Pros: Tasty and nutritious
Cons: Low fiber & high fructose corn syrup as 2nd ingredient
My Grandmother made plain green salads with tomatoes and otherwise taught me that vegetables were things like corn, potatoes, onions and celery. Hence, my own intake, with the addition of avocado, broccoli, yams, grape tomatoes and our local asparagus, has been less than adequate, at least according to the USDA Food Pyramid Charts.
Encouraging us to consume at least 5 daily servings of fruits, vegetables and their juices, I'd afraid I veer toward the end of the Fast and Fried Foods and Sweets end of the chart, with the scales to prove it!
Back in the late 60's, this young college lass thought free radicals was an awful cool slogan. Now these same free radicals are cellular marauders, chemical kamikazes wreaking bodily havoc-the new dogs of war.
V8 Splash - all flavors
Luckily, the good folks at V8/Campbell's Soup Company have trotted out both regular and Diet V8 Splashes, each 8 ounce/1 Cup serving providing very helpful anti oxidants in the form of what I call the Three Avengers. With 100% both Vitamin C and Vitamin A, and 20% Vitamin E, those clever folks offer up the benefits of good-for-you carrot juice with the more pleasant taste of fruit blends.
The regular V8 Splash I'm reviewing here, comes in 9 tasty blends, here listed in order from my very favorite to the mere all right:
Guava Passion Fruit
While the Diet Blends contain 10 calories, (and the non-nutritive sweetener, Splenda), the regular flavors will run you between 70-80 calories per serving. This positions V8 Splash in between the company's Diet and Fusion Blends in terms of carbohydrates/sugars.
The ingredient list starts off with water, naturally, but I'm sorry to see high fructose corn syrup listed before apple juice, peach juice and mango nectar of my Mango Peach favorite. Vitamin supplements and a bit of citric acid, plus the aforementioned rabbit juice complete the shortish list.
The flavor is definitely peaches and mango, with the carrot juice well-concealed. All tropical flavors, plus the berry blends are more of a taste treat than veggie ordeal. On the other hand, the Orchard Blend and Fruit Medley hint more of the original V8 stuff.
I like to mix mine with a cup or so of crushed ice, diluting the sugar so I'm averaging more like 35-40 calories per cup. As a Type 2, (non-insulin), diabetic, it's good to know I can use a serving of the regular V8 Splash to count for fruit and vegetable exchanges.
And tending more toward the low end of the blood sugar scale, (happily now diet-rather than pill-controlled), I can sip a tasty glass of Mango or Guava blend first thing in the morning, then go on to my Eggbeaters, whole grain English muffin or toast, remaining on an even keel, avoiding glycemic spikes.
When compared to other juices/blends, V8 Splash goes beyond just the Vitamin C supplementation. (Dole's Paradise Blend has 120 calories per serving and adds 100% of the daily requirement for Vitamin A, largely due to its similar carrot base).
Some people may not know that my former favorite Cranberry Juice Cocktail, White Grape Juice and other favorites like Mango, Guava or Apricot Nectar, and Dole's Berry Blend, have double the sugar and calories, and about 1/3 less than anything but apple, grapefruit or tomato juices.
It's fairly easy to find the 64 ounce jugs, which have a contoured and ribbed plastic bottle for ease of handling. That's easily helpful for me early in the morning, and given my limited vision. The company swears there are also 16 ounce sized individual plastic bottles of this product out there-either it is really popular and always sold out, or just harder than usual to find.
Final Thoughts And Recommendation
Of course, in a perfect world, I'd love a V8 Splash that combines half regular and half Diet blend, but until the good folks at Campbell's offer up more than 3 Diet flavors, I'll stick with my picks...hard to believe all V8 Splash products contain just 10% fruit juice.
Sure, I may still reach for a can of Squirt or Cherry Pepsi to quench my thirst, but to supplement the lone Fuji apple or navel orange and single serving of tossed green salad or chopped broccoli with cheese sauce, I know I'm going to have a V8.
I don't mind cooking with the low sodium Vegetable V8, (it makes super good gazpacho and a piquant Manhattan chowder or cioppino base), but feel V8 Splash is the perfect way to feel relatively virtuous while battling free radicals and at least keep the aging process from accelerating faster than you can say Long Term Care Insurance.
4 Stars for low fiber content and calories, 5 stars for flavor and anti-oxidant supplementation =4.5 stars. Let's call it 5 and I'll give it a solid recommendation.
My thanks to bops_mom, for adding this so quickly to the Wellness database.