Sure, fresh green juice is super tasty, but sometimes you want something just a little more toothsome and filling. Wouldn't it be awesome if someone made a juice with a little crunch to it?
Meet Chuice, a bottled beverage that combines juice, salad, and granola into a single shot of drinkable-yet-chewable sustenance. What's in it? Chuice's Forest Blend flavor basically stuffs an entire health food store into one bottle: There's pureed apple, cucumber, carrot, pineapple, kale, orange, honey, and spinach, along with floating pieces—we're talking intact, non-liquefied pieces—of mint, pecans, sunflower seeds, ginger, cilantro, basil, almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, flaxseed, hemp, sesame seeds, and chia seeds, all seasoned with cinnamon and cayenne. (The company's only other flavor, River of Life, includes all of the above but adds beet juice, a hot trend in health foods.)
The theory behind both beverages is that chewing on suspended nuts, seeds, and greens while drinking makes the beverage more satiating than just liquid alone, according to the company's website.
But how does it actually taste? Upon uncapping, Forest Blend smells kind of like a Christmas tree that's been decorated with fresh cucumber and lemon slices. The juice itself is pleasantly sweet and refreshing, with a powerful cucumber and basil punch. Yes, we admit, it's a bit disconcerting to sip at first and get a mouthful of waterlogged nuts and seeds. But these bits are bland and inoffensive—sort of like unseasoned overnight oats. (Speaking of which, here's a yummy overnight oats recipe.) And once you get used to them, it's actually kind of nice to slow down and chew between sips. River of Life has a heavy beet flavor and tastes less sweet, even though both blends have the same amount of sugar per serving—26 g per 12-oz bottle. (Sadly, Nutrition Facts don't show how much of that sweetness comes from fruit and how much is attributable to honey, the only added sweetener in the beverages.)
Turns out the blends—while strange—are a sound nutritional choice.
"I would definitely recommend this, especially for those who have a difficult time consuming enough fruits and vegetables throughout the day," said Gina Hassick, RD, of Eat Well With Gina, who's not affiliated with the company. "It's packed with complex carbs, protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, and is an excellent source of fiber." (With 9 g per bottle, it's got more fiber than other juices—most bottled brands only have about 1 g).
The only catch: Diabetics and people with blood sugar problems should probably steer clear, since each bottle packs 42 g of carbs, she said—which is true of basically all bottled green juices.
And finally, it's good to remember that each bottle has a sizeable 225 calories, so use Chuice as a snack, not to wash down a meal, Hassick said.
What about the alleged satiating benefit of chewing your juice? That's legit, too.
"Chewing lets your body know that you are indeed eating and nourishing your body," she says. "You're able to take notice of different characteristics like taste, texture, consistency, and temperature—this helps improve the mind-body connection when eating, leading to more satisfaction and an increased ability to notice your inner hunger and fullness cues."
The bottom line: If you're a frequent imbiber of green juice but you feel like it never really fills you up—and if you can stomach the idea of a liquid with bits of food floating in it—give Chuice a whirl. You can buy it online ($48 for 6 bottles).