Quick and easy, nutritious and delicious. Chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein and CHEAP!
What more can you ask from your breakfast or snack? Not a darned thing.
Smoothies are always popular. I’m sure you’ve seen the prepackaged frozen smoothie blends at the grocery store. While they are convenient and certainly cheaper than buying a smoothie from Tropic-Jamba-Smoothie-Mart; you can make better smoothie packs that are much less expensive yourself.
It’s simple. A smoothie pack is the ingredients for an individual smoothie, frozen in a baggie. When it’s time for breakfast you blend with liquid and enjoy.
Cheap and Easy Smoothie Packs
To make the easiest breakfast on the planet even easier: every couple of weeks spend a half hour making a bunch of smoothie packs and pop them in your freezer. Now you have a breakfast that practically makes itself.
- Here’s the magic formula to make one (2 cup) smoothie:
- Place 1 cup fruit and a handful of greens in a baggie.
- Add around ½ cup of additions of your choice (see below for a plethora of ideas)
- Squeeze the air out and seal the bags. Freeze the bags flat for maximum storage.
- When it’s smoothie time; into the blender add one cup liquid and the contents of the smoothie pack. Add any protein powders or other last minute add-ins and blend until smooth.
What do you put in your smoothie?
Well, what do you like in your smoothie? Most folks like some fruit and greens along with protein, fiber and healthy fat to keep you feeling full until lunch.
Here are the different categories of goodies that make up a smoothie. Mix it up! Variety costs very little more and you won’t get tired of having the same smoothie every time.
- Liquids – milk, almond, soy, or rice milk, coconut water, fruit juice, green juice, aloe vera juice, coffee, green tea, kombucha, kefir.
- Fruits – bananas, berries, pears, apples, peaches, nectarines, melons, kiwi, pineapple, citrus, grapes.
- Greens and Other Veggies – spinach, kale, chard, romaine, fresh herbs, cucumber, pumpkin puree, cooked carrots or beets.
- Healthy Fats, Fiber and Protein – coconut oil, avocado, protein powder, peanut butter, almond butter, yogurt, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, green superfood powders, silken tofu.
- Flavor boosters – figs, dates, fresh ginger, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, herbs, cocoa powder, stevia, honey, shredded coconut.
It really doesn’t matter what you put in as long it’s healthy by your standards and you enjoy it.
Here’s where we go all Diva on the smoothies.
Freeze things like yogurt, coconut water even pureed spinach in ice cube trays and place the cubes in your smoothie packs.
Presoak chia seeds and rolled oats and keep them in the fridge to add to smoothies or add them directly to smoothie packs in the freezer.
To soak chia; the ratio is 1 part chia seeds to 4 parts water or almond milk. So that’s ¼ cup chia to one cup liquid and that’s enough for 5 smoothies.
A good price on Chia Seeds here: Spectrum Essentials Chia Seeds, 12 Ounce
To soak rolled oats; the ratio is 1 to 1. So that’s ½ cup oats with ½ cup water or milk.
I also make what I call – Nutrition Bombs aka – Power Pucks for Smoothies!!
Buy good quart sized zip top freezer bags. They may cost a little more upfront but you can wash and reuse them many times.
Some recipe ideas:
To keep costs down, there are lots of combinations that use four or fewer ingredients.
Add protein powder to any recipe to boost nutrition and keep you feeling full longer. Some I can recommend for high quality at low cost here: Designer Protein 100% Premium Natural Whey Protein Powder with Acti-Blend, French Vanilla, 12 Ounce Canister
Unless a recipe calls for a particular type of milk, use the milk of your choice.
- Berry Cheesecake – 1 cup frozen berries, ½ cup cottage cheese, 1 cup milk
- Almond Banana – 1 cup almond milk, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1 frozen banana
- Peanut Butter Cup – 1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, ½ tablespoon cocoa powder, chocolate protein powder
- Chocolate Chia – 1 cup milk, ¼ cup soaked chia seeds, ½ frozen banana, chocolate protein powder
- Very Green – 1 green apple – cored and chopped, 1 kiwi -peeled, 1 cup spinach or kale, 1 cup apple or pineapple juice
- Berry Banana Oat – 1 cup milk of choice, 2 tablespoons soaked rolled oats, 1 frozen banana, ½ cup berries
- Sweet and Green – ½ cup yogurt, ½ cup milk, 1 cup spinach leaves, ½ frozen banana, ½ cup strawberries
- Coco-nana – 1 frozen banana, 2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 cup milk.
Money saving smoothie tips:
Some of the least expensive ingredients for smoothies are: frozen fruit blend, (mix and match the fruits for variety) frozen strawberries, spinach, plain yogurt, bananas, oatmeal, peanut butter and milk.
Buy in bulk – when you see a good deal on ingredients you like; stock up. It’s going into the freezer anyway.
You can make your own yogurt for the price of milk – Easy DIY Crockpot Greek Yogurt
Fresh herbs pack great flavor and a nutritional wallop so experiment with parsley, basil and mint.
Variations on smoothies – freeze smoothies as popsicles, make smoothie bowls.
To save even more, be ready to pounce when you see very ripe fruit on clearance in the produce department. Peel, cut and freeze as soon as you get home.
Anytime you find fruit in season on sale, buy extra and freeze it for smoothies.
Now you know everything you always wanted to know about smoothies, and then some. I’d like to encourage you to add smoothies to your breakfast rotation. Not only are they a supreme way to start your day with the fuel your body needs but they taste really good. What’s not to love?