Summer weather inspires vibrantly colorful meals and an inclination to snack on fresh fruit and vegetables instead of chips and cookies (most of the time!). How do I use all of the produce I buy at the store or farmer’s market, and inevitably can’t finish just by adding it as a side to meals and midday snacks? I make smoothies for breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks and even dessert sometimes!
Here are my top tips for smoothie success, and later, my favorite recipes when I have a few extra minutes in the day. My favorite smoothie? Anything with raspberries and chia seeds…my go-to fruit and add-in every single time!
Tips and Prep:
- If you only have fresh fruit on hand, just add ice to the smoothie – it will mimic using frozen fruit
- If you have fresh fruit that is starting to go bad, cut it up into 1″ dice and freeze for 30-60 minutes on a parchment lined sheet pan. Once frozen, store each fruit in freezer bags or containers, marked with the month/year and type of fruit.
- If you prefer a specific blend of fruit, feel free to make your own frozen fruit blend in your freezer bags
- If you want to speed up your smoothie prep and have a specific recipe you follow, just freeze all ingredients, except for the liquid in a bag in the freezer.
- Add ingredients to the blender with the lightest items in the bottom, with the heavier items on top – such as: milk, spinach, seeds/nuts, frozen fruit, any other add-ins.
- If you are making smoothie packs to freeze, add ingredients in reverse order, heavy items at bottom of pack and lightest ingredients on top
- Powerful Blenders are essential to making smoothies. If you are able, use a Vitamix or similar. If your blender is not as strong, you may need a bit more liquid for everything to blend up without too many tears! I use this one.
- Use reusable smoothie straws – I recommend these smoothie straws!
- Insulated tumblers with lids – great for working at home or taking smoothies on the go. I recommend these tumblers!
- Smoothie ingredients – see suggested shopping list/pantry list below
Suggested Shopping / On-Hand List:
- Unsweetened Frozen fruit (home frozen, or from the store) –
Make sure, if you’re purchasing a bag of frozen fruit, that it is only the fruit, no added sweeteners or ingredients
- Dairy or non-Dairy milk of choice –
I find that Unsweetened Almond Milk works best
- Baby Spinach or Chopped Kale (fresh or frozen) –
You can purchase the large containers/bags of spinach or kale and divide them into individual portions
- Protein source –
- Protein powder of choice
- Homemade mixture of flaxmeal, chia seeds and hemp hearts (1:1:1 ratio) – I purchase in bulk, and make in batches as needed. Just store in freezer for longest/maximum freshness
- Optional Add-Ins –
- Nut butters
- Agave Nectar (most needed if fruit isn’t in-season or frozen fruit is bitter)
- Raw Nuts: Cashews, Pistachios, Walnuts
- Seeds: Sunflower, Pumpkin
- Pitted dates
- Gingery Mango Berry Smoothie by Minimalist Baker
- Banana Blueberry Smoothie by What’s Gaby Cooking
- Pumpkin Smoothie by Katie Lee Biegel
- Creamy Zucchini Blueberry Smoothie by Minimalist Baker
- Mocha Java Smoothie by Ellie Krieger
- Banana Walnut Smoothie by Giada DeLaurentiis
- Peach Pie Smoothie by Ellie Krieger
- Banana, Chia, Spinach Smoothie by What’s Gaby Cooking
- Mixed Berry Smoothie by Running on Real Food
- Chocolate Smoothie by Detoxinista
If I’m in a hurry or don’t have the energy to make a specific recipe, I follow the below ingredient ratios – and sometimes they become part of the weekly rotation!
- 1c Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1c Fresh or Frozen Baby Spinach
- 1c Frozen Fruit
- 1/2c Fresh Fruit (optional)
- 1T blend of Flax meal, Chia seeds and Hemp hearts
- 1T Almond Butter (depends on fruit combination)
Blend for 1-2 minutes and pour into glass, serve immediately.
Enjoy a morning smoothie on your pre-work walk, or sitting outside during your midday conference call or on the sports field while your kids are playing their 10th game of the week. Know that you’re fueling your body with nutrients and gaining energy.
Tell me what smoothies are your favorite in the comments and let me know what you think if you try any of the recipes/combinations above! As always, I’m here to help with any recipe ideas, food prep and meal planning – don’t hesitate to reach out!