How to Prep Make-Ahead Smoothie Packs!
Totally going to tell you about the life hack that’s saving my snacks.
So simple. Embarrassingly easy? I’m annoyed that I didn’t think of them five years ago.
Not that it would have mattered – I had all the time in the world back then. Now! I have a kid and like to remind everyone I see that “I don’t have any TIME.”
False. I do have time. I’m just making time for certain things and not making time for other things. Fact.
One thing I do not want to make time for is dragging out every smoothie ingredient every morning, because life everything else in my life said smoothie must be high maintenance. Or it’s not worth it.
We are making TONS (yes, tons) of smoothies every week in this house. I’ve blabbed on countless times now about how Eddie has started drinking green smoothies every morning before working out.
Sidebar: that happens in the garage, because the Vitamix sounds like a jet engine and it’s 5AM.
A few weeks ago I figured I’d try freezing the ingredients together to make mornings (or snacks) easier and it made my planner-loving, list-making, meal-prepping brain go wild.
Meal planning and prep has changed drastically since I had Max. It used to be that I’d easily plan our dinners and then prep one easy snack (maybe granola, or even just some hard boiled eggs), and make a full meal or two (or even three) to share over lunches and dinners.
These days, I find myself not having as much time (oooops I did it again) to make my favorite healthy breakfasts or lunches and I’m grabbing RIDICULOUS choices. Seriously, I can’t even tell you some of the things.
But! I do have more time to prepare dinner AND I still really enjoy it. Riddle me that.
After a bunch of trial and error, I’ve figured out what works fully in meal prepping for us right now: a few snacks to grab, some options put together for lunch, one make-ahead breakfast (like these overnight oats) and then doing a few tasks that will make dinners easier. Things like chopping up brussels to roast, slicing peppers for fajitas the next night, marinating meat for Monday or Tuesday, etc.
My goal with prepping meals is that it absolutely cannot take longer than one and a half to two hours (and that’s pushing it) – or else I just won’t do it. I don’t want to spend my entire Sunday in the kitchen, especially when I spend most of the week there for my job. I don’t even want to spend two hours, to be honest.
I wish I didn’t have to prep anything at all. But if I don’t, I end up reaching for too much junk when I’m starving or just generally eating things that make me feel like garbage. It makes SUCH a difference. And now that I have Max, it makes snacks super simple. Especially if we have to grab something to take with us.
So I was kind of surprised that the smoothie packs saved so much time. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but when it comes down to it, our smoothies mean getting out multiple bags of frozen fruit (sometimes three to four kinds), some kind of green, a bunch of other bags or jars for things like chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax – all that – and before I know it the kitchen is a disaster again with bags and jars everywhere.
I found myself not even wanting to make the smoothie, which is so simple to begin with(!) because I dreaded getting everything out.
Problem solver right here.
My go-to smoothie ratio is: 1 1/2 cups of fruit + 2 cup of greens + 1 to 1 ½ cups liquid. I find that I can easily add in at least a teaspoon of chia, hemp, flaxseed, maca powder, spirulina – whatever – when blending and it’s a consistency that we love.
I don’t always do green smoothies and I don’t always give them to Max, but we might have them a few times a week. He currently LOVES smoothies, which is what prompted me to start making them daily again in the freezing cold months to begin with.
I freeze all the fruit and greens together. You can use fresh fruit or frozen fruit – I mean, by the time it comes out of the freezer, it’s all going to be frozen anyway. We love to buy the huge bags of frozen organic strawberries and blueberries at Target – first, berries are barely in season here and second, organic ones cost an arm and leg. And the portions are small. So this is more economical, especially since Eddie has at least one smoothie daily.
I also measure out any of my “dry” ingredients for single use and put them containers or bags in the pantry. This is usually 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds, 1 teaspoon of chia seeds, 1 teaspoon of flaxseed, and so on. Maybe coconut or cocoa powder. You can easily add protein powder too. I also love spirulina in my smoothies, but find that mixing it in the bag with everything else just makes it stick to the bag. I don’t know. It’s weird.
The only things left to add into the blender are the liquid (ours is almost always coconut milk, almond milk, or coconut water. Eddie sometimes uses juice.) and if I’m using it, yogurt. I rarely adding yogurt to a smoothie for myself (I’d rather eat it) but I will add it to one for Max. Eddie adds it sometimes.
And last thing: nut butter, coconut butter, coconut oil, or whatever butter I don’t measure out before if using it. The same could go for dates or figs if you use those, but you can also stick them in your fruit and greens bag.
Super simple, right? So embarrassingly easy that I had to (over)share. As usual.
Make-Ahead Smoothie Packs
fruit + greens, frozen ahead of time (at least the night before)
- 1 1/2 cups your favorite (frozen or fresh) fruit
- 2 cups greens of choice (spinach, kale, etc)
dry ingredients: chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut, flaxseeds, unsweetened cocoa, protein powder - whatever you'd like!
when adding to the blender: add 1 to 1 1/2 cups liquid of choice (milk, water, juice) along with your fruit+greens pack + dry ingredients. Blend it up!
my go-to favorite frozen fruits to have on hand are bananas, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, pineapple and mango. we truly mix EVERYTHING - any kind of fruit and green together!
[i know that using plastic bags isn't the "greenest" option - but i don't have the room for that many jars or containers in my freezer. if you do, i'd go with mason jars!]
Favorite smoothie combo? GO.