What can be ready in under ten minutes, packed with fruits and veggies, and a go-to option for a meal-on-the-run or a refreshing snack? Smoothies! The great thing about smoothies are there are very few rules and a lot of flexibility.
A simple smoothie only needs to include three essentials: a liquid which helps keep your smoothie thin enough to drink, a base to add flavor, and a chill factor that keeps your drink refreshing.
The base is where you can get creative. Adding fruits and veggies not only adds flavor, but they also pack a nutrient punch! Adding both fruit and veg to your drink is an easy way to get closer to the Five a Day goal. Use fresh, frozen, or over-ripe fruits. Repurpose leftovers like roasted veggies, older veggies, or salad greens. Cut down on food waste by using “scraps” like broccoli stems, leafy tops of carrots, or celery leaves.
Make your smoothie a little fancier by including protein sources like nut butters or powders. Include added fiber with flax seed or chia seeds. These will give your smoothie some staying power to help keep you feeling full.
Storage and food prep
Smoothies can be made in advance and stored in the freezer. Avoid throwing out over-ripe fruits and soft veggies by making smoothies in bulk by following these tips
1. Be freezer-safe. Use 1 serving plastic containers, plastic zip-lock bags, or glass Mason jars. Fill up glass jars ¾ to the top so it will not crack with the liquid expansion.
2. Freeze for up to 6 months. If you have used leafy greens, freeze for up to 2-3 months.
3. Freeze smoothie in an ice cube tray for easy re-blending.
4. Place frozen smoothie in the fridge overnight. By morning it should be perfect. Give it a shake if the ingredients separate.
Blend with the seasons:
Spring/ Summer: Colorful fruits and veggies are in season. Choose produce that is on sale to cut back on cost.
Autumn/ Winter: Explore frozen fruits for variety. Try seasonal flavors like canned/pureed pumpkin, apples, and cinnamon.
Basic smoothie recipe
- ½ Cup milk or milk substitute
- ½ Cup plain yogurt, regular or Greek
- 1 Cup of fruit
- 1 Cup vegetable
- 1- 2 TBSP protein of choice (nut butter, protein powder, chia or flax seed)
- Ice cubes
- Add liquid items first for smoother blending
- Second layer for fresh and/or leafy fruit and veg
- Top with frozen produce and/or ice cubes to weigh down ingredients for even blending
- Blend until smooth, not juiced.