Make A Month of Green Smoothies in an Hour

Have you gotten on the green smoothie wagon yet? Over the past few years I’ve started making them for breakfast each day. It started out about health and an easy breakfast I could sip as a busy work-from-home-mom, and then I became utterly and completely addicted. I love my daily smoothie!

DIY Green Smoothie Formula | HelloNatural.co Maybe you’ve wanted try green smoothies, but you haven’t known where to start. Or maybe you’ve been too busy to look for recipes or tackle the daily prep involved. That’s where make-ahead frozen smoothie packs come into play. They are awesome and you’ll wonder what you ever did without them.

what is a green smoothie?

Let’s start with the basic makeup of a green smoothie. First, it doesn’t have to look green! A good green smoothie is built on several things – leafy greens, fruit (sometimes veggies too), liquid and other nutritional add-ins. Typically a green smoothie is 40% greens and 60% fruit, liquid and other add-ins. You can play with that until it feels right for your tastes.

  • Leafy greens: Chard, spinach, kale and collards, bok choy, romaine and other sweet lettuces
  • Fruit: Berries, pineapple, mango, citrus, avocado, pear, apple, banana, melon, dates, etc.
  • Veggies: Cucumber, celery, fennel, tomatoes, carrots, beets, pumpkin or butternut puree
  • Liquids: Water, coconut water, milk, non-dairy milks (coconut, soy, oat, nuts), juice, tea, fermented and cultured beverages (kefir, kombucha, buttermilk, whey, etc )
  • Nutritional add-ins: Chia seeds, flax seeds, acai powder, green superfood powders (acai, maca, spirulina, wheat grass, etc.), protein powder, cocoa powder, spices, hemp seeds, whole nuts, oats, etc.

How to make a frozen green smoothie system

Make A Month of Green Smoothies in an Hour 1. Buy in bulk

You’ve probably seen commercially prepared smoothie packs in the freezer sections of some stores. Awesome, but you can do it for less money at home, especially if you hit up a sale on fruit and greens. If you can, use what’s in season in your area. That’s a little harder for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter. That’s when I rely on buying fresh and frozen food in bulk at Costco.

2. You can have a different smoothie each day

For these packs, I used baby spinach, fresh pineapple (got a killer deal on them!), bananas, blueberries and blackberries. With those four fruits, you can mix and match to get a little different smoothie for each day or make the same one. Leafy greens freeze really well. You can puree them and make ice cubes ahead of time or just toss the leaves into the bag.

Frozen Green Smoothie | HelloNatural.co 3. Buy the right bag

Quart-sized freezer resealable bags are great because I can rinse and reuse them over and over. Mark each one with the date the pack was made and cross it out when you’ve made it. The packs won’t last forever before the quality is affected by hoar frost. Think of it as a once a month or every other week kind of task, though they will last for several months if you’re feeling particularly ambitious.

4. How to pack a pack

Put the leafy greens into the bag first, followed by the fruit. I do about 2 packed cups of baby spinach and 2 to 2 1/2 cups frozen and/or fresh fruit. You could add the chia or flax seeds, but I find they stick to the bag. (Plus sometimes I soak my chia seeds before blending.)

5. Make it work for your blender

Remember that cutting fruit into smaller pieces makes it easier on your blender. Bananas, if they are really ripe, usually do okay halved, but you can slice them up before you put them into the bags. If you don’t have a high speed blender like a Vitamix, Blendtec, Ninja and the like, then you might want to try making leafy green ice cubes for better blending. Another option is to only make freezer packs with the fruit and then use fresh leafy greens.

Healthy Green Smoothies | HelloNatural.co 6. Avoid frost

Squeeze out as much air as you can and seal the bag. Removing the air helps prevent frost from forming.

7. Easy stacking

For easier stacking in the freezer, you can flatten them out a bit more. The bags will freeze more quickly if placed in a single layer in the freezer. You could also freeze the fruit on cookie sheets and then transfer them to the bags. Totally up to you on that.

8. When it’s time to blend

When you blend, add 1 cup of liquid with the packet contents. The greens will break up a little easier after having been frozen, but you will probably need a little more liquid than normal for your blender to puree them properly. When I make a fresh smoothie (not from a frozen pack) I layer the liquid, then greens, then fresh fruit, then frozen fruit and seeds or other add-ins on top.

Healthy Green Smoothies | HelloNatural.co 9. Experiment with flavor combinations

It’s really fun to mix it up with other varieties of fruit and greens. Above (left to right):

  • Banana Blueberry: 1 large banana, 2 cups blueberries, 2 cups spinach
  • Pineapple Blueberry: 1/2 banana, 1 1/2 cups pineapple, 1/2 to 3/4 cup blueberries, 2 cups spinach
  • Kiwi Watermelon: 1 sliced kiwi, 1 cup diced watermelon, 1 cup grapes, 2 cups spinach
  • Banana Berry: 2-3 cups mixed berries, 1/2 large banana, 2 cups spinach
  • Melon Berry: 1 cup melon, 1 1/2 cups mixed berries, 2 cups spinach
  • Pineapple Banana: 1 large sliced banana, 2 heaping cups pineapple, 2 cups spinach

This detox smoothie recipe is another favorite. Or try this wrinkle-reducing berry and kale smoothie.

10. And that’s it! Easy and quick.

Healthy Green Smoothies | HelloNatural.co P.S. Ready to start juicing? Try our 3 Juicing 101 recipes!

Lindsey

is the blogger behind Cafe Johnsonia and a Contributing Editor


Comments

  1. teeky28 says

    what a great idea! I always add gelatin (the green can), protein powder, and shredded coconut to my smoothies. rather than get them out every time, I mix them in a mason jar and add a couple of tablespoons of the mix in. hey, anything to save a little time. :D

  2. Gail says

    This is a very good idea. I have tons of smoothie recipes but gravitate towards the “usual” banana/strawberry/spinach because I’ve grown used to it. Spending an hour so to make them up in advance makes it easier, and sticking to the recipes encourages you to have diverse smoothies. Thanks!

  3. Gail says

    To get more air out of the bags: Once you’ve put the food items in the bag, put a straw half way down the corner of the bag. Zip the bag from the other side up to the edge of the straw. Using your mouth, suck the air out of the straw. When you’ve done this, clamp the straw part where it is touching the zippered portion to prevent more air coming back in. Remove straw. Then quickly zip the remaining section where the straw was. It may take a little practice and a few times to get it right, but I do it with all my bags of food to be frozen. You may want to spread your food in the bag to make it flat before inserting the straw, because once you’ve sucked the air out of the bag, the food becomes stationary.

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