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Food/Nutrition Columnist Author: Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN - Food and Nutrition Columnist - Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Drinks to Try At Your Last Summer Barbecue

By Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN - Food and Nutrition Columnist -
Sep 9, 2013 - 12:04:55 AM

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( - The beverage aisle seems to grow and grow every time to you visit the supermarket. I recently had the opportunity to try some interesting new drinks. See what you think.

Tea of a Kind ( is a ready-to-drink tea-based beverage with a unique "Gizmo" cap. A special pressurized nitrogen chamber in the cap holds the fresh brewed tea and other ingredients which are released when the cap is twisted spilling into the bottle creating a freshly mixed drink and an interesting change of color. The process is appealing to watch.

Tea of a Kind is available in three flavors: Pomegranate Acai White Tea, Peach Ginger Black Tea, and Citrus Mint Green Tea. Each has 20 calories in a 16-ounce bottle. The tea is sweetened with stevia, a plant-based, no calorie sweetener.

KeVita ( is an organic, sparkling probiotic (containing friendly bacteria) drink available in ten flavors. I tried Coconut (10 calories per bottle), Pomegranate (40 calories per bottle) and Lemon Ginger (90 calories per bottle). Each flavor contains 4 billion CFUs (colony forming units) of active probiotic cultures. The flavors I tasted were sweetened with stevia.

Minta ( is a carbonated mint-flavored soda. It is available in Original and Diet varieties in either glass or plastic bottles. Both Original and Diet have a crisp bubbly mint flavor. Diet is sweetened with stevia. Some of my tasters loved it and others though it was best served diluted with sparkling water. That is a personal preference.

It Tastes RAAW ( are a quirky collection of fruit and vegetable drinks in 12-ounce bottles. The premise of the brand is commendable. Every flavor contains natural, nonGMO-verified ingredients which are vegan, kosher (OU), and gluten free. No added sugar, preservatives, colors or artificial flavors are used. The tastes are unique and one needs to experiment to find those they prefer. My tasters liked some, disliked others and felt some were best when mixed with sparkling water to mellow the taste. This is definitely a personal preference.

The nutrition values vary depending on the flavor and though the company notes on the side of each bottle the amount of the fruit and vegetable included (ex. ¾ pineapple + 1 cucumber for the Pineapple Cucumber flavor) the nutrient profile for an 8-ounce serving often does not reflect a rich source of nutrients.

There are 90 calories in an 8-ounce serving of:

  • Strawberry Purple Carrot
  • Cranberry Ginger
  • Raspberry Lemongrass
  • Very Berry Wheatgrass
  • Passion Fruit Wheatgrass

There are 100 calories in an 8-ounce serving of:

  • Carrot Lemonade
  • Mango Guarana
  • Better Beets

Pineapple Cucumber has 105 calories in an 8-ounce serving.

Appreciate that each 12-ounce bottle equals 1 ½ servings so if you drink the entire bottle, which is likely, the calories would increase to 135, 150 and 158 depending on the flavor.

© NRH Nutrition Consultants, Inc.
Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian and the author of the nutrition counter series for Pocket Books with sales of more than 8.5 million books.

Look for:

The Most Complete Food Counter, 3rd ed., 2013

The Calorie Counter, 6th Ed., 2013

The Complete Food Counter, 4th ed., 2012

The Diabetes Counter, 4th Ed., 2011

The Protein Counter, 3rd Ed., 2011

The Ultimate Carbohydrate Counter, 3rd Ed., 2010

The Fat Counter, 7th ed., 2009

The Healthy Wholefoods Counter, 2008

The Cholesterol Counter, 7th Ed., 2008

Your Complete Food Counter App:

For more information on Jo-Ann and her books, go to:


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