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Archive for July 21, 2011

PRODUCT: Activate Workout Vitamin Drink

We generally don’t review sports drinks and vitamin drinks. It’s not our sweet spot; we focus on beverages that are delicious.

We’ve tried a few vitamin water drinks over the years, where either a tablet or a powder is added to a bottle of water immediately before consumption. Every one we tried tasted, well, yucky.

The first brand we’d drink because it actually tastes good is Activate Workout. It’s produced by The Rising Beverage Company, which makes other enhanced waters as well.

According to the company, which conducted research with an independent analytical laboratory, vitamins and other active ingredients lose their potency sitting in water.

So they created a release-top bottle cap. Twist the cap and the active ingredients fall into the water. Shake the bottle and drink.

We tried two of the four flavors, which include Grape, Lulo Pear,* Passionfruit and Pink Grapefruit.

*Lulo, also known as naranjilla or “little orange,” is a South American fruit that tastes like rhubarb and lime—perhaps with a hint of pineapple.


Activate Workout with a vitamin-filled
cap. Photo by Jacklyn Nussbaum | THE NIBBLE.


Both Lulo Pear and Pink Grapefruit were delicately charming—the pink grapefruit perhaps too delicate (add more grapefruit flavor!!).

One serving (8 ounces) provides 50% DV of vitamins B6, niacin (B3), pantheonic acid (B5) and vitamin B12, plus 240% DV of vitamin C. By consuming the full bottle, you’ve had your DV of these five vitamins, plus small amounts of vitamins A and E.

That being said, we never really “got” vitamin-infused water, except as a marketing ploy. None of the brands we’ve seen provides a well-rounded complement of vitamins. It’s more about feeling good that you’ve made a healthy choice. (And a lot of people feel good about it: Vitamin-enhanced waters is a sizable and growing category.)

Activate Workout contains 0 calories and no preservatives. It is naturally (and pleasantly) sweetened with stevia. The line is certified kosher by OU.

There’s a store locator on the website. You can download a coupon there, or purchase from the website.

The company is also a good corporate citizen:

  • A percentage of each sale goes to Nourishing America, which provides vital prenatal nutrients to pregnant women in need.
  • You can purchase extra caps and refill the bottles with water. The bottles are 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.
    We like the colorful bottles, and have repurposed them as water bottles. As for the vitamins, we’ll continue to take what we need in tablet and capsule forms.


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    TIP OF THE DAY: Grill Extra Steak

    Steak salad: our favorite way to enjoy
    leftover steak or other grilled meat on a
    hot summer day. Photo and recipe courtesy


    When you’re grilling steak, lamb, pork or chicken, grill enough meat to enjoy in a cold salad the next day.

    For example, the recipe below, for a balsamic-marinated steak salad, was meant to be served warm. We doubled the recipe and enjoyed the dish again two days later, with the meat cool (it warmed up on the counter). The basic recipe for four uses one pound of steak. If your family eats larger portions, plan accordingly.

  • The recipe takes advantage of fresh summer blueberries, using them both as a salad ingredient and for the dressing. We made our steak salad dressing with just a teaspoon of sugar, because the blueberries had lots of natural sweetness and we don’t like overly sugary dressings.
  • On the second day, out of blueberries, we added diced cantaloupe, honeydew and grape tomatoes to the steak salad, with blue cheese instead of feta. It was delicious.
  • We also added some leftover wild rice, mounding it under the steak. Any rice or grain (barley, quinoa) would work as well. Change it up with sliced boiled potatoes.
  • On the third day, we served the salad portion with duck breast from Maple Leaf Farms, using fresh goat cheese instead of feta. Wonderful.
  • And just as wonderful, we also tried the recipe with grilled salmon and feta.


    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Marinate Time: 30 minutes (longer if you can)
    Cook Time: 16 minutes
    Serves: 4


  • 1-1/2 cups blueberries, divided
  • 1/2 cup Lawry’s Balsamic Herb Marinade, divided (you can substitute balsamic vinaigrette and your choice of herbs: 2 tablespoons balsamic to 6 tablespoons olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar (we used one teaspoon)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 pound skirt steak (or other cut)
  • 1 package (5 ounces) mixed salad greens
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (can substitute blue cheese or fresh goat cheese)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
    1. Make dressing: Place 3/4 cup of the blueberries, 2 tablespoons of the marinade, sugar, water and lemon juice in food processor. Cover and process until smooth. Refrigerate dressing until ready to serve.

    2. Place steak in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add 1/4 cup of the remaining marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor. Remove steak from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade—it will contain bacteria from the raw meat.

    3. Grill steak over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes per side or until desired doneness, brushing with the remaining 2 tablespoons of marinade. Let steak rest for 15 minutes; cut into thin slices.

    4. Divide salad greens evenly among 4 serving plates. Top each with steak slices. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup blueberries, feta and onion. Serve with dressing.


    Grilled Thai Lamb & Asparagus Salad
    Lamb Salad With Cucumber & Watercress
    Thai Beef Salad


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