Fruit smoothies have become my latest summertime addiction, and since I'm now drinking a couple a week I thought it might be a good idea to investigate the nutritional value of smoothie offerings around town. I've noticed a wide variety in the kinds of smoothies you can get - some seem to be very dairy, while others seem a lot more sugary, and others are like the smoothie equivalent of Juicy Juice (ick, not so much).
Cosi - The Cosi web site includes nutritional info on all their beverages in each different size. Good for them for giving so much info! I tend to order the Wildberry Blast smoothie, which is fat-free. The grande size is 248 calories and 58 grams of carbs, which you've gotta figure is a heck of a lot of sugar. (Tall, the smallest size, comes in at 186 and 44.) Well, I like that it's fat-free but I'm thinking it's not so great to get so much sugar. Eeeep. In a comparison of the tall sizes of all of their flavors -- they are all fat free, but four of their flavors are all the same as far as calories go (Mango Mangia, Peach, Strawberry Banana, and Wildberry Blast) but the Strawberry Lemoade has more than 100 more calories. So avoid that one!
Everything Yogurt - This is one of the places in the food court at the Old Post Office Pavilion. Their smoothies seem a little less sugary than Cosi's, and they are smooth without being too thick. But darn, I can't find any nutrition info online. I'll have to ask next time I'm there.
Potbelly's - While the Potbelly's site includes info for their sandwiches, I can't find any on their smoothies and shakes. Their shakes are made with regular ice cream, and I'm assuming that their smoothies are yogurt but can't be sure. I'll have to investigate further the next time I'm there.
Ben & Jerry's - The B&J web site includes nutritional info for all of their pint flavors, including both the low fat and regular frozen yogurt. I don't see any info for smoothies themselves, but I think it's safe to use the fro-yo stats to calcuate the approximate value for the beverage form. I don't actually go to B&J very often, cuz it's WAY too tempting... but it's an option nearby my office, so I imagine I might sample their smoothies at some point.
Olsson's - I also don't have any info on my favorite smoothie, which is offered by the Footnotes Cafe in the Olsson's Penn Quarter. It's very creamy and tastes like there's a lot of dairy in it, but I also know they use a banana, which could make for a thicker consistency too. And it's a pretty big serving of yumminess. I'll try to ask how they make it next time - but I'm a little afraid to find out cuz it's so darn good!
So what have I learned here? Well, mostly that places don't keep nutritional info on beverages... and that I need to do a little more digging to see what exactly it is I'm getting on my afternoon smoothie runs. But I'm still guessing that Cosi has the lowest-point options but they're way too high in sugar, and that Olsson's may have a higher-fat version that is actually better in nutrition. We shall see...