Simplifying is what we do around here. Ahem, “Live Simply.”
The act of simplifying is personified in different ways for different people, and that’s what I love about this community. Ultimately, what brings us all together is the desire to strip away the complicated and live a simpler life, whether this means making your own lotion or buying it from the store.
One of the many ways I look to simplify my family’s life is through real food. Yes, the whole real food thing can be completely overwhelming and complicated. You want me to spend hours in the kitchen kneading bread, soaking dry beans, and deboning chicken parts? Even that sentence sends waves of complication through my head.
Real food doesn’t have to be complicated. Real food shouldn’t be complicated. Are you feeling an “Amen” rising up, sister? It’s okay, let it out! I’m right there with you.
Real food can and should be simple!
This century is an amazing time period to live in. We have KitchenAid mixers to knead dough, crock-pots to cook chicken and make broth, and well…I guess soaking beans still remains pretty “old fashioned.” Here’s the point. This century is an amazing time period to live in when it comes to simplifying the way Great-Grandma ate. Yes, making food from scratch still requires extra time and preparation, but modern day appliances certainly help with the simplifying process.
One of my favorite modern day appliances for simplifying real food is the freezer.
A couple of years ago, Dustin and I decided to purchase an extra fridge with a large freezer for the garage. My side-by-side inside fridge just wasn’t cutting it anymore with the food I was prepping in advance and freezing for later. That purchase was one of the best appliance purchases we ever made. Now we are able to purchase bulk grass-fed beef from a local farm, freeze baked goods for quick meals, and even simplify the smoothie process.
A few months ago I shared one my favorite freezer foods, DIY Freezer Smoothie Packs. Freezer smoothie packs are one of many homemade “convenience” foods you can always find in my freezer. They are incredibly easy to make. Frozen smoothie packs allow us to make homemade smoothies whenever the mood strikes or whenever I just don’t feel like cutting one more apple for snack time.
Today, I’m sharing some helpful tips for creating your own freezer smoothie packs at home. Think of this post as a follow-up ultimate guide to the first post I published a few months ago. After reading this guide and watching the tutorial video, hop on over to the original post to find five smoothie recipes to get you started.
The Ultimate Guide to Freezer Smoothie Packs
Fruits and Vegetables
Start building freezer smoothie packs with 2 cups of fruits and/or vegetables of choice. Most fruits and veggies will freeze well and easily blend in smoothies. Even vegetables can be frozen for a smoothie pack, such as: cucumbers, celery, avocado (toss in a bit of lemon juice to avoid browning), and carrots. I highly recommend chopping any large fruit or veggies before adding them to smoothie packs and freezing. I always add 1 halved banana to each smoothie pack for sweetness and a creamy smooth texture.
Green It Up
Greens are optional in smoothie packs. Adding 1 cup of greens is a great way to easily add greens to your diet, without much effort. Baby spinach is my ultimate favorite leafy green for smoothie packs due to its delicate flavor. Other green options include: kale (baby kale is my favorite), swiss chard, baby bok choy, even parsley (yes, it’s technically an herb).
Protein is Your Friend
I always add liquid protein to the bottom of the blender before adding my frozen smoothie pack ingredients. A couple of my favorite “liquid” proteins are yogurt and nut butters. Dry proteins (such as flax seed or collagen hydrolysate) can be added directly to smoothie packs before freezing.
Baby, It's Cold
Once you’ve added the fruit and/or vegetables, greens, and (if desired) protein, it’s time to freeze the smoothie packs. I recommend freezing smoothie packs flat in the freezer to avoid creating giant frozen smoothie blocks. Once the smoothie packs are frozen, store them any way you’d like in the freezer. I keep my smoothie packs in a special bin so I can easily grab one and blend.
Add a Liquid
Before pouring the contents of a frozen smoothie pack in the blender, add 1 cup of liquid– yogurt, water, coconut water, juice, milk. I always recommend adding the liquid to the blender first, then adding the contents of the smoothie pack.
Note: Some blenders may need more liquid to easily blend the frozen ingredients. Add as much liquid as necessary to create a creamy smoothie.
Now it’s time to blend! Simply blend the smoothie pack, protein (if desired), and liquid in the blender until smooth and creamy.
Freezer smoothie packs are just one more way to simplify real food and reduce the amount of time spent locating and preparing ingredients. I like to prepare smoothie packs on my prep day for the week ahead. This simple prep day action results in both extra time and peace of mind throughout the week!
PS: You can find my favorite blender and storage jars on my Kitchen Essentials page, here.