6.27.2014

My Recipe Book: Freeze-Ahead Smoothie Packs

I tend to be a bit of an impatient person. I hate it when things take too long, especially when I'm in a rush. In the mornings, I'm notorious for waking up early to be able to take my time getting ready so that I don't leave for work in a bad mood - which often means that I'm up before 6am. I enjoy the quiet of the mornings, which is something the nights don't have here in New York. At night, people in my neighborhood stay up until just before 4am, riding their skateboards in the streets and laughing with friends (hoodlums). But in the mornings - the earliest of mornings - that's when you find the peace of the city. Everything slows down, people retreat into their homes, and the city has a quiet kind of buzz of all the early birds getting ready to catch their worms.

So, naturally, I revel in finding a breakfast that's quick and easy, and takes less than 5 minutes to put together. My granola bowl is one of my favorites for when I'm in the mood for something a bit heartier, but generally I like to keep my breakfasts light and uber-nutritious. Smoothies have become such an integral part of my morning routine that I actually spend an hour or two every other weekend prepping them for myself; which, in turn, saves me a ton of time every morning during the work week. Instead of worrying about what to have and questioning whether or not that fruit has gone bad, these make-ahead freezer packs give me mental stability (truly, though) so that I can have a quick breakfast ready to go every day without the fret.

And the best part - smoothies are so inherently customizable! If you like one type of smoothie, make four or five packs of that combo; but if you want some variety, try mixing it up in prep and surprising yourself each morning.

Morning Make-Ahead Smoothies
A recipe (maybe? meh, not really) by yours truly. The amazing blogger Henry Happened also makes these, and I love her recipes, too!


Ingredients:
Okay, so here's where it gets tricky. If you're a stickler for following recipes, this is NOT going to be your thing. I literally grab a handful of anything and throw it into quart-sized zip-lock baggies, so no measurements are needed here (I promise!). Also, if you don't like one type of fruit / berry, substitute something else in! I ain't your momma.
- Baby Spinach
- Mint
- Cucumbers
- Coconut (the meat!)
- Raspberries
- Blackberries
- Strawberries
- Ginger
- Guava
- Orange Juice / Carrot Juice / Passion Fruit Juice (whatever kind of juice you're into)

Subs you can also use:
Blueberries, Pineapple, Bananas, Melon, Watermelon, Grapes, Kiwi, Chard, Celery, Kale, Lettuces, Mango, Avocado, Pear, Apple, Beets, Almond Milk, Greek Yogurt. Just get creative, y'all.  


Instructions:
1. First, you'll want to plop all the greens into your freezer-safe quart-sized zip-lock bags. Be mindful that you're using only the amount that will fit into your blender for all of your ingredients! I have a Magic Bullet, which is my trusty sidekick to mix everything in the mornings. So, with their small-ish sized cups, I use a handful of baby spinach and about 6 to 7 leaves of mint.
2. Then slice up all of the pieces that will be harder to grind when frozen; strawberries, guava, ginger, cucumbers, and coconut meat are all pretty thick to begin with, so I try to slice them down as small as possible to cut down on blender time after they've been frozen solid.
3. Pop the sliced up fruit, roots, and veggies into the packs, and take handfuls of berries to top them with. I love, love, love blackberries, so I tend to use about 10 big ones per pack, and about 5 to 7 raspberries. Like I mentioned earlier, you can easily switch up any of these ingredients; or, if you like, you can choose for one smoothie to be berry-heavy and another to leave them out entirely!
4. You can pre-make as many packs as you want, but I tend to keep it in the two-week to three-week supply region. Once you get past a month, you risk the contents being a little... freezer burnt? Also, be sure to squeeze out all the air from the bags as you close them! It will cut down on frost, and keep your fruit and veggies a bit fresher.
5. When you want a smoothie, pull out a pack and pop into the blender. Pour in whatever juice your heart desires - I like orange, passion fruit, or carrot juice, or a mixture of all of them. Then blend until smooth (hence the name - smoothie), pour into a glass, and enjoy!


I enjoy one almost every morning, and it's a great way to get your greens, fruits, and veggies in one easy-as-pie serving. They're just ideal for the summer months, and a lovely little way for cooling down in the evenings, too, as a pre-dinner snack.

PS. This is my 100th post! Yeehaw, y'all. 

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