Guilt Free Make Ahead Green Smoothie

I have a secret weakness for smoothies, particularly the crazy high calorie kind you get at Jamba Juice. However, I do not like ingesting a smoothie for breakfast and realizing I would have had a less caloric and possibly more nutritious meal if I’d had a sausage biscuit or Snickers bar instead. Also, most of those smoothies are mostly juice, and I can’t drink juice without the guilty thought of “empty calories! empty calories!.” But the proliferation of green smoothies everywhere intrigued me, especially once I realized that the 1/4 cup of almond milk required for one smoothie was 0 Weight Watchers points. However, the idea of making a smoothie every day was just not going to happen- we do not have a dishwasher and ain’t no way I’m washing the blender by hand every day. Fortunately, Martha solved that problem for me.

What I still wanted was a tested, definitive, low cal smoothie recipe. Despite everyone on the internet claiming that green smoothies will solve all the world’s problems, the recipes are pretty vague. Turns out that is because you can put whatever the heck you want in it and it’ll taste fine, you just have to try it. I have figured out a few rules of thumb, though, so here’s my basic smoothie blueprint.

That seems like a lot of greens, but trust me, you won't taste them.

Start with your almond milk (or regular milk, it has more protein but also more calories. I get plenty of protein so I use the almond milk) and your greens. One blender-full will yield 3-4 individual smoothies, so I use one cup of almond milk and add 4 very generous handfuls of greens. Spinach is good, as is kale, and Trader Joe’s mixed greens (collard, mustard, kale, spinach) is an easy way to get a variety of greens in there. Liquefy all this together first, so you don’t have little bits of kale or spinach stem left un-pureed in your smoothie.

Next add your fruit. I add 3-4 bananas, depending on size, and then whatever other fruit I have on hand until the blender is full. A few tips about fruit- make sure to use ripe bananas. Underripe bananas will give you a smoothie that tastes like underripe bananas. Strawberries will turn your smoothie light brown, blueberries will turn them dark brown, and blackberries will turn it purple. Don’t use blackberries if you don’t like seeds in your smoothie. I used cantaloupe for the smoothie in this post, and an easy way to scoop the cantaloupe into the blender is to use an ice cream scoop like a melon baller.

Measuring cup makes it easy to fill the ziploc and also measure out an even 1 cup smoothie portion.

Pour your smoothies into individual ziploc bags. As I said before, each blender will make 3-4 one cup smoothies, so I typically do this twice to make a whole week’s worth at once.

Freeze your smoothies. Once frozen, you just need to move one into the fridge the night before and then pour into a glass. (Just cut one corner of the ziploc bag off and squeeze it out, this also helps break up any lingering frozen bits.)

Final step, enjoy and feel super smug about your delicious 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables without extra calories.

 

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10 Responses to Guilt Free Make Ahead Green Smoothie

  1. Jill says:

    Um, why have I never thought of making ahead? This is brilliant, and would allow me to take one for lunch that just defrosts in my lunch bag! Love it.

  2. Jana says:

    I saw three people drinking green smoothies either in my building elevator or on the bus this morning in stainless coffee cups that had big straws (which is how I could see the green smoothie). Brilliant. I don’t have a blender in my tiny kitchen, though.

  3. Pingback: Ready, Set … | Refuel. Refocus.

  4. Hilary says:

    Wow. Thanks for this! I’ve been drinking green smoothies on an off for a couple of years. The “off” part ends up happening because I get tired of making the smoothies EVERY morning and then having to wash the blender. Ya, I’m lazy. This is fantastic. I made two blenders full yesterday and froze them. I threw one in the fridge last night when I got home from work, and voila! I had a tasty green smoothie waiting for me for breakfast–no blending and no cleaning involved. I like it.

    I used kefir as my liquid of choice and added 1.5 mangos per batch. I also used half spinach, half kale. Soooo yummy.

    Thanks again!

    Hilary

  5. Rachel says:

    I made a smoothie at night and left it in the fridge over night for the next morning, and it was HORRIBLE. I tried it the night before and it was good, so something about it sitting all night made it taste funny. Have you noticed a difference in taste after it has thawed in the fridge all night?

    • Hmm, no! Did you freeze it and then defrost it or just put it straight from blender to fridge? One thing I have found is a big texture difference if you use ice in it (like you would for a smoothie you are going to drink right away) and then freeze/defrost- it gets watery and gritty. I’ve never put one straight from the blender into the fridge, though- I usually make it w/o ice, freeze, and defrost.

  6. Rachel says:

    I just put it straight from the blender (without ice) into the fridge… and I decided I’d never try that again, lol. It tasted sour almost… I don’t know how to describe it but it was so bad we just had to throw it away! I’m going to try freezing it and letting it thaw out in the fridge…. hopefully I’ll have better luck! :) Thanks for sharing! :)

  7. Stephanie says:

    After you blend your veggies, they begin to oxidize almost immediately (if I correctly understand the research I’ve done about this). This is why drinking a smoothie on the way to work never tastes as fresh as drinking it out of the blender (which I tend to do when I have “extra” that won’t fit in my bottle). While refrigerating your blended bounty slows down oxidation a little, freezing it brings that chemical change to a near halt. As your frozen concoction begins to thaw (and essentially warms up), the oxidation process begins again. For this reason, you don’t want to thaw your yummy goodness on the counter. Overnight in the refrigerator allows just enough time for your breakfast on the go to reach a consumable temperature without compromising too much breakdown.

    Although I don’t avoid the hassle of having to make a smoothie every morning, I prefer to freeze my fruits and greens in recipe-sized portions and grab a bag and blend before heading out the door. It cuts down enough portion and prep time to overcome the issue of blending in the morning being a hassle. I have a BlendTec blender, and cleanup is so quick and simple that I am no longer bothered by blending every day.

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