For make-ahead FAST breakfasts, try frozen smoothie packs – they will change your life! Whether it’s a detox smoothie or high protein smoothie or your everyday green smoothie, nothing beats having a healthy breakfast already done for you!
My family and I have been drinking smoothies on a daily basis for a long time. Once I mastered the art of a perfect green smoothie, the whole family got on board!
Here’s why I love to have frozen smoothie packs on hand:
- Breakfast is ready in minutes. With smoothie packs in the freezer, I can have a smoothie ready in less than two minutes.
- They save me money. The amount of produce we throw away is minimal because anything and everything that can be blended is!
- Endless flavors. You can try new fruit and vegetable combinations so you never run out of flavors to try.
- Cheap source of protein. When you use some of these cheap sources of protein, you can create a smoothie that can easily replace a meal.
- Easy to make. You need ZERO skills to make frozen smoothie packs. Literally – you just put the ingredients in a bag!
- It’s like dessert, for breakfast! A smoothie made with frozen fruit has the texture of a milkshake, and it makes breakfast a huge treat!
- Quick snacks. Afterschool snack time is a breeze when I have a few different flavors ready to go in the freezer.
Smoothies are INCREDIBLY flexible, and are largely a “use what you have” type of recipe. However, sometimes it’s helpful to have a starting point and a flexible “formula” of sorts. Here’s a few ingredients that work great in frozen smoothie packets.
- Fruit (Fresh or Frozen)
- Liquid (for blending, but not for freezing) – Dairy milk, non-dairy milk (almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk), orange juice, or water.
- Vegetables (optional) – Spinach, kale (1/2 the quantity of spinach to mask taste of kale), yellow beet, celery, cucumber, zucchini.
- Creamy Factor – Yogurt, mango, banana, avocado. Kefir is also good and doubles as the liquid as well.
- Sweetener (optional) – Dates, stevia, overripe banana.
- Some ingredients can overlap with their purpose. For example, bananas can be both the creamy factor and the sweetener in your frozen smoothie pack. The same goes with mangoes and berries and kefir.
- Ratio matters: For every 1 vegetable, you need 2 fruits.
- It doesn’t matter if you use fresh or frozen fruit for your frozen smoothie packs. Frozen ingredients make a more “milkshake” style smoothie, while fresh ingredients make a very smooth smoothie.
Step 1: Cut produce into 1-2” pieces. I have a Blendtec and a KitchenAid blender, both of which are capable of blending anything into a smooth, creamy liquid. However, I recommend cutting all produce into 1-2” pieces to avoid frozen chunks in the end, and overheating your blender, especially if you don’t have a Blendtec (or Vitamix).
Step 2: Pack fruit or vegetable chunks first. Putting big chunks in the bottom of the bag gives you leverage to break them apart when they freeze together (which they will).
Step 3: Greens go in last. Yes, I know the greens are in the bottom in my pictures – that’s just for pictures! It’s important to pack the greens in last (or on top of everything else) so when everything is frozen, it’s easier to get everything out of the bag and into your blender jar.
Step 4: Don’t pack your liquids. A great way to save money is to freeze small amounts of leftover milk or juice in ice cube trays. However, your blender needs some amount of liquid in order to blend properly. When you use the frozen chunks of milk or juice, your smoothie comes out more icy than creamy. (See my tips below for how to use up those cubes!)
Step 5: Don’t pack your smoothie booster. Here are a few easy ways to sneak extra nutrition into smoothies, but you don’t necessarily want to pack them all in the smoothie bag. Powders and small seeds get stuck in the bag and you won’t really know how much ends up in your smoothie.
I recommend packing boosters separately in their own small container.
Step 6: Plastic bags are preferred over glass jars. Here’s how you can freeze glass jars without breaking them, but to be honest you can save a lot of room in the freezer by using plastic bags. Why?
- They don’t get hot, so you don’t have to worry about BPA.
- If you pack them the right way, you only need a quick rinse to clean them.
- You can re-use smoothie pack plastic bags until they don’t seal anymore!
Tips for Making Smoothie Packs:
- Invest in good tools. Not everyone has the budget to invest, but when you’re ready to, here’s what I recommend:
- Don’t freeze the liquid – Add your liquid at the time of blending your frozen smoothie pack. You will need the liquid to help the smoothie pack become a smoothie. See below if you’re starting with frozen liquid.
- Put frozen cubes of milk or juice in the blender ahead of time to thaw. The best smoothies start with some sort of liquid (if everything is frozen solid, the blender won’t work). Definitely use the frozen cubes of leftover milk or juice, but toss them in the blender either the night before or even just 10-15 minutes before you blend.
- Add spices! A sprinkle of cinnamon or vanilla powder or even nutmeg can make some amazing flavor combinations. (Also, cinnamon, vanilla, and coconut trick your brain into thinking something is sweeter than it actually is!)
- Keep a smoothie tub in the fridge. This is for any uneaten pieces of banana or applesauce that toddlers and new recipes tend to leave behind. Collect the extras and either make a smoothie when it’s full OR freeze the fruit for a future smoothie. Be sure to follow the other tips for the smoothie packs! (How to freeze strawberries (or bananas), blueberries, raspberries, citrus, and avocado.)
- Smoothies are best fresh. No doubt, smoothies taste best freshly made. If you HAVE to make it ahead of time, make it no sooner than the night before. That’s why making smoothie packs is so helpful – you can blend it up quickly in the morning!
- Add your powders last. To prevent getting them stuck at the bottom of the jar, make sure you measure your powders last after you’ve put in your frozen smoothie pack into the blender.
Possible Add-Ins For Frozen Smoothie Pack:
Fruit alone is healthy, but there are a few ways to boost the nutrition of a smoothie to really pack in the vitamins and minerals:
- Grass-fed Collagen. One scoop of collagen packs 10g of protein and is proven to help hair grow long and nails grow strong! After a side-by-side test, I now only buy grass-fed collagen from Perfect Supplements. Click HERE to shop for grass-fed collagen.
- Flax Seed. Flax seeds, ground or whole, have a nutty taste that works well with nut butter smoothies. I’ve shared the nutritional benefits of flaxseed, and as a bonus, they make great egg-replacers!
- Acai Powder. Acai berries are packed with antioxidants. However, acai pulp can have added ingredients, including sugar, so I recommend buying acai powder. I get mine at Perfect Supplements as well, and I stock up when there’s a sale.
- Nut Butters. Nut butters are great for their fat content (more than protein). Since a little bit goes a long way in terms of flavor, just a tablespoon or two can transform a plain smoothie into a super-rich smoothie worthy of being called a meal. Here’s how to make your own nut butter using the small bits at the bottom of a container.
- Nut Powders. PB Fit and PB2 and Chocolate PB Fit are super tasty, but be sure to watch out for added sugars. Naked PB is a good sugar-free brand.
- Yogurt. Yogurt is high in protein and helps make smoothies creamy. Fresh yogurt is best, but you can also use frozen yogurt. (Here’s how to freeze yogurt, and if you’re REALLY feeling fancy, here’s how to make yogurt from scratch.)
- Rolled Oats. You only need a ¼ cup to make a smoothie “stick to your bones.” And most kids don’t even notice it! Also, quick oats work, but steel cut oats don’t.
Store-bought smoothie mixes can have unhealthy additives and artificial & unhealthy flavorings and sweeteners. This is why making your own freezer smoothie packs is the best option for the ease and convenience of having ready-to-blend smoothie packs on hand.
By using real food ingredients in your smoothie packs, you avoid the unhealthy additives and sugar, plus you save money by making them yourself as well.
I prefer to freeze smoothie packs of freshly sliced fruits and vegetables, blend them from frozen, and enjoy them right away – since the nutrients will be at peak freshness immediately after blending. However, if this is not the best option for you, you can:
Blend your smoothie (see some of my favorite smoothie recipes below).
Pour your smoothie into a small, freezer-safe container or jar.
If you use mason jars, here is how to avoid breaking them in the freezer.
The night before you are ready to drink your smoothie, put the jar in the fridge to thaw overnight.
Yes! It is SO much more affordable to make your own smoothies! You can buy your produce on sale at Walmart, or in bulk at Costco, and make your frozen smoothie packs ahead in big batches to freeze. Plus, if you use leftover produce, you’ll have even more savings!
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Favorite Smoothie Recipes
- Cheesecake Blueberry Smoothie
- The Best Green Smoothie Recipe for Beginners
- Green Maca Smoothie
- Strawberry Detox Smoothie
- Eggnog Smoothie
- High Protein No Powder (check out my ebook for more creative flavors)
- 12 Natural Ways to Boost the Protein in Smoothies
- 5 Day Smoothie Fast
- 7 Days of Green Smoothie Recipes