I'm so excited to share this post with you! When it comes to consuming more fruits and veggies, this has truly been a game-changer for me.
According to the CDC, 90% of American adults do not meet vegetable intake recommendations (2-3 cups daily), and 87% do not meet fruit intake recommendations (1.5-2 cups daily).
Smoothies are a great way to pack a lot of health-promoting nutrients (from fruits and veggies!) into a refreshing beverage that's easy to consume.
However, smoothies do require some work. You have to:
- Gather all your ingredients
- Wash and prep the fresh produce
- Blend the ingredients
- Clean up your mess
It's kind of an ordeal... and not one I want to deal with on a daily basis. Especially on a morning when I'm trying to get out the door for work. Yet these are the days when smoothies are most beneficial... because I need something that's healthy yet convenient and easy to consume.
Make several smoothies at once, in advance, and freeze them!
You might be thinking, But how is the TEXTURE of the thawed smoothies?
This is what kept me from trying batched smoothies for a long time. I thought the texture would be bad. It was actually a former patient of mine who explained that this method works well and saves a ton of time. (I love exchanging tips and tricks with patients!)
As you'd expect, the outside of the "frozen smoothie chunk" melts before the inside. However, once it's about halfway thawed, you can break it all up, creating a slushy mixture. The thawed smoothie might not be quite as smooth as the original blended mixture, but it's close. And given the time it saves me, I am A-okay with this. :)
The day before I plan to drink the smoothie, I take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge. This allows it to thaw slowly and have a nice slushy texture when I'm ready to drink it.
On work days, I like to transfer the smoothie to a large insulated cup, which keeps it nice and cold as I sip on it through the morning.
The recipe possibilities for smoothies are endless. I tend to just throw in random combinations of whatever I have on hand - various greens, cucumbers, celery, sometimes fresh beets... and whatever fruit I have in the freezer or fridge (berries, grapes, apples, oranges, etc.).
Side Note: I don't typically add bananas unless I'm doing a "milk shake" kind of recipe for the kids. (Blended frozen bananas are a wonderful replacement for ice cream. More on that in a future post.) Therefore I'm not sure how it would work to batch prep banana-based smoothies.
For me, smoothies are about FUEL. Just the fruits and veggies, please. No extras. No fluff.
I will forewarn you that this recipe is not overly sweet. Also, the beautiful colors of the fruits and veggies combine to make a not-so-beautiful dark brown final product.
Personally, I don't care about that. I'm going for fuel, and this smoothie knocks out FIVE servings of fruits and veggies in one shot!
If you want a prettier color, you can exchange the mixed berries for green grapes, frozen mangoes, or oranges. This will make the smoothies green instead of brown.
I will also mention that I modify smoothies for my kids, going lighter on the veggies and heavier on the fruit. Otherwise they won't drink them.
It's all about getting creative and finding what works for you and your family. A splash of 100% fruit juice is a nice option if you want to make them sweeter.
Have fun with it, and feel super-smart as you sip on your thawed smoothie that you made a week ago! :)
Each "batch" (full blender) contains the following. Make as many batches as you'd like. (I made four.)
- 1 English cucumber
- 1/4 of a 1-lb. package of celery hearts
- 1 regular package (5 oz.) or 1/2 of a family size package (10 oz.) of fresh greens - whatever you like (I used a combination of spinach and Spring mix.)
- 1-2 packages of frozen mixed berries (4 servings of fruit)
- Juice + zest of 1/4 lemon
- 2 cups water
- Wash and prep the above ingredients.
- As shown in the picture above, divide your prepped ingredients into batches.
- Blend. I start with the water, lemon, and cucumber. Once that's blended, I add the celery. Then the greens and frozen berries. To avoid getting the blender jammed up, it helps to add a little at a time.
- Pour into cups. I divide each batch into two large (32 oz.) BPA-free tumblers.
- Cover the cups with plastic wrap and/or foil and put them in the freezer.
- Thaw and enjoy when ready! (As mentioned, I transfer the smoothie from the freezer to fridge a day ahead of time, so that it thaws more slowly and evenly.)
This post was originally published on June 25, 2018.