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Let's add delicious, tasty and gorgeous to my title list of descriptives, but that's enough about me. I shall try and tempt your tastebuds with something fruity.
Pure ☼~☼ Innocent smoothies are, as their name suggests, pure smoothies made completely of fresh fruit and nothing else. I love the way that on all Innocent packaging whether it be the large litre cartons or small individual bottles, they list the exact contents that make up that particular smoothie. Shock horror, I have just pinched one of the kids' smoothies out of the fridge. It is from a pack of four 180ml cartons and is called Strawberries, Blackberries and Rasperries. The ingredients are thus:
☼~☼ 1 and a half pressed apples ☼~☼ 1 squeezed orange ☼~☼ one fifth of a banana ☼~☼ 2 strawberries ☼~☼ 4 blackberries ☼~☼ 2 raspberries
On the bigger packs such as the 1 litre Orange, Mango & Pineapple smoothie, the contents are more fruit: ☼~☼ 7 squeezed oranges ☼~☼ 1 pressed pineapple ☼~☼ 1 and a half mangoes ☼~☼ 1 mashed banana and (it adds) absolutely nothing else.
Innocent ☼~☼~☼ The Innocent company was started in 1999 by three Cambridge University friends Adam, Richard and Jon. They started by spending £500 on fruit and making it into smoothies, which they sold at a small music festival in London from a grass covered ice cream van. Signs on their waste bins of 'Do you think we should give up our day jobs to make these smoothies?' with a yes and a no bin option for returning empty bottles. Their 'yes' bin overflowed, so they gave up their jobs and started a Smoothie company. Over the past few years the profits of their company have doubled annually. I wish I could learn the secret of their success because I've done the give up the day job bit.
The Innocent company are onto a good thing in my opinion particularly because they are a consciously green company. Their drinks are delicious and come in a not too huge selection of flavours. Of the ones that I have tried, they are all really fresh and fruity tasting and they are juicy so they don't leave you feeling thirsty like a milkshake does. As there are absolutely no other ingredients other than fresh fruit, the contents really are good for you and in an age of 'getting five a day', these of course are a very nice way of consuming healthy fruit. Drinking 140ml of these smoothies is equivalent to getting one (portion of fruit that is).
The marketing staff at Innocent amuse me with the comments they slap on the packaging (which is good quality and recyclable). For example, on the kids' lunchbox cartons there are little anecdotes such as the smoothie ticklist: One portion of full fruit, no nasty sweeteners, no additives or preservatives, no added sugar, **no sheep poo/ no frogs legs / no hamburgers**, never from concentrate, your RDC of Vit C. On the bottom of the litre pack is a little comment saying you must be really bored if you're reading the bottom of the carton, go and do something interesting. Another has TM = Tres Mignon (very cute en Francais).
Juicy ☼~☼ The taste of the smoothies varies depending on the flavour chosen. A selection of those available in 250ml bottles and big cartons include: ☼~☼ Cranberries & raspberries ☼~☼ Strawberries and bananas ☼~☼ Blackberries and blueberries ☼~☼ Orange, bananas and pineapple ☼~☼ Mangoes and passion fruit ☼~☼ Pineapples, bananas and coconut
Kids Lunch Box packs of 4 come in three flavours (oranges, mangoes and pineapple; apples and blackcurrants; strawberries, blackberries and raspberries). Having sampled all of these, I can confirm they are all very juicy and fruity and do not leave an unpleasant aftertaste. To me they are best drunk at room temperature. If drunk straight from the fridge they give me that horrible instant brain freeze in my head. Brainfreeze is a real word for an ice cream headache, google it if you don't believe me. Slightly warmer is tastier but if you like chewing ice cubes or biting ice cream you'd probably prefer them very chilly.
Innocent smoothies should be kept refrigerated but a useful piece of information on the bird box tells you that they can be safely kept in a lunch box for up to 12 hours. (The box can be turned into a bird feeder, whilst there are instructions of the individual kids' cartons on how to grow cress in them).
How much? ☼~☼~☼~☼ Innocent smoothies are available in health shops, cafes (definitely in Starbucks) and most large supermarkets. They are however quite pricey. A pack of four lunch box cartons (4 x 180ml) retail for £2.99; an individual 250ml bottle around £1.75 and a litre carton £2.99. The cost of the fruit to make them yourself is probably not that much less unless you are making huge quantities or you have access to home grown fruit. If I wanted to give all four of our kids a 250ml bottle in their lunch box each day, this would add a hefty £35 to my weekly shop. Ahem, this might encourage hubby to start leaving the jobs vacant pages open in the newspaper again. Perhaps I'll go get a juicer… by the way if you're quick, Sainsbury's currently have a half price offer on some of the Innocent packs. Fill your fridge whilst you can.
Summary ☼~☼~☼~ Innocent smoothies are totally yum. As soon as the kids spot these in the fridge, they are gone in seconds, if I haven't already got there first. They particularly like the tangy oranges, mango and pineapple flavour. My favourites are the ones with banana in, how did you guess. I love the green business nature behind this company and the fact that efforts are put into making all their packaging recyclable. And I also love the quirky quotes on the cartons, but if you knew where I'd been in my past you'd understand I'm just a simple innocent girl at heart.
You can find out more about these smoothies, recycling and some fun stuff at www.innocentdrinks.co.uk.