When I first got into making smoothies, people would ask me if I prepared them in advance. I would raise an eyebrow and the same corner of my mouth simultaneously wondering why I would. Smoothies literally take seconds to blend-why would I need a shortcut? And then one day I did take that shortcut and my life was forever changed. Preparing smoothies in advance has more benefits than one may realize. Let me fill you in.
First of all, prepping allows us to avoid wasting produce that may be spoiling which is probably the biggest and best reason for this hack. We eat a lot of spinach in our home. We buy the huge organic tubs from Costco because they are almost half the price than in any other supermarket. However, I found that some weeks we just weren’t polishing off the container, which left me sweating with guilt. I immediately started preparing individually portioned smoothies to save my spinach and its nutritional value. At the same time, I took the opportunity to skim the fruit bowl and salvage any fresh fruits that were on the verge of going bad (bananas, always).
Once I got into this habit, I quickly fell in love with my ready-to-go meals. I now purposely buy more fruit and greens just so I can squeeze in some smoothie prep. When I was pregnant I went crazy with this hack and it ended up being such a life saver in those first few weeks post-partum. As long as you have a couple of ready-to-go ingredients sitting in your freezer, you will never be left with “nothing to eat.” On those days where your fridge is empty, but you’d rather starve than go grocery shopping, you can get away with doing neither since your smoothies are there to save the day. On those days where you forgot your kid invited a friend over to play and you have nothing to feed them – smoothies. On those days where you just need something light and bright and refreshing – smoothies. And when you get back from a trip and your kitchen is empty as can be…your freezer won’t be. Of course, ready-to-go meals are also favorable when we are short on one very crucial matter which is time. This leads me to my next point.
For the longest time my breakfast every morning was a green smoothie. I was the worst morning person ever and taking the time to prepare breakfast was just not a top priority in my chaotic routine. I knew that I needed fuel so I always fell back on the quickest and healthiest option – smoothies. I would whiz around the kitchen throwing anything together, blend it, pour it, and run out the door. I would drink my breakfast while driving to work. Now that I’m a stay at home mom, my mornings are actually quite peaceful and although I technically have the time to prepare a meal from scratch, I still find myself wanting my smoothie. Besides, there are still those chaotic days where my daughter has a doctor’s appointment or I have something scheduled and I did not take into account the time I would need to prepare breakfast. We all struggle with time and there will be many moments in our lifetime where a solid smoothie prep will save our asses.
How to Master Smoothie Prep
1. Place a large handful of leafy greens in a medium sized freezer bag or a glass container.
2. Follow it up with a variety of fruit, fresh and/or frozen.
3. Add some chunks of turmeric or ginger root if you desire.
4. You can add anything you think of here or you can wait to add them just before blending. Great
additive suggestions are yogurts, hemp hearts, chia seeds, goji berries, dates, unsweetened coconut or coconut butter, nut or seed butters, protein powders, etc. I personally prefer adding these boosters last minute just before blending when I can tune into my taste buds and please them in the moment.
5. Repeat until you have salvaged all of your nutrient-dense produce.
6. Seal your bags or cover your containers and store them in your freezer.
7. When you are ready for a smoothie, remove a smoothie package and add the contents to your
8. Add any last minute ingredients, if desired.
9. Add your milk/milk alternative or water and blend.
10. Save your bags for your next round of smoothie prep.
My favorite Smoothie Blends
Banana Blueberry Smoothie:
• 1 large handful of spinach
• 1 ripe banana
• 1⁄2 cup blueberries
• Last minute add-ins: 1 Tbsp. hemp hearts and 1.5 cup unsweetened almond milk
Mango Ginger Smoothie:
• 1 large handful kale, de-stemmed
• 1 cup mango
• 1 small ripe banana
• 1 inch piece of fresh ginger root
• Last minute add-ins: 1 Tbsp. chia seeds and 1.5 cups coconut milk
What are your favorite smoothie blends?
CHANTAL URBINA is a registered Massage Therapist and Culinary Nutrition Expert. She is passionate about living a life full of health, love, and happiness and that all three start with our diet. “Nature’s healing properties will never cease to amaze me and it inspires me day after day to create and share recipes made with only real whole foods.”