Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fusia "Fresh" California Sushi Roll (Aldi)

Not at all worth it, even for $3.
The last time these were offered in the Aldi ad, I went to my local store three times before giving up. I don't think it was that they were sold out, but rather that they never got them in (I never even saw a space on the shelf for them on any visit). I was disappointed, because Trader Joe's has some of my favorite sushi, and with the awkward relationship between TJ's and Aldi (they're owned by the same family trust but run as completely separate enterprises, and hate being compared to one another; sometimes, they do carry the same products) I was figuring that it would be the exact same.

Well flash forward a year later, and imagine my excitement when I saw that Aldi would once again be offering “fresh” sushi! I was a little nervous that it would once again skip our store, a feeling that was only heightened after we went the day the ad began and saw none. But on a return trip a few days later, I happened to catch a small square of space designated for this...along with one lone package remaining. I talked with a worker and verified that this was, in fact, the only one left, ruining both my plan to give my wife and I our own package, and to try both flavors offered.

Anyway, upon bringing it home to surprise my wife, she was immediately off-put by the disheveled look of the rolls: They were loose, so that the contents inside spilled out easily. A couple were even ripped, with the inner avocado, carrot, and imitation crab meat out of the roll and inside the package. I can't say for sure that this is how all of them were put together—maybe that was the reason this was the only one left—but it was a pretty lackadaisical presentation, to be sure.
The taste didn't fare much better. I've had so little sushi in my life that I could honestly say I never had a piece I didn't like; now I have. It's not that this was terrible, just completely uninspiring: the pieces were dry and boring, without much in the way of flavor. As expected, the filling did fall out of most of them, thanks to the loose wrapping, so just as much time was spent trying to keep them together as was spent actually eating them. Considering these are supposedly “fresher”, it's sad that they didn't taste nearly as flavorful as Fusia's frozen sushi.

The price is very good at $2.99 for eight decent-sized pieces, but given the disappointing lack of flavor, that doesn't really mean a whole lot. I tried to get these over the course of several trips spanning over several months; if I'd have known how tasteless these would be, I could have saved that accumulated time and put it toward an endeavor that was actually worthwhile.

Overall: 4/10. The most uninspiring roll of sushi that I've ever had; a big disappointment considering I tried several times to get this, dating back to the last time they were offered, to no avail. For starters, the rolls were loosely wrapped, so the carrot, avocado, and crab meat kept falling out all over the place. For finishers, the “crab” (which is made of “natural crab flavor” instead of actual crab) taste is very weak, with the added spices giving a quick blast of heat, but not delivering much in the way of flavor. At $2.99 for eight pieces, the value is pretty solid, but whether or not that's worth it to you depends on how much you like it. I would never get these again (though I wouldn't be against trying the other flavor next time).

Fusia Spicy Crab Roll Frozen Sushi (Aldi)

Just don't go in actually expecting to taste the crab.
Recently, Aldi had frozen sushi rolls in their ad. We had tried the avocado and shrimp version a while ago, and liked them, but then something else caught my eye: “fresh” sushi. As in, a kind that was refrigerated, rather than frozen. It looked just like the kind Trader Joe's carried, which is some of the best sushi I've ever had, and was also a couple bucks cheaper, so I eagerly waited for those to arrive at our local Aldi. Either they never did, or they sold out in a day. We packed it up and went to the next-closest Aldi store, but they didn't have any, either. So we settled on the frozen stuff once again, only this time, we opted for spicy crab.

Prepwork, which only consists of thawing, can be done in three ways, and all three are simple: leave out at room temperature for two hours; place on a plate and put in the microwave for twenty seconds, then fifteen second increments if not thawed after the initial burst; stick the whole plastic tray in a cold water bath for thirty minutes. We opted for the microwave, which took about two minutes, or so (in short bursts) to get them ready for eating; since our microwave is—shall we say, “vintage”--it thawed them very unevenly, but it got the job done.

The texture of these are pretty spot on, with the rice on the outside giving way to the crab filling in the middle. The crab flavor is decent, but pretty weak...I would have liked for it to be stronger, but that's just my preference. It's also pretty obvious that it's “fake” (the ingredients cite “natural crab flavor”), if for no other reason than the $5 price point; using the real stuff would no doubt drive the cost up to the point that selling it for that price would be next to impossible. The spice comes through after a few seconds (be patient!) and offers a quick flash of heat that quickly dissipates. I thought it was a good amount of spiciness, but people that like their food really hot will probably be majorly disappointed. I also didn't get a whole lot of flavor from the spice, so even with that included, it's pretty weak.

I like that it comes with a packet of soy sauce, but the packet is very small—my wife is a huge fan of soy and it only lasted four pieces with her. Even using it sparingly, as I would do, I doubt I would be able to stretch it further past the halfway point. We didn't use the wasabi this time, but we did use it last time, and it tasted like, well...wasabi. I also like the portions, which are fairly strong for the price: 15 pieces for $5; as can be expected, though, the pieces are much smaller than the average sushi roll, so this is probably somewhere in the vicinity of eight or nine regular pieces. Still, that's pretty impressive for the price.

I like Aldi's frozen sushi, and this one is no exception, but I'm really hoping they sell the fresh sushi again, because if they're anything like the ones sold at Trader Joe's (and, even though they're technically separate companies, they do share products occasionally), those are some amazing rolls.

Overall: 6.5/10. It's better than average, and worth the $5 asking price in terms of quantity. But it trips up in the “quality” department: it has no actual crab in it (the ingredients list “natural crab flavor”). I suppose that can be expected given the price, but what is kind of a letdown is how weak the taste is. There are some spices that deliver a delayed blast of “heat”, which is a kick of spice that quickly dissipates (chances are, unless you're incredibly sensitive to spicy stuff, you won't even need to drink anything cold to get it to go away), but even that doesn't seem to add much in the way of flavor. If this had a stronger taste, I'd like this a lot more; even as it stands, there's a good amount here for the price, so I'll still recommend it to sushi fans.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hospitality Bunch o' Cinnamon Squares Cereal (Dollar Tree)

If you can finish the whole box, you should be given a reward. Like a refund. If you can't you should still  be given a refund.
I've only tried cereal from Dollar Tree one other time prior to this, and the experience did not go well. That probably explains why it's been about four years since I bought one—and it probably would have been even longer had they not had this perched on an endcap, cartoon elephant peeking out at me through sad eyes as if begging me to take him home. I waffled back and forth a little bit, remembering how bad the fruit loops I had were, but a couple of things put my mind at ease: 1.) The 7 oz. size. I figured since it was a fairly small box, the cereal could still be pretty good; I'd be terrified of trying a full box for a buck, but places like Aldi have some excellent cereals for $2 or less, and that puts this about in the same price range; and 2.) The picture on the front. I know, I know, pictures can be deceiving, but the cereal pieces looked just like they do in the national brand.

Well, pictures are deceiving, which were my first thoughts after opening this cereal. It looks more like little pieces of a graham cracker-based cereal, rather than the typical, soft pieces that are in the national brand (and pictured on the front box). They're also really small, too, though there did seem to be a decent amount of cinnamon on them. I went from being pretty intrigued, to being a little worried...and it was still downhill from here.

I hate to say it, because I really wanted to like this, but this cereal is terrible. Just awful. The cinnamon sugar tastes nothing like any cinnamon I've ever's somehow barely even sweet, almost to the point of being bitter, which is completely uninviting. The cereal bits have a slight taste at the beginning (though not a good one), but once they're doused in milk, all the flavor goes away, leaving tasteless bits of sponge-like material floating in a sea of white.

Even the milk at the end was nearly undrinkable, despite having a ton of visible bits of cinnamon floating in it, thanks to the bitterness. This is not at all what I was expecting, and probably not at all what anyone buying this cereal is wanting...I somehow managed to finish the bowl (I was hungry), but I don't think I'll be able to even force down a second now that I know how bad it is. Spend an extra buck or two to get Malt o Meal's version...then thank me later.

Overall: 2/10. The second cereal I've ever had from Dollar Tree, and pretty much guaranteed to be the last (note I'm talking about weird off-brands I've never heard of...the small Malt o Meal boxes are fantastic), Hospitality's Bunch o' Cinnamon Squares has to be the first example of cinnamon anything that isn't fact, it somehow comes off as almost bitter. The cinnamon also washes off the cereal pieces in milk, leaving tasteless masses of cereal floating around. I really wanted to like this, but there are really no redeeming qualities for this junk...spend the extra buck or two and grab Malt o Meal's version from somewhere.

Malt o' Meal Cinnamon Toasters (Various)

Quite possibly the best cinnamon squares cereal on the market.
As I have mentioned many times over the course of the five years this blog has been in existence, Malt o’ Meal is, by far, my favorite private label cereal brand. Its mere presence at hundreds of retailers nationwide, from dollar stores, to Big Lots, to supermarkets, might lead you to believe that it’s a national brand--which it very well may be in terms of reach--but its core philosophy, which is to rip-off products from major cereal brands while offering them for much cheaper, is classic private label all the way.

And yet, it’s one of the many cereal products I take for granted, in that I seem to always have some in my cereal collection at any given time, yet I have painfully few actual reviews of them. I guess some things I just get so comfortable and used to eating that I don’t even think of sharing them with my loyal readers (however few or nonexistent that number may actually be). Maybe it’s a subconscious territorial thing, where I just want to keep the secret of how good these are to myself, lest my review goes viral and whips up the population into a Malt o’ Meal-obsessed frenzy, thus creating a nationwide shortage that robs me of my favorite brand. Or maybe I’m just lazy and forgetful.

A couple of years back, I took a look at Millville’s (Aldi) offering of their own cinnamon cereal, and found a brand that was in sharp decline. Their cinnamon-toasted cereal used to be covered in cinnamon sugar, with cereal pieces that were so light and airy that it was almost like eating a cinnamon churro…dessert for breakfast. But as of the last time I had them, the cereal pieces seemed smaller, and all of them were tougher, like they were burnt. I thought maybe it was just a bad batch--maybe they were burnt after all--but another box revealed the same thing, and so I was content with just going without them.

But then I happened onto Malt o’ Meal Cinnamon Toasters at Big Lots one day. I’d had them before, and loved them, but was worried that they had also altered their formula. Thankfully, they had not. That what also a couple of years ago, and as Big Lots has continued to carry them off-and-on ever since then, I have continued to get them. So I can assure you that these are every bit as good today as they were then. The cereal pieces are light and fluffy, and each one is loaded with cinnamon-sugar. The biggest drawback is that since they are so light, it doesn’t take long at all for them to get soggy in milk. I like the flavor enough that I think it overwhelms this little problem, but those that like their cereal to be a little more resistant to liquids might not be as forgiving as I am.

Big Lots often carries these in 10 oz. “trial size” packages for only $1. Since they are in bags, as opposed to boxes, you might be fooled into thinking that there’s not enough here to justify spending a dollar on. But that would be quite a foolish oversight on your part. The “standard” size for the national brand is 12.2 oz., and yet it can cost three times as much! This is an even better deal than the larger bags of Cinnamon Toasters that Big Lots had at the time, so I was sure to stock up on these, as I do on almost every trip when they are available. Definitely one of my favorite cereals out there.

Overall: 9.5/10. I get these quite frequently, when Big Lots has the 10 oz. “trial size” version for a mere $1, and it has quickly become one of my favorite cereals. I used to enjoy getting Aldi’s brand of these, but they’ve since changed their formula, and I find them to be largely inedible. Malt o’ Meal’s version, however, feature light cereal pieces, and each one is coated with a very generous helping of cinnamon and sugar. If you’re not into sweet stuff, this is definitely not the cereal for you. The downside to the puffy cereal is that it gets soggy in milk very quickly, but the delicious flavor makes up for most of that problem. This is pretty close to a perfect cereal, though the amount of sweetness means that I can’t eat it all the time, or else I’d get pretty sick of it. With a price, and quality, like this, it’s one more reason to avoid even looking at the more expensive brands.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Snapps Crispy Green Bean Fries Frozen Appetizer (Dollar Tree)

So much better than their virtually inedible jalapeno poppers.
The only other experience I have with Snapps involves their absolutely terrible cream cheese poppers--I first tried those about ten years ago when I lived alone and picked them up because they were a dollar at Kroger. I’ve never forgotten the bland, worthless taste. I bought them again a couple of months ago to see if anything had changed, only to find they’re still the same disgusting pieces of trash that they were so long ago.

It goes without saying that Snapps does not have a good track record with me. Then I saw they were offering green bean fries (and they’re “New!” according to the unnecessarily excited packaging); while they aren’t my favorite appetizer (not even by a long shot), they are different enough that I felt it warranted giving the terrible company another try.

For those unfamiliar, they are essentially just as they sound: green beans deep fried in batter so as to eliminate any and all nutrients (welcome to America!), and served, usually with a side of ranch. I first had them at a chain restaurant several years back. The problem is, appetizers have gotten so ridiculously expensive over the years that, at this current rate, they will be more expensive than the entrée by the year 2030. Either that, or entrees will just keep increasing, meaning eating out at a chain restaurant will cost $100 for a family of two to gorge on microwaved food more befitting of a farm animal than an actual human being.

But anyway, I digress. My point is, if I can get green bean fries for a dollar, then that’s at least five bucks cheaper than most restaurants will offer them. So I jumped at the chance.

The first thing that heightened my anticipation of eating these were the green beans themselves: first of all, many of them were large and healthy-looking (I expected them to be obvious cast-offs that didn’t quite make the cut to be in a national brand can of green beans), and they weren’t covered in batter. It’s kind of disconcerting to see, but there are only clumps of batter on each green bean, aptly spaced out so that you can still see plenty of the vegetable. I was expecting them to be completely covered, with the batter taking over the flavor.

They cook up pretty quickly in the oven; the batter doesn’t get super crispy, but it gets crispy enough. Just as the visual inspection insinuated, there’s an impressive amount of green bean taste in each bite. This may turn off some, but I thought it was a welcome surprise. I won’t go so far as to say the beans taste fresh, but they taste fresher than you would expect, with the bean delivering a decent crunch. The batter is also pretty good, and does just enough to complement the green bean taste, without doing anything to overwhelm it. Dipping these in ranch are the way to go; you can have yourself a tasty little appetizer for a fraction of the price you would pay for it in a restaurant, and that’s more than a good enough reason for me to recommend this.

Overall: 8/10. For a dollar, you get a pretty good amount of green bean fries. The batter doesn’t envelope the entire bean, as I was expecting, which means there’s a decent amount of green bean flavor in each bite. This may turn off some, but I love vegetables, and was expecting the deep fried flavor to overtake everything, so it was a welcome surprise. I dipped them in ranch, which provided me with an appetizer that is pretty close to restaurant quality, for a fraction of the price. If you see these in your local Dollar Tree cooler, you should definitely give them a shot.

Paulie's Pasta Shells and Cheese (Dollar Tree)

Not too shabby for only a buck.
The last time I tried macaroni and cheese from Dollar Tree, it was about four years ago. The shells were just fine, but the cheese was even more neon than the name brand stuff, and its consistency was more similar to paste, than liquefied cheese. In case you were wondering, yes, the taste was just as bad as it looked…why do you think it’s been four years since the last time I tried it? But then I saw smiling, cartoon chef Paulie in the upper left hand corner of this box, and I knew from his convincingly drawn-on smile that he didn’t have anything to hide.

So I ponied up a dollar and bought a box. After all, not even Aldi and their perfected supply chain process can provide shells and cheese for a dollar; if Paulie could pull his off, by golly, this would be an amazing deal. Does he succeed? Well yes, but as it turns out, that rat bastard’s smile really is hiding something after all.

On the side of good: the pasta shells are just what you would expect, about the exact same size as the national brand. There is a good-sized package of “cheese” sauce, as well, which is also what you should be expecting. So far, so good, Paulie! The shells cook up nice and soft, as they should, and the cheese sauce is the perfect texture…I could swear that it’s even slightly thinner than the name brand stuff, but still a perfect consistency. The taste is almost pretty close, though if my memory serves me right, it’s not an exact knockoff. Still, there is no requirement, at least on my end, that private label knockoffs have to taste exactly the same as name brand counterparts--as long as it’s delicious, that’s fine by me. And these shells and cheese are close enough in that department to justify the dollar. Or are they…?

As it turns out, Paulie does have one trick up his sleeve after all, and it’s one that’s pretty common at Dollar Tree stores: he’s shorting us. He’s not just a chef, but a thief--this is an 8 oz. package, whereas the national brand (and Aldi’s Cheese Club version, which I believe is around $1.29) are 12 oz. Considering I ate this by myself, it worked out well, because it saved me four ounces of calories, sodium, cholesterol, and fat. But if you have a family to feed, the four ounces could legitimately make a difference.

So then how’s the value? It’s really not too bad. Subtracting a third from Aldi’s price (because Paulie offers a third less pasta in this package) takes us to $.93, but it’s wholly plausible they would just round that up to a retail price of a dollar anyway. It really all just comes down to the smaller packaging. Again, it didn’t bother me, but if you’re a mother (or father) who has their shells and cheese night down to a science, this is going to throw it off by giving you a third less than what you were expecting.

Overall: 7.5/10. The taste is pretty good, and rivals the name brand while being slightly different (I also thought the cheese sauce was slightly thinner, and had even better consistency than the national brand), but there’s a caveat attached to this; this is for an 8 oz. package. The name brand, as well as most private label brands (Aldi included), offer their shells and cheese in a 12 oz. package. So if you’re a college kid looking for a quick meal, then this should be just fine for you. But if you’re trying to feed a family, you might be getting a third less than what you were expecting, which could be a deal-breaker. I happened to eat it while my wife was away, so it didn’t bother me…had she been here, there might not have been enough to go around.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Little Journey Organics Apple, Pear and Green Pea Baby Food Puree (Aldi)

Just when you thought Little Journey Organics could do no wrong...
Heading in to a serving of this latest Little Journey Organics baby food pouch, there were a couple of things that stood out to me. One, obviously, is the flavor. I mean, I’m all for combinations of fruits and vegetables—there are many juices now that prove you can combine both into a tasty beverage—but out of the three things, I love apples, am kind of neutral on pears, and as much as I like peas, it makes me a little nervous to try pea puree inside an otherwise sweet beverage.

It was inevitable, but I have finally found a flavor that’s less than stellar. Well, “less than stellar” insinuates that it’s good but not great…this is actually more toward the realm of “nauseating”. The apple is there to provide some sweetness, and then it’s directly overpowered by a strong pea taste that, obviously, isn’t all that sweet. It’s a curious combination that’s really bad on paper, and even worse in execution, though being the trooper I am, I still managed to force the entire pouch down (hey, sometimes things get better the more used to it you get).

Even more disappointing is that this contains a meager 35% in the way of vitamin C, far and away the smallest amount out of any of the flavors I've tried. It might be easier to forgive the taste if it was at least packing in some vitamins and minerals, but there's really not much to be had in this one. All of the Little Journey Organics have been great up to this point, but this one tastes about as bad as you would expect it to right from the outset. If you're trying to get your child to eat veggies, this is not the way to go about it. Hugely disappointing.

Overall: 2.5/10. Absolutely appalling. All of the Little Journey Organics I've had up until now have been great, but this one is so heavily flavored by the pea, that it's curious how this found it onto store shelves. The taste is neither sweet, nor savory, instead balancing in the no man's land between those two just feels like a complete flavor clash. There have been some weaker ones, but even they were good enough that I would get them again, at least occasionally, but this one I won't even think twice about anywhere in the near future. And I wouldn't even pawn this off on my kid, either.

Little Journey Organics Apple Mango Baby Food Puree (Aldi)

A lesser flavor, but still good...can Little Journey Organics do anything wrong?
I’m sensing a recurring theme going through all of the Little Journey Organic offerings that Aldi carries, and that is that all of them (at least so far) feature apple as the main fruit. So far we’ve seen it paired with the likes of apricots, bananas, raspberries, and even some unpredictable vegetables like sweet potato. Well, those lovable oafs from Aldi are at it again, and this time, they have blended it with mango.

In a lot of the previous combinations I’ve had, the apple is the main flavor, with the additional ingredients gradually coming to the forefront (or, in the case of both pouches I had featuring banana, the taste not ever apparent at all). As I was expecting, that is not at all the case with apple mango, where the mango overpowers the apple from the beginning. All it takes is one sniff, or even just a breath anywhere near this, to know that the mango is the prevailing flavor.

Of course, whether or not this is a good thing depends on your tolerance for mango. I like it, but I don’t love it, and so I only liked this kind. The apple does get a little say in there somewhere, but for once it’s the supporting actor rather than the main star—and this is the time I would have preferred it to take the leading role.

Feelings of mango aside, I would definitely get this again, just not as frequently as I would, say, apple banana raspberry, or many of the other ones. The tartness of the mango (which is surprisingly very tart for a kid’s food) is pretty strong, and it doesn’t take much for me to get rather sick of it…to that end, the 4 oz. pouch is a perfect amount that prevents that from happening. As with all the other kinds, too, this one has a bare minimum of ingredients: apple and mango purees, lemon juice concentrate, and ascorbic acid (otherwise known as vitamin C), with all the ingredients certified organic, save for the latter.

Another plus working in its favor is that this has the most vitamin C out of any of them that I’ve had thus far, with a whopping 140% of baby's (or yours) daily suggested amount of vitamin C. It's always good to get your baby some necessary vitamins, and this one is up to the task! It's okay, but not one of the better ones, though your opinion will depend largely on what you think of mango as a fruit.

Overall: 6/10. The overwhelming taste of mango destroys the fledgling taste of apple in what feels more like a flavor battle than an actual combination drink. I don't mind mango, but it's not one of my favorites, and the way it completely dominates the flavor—even over a formidable fruit like apple—is a big turnoff. I would get this kind again in the future, but not very often, and not for a while. There are many better flavors out there, and I would venture to suspect that most kids aren't going to like the intense mango flavor all that much, either.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Little Journey Organics Apple Banana Peach with Yogurt Baby Food Puree (Aldi)

A great flavor combination.
Well, we’ve already taken a look at the Apple Banana Strawberry variety, which is a great flavor, so let’s continue on the “apple banana” trend with this one, which substitutes peach for strawberry, but is otherwise exactly the same.

As is par for the course with these, it contains all the titular ingredients in the form of organic purees, organic yogurt, as well as organic lemon juice concentrate. The only non-organic ingredient is ascorbic acid, otherwise known as “Vitamin C”. We’ve seen varying amounts of the vitamin in the previous two flavors we reviewed, ranging from 90-120%; this one falls somewhere in the middle, with 100% of the daily recommended allowance.

The flavor is very good. Once again, I don’t get much in the way of banana flavor, but the apple and peach stand out here, and the combination is excellent. This variety also has yogurt in the mix, presumably for added texture/thickenss, but this one felt very watery coming out, so I think it’s a little thinner than the previous ones I’ve tried. That’s not to say that it’s a complete liquid—it still has an applesauce-style texture—but if your baby is having problems with thicker purees, this might be the one to start off with. Besides, for $.79 (plus Aldi’s double guarantee if you’re really THAT disappointed), what do you really have to lose? This is but another great entry in Aldi’s consistent Little Journey Organics line.

Overall: 8/10. This one seemed to have a thinner consistency than the others, with more of a liquid base. This was a little surprising to me considering the addition of the yogurt, which usually makes it thicker. Still, though, that does nothing to the flavors, which are excellent here. Again, just like the apple banana strawberry pouch, I didn’t really taste the banana all that much here either, but the apple and peach come out full force and are an excellent combination. I would say this is one of the better ones, but all have been pretty consistently great…Little Journey Organics is a rather impressive line, especially when taking the price point into consideration.

Little Journey Organics Apple Banana Strawberry with Yogurt Baby Food Puree (Aldi)

Parent's choice winner AND certified organic, for $.79?! Insane.
Well let’s just keep this Little Journey Organics train rolling, shall we? Now we turn our focus to one that, based on the name and my tastes, promises to be the best one ever: apple, strawberry, and banana, all of which are probably in my top four favorite fruits (watermelon would be number two, just behind bananas).

Oh yeah, this one delivers. The apple is probably the “base” taste, but you can definitely pick up on the strawberry, as well, through a rather strong tartness that comes through. The banana seems to give it most of its texture, but the taste isn’t as strongly defined as the others, much to my dismay. Still, apple has proven time and time again to be a very versatile fruit, and a great “front end” flavor, and it proves that again here…normally I’d be much more disappointed about missing out on the banana, but it doesn’t bother me much at all, since what you do get is pretty darn good.

The last one I looked at had rice in it, giving it a slightly bumpy texture. This one foregoes that, and has yogurt in it instead, which makes it more like a smoothie. It still has the consistency of applesauce—due to this consisting of purees rather than juice—but it goes down easy and smooth.

True to every one of them in the line, all of the ingredients are organic, except for the ascorbic acid. About the biggest difference from a health perspective is that this “only” has 90% of baby’s recommended amount of vitamin C. But then again, is the percentage still assuming a 2,000 calorie diet? If so, then even 90% should be plenty enough for most babies. The $.79 price tag also still applies, making this a rather excellent value, especially considering it’s organic! See, whoever says you have to spend more money to live well hasn’t visited an Aldi store lately!

Overall: 8/10. This delicious blend of apple, strawberry, banana, and yogurt goes down smooth, and is a sweet flavor most kids are going to like...I know I did! The banana is kind of hard to detect, which is a bummer since it's my favorite fruit, but the apple and strawberry combination is solid, while the texture is a little lighter than a smoothie, but thicker than a juice. I'd like it a bit more if the banana was more obvious, but the $.79 price tag and the healthy ingredients still make this one a big winner for people of just about any age.