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Raw Generation

Value: 15/20
Functionality: 20/20
Quality: 20/20
Aesthetics: 20/20
Taste: 19/20

Total: 94/100

Getting myself to eat my daily fruits and veggies can feel like pulling teeth. I know they’re good for me, and it’s not even that I don’t like how they taste. I’d just always rather eat…well, something else (read: meat, cheese, potatoes and lots of chocolate). Instead of trying (and likely failing) to jumpstart a whole new healthy lifestyle, I made it my mission to incorporate more greens and fruits into my meals as often as possible: a breakfast smoothie here, a fancy salad there. But as always, life got in the way, and many days it felt like I simply didn’t have the time to prepare a healthy meal or snack the way I wanted to.

Then I heard about Raw Generation. What first caught my interest (besides the raw juices, protein smoothies and supplements, that is) was that all their beverages ship frozen solid in an impressively-packaged box so you can keep ’em on ice until you’re ready to use them (yup, that means they won’t go bad in two seconds, and you won’t have to drink every single juice in three days to get your money’s worth). That took some of the pressure off, personally. As I did more research, I learned the company only uses raw, unpasteurized, preservative-free ingredients, unlike some other cold-pressed juice brands. Considering I was a total newbie to the ever-popular juice world, that was enough to convince me.

Once I received the drinks, I packed them away into my freezer. Anytime I planned to sip one, I’d let the bottle thaw in the fridge a day or so in advance, so it’d be ready to chug in the morning. I leaned on the juices for energy-boosting (and last-minute) breakfasts, while the protein smoothies worked great as meal replacements (though I hear people who actually exercise like to have them after a workout).

To my total and utter surprise, every juice and protein smoothie was shockingly delicious and so easy to sip. The juices are cold-pressed, not blended; this gives them a fluid consistency by removing most of the fibers in the produce. I was surprised how easy they were to drink both in terms of flavor and texture, having been a bit wary of the juices tasting too “healthy” to stomach.

All I wanted to do was find an easy, quick way to get my greens more frequently. But there are tons of ways Raw Generation’s offerings could possibly help you reach your wellness goals. Raw juice and smoothies can be a wonderful addition to an already plant-based diet, or they can be a nutritious on-the-go meal or snack—no matter what you eat. Raw Generation also has cleanses, celery juice, immunity shots and even better-for-you lemonade to try, all free of artificial ingredients.

As undeniably solid as the juices and smoothies are, they’re definitely on the pricey side. But if hectic mornings (or in my case, occasional laziness) keep you from getting a healthy breakfast far too often, it could be worth it. And if you’re like me, you’ve probably wasted more money on fresh produce that rotted to death in your fridge than what you’d spend on these juices and smoothies anyway. After all, they won’t expire as long as you keep them frozen.

An 18-pack of protein smoothies or juices will currently cost you $110 (they’re normally $220, so about $12 per 12-ounce bottle instead of $6). You can also get a mix of juices and protein smoothies for the same price if you’d like to try both. While the cost may seem like a tough bullet to bite, now may be the best time to do it since there’s a sitewide 50 percent off sale. Just sayin’. While you mull it over, here are my favorite juice and smoothie flavors of the bunch.

RELATED: How to Make Ginger Juice, the Magical Anti-Inflammatory Elixir You Need in Your Life

Best for Vegetable Haters: Sweet Greens

Say what you want about trendy, expensive juices. But there’s honestly no easier way to consume your leafy greens than drinking them. Sweet Greens is a great way to get caffeine-free energy when you need it most (it’s got ten percent of your daily recommended iron). It’s made with sweet apples, spinach, kale, collard greens, lemon and triple-filtered water. If you’re a newbie (or a hater) of green juice, trust me: This one will win your heart. The sweet apple and bright lemon really balance the bitterness of the greens beautifully and it’s not tough to drink at all. You won’t have to suffer through your sips just for the sake of being healthy.

Taste: 19/20

Buy it ($109.99/18-pack)

Other green juices:

Additional flavors include Tarte Greens, made with tart apples, cucumber, spinach, celery and lemon, and Cool Greens, made with pineapple, cucumber and aloe vera. The former is definitely tough to drink if you’re not into celery, though it’s pleasantly tart and refreshing. The latter is a silky, sweet-and-sour must for pineapple lovers. All three green juices are fat free and pretty much neck and neck in calories, carbs, protein and fiber. But the Tarte Greens only has 14 grams of sugar, while the others have 22 to 24 grams. If you want to taste all three green juices instead of just Sweet Greens, go for the Green Juice Variety Pack.

Best for Fruit Lovers: Citrus Carrot

Helloooo, vitamin C. It can’t hurt to have an immunity booster this tasty under your belt come flu season. It’s made with carrot, orange, ginger and lemon juices, plus triple-filtered water. The orange and carrot come through so strong; the orange tastes distinctly fresh compared to the carton stuff, and the flavor combo reminded me of that Orange Carrot SoBe I used to drink by the gallon in the early 2000s (was that just me?). The ginger is pretty mild.

Taste: 19/20

Buy it ($109.99/18-pack)

Other non-green juices:

Sweet Roots is a ruby-red mix of beet, carrot, sweet apple and lemon. It tastes mostly like beets with a splash of apple juice, IMO. Both are 140 to 150 calories each and have essentially no fat. The carrot has 29 grams of sugar versus the beet’s 22 grams. The beet juice also has 6 grams of fiber, five more than the carrot’s 1. Both unfortunately aren’t sold in a single-flavor packs. Guess you’ll just have to make lemonade and spring for the juice variety pack, huh…

Tastiest Protein Smoothie: Vanilla Cashew

OK, real talk: It’s as close to a regular milkshake as a raw protein smoothie can get. It’s simply cashew milk (made from cashews and water), plus dates, vanilla extract and a pinch of Himalayan salt. It smells almost like cinnamon pancake batter (in a good way, promise) and tastes way sweeter and yummier than you might expect. My guess is I have the dates’ natural sugar to thank for that. This protein smoothie flavor has 210 calories, 8 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber, so it’s sure to hold you over until dinnertime or drag you out of the 3-o’clock slump. The bottle also contains 12 grams of fat, 19 carbs and 11 grams of sugar. It’s the leanest of all three smoothies.

Taste: 20/20

Buy it ($109.99/18-pack)

Other protein smoothies:

Other flavors include Cacao Hemp, made with hemp milk, raw organic cacao powder and organic coconut milk, and Peanut Butter, made with peanut milk, banana, hemp, chia seeds and organic flax seeds. The PB flavor tastes pretty much like a PB-banana milkshake and the cacao number tastes like Almond Joy-flavored chocolate milk. Want to try them all? Add the Raw Recovery variety pack to your cart.

RELATED: 31 Easy and Healthy Smoothie Recipes That Actually Taste Amazing

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