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Even before I was pregnant with my daughter and mass cooked like a crazy woman, I was a fan of cooking in advance. I had done several iterations of mass freezer dinner meal prep, burrito and breakfast biscuit making, and even burger patty preparation. Thank goodness we have a sizable deep freeze to house all my preparations! That’s when I started wondering about smoothie meal prep.
Can you meal prep smoothies?
Yes, you can, and it’s so easy! Smoothies are super simple to make and freeze for later. Here’s how I did it most recently.
First of all, I usually aim for around 25-30 smoothie bags. If my husband and I each have one a couple times a week, that lasts a couple of months. If I make more bags than this, I find myself drained of energy at the end of it! As it is, this takes me around an hour of standing time.
There are so many options for smoothie ingredients, so each time I make smoothie packs, things come out differently. Some things to think about though: make sure and keep in mind your desired fruit to veggie ratio when buying produce. And think about whether or not you want several types of fruit per bag. For instance, you can make just a strawberry green smoothie or a blackberry green smoothie. We prefer a little bit of everything in the smoothie bags, so there are at least 3-5 different types of fruit in each one! I usually prefer to buy fresh ingredients, but every once in a while I will buy the fruits prefrozen to split up into bags.
Here are some ingredients I have used in the past:
- Kale (you can use already frozen or fresh)
- Spinach (I usually like fresh)
- Strawberries (most fruits can be frozen or fresh)
- Bananas (fresh)
- Mandarin oranges or navel oranges (not my favorite because of the weird resulting consistency)
- Grapes (these are just fillers, and I wouldn’t recommend an exclusive grape smoothie!)
- Apples (only if you are okay with their consistency after being blended)
- Carrots (weird, but you can barely taste them once blended in well!)
- Chia seeds (I prefer not to freeze these in the bag; just add in day of if desired)
And here’s how to meal prep smoothie bags!
- Wash all the veggies and fruits if they’re not prewashed. I prefer to let them dry before distributing them so I don’t have too many ice crystals form when they are in the bags.
- Get out the number of bags you will be wanting to fill, open them all up, and place them around your kitchen counter.
- Cut up the oranges, bananas, carrots, cucumbers, and hull the strawberries. I usually buy pre-washed and prepared spinach and kale, but if you buy it not in a bag, you will need to wash and cut this also. I also prefer to buy the baby carrots since they are pre-washed and already small enough. However, you can cut up a larger carrot also.
- Distribute the chopped fruits and veggies into the bags. Then, distribute the blueberries, blackberries, grapes, and any other veggies. I don’t usually chop these fruits.
- Add in flaxseed or oats if desired.
- After all the other items are in the bag, top them off with the spinach and kale.
Here’s an up close shot of one of my bags. I know, this is an awful picture, but I promise that thing that looks like an egg is really a banana and a carrot!
***Note: Fill the bag about 1/2-2/3 way full. We have this little single serve blender that fits these perfectly. How full you fill the bag will determine how much milk you will be able to add later on and thus the consistency and the dilution of your smoothie.
On the morning of preparation:
When it comes time to prepare the smoothie, pull the bag out of the freezer. We like to let them thaw for 5-10 minutes. This makes putting them into the blender a little easier if they aren’t all frozen rock solid together. We add enough milk (or almond milk in my case) to the blender cup and then blend to desired consistency. This is also the time we add the chia seeds if we are wanting them to be a part of the smoothie. The carrots seem to be the last thing to blend, so the smoothie bags with the carrots take a little longer to fully blend.
I’m a sucker for sweeter smoothies, so I usually add a little honey or agave to mine to taste. My husband likes them without added sweetener though.
So there we have it! Your questions of can you meal prep smoothies in advance is answered! Freezer smoothie bags definitely make an easy and healthy start to a morning!