I Paid: $19.95 for 24 28-ounce packets (prices may vary by region)
Is it possible to concentrate two USDA servings of vegetables into one small, easily reconstituted packet of powder? The answer: yes. It’s called My Daily Veggies. Would you want to? That depends on how much you hate vegetables in their natural form.
My Daily Veggies packets are filled with a dark green powder made of dehydrated organic tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, kale, and carrots. They contain 25 percent of your recommended vitamin A intake, 8 percent of your vitamin C needs, 2 percent of your calcium, and 4 percent of your iron.
The package recommends two ways of consuming this eerie food-of-the-future. As a “snack,” you mix a packet into four to six ounces of warm or hot water. This creates a dark, slightly bubbly concoction that looks like a bog or a haunted house prop. The good news is that it has a mild, green tea–meets-broccoli flavor that is far less pungent or gritty than the stuff’s appearance would suggest. Still, this is not a snack you’re likely to be seeking out unless your vegetable-related conscience is powerful indeed.
The other option is better: stirring the stuff into soup. This has the downside of dramatically darkening even a tomato soup into an inky brown/green, but you don’t taste the powder as much other than a slight chalkiness.
Of course, the product assumes that eating one’s vegetables is a chore. With the thought of Thanksgiving’s savory Brussels sprouts and sweet, velvety roasted butternut squash still percolating in my memory, I would argue that forcing down chalky powder is a masochistic alternative.
By: Campbell Soup Company
I Paid: $2.59 for a 16-ounce box of soup (prices may vary by region)
A Campbell’s-V8 soup collaboration takes mass-marketed heat-and-eat food to a new level of virtue. Now, Campbell’s assures you, you can get a full daily serving of vegetables in your soup.
The flavors are a little muted but generally pleasant. Southwestern Corn is reminiscent of a mild Indian curry as opposed to a soup per se; there’s kind of a blank-canvas thing going on that begs for a protein or rice or beans or something more substantial than corn. A bit of roasted pepper flavor helps make for a balanced taste, however.
Golden Butternut Squash is also lacking, this time in the flavor department; American palates spoiled by brown sugar–aided autumnal side dishes can’t help but want a little more sweetness or cream with their squash dishes. The Sweet Red Pepper variety is a little more joyful, offering a nice interplay between tangy tomato and mellow pepper flavors, with a touch of smoke.
While not the most ravishing soup you’ll ever eat, Campbell’s V8 has done an admirable job of making “stern ’n’ healthy” look sexy. Or at least, you know, cute.