Monday, April 07, 2008

Jamba that!

Not knocking Smoothie King or anything but...where's a Jamba Juice when you need one?!
As someone who keeps a close eye on food and drink specials at area restaurants and stores, I'm super bummed I won't be able to take advantage of this. To help promote their new line of breakfast items, a number of Jamba Juice spots nationwide are giving out FREE 12-ounce smoothies and juices tomorrow (April 8) until 10 a.m. Did you hear that? Free, I tell ya! Unfortunately, there are no Jamba Juice stores in Atlanta. BOO! But far be it for me to deny others...so in case any of you are J. Juice first-timers and hoping to score a freebie, I suggest the Jamba Light smoothies, which have about 1/3 less calories and sugar than the regular versions. More specifically, I love Berry Fulfilling, which mixes strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, Splenda, non-fat milk and whey protein for only 150 calories of 16-ounce deliciousness. Since I'm not particularly familiar with the chain's newer breakfast lines, I asked friends in-the-know for their recommendations. Responses seemed to center around the Sunrise Strawberry, which blends soymilk, non-fat yogurt, strawberries and bananas, and the Mango Peach Topper, which features mangoes (duh!), bananas, peaches, soymilk, low-fat yogurt and organic pumpkin seed flax granola. Yum!
That being said, don't be fooled into thinking every item on the Jamba Juice menu is healthy. Take the Peanut Butter Moo'd smoothie, for example. A 24-ounce cup has 840 calories, 21 grams of fat and 122 grams of sugar, according to the company's nutritional information. To put things in comparison, a McDonald's double quarter-pounder with cheese is 740 calories, 42 fat grams and 9 grams of sugar. Wowza. Men's Health Magazine even recently named the chocolate version of the Moo'd smoothie one of the 20 worst foods found on American menus these days.

Finally, for those of you that want to save your money - but still enjoy a tasty smoothie - here's one that I've been whipping up in recent weeks. Combine 8 fl. oz. of unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze and two tablespoons of Better'n Peanut Butter - both of which can be bought at Trader Joes - with a banana, packet of Splenda and a little sugar-free Hershey's chocolate syrup. Voila! A tasty, low-calorie liquid dessert awaits!

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