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What "strawberry juice" for smoothies?

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The best smoothie shop at the local mall says they use fresh strawberries and "strawberry juice" (along with ice and frozen yogurt) to make their strawberry smoothie. I just got a Blend-tec and I'm looking to re-create it. What is the "strawberry juice" they are likely referring to, and where should I look for it? I assume it's sort of syrupy stuff, not like a Ocean Spray type of drink. Or is it best to cook strawberries and reduce the cooked juice?

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  1. I just did a google search, "strawberry juice concentrate" and came up with several possibilities.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wyogal

      I saw that, too... but wasn't sure if there was something commonly used in smoothies. It looks like there is a product made for mostly alcoholic drinks - I wonder if that is the stuff.

    2. don't use strawberry juice at all -- use frozen fruit instead of juice and ice, as the fruit goes creamy in the blender, and as it melts it only enhances, rather than waters down, the flavors. Bananas in particular give smoothies a rich, creamy texture -- you might even want to drop the frozen yogurt.

      If you just have a need to use strawberry juice, I'd puree some strawberries and use those, rather than a loads-o-sugar-added industrial product.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sunshine842

        +1 on the frozen berries. I make a smoothie every morning using 1/2 banana, about a cup of frozen berries (I use mixed berries, but no reason you couldn't use just strawberries) and a cup of almond milk. It is thick and creamy and delicious and very low in fat and calories.

        1. re: sunflwrsdh

          I do something very similar as well. Frozen banana, chocolate soy milk, and a tablespoon of almond butter.

      2. Many shops use this product, or something similar:

        http://www.mydrinkworks.com/Jet/Produ...

        1. The tastiest and healthiest smoothies are made from whole fruit and water and/or ice. Juices aren't great because they don't include the fruit fiber, which is what slows the uptake of the sugar in them.

          11 Replies
          1. re: sandylc

            I get it, but the one I like at the mall uses both fresh fruit and "juice' - so I think it's fine as a treat. I'm not trying to make the world's healthiest smoothie, just one that tastes the best.

            I've tried a few in the BlendTec so far, and basically I am finding that if you don't have some liquid in the base, it won't really blend. I had to add water or milk to get it to blend using frozen strawberries, fresh strawberries, ice, etc.

            1. re: tzakiel

              Right, you'll see that I said to use water. I also find that frozen mango chunks (Trader Joe's) serve as a tasty emulsifier for smoothies. We drink smoothies almost every morning at home and we use only fruit and water.

              1. re: sandylc

                Tried one with water, ice and fresh and frozen strawberries last night... very bland. Thinking a sweetener of some kind would have helped. That or sweeter berries.

                1. re: tzakiel

                  You need some supporting fruits. Even the freshest, ripest strawberries are not going to pack a flavor punch. Also, a fresh, real, and healthy smoothie is never going to taste like a smoothie at the mall, because those are generally pumped up with things that no one should eat.

                  I'm not sure where your tastebuds lie, healthwise/real foodwise, but you could try the following:

                  water, about 1 1/2 cups
                  a ripe pear, skin on
                  a good apple, skin on
                  fresh organic strawberries or other berries (ripeness and quality important - you may have to wait until next summer!), optional
                  a few chunks of frozen mango

                  See what you think. This is healthy and delicious and I have had one most every morning for almost four years. I don't always use berries - just if I have some very good ones. We pick them and freeze them in the summer.

                  BTW, this cured my ulcerative colitis. In one week. After 18 years of misery. No kidding.

                  1. re: tzakiel

                    leave the water and ice out of it.

                    Use frozen strawberries (or frozen fruit of any kind) in place of the strawberries.

                    Use orange juice (or cranberry juice) instead of water.

                    Then as it melts, it just becomes more and more fruity, not more and more watery, and the texture is thick and ice-cream-ish.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Adding juice is essentially adding sugar. My view is that it takes away from the health of the smoothie to use juice.

                      1. re: sandylc

                        so you're using sugar-free fruit?

                        The OP references a strawberry syrup and frozen yogurt, so sugar's really not on the radar, anyway.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          "so you're using sugar-free fruit?"

                          Yes, sugar-free fruit, AKA "fruit" :-)

                          "The OP references a strawberry syrup and frozen yogurt, so sugar's really not on the radar, anyway."

                          Good point. This might be the wrong arena for my smoothie philosophy. I'm going for freshness, not milkshakes.

                          1. re: sandylc

                            that was sort of my point...'juice' doesn't equate to dumping sugar.

                            Using plain water to make a smoothie waters it down...a splash of orange or cranberry juice helps the blending without watering down the flavor...and if you've got 12-16 ounces of puréed fruit to begin with, a few tablespoons of juice isn't going to shift anything dramatically.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Yes, indeed. Juice is essentially sugar. And adding water is part of the healthiness of it.

                    2. re: tzakiel

                      Thanks, clearly there are just many takes on what a good smoothie is and how healthy it can or should be. I like all kinds. I have found that water, a little orange juice, 5 big spoonfuls of vanilla lowfat yogurt (not frozen), frozen strawberries, and fresh berries, along with a scoop of ice cubes, is very good.

              2. Jumex makes a strawberry nectar that would be nice in a smoothie. It can be found in most stores with a Mexican section.