You might have heard of açaí before. My local Robek’s has been selling açaí juice for while now, and although I’ve seen it on the menu, I never knew what it was or how to even pronounce it. Açaí, prounounced ah-sigh-ee, is a small round fruit that is similar in size and appearance to a grape and comes from an açaí palm. A popular fruit in Brazil, where it is grown and then eaten as an ice cream flavor, granola mix-in, or juice, the açaí berry has recently crossed the hemisphere divide and has become more popular in the United States.
One of the leading companies to bring this tropical fruit to us is Zola Açaí, founded in 2002 by Zola President Chris Cuvelier, which has the unique goal of bringing Açaí juice to consumers while also supporting the environment and local Brazilian communities. In addition to practicing sustainable harvesting and helping local communities to grow and harvest yearly açaí fruits (and income), Zola Açaí also founded Project Zola which focuses on “Building Community Infrastructure, Improving Quality of Life and Protecting the Environment with specific and tangible goals in a 100% transparent environment.”
Zola Açaí offers a wide variety of beverages, ranging from pure açaí juice to blended smoothies. We got an opportunity to try the Zola Açaí Original Juice as well as their four new Superfruit Smoothies.
All of the Zola Açaí use Organic certified ingredients, are Kosher certified, and all but the Superfood Smoothie are Gluten-Free. Here are tester opinions of the Zola Açaí Smoothies we got a chance to try:
Zola Açaí Original Juice
Zola says: “Zola Açaí Original is where it all started. It features hand harvested organic Açaí especial, the highest grade of Açaí available. A touch of natural guaraná seed is an authentic Brazilian recipe to add a little feel good energy zing. Each bottle of our Açaí Juices contains close to the amount of antioxidants in one cup of fresh blueberries and approximately 1,200 mg Omega 3, 6, & 9 Fatty Acids.”
WCatDD Testers say: Zola Açaí Original Juice is where you get a flavor of the true açaí berry flavor. USDA Organic certified, the juice is a deep purple color and the texture is nice and smooth. The best description I could think of in terms of flavor was that it was like highly concentrated grape skin juice. It has a very strong berry flavor that isn’t overly sweet. The juice also has a mild tartness that gives it a somewhat “dry” aftertaste.
Zola Açaí Immunity Smoothie
Zola says: “For immune system support, a blend of acerola, camu camu, and açaí delivering antioxidants, vitamin C (415% DV), and bioflavonoids”
WCatDD Testers say: The Zola Açaí Immunity Smoothie reminded me of a delicious fruit smoothie that you might pay $6.00 for from a smoothie store. The strawberry, banana, and pineapple flavors give the Zola Açaí Immunity Smoothie a tropical taste with a tangy kick at the end, courtesy of the Brazilian acerola cherries. That’s probably where the bottle get’s it’s tagline – “Tangy Tart Blend.” The smoothie is packed with 270% of your percent daily value of Vitamin C to help support your immune system.
Zola Açaí Energy Smoothie
Zola says: “A blend of exotic caja fruit and açaí using a boost of yerba mate, green tea and natural guaraná seed for sustained energy (80mg caffeine per bottle)”
WCatDD Testers say: Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the Zola Açaí Energy Smoothie Tropical Blend because the tester drank it so quickly. Using the exotic caja fruit and açai, plus the energizing yerba maté and quarana, the Zola Açaí Energy Smoothie is a pleasantly sweet drink that gives you a little jolt of caffeine. Pineapple, pear, and apple juices and purees also contribute to the tropical flavor.
Zola Açaí Superfood Smoothie
Zola says: “A green blend boost added to anti-aging cupuaçu, vitamin B packed graviola and açaí to naturally feed the body and soul (1500mg green boost blend including 1000mg Spirulina)”
WCatDD Testers say: While normally I don’t drink green things (seriously…look how green that is) I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the Zola Açaí Superfood Smoothie. The green color comes from it’s Green Boost Blend which includes Spirulina, Chlorella, Barley Grass, Spinach, Broccoli, and Ginger.) After repeatedly sipping the drink with my eyes closed, I couldn’t taste any of the “green” flavors and instead distinguished an açaí flavor with a hint of sweetness (from the banana, apple, and pear puree and juices) the most.
Zola Açaí Antioxidant Smoothie
Zola says: “Full of free-radical-fighting açaí berries and vitamin C packed acerola for a natural way to get antioxidants (equal to 3 ½ servings of fruits and veggies)”
WCatDD Testers say: Out of all the smoothies, I think this one was my favorite. The Zola Açaí Antioxidant Smoothie has the signature Açaí purple color but has a much sweeter flavor. The banana puree is also a nice addition, giving the drink a smoother flavor while the added Concord Grape Juice gives it that extra sweetness. According to the packaging, each bottle of Zola Açaí Antioxidant Smoothie contains 125 mg of Polyphenol Antioxidants.
Each smoothie had a unique flavor but still had a consistent açaí flavor. I liked that every smoothie offers different benefits based off the ingredients in the smoothie, yet all of them were still nutritious. I was impressed how “full” I was after drinking the smoothie, making it an ideal healthy afternoon snack.
Zola Açaí Brazilian Superfruit Smoothies and Superfruit Juices are available at select grocery and natural food stores nationwide for $2.99-$3.29 per bottle. For more information about Zola Açaí, Project Zola, or to find a store near you, please visit www.drinkzola.com. If you would like to try Zola Açaí Juices or Smoothies for yourself, you can buy Zola online. You can also enter the WCatDD Zola Açaí Superfruit Smoothie Giveaway!
One winner will receive the full line of Zola Açaí juices and smoothies, a Project Zola bracelet (made from Açaí seeds) and a Zola minicooler.
Make sure you follow the directions carefully. All giveaway entries should use the ENTRY FORM. You only need to fill out the ENTRY FORM once, unless you decide to additional earn extra entries at a later time. You can earn up to 16 entries into the WCatDD Zola Açaí Superfruit Smoothie Giveaway by doing one, some or all of the following:
Ways to Earn Entries:
Make sure you use this ENTRY FORM for your entries to count!
- THIS ENTRY IS REQUIRED FOR ALL OTHER ENTRIES TO BE VALID (+1): Visit www.drinkzola.com and tell me which juice or smoothie you would like to try the most.
- Become a Drink Zola Facebook Fan (+1)
- Follow Zola Acai on Twitter (+1)
- Post this giveaway on your blog (+3)
- Tweet about this giveaway using the “retweet” link at the top of this post or by tweeting “I want to drink healthy and delicious superfruit smoothies from the @WCatDD Zola Acai Superfruit Smoothie Giveaway! http://bit.ly/9VJshj” (+1)
- Subscribe to WCatDD (+1)
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- ONE TIME BONUS: Vote for us for the Web’s Top Giveaway Blogs (+2). After voting, don’t forget to comment on this post as well for your chance to win $100 if we win!
One winner will be selected at random for this prize.
Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST, February 9, 2010.
Visit our Giveaway Rules page for general giveaway rules that also apply to this giveaway.
Disclaimer: This post consists of my (and/or fellow tester) opinions only. Your experiences may be different. No compensation was given for this review/giveaway. I did receive free samples of Zola Acai Juice and Smoothies from the manufacturer or their representing PR agency to use and test for the purposes of this review. This did not affect the outcome of this review. I am not a medical professional and make no guarantee for the nutritional information or health benefits in this post. Please verify all health claims directly with Zola Acai.