Happy Saturday, everyone! It’s hard to believe that we’re 2 days into the 2014-15 school year already! It was a pretty low-key but productive first week; I have a new position this year so I’m adjusting to what that will look like over the next 9 months, and I spent the past few days doing a lot of prep work and computer work. I really enjoy it and I’m excited about it…it’s always nice to have a weekend, though. 🙂 We’ve got GORGEOUS weather over here in southern MN, which made hanging clothes outside on the (new!!) clothesline so much more, well, idyllic. It beats rescuing them from the rain! 🙂
Anyway, I’m into something new that I want to share with you tonight…green smoothies!! [Note: green smoothies do have greens like spinach or kale in them, but they ALSO have other fun ingredients, which add to the smoothie’s taste, color, and nutrition!]
My mom gets all the credit for inspiring me to try them. When I flew back to MN from Virginia in August, I sampled one of the many green smoothies my mom enjoys, and I got excited about this idea because it was just so delicious. Which means I bought us a blender, those cute little plastic mason jars with straws, and a whole lot of fruit and spinach!
Tonight I’ll show you how I assemble these into freezer bags so that you can prep many smoothies ahead of time and just grab, blend, and go throughout the week.
(And please excuse the less-than-stellar iPhone photography…my husband currently has Pachelbel with him!!)
– quart-size freezer Ziploc bags
– bag of fresh spinach
– several containers of fresh berries OR (the easiest option) bag of frozen berries
– bananas (1/2 to 1 banana per smoothie)
– additional fruit: can of pineapple chunks, can of peach slices, or 1 apple, cut up (because you’ll probably want something else besides just berries)
– Greek yogurt (I use a Honey flavor)
– apple or cranberry juice
– Chia seeds, flax seeds, or both!
To Prep Freezer Bags:
The goal here is quick assembly!
1. Lay out and label your Ziploc bags. I just write “Smoothie” so I know what it is when I open the freezer later on! 😉
2. Peel all of the bananas, break them in half, and put in a medium bowl.
3. If you have fresh fruit, wash it, cut it up, and place it in another medium bowl. If you went the frozen route, just dump the frozen berries into a bowl.
4. Open your canned fruit (or cut the apple) and stick a spoon in it so you’re ready.
5. Actual Assembly!
Start by putting 2 handfuls of spinach in the bottom of the bag.
Next, plop in the banana. Again, I usually use 1/2 a banana per bag.
Add about a cup of the berries.
Add in your choice of “additional fruit,” about half a cup.
Squeeze all of the air out of the bag and zip it shut.
Freeze the bags flat by laying them on top of each other in the freezer! (Once they’re frozen flat, you can then stand them up in the freezer like a little labeled food library, haha! I do this for my frozen crockpot meals too…)
If you think of it when you first get up, take out the smoothie bag and let it thaw on the counter for a bit. If you forget, no big deal.
What to Do:
Dump the contents of the bag into the blender. (It helps to break it up into smaller frozen chunks if possible. I do that with my hands while it’s still in the bag.)
Next, add a cup of apple juice. Scoop a 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt on top. Add a couple tablespoons of chia or flax seeds for added nutrition.
Blend! Pour it into your to-go cup of choice, and enjoy!
If you have any extra smoothie, pour it into a cup, cover well, and refrigerate for an after-work snack.
So there you go! 90% of the work is done ahead of time, giving your rushed mornings a lot less of that running-about-the-house stress and a lot more nutrition. 😉
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