Whether you’re trying to slim down in a hurry, or just in a hurry, nutrition shakes are extremely popular these days. Precisely calibrated for perfect proportions of fat, carbs, and protein, they take the worry out of what might be the “healthiest” choice on a dubious menu, and are very convenient no matter how many activities you have on your plate. With these powerful drinks sounding like the cure-all to health woes, you might wonder why everyone isn’t guzzling these by the gallon. Well, the reason for reluctance is simple; The best options usually taste as good as chalk mixed into soured milk. Besides, who would really want to forgo so many delicious foods for a substitute that you can’t even chew? Since I’m no diet guru, I certainly can’t give you any further knowledge about the best way to get in shape, but I can tell you how I feel about incorporating such vitamin slurries into a standard lifestyle.
Since I’ve been swamped with work lately, it’s true that my meals have become progressively simpler, lacking proper time to assemble a complex feast. Eating basic fruits, veggies, and beans in their natural state is no problem with me, but snacks are another story. All too often I end up reaching for some sugary granola bars or greasy chips instead of something that might actually keep my focus at 100%. That’s why fortified shakes like Nutiva have begun to sound increasingly enticing, especially with a label that rattles off only organic, natural, and fair trade ingredients. This particular product comes in powder-form, with three different flavors to choose from, but for a little trial run, I was only able to investigate the Chocolate flavor. Delighted to have such an easy reference to less-than-invigorating but delicious shakes in this classic flavor, it would be easy to gauge the success of this healthful beverage.
Straight out of the package, I had high hopes for the dusty brown powder, already smelling strongly of cocoa. Stirring it into a cup of my trusty almond milk, I began to encounter some problems early on. Many dry powders have difficulty producing a smooth, lump-free drink, so I wasn’t surprised that this was an obstacle for Nutiva as well- Accepting that this was the way that most mixes work, I broke out the wire whisk and whipped it good. Working up a good froth, it didn’t take long for all of the bubbles to pop, and after sitting a mere 15 minutes or so to take a few beauty shots for posterity, the mixture had thickened to the viscosity of wet cement. No longer could it support light air bubbles even with the most vigorous stirring, but it certainly wasn’t watery.
Finally taking my first big gulp, it was almost jarring to discover that despite all the good smells it had earlier produced, the shake itself was shockingly bland. Only mildly flavored with something reminiscent of chocolate and not the least bit sweet, it was nothing like I had imagined. I felt like this huge glass before me was like bitter medicine disguised as something supposedly delicious, just like those “grape flavored” chewable tablets that really taste like chemicals and chalk. The grittiness imparted by the flax seeds didn’t help it one bit, either; While it should have felt smooth going down, it tickled my throat and left some residual grit on my teeth.
As unpleasant as it was, I can’t help but wonder if it could still be manipulated into a more palatable state. Perhaps if you were to use a different non-dairy milk, and add more sugar, and a bit more cocoa… But then again, you could just combine those three ingredients alone and end up with something perfectly refreshing. If you’re more interested in the nutrition values it has to offer then it still does have potential… But it’s really not something that suits my tastes, especially at the retail price of over $2.00 per packet.