I’m really trying hard to get more vegetables into Morgan family bellies. We’re steaming and roasting vegetables for dinner and at lunch we always have a fresh vegetable on the side now. Breakfast, though? Breakfast is tough. I love a good mushroom omelette or a bed of garlicky kale under a runny egg, but when I serve things like that the kids act like they’ve been poisoned. The only way they’ll do veggies happily is if I put them in fruit-flavored smoothies.
That should be easy enough since I am a stay at home mom with access to my fridge, blender, etc. but it just kept not happening. Part of the issue is that Kyle mostly takes care of the kids in the morning in between getting ready for work because I’m either sleeping in or at the gym. So, by the time I take over breakfast has finished and green smoothies are late to the party. The other issue is that it is a bit of a pain to get all of the fruit and vegetables out so I can wash, peel, and blend them up. I also kept forgetting to keep fresh produce in stock so I would be faced with uneven smoothies (too much green, not enough citrus) or smoothies made with questionable produce (how slimy is too slimy?). Yes, first world problems here, but even though I had good intentions I was constantly missing the green smoothie mark.
I finally solved this by doing the whole week’s worth of green smoothies in one shot. I shortened my Monday morning workout a little bit so I’d have time to hit the grocery store on the way home. Now I load up on smoothie ingredients, go home, and use them all up making a week’s worth of smoothies (9-12 at a time).
I use pint-sized freezer jars to freeze them in (the kind you buy in the baking aisle at the grocery store) and leave about an inch and a half at the top so the smoothies can expand. In the morning, I pull one out before I go to the gym and when I get back it’s usually a good slushy consistency. We did have a couple of mornings where it was so cold outside, nothing was defrosting in our drafty house, but I figured out that if I put the frozen smoothie in my 2-cup Pyrex liquid measuring cup and microwaved it for 20 seconds, I could pull it out, stir it with a fork, and enjoy it just fine. And for mornings where I don’t go to the gym, I leave the smoothie out on the counter and we enjoy it around tea time when everyone is ready for a snack but we aren’t close to lunchtime yet.
Fair warning: I’ve found that not all smoothies work as easily as others after freezing. This really works best for smoothies that don’t have a lot of lumps, so when I did one that had big chunks of banana mixed with soy butter (among other things), it was kind of unevenly frozen even after being defrosted and not as easy to drink. Also, yogurt based smoothies work but they look a little funny after they’ve defrosted so be prepared.
My favorite combinations:
- kale + orange juice + frozen strawberries + chia seeds + banana
- apple + ginger root + baby carrots + chia seeds
- spinach + blueberries + clementines + chia seeds
- banana + tsp of soy butter + milk + oatmeal
- kale + lemon juice + frozen blueberries + lavender + chia seeds
- spinach + tangerines + banana + chia seeds
- arugula + lemon juice + banana + frozen blueberries