We Tried It: Evive Frozen Smoothie Cubes, the Canadian Brand Shaking Up the Smoothie Game
The plant-based frozen smoothie cubes promise to make healthy eating quick and easy. Best Health's managing editor, Ishani Nath, put them to the test.
When people say, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” I don’t think they were taking my meal choices into account. My typical breakfast is a cup of tea or coffee followed by ravenous snacking around 11 a.m. Sometimes it’s chips. Other times, a chocolate-covered granola bar. I know. It’s not great.
For years, I’ve tried to start my day with better nutrition, experimenting with quick and easy options from pre-prepped eggs to bran cereals. Nothing stuck. But a new Canadian frozen smoothie brand, promising a healthy dose of fruits and veggies without any prep work, renewed my hope.
Created in 2015 by Quebec couple Claudia Poulin and Dominic Dubé, Evive Nutrition’s blender-free smoothies first created a stir when they appeared on CBC’s Dragon’s Den in 2019 and received offers from every investor. Evive smoothies are packaged in a frozen wheel of eight wedges comprising of fruits, vegetables and plant-based proteins. To serve, pop out all the wedges—or use half if you’d like a ‘snack size’ portion—combine them with liquid, be it juice, water or oat milk, then shake to create a ready-to-go smoothie, without the blender.
I was skeptical at first. The smoothie market has grown rapidly, as has the perception that blended beverages are synonymous with health—but that’s not always the case. “People need to watch out for those fast-food smoothies,” says registered dietitian Shannon Crocker. “Oftentimes, they’re made with mostly fruit juice, or sugary fruit purees. And that can pack in a whole lot of natural sugars and calories.”
(Related: The 5 Unhealthiest Smoothies in Canada)
For me, the most important factor is taste. If it’s super healthy, but tastes like liquid spinach, I’ll stick with my tea for breakfast routine, thanks. So, for the sake of this trial, I tried several Evive smoothies: Yogi, Yin, Pure, Touk-Touk and Passion Mango.
Each morning, I popped a frozen wheel into a cup and added liquid. Each package has recommendations for what liquid to mix the cubes with, ranging from soy milk to iced tea or apple juice. Evive spokesperson Chanel George explains those specific suggestions are intended to enhance the taste of the smoothie, but of course, can be changed based on personal preference. For instance, I mixed the tropical tasting Touk-Touk cubes with some mango-peach juice instead of the recommended apple juice. I also opted for dairy milk rather than plant-based milk.
The Saphir smoothie (Image: Evive Nutrition)
The brand advises waiting 20 minutes for the cubes to melt, which worked surprisingly well with my morning routine. By the time I showered and got dressed, my smoothie was ready to be shaken and consumed. And all in all, the process was way more convenient than chopping and assembling ingredients for my own smoothie.
The more tropical and fruity blends (Yin, Touk-Touk and Passion Mango) were delicious and by far my favourite. The green smoothies (Pure and Yogi) tasted—how shall I say this—healthy. They weren’t bad, but they had a slight grassy aftertaste that wasn’t for me. Regardless of the blend, I finished each one and noticed that having Evive smoothie cubes in my freezer genuinely improved my morning eating habits.
Crocker says that from a nutrition standpoint, Evive smoothies are “pretty great”—many of the brand’s recipes are packed with fibre and protein, giving consumers a long-lasting energy boost. For instance, the Cashew Mocha and Passion-Mango smoothie cubes each have 18g of protein. “That’s going to keep you fuelled all morning long,” she says, noting that by comparison, a couple tablespoons of peanut butter contains about 8g of protein and two eggs would be about 12g. That said, she does suggest mixing Evive smoothies with water, milk or an unsweetened plant-based beverage rather than juice.
The one thing that gave Crocker pause was the cost. Evive smoothies are sold at grocery stores across Canada and online. Each frozen wheel costs about $5, which could be more costly than simply buying the ingredients and making a smoothie from scratch. However, if you don’t have the time or inclination (hi, it me), Crocker says these are a great, convenient option—and I agree. Buying big bushes of kale, peeling mangos and hulling berries is all doable, but the problem was I wasn’t doing it. The produce would go bad and ultimately, my attempts at eating healthy just ended up producing a lot of food waste—an issue that Evive smoothies, which also come in recyclable packaging, helped curb.
George also notes that the cubes can be transformed into a variety of different healthy treats, like popsicles, smoothie bowls or even baby food (apparently the bright blue Saphir recipe is popular with kids). There’s also the option to mix and match, for instance adding the bright pink Viva cubes with the Saphir cubes to create what Evive calls “Cotton Candy Dreams.”
So, do they live up to the hype? Yes, and for the same price as a latte, Evive smoothie cubes offer a daily beverage option I can really feel good about.