Hungry? Don't want to cook? Instead of grabbing that bag of cheetos, consider grabbing a...glass?
Ample is the (nearly) instantaneous meal that comes in a plastic bottle, and it launched just this past month on indiegogo. Created by Connor Young, Ample claims to provide optimal nutrition without the hassle of traditional meal preparation—it takes less than a minute to prepare.
But of course, when it comes to meals (especially meals that are supposed to be healthy), the first question that many jump to is, "how does it taste?"
Which is precisely why we got a box of the drinks to try.
Ample comes in powder form. And as previously mentioned, it's in a handy, portable bottle. It's about the same size as your average water bottle. In order to make it, all you have to do is add water or milk (milk is a bad choice, more on that later), give it a shake, and there you are. You now have yourself a nutritional meal for the moments when you don't have the time, or the desire, to cook up something healthy.
Notably, unlike some competitors, Ample isn't loaded with sugar. It contains less than 3 grams per a bottle. Also, it is made with "natural ingredients." There's macadamia nut oil, organic cacao, sweet potato starch, and similar things. See the ingredients here.
For some, this may raise concerns, as "sugar" often equals "good taste." However, Ample doesn't sacrifice taste for health. When we gave it a try, I immediately thought of Ensure and other drinks that aim to provide nutrition in bottle form. As far as taste goes, Ample manages to keep up with the competitors, and anyone who is farmilar with these kinds of meal shakes will note the farmilar taste.
However, what you mix it with matters
The first time that I tried it, I used milk (2%, if you are wondering). I shook the bottle for about 30 seconds, gave it a try...and sucked on a bunch of powder. It was not exactly pleasant. So I shook some more, and still not good.
However, Alex (one of my co-workers who was also trying some Ample) was raving about it. "It tastes better than soylent, and there's no chalky taste." He added, "I can definitely see this getting involved in daily activity."
I thought Alex had lost his mind.
When I noted that mine was all lumpy, we assumed that my tiny arms just weren't strong enough to shake the clumps out. So Alex took the bottle and gave it a vigorous shake for me. Still no bueno. Still lots of clumps. Finally, we figured out the issue: Alex had used water, while I used milk.
I tried again with water, and it dissolved in no time. It wasn't something that I will probably crave, but it tastes rather good and serves its purpose well.
Neil, another one of the guys at Futurism, also gave it a try (also with water), and he seemed to enjoy it: "Surprisingly really good, like a mushy coconut candy in a way." Alex has since been slowly making his way through the rest of the case.
So the general consensus is: While it tastes good, it is a very bad idea to try and drink it with milk, as it never seems to fully dissolve (though the additional indiegogo funds may help the team fix this issue). Just use water, and you will be good to go.
The product is supposed to ship in September. You can order some for here for $30.