They say that it's just like drinking fruit juice, but that's what all my friends always tell me about beer. "Maria, this beer tastes like cherry coke, you'll love it!" Nope, tastes like beer. "This one is tastes like chocolate!" Nope. Still beer. So I gotta say, my expectations for this green juice to taste like any other fruit juice out there...practically non-existent. I do not have high hopes about this stuff.

I poured myself a glass, and it looked just as unappetizing in a glass as it did in the bottle. (Ignore the expiration date, these are old photos with a new review write up. I may not always follow expiration dates, but even this would be a bit extreme for me.) The green juice looks like a thinner version of my uncle's split pea soup, but it smells sweet and a bit sour. Kind of like a lemon-heavy sour apple juice. I'm crossing my fingers that this is one of those "don't judge a book by it's cover" things. That this may look opaque and kind of gross, but it smells good. That means it must taste good, right?
I took a sip, and it wasn't spit-take level bad, or really that bad at all, but I can't say that I like it. This stuff has a really weird consistency and it's sour. Not in the same way a lemon is sour, more like unripe fruit and vegetables. It's sour in the more bitter sense of the word, and I think all the tart flavoring I'm tasting here is coming from the leafy greens and the lemon. But, thanks to all the apple filler-fruit, it's still kind of sweet too. This stuff is tangy, bitter, but sweet all at the same time, and I really don't know how I feel about this. Does it taste like normal fruit juice? No way! If I were blind folded, the second this stuff touched my tongue I'd know that something wasn't right.

This just isn't for me, I can't get on the juicing bandwagon. If you like having sour and bitter beverages, maybe drinking kale will help you get more veggies into your diet, but for me, I'll stick to kale chips and savory kale-based dishes. Green juice and I are not friends, and even though I feel like I did something healthy for myself with minimal effort by drinking this glass today, I don't want to do it again.
© Maria Smith
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