{Guest Post} Smoothie Queen

by Leighann on April 2, 2010

I was talking about making individual yogurt cups on Facebook and Becka mentioned that she makes smoothies ahead of time and freezes them. I was so curious how she does this because I prefer using better quality ingredients and “making my own” over buying some items that are pre-made.

My kids are smoothie junkies and would have one for breakfast and again for dessert if I would indulge them. I love Becka’s tips and I think you will too. The dry erase marker? Pure genius! And I love the lunchbox idea.

Make Ahead Smoothies

Written by Becka Siegel

If there’s one healthy snack that never seems to go out of style with my kids, it’s “smoothies.” Now, I’m not talking about “wannabe” smoothies that you can buy at your local convenient store that are laden with sugary, artificially fruit-flavored syrup, but REAL smoothies, with REAL ingredients. Don’t get fooled by the knock-offs.

Smoothies are one of the most versatile and fool-proof things you can make. The possibilities are endless, and it’s nearly impossible to mess them up. Smoothies are typically made up of fruit, milk, protein powder, and ice, however, lots of other things can be added for extra flavor or nutrition

You can experiment to find a flavor that your kids love and will ask for time and time again. Smoothies can also be frozen and eaten with a spoon. These are especially great for lunch boxes. Your kids’ friends will be envious as they watch these special frozen treats being devoured.

A few years ago, I invested in a Magic Bullet, which has paid for itself a hundred times over. In the warmer months, it has a permanent spot on my counter top since we tend to make smoothies on a daily basis during those times, and they are oh-so refreshing on a hot day. I like the Magic Bullet because it’s much easier to clean up than a regular blender, and it’s easier to make separate smoothies according to everyone’s individual tastes, or just to have a variety on hand

Magic Bullet

The Magic Bullet and bowls ready for smoothie making.

I gather all of my ingredients on the counter, get out my 4 Magic Bullet mugs, a blade, and 8 storage bowls, and I can easily whip up 8 1-cup smoothies in 4 different flavors in about 5 minutes. I pop the bowls in the freezer and they’re ready for a quick snack or to throw into a lunch box in the mornings. The smoothies will stay frozen until lunch time and have a “hard ice-cream” consistency. My kids are able to eat them with a heavy duty plastic spoon and are always thrilled to see a smoothie in their lunch box!

Smoothie Ingredients

Look at these great ingredients!

I like to use these BPA-free bowls since they’re the perfect size for 1-cup servings. I also just ordered a set of Fit & Fresh 8 oz. bowls with built-in, removable ice packs. These would be perfect for taking to the park or the pool. These bowls are also BPA-free.

Smoothie Bowls

In bowls and ready for the freezer. Becka uses a dry erase marker on the lids.

My kids, now 9 & 13, are able to make their own smoothies. I have taught them to rinse off the blade right away under hot running water and place it in the dish drain. That way it’s always ready. Of course, you don’t need a Magic Bullet to make smoothies. An ordinary blender works just as well.

Smoothies are also inexpensive. I buy fresh fruit, or bags of frozen fruit, large tubs of plain or vanilla yogurt, and a can of protein powder which lasts a very long time. I tend to make mostly yogurt-based smoothies since it’s so good for you, and adds a nice creamy texture.

To keep track of the carbs for each smoothie serving, I add the total carbs of everything I’m putting into the blender, then divide the carbs, according to how many servings it makes. I then use a dry-erase marker to write on the lid of the bowl before placing them in the freezer.

Below, I have listed a few basic recipes to give you an idea of what goes into a typical smoothie, but you can vary it depending on your tastes. For extra health benefits, you can also add a tsp. of wheat germ, brewer’s yeast and/or ground flaxseed. Also, if you prefer your smoothies a little sweeter, I recommend using regular or all natural sugar as opposed to an artificial sweetener or sugar alternative. These sugar substitutes have been known to make you crave more sugar and they can also build up insulin resistance over time.

Extra Smoothie Ingredients

Here are some extra ingredients you can throw in.

You also don’t need to use yogurt in all of your smoothies. Instead you can use milk, juice, or even water. These liquids help with the blending process. The possibilities are endless! So dust off those blenders and start whipping up some delicious smoothies today!

Strawberry-Banana

  • 1 medium banana (I just break it in half)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbs. protein powder (vanilla)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 ice cubes (optional)

Tropical Delight

  • 1 medium banana
  • 6 pineapple chunks
  • 1 coconut popsicle
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbs. protein powder
  • 3 ice cubes (optional)

Peachy Keen

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peaches
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tbs. protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)
  • 3 ice cubes (optional)
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lorraine April 2, 2010 at 9:50 am

Nice post Becka! Has anyone been able to find those cups without the cutesie pics on the side?

Reply

2 Becka April 2, 2010 at 10:39 am

Thanks Lorraine! Here are the cups I just ordered. I have the 2-cup portion ones, and I’m so thrilled about the 1-cup ones! They’re BPA-free and have built-in ice packs to boot! http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=14807187

Reply

3 Lani April 2, 2010 at 8:49 pm

I think I’m in love! Ha, ha! My girls LOVE smoothies too and we just made one the other morning w/ breakfast. They could live on smoothies and yogurt. I never even thought to freeze one and throw it in a lunch box! That is the best idea along with using a dry erase marker. Thanks so much for this post!!

Reply

4 Shelley April 4, 2010 at 9:38 am

I have been wanting to change up the kiddo’s lunch lately. They are going to love it. Thanks so much for including the recipe’s and pictures of what you use.

Reply

5 Becka April 4, 2010 at 11:43 am

Shelley~ You’re welcome. As long as they have about 4 hours till lunch time, they should thaw enough to eat with a plastic spoon. If not, you could always throw them in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, before packing the lunchbox. And don’t be afraid to tweak the recipes to your liking. You’d be surprised at how easy they are to make up on the fly and actually taste good!

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6 Nan April 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm

okay…gotta dust off the magic bullet!!! thanks for all the great tips Becka : )

Reply

7 Jodie June 29, 2011 at 7:26 pm

I know I’m a whole year posting, but just ran across this website when looking for make-ahead smoothies. As a suggestion, I freeze all my fruit, and then no ice cubes are required. Peel some bananas that are getting too soft, cut in half or thirds & keep in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Use frozen strawberries and whatever other fruit & yogurt you like and you have a nice cold smoothie! A few little drips of chocolate syrup never hurt a smoother either. Happy blending

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8 ginger November 10, 2012 at 7:53 am

YUM! Can’t wait to try these too…are they also in your book! 🙂 Thanks!

Reply

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