I've become a big fan of the 'smoothie', especially since I learned how to make smoothie kits I keep in the freezer. Each kit provides 2 servings of fruit, and a serving of yogurt for protein. Read more below and see how I add a serving of veggies to it when it's time to blend...and the kids don't even know the difference!
I've mentioned recently that I've begun looking for ways to help me make healthy choices more easily available in my fridge and freezer. Since a good goal is to eat 2 servings of fruit a day and since my family is always in a hurry in the mornings, I was turned onto smoothies as an option.
At first I found them to be time consuming and therefore...a hit or miss choice for breakfast each day. Then I discovered how to make smoothie kits!
Each one can be as unique as I want, but they all have the same core ingredients:
- 1/3 cup of yogurt (I freeze this in muffin tins before adding to the kitted bag ~ pics and explanations below...)
- 2 servings of fruit (1 banana and whatever other fruit I have on hand)
The kits are kept in the freezer and pulled out one at a time as I need them. Usually I'll pull out a few when I get up in the morning, letting them defrost a little while the coffee brews and I make school lunches. By then the fruit and yogurt are soft enough to puree / liquefy in my blender without causing great damage to the blade!
One kit gets dumped into the blender and I add
- about 1/2 cup liquid of choice:
- For the boys (who are not counting calories!)...Fruit juice...pure juice, not the 'blends' full of sugar (a favorite here are the V8 Infusion blends)
- For me (who is counting calories!)...water or sometimes almond milk.
- a slice of fresh ginger (usually this is for me and the hubby...kids not as fond of it)
- a couple of handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves (optional...but gets that serving of veggie in there!)
- Yes...the kids will drink it with the spinach but they don't like the green color. I usually put it in one of those insulated cups with a lid and a straw that is green or solid colored...so they can't see that the drink is green too!
There are all kinds of smoothie recipes out there and you can take the rest of the day searching the web for your favorites, but I'll share that our favorite fruit combinations are:
- Pineapple and ginger (and sometimes some frozen mango added)
- Strawberry and Pineapple (kids fave)
- Blueberry and Peaches
The best way to fill my freezer with these kits is to set up an assembly line. But before I do that, I have to fill several muffin tins with my yogurt (I prefer plain, no fat greek yogurt, but you can use whatever you desire)
First fill the muffin tins with 1/3 cup of yogurt and cover with a layer of plastic wrap.
This now goes into the freezer for a few hours (or overnight)
I typically give it 2-3 hours and they are ready to pop out.
Let the tins sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes and then firmly tap the tin on your counter.
They should pop out, although you may need to firmly tap (slam?) them several times
as my experience is that a few come out at a time.
These are now ready to go into my kits!
To make assemble quick and easy, I fill up my counter with all of my fruit options.
On this particular day I was using all frozen fruits...which makes assemble super easy!
However, I've also used fresh fruits, especially fresh pineapple and it works great as well.
Also on this particular kit building day, I had a freezer full of frozen bananas I wanted to use up.
I'm sure many of you can relate to the 'bad banana' dilemma!
No matter how many or few bananas you buy...
some of them get over ripe before you can eat them all.
I put these bananas in a freezer bag I keep in the freezer.
When I want bananas for bread or a smoothie, they are ready to use!
When making smoothie kits, I like to cut them into smaller portions.
FRESH BANANAS work too.
Typically that's what I use most of the time.
For those, I just break them up in 4 pieces and toss them into my kit baggie.
Each kit uses a quart sized freezer bag.
You can label with the fruit combo if you like,
but I usually tell the kids...you get what you get!
Breakfast is always a surprise!
This is the kit with bananas, peaches and blueberries.
Just need to add one of the frozen yogurt portions and....
My kits are done!
I like to put my fresh ginger in at the time of blending. It seems to have a stronger flavor
that way, plus not everyone wants ginger in their smoothie.
The spinach gets added at that time as well.
Last week I made 24 of these at one time and it took me about 15 minutes
after the yogurt was set and ready to go.
With 3-4 people eating one a day...I'll be making more soon!
Do you make smoothies?
Share a favorite recipe in the comments link below!
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