Timesaver: Freeze Your Smoothies

Summer is speeding by, right?

It's hard to believe that in a few short weeks, my family will be returning to our regular getting-ready-for-school morning routine.

If your household is anything like mine, you know mornings can be a little hectic. Okay, a lot hectic.

For us, there's a lot of running around after showering — making breakfast and packing lunches, rousting my sleepyhead son from bed, searching for library books that are due, washing dishes, walking the dog, maybe even trying to squeeze in a load of laundry.

Crazy mornings always inspire me to find new ways to help make the week go more smoothly — not just in the morning, but also when it comes to lunch and dinnertime.

One of my favorite ways to get a grip on the week's meals is to prep and cook in batches. On Sunday, I'll often batch-prep several meals at once: I'll wash and trim our greens, bake granola, make a soup or two, set up a marinade, and blend enough salad dressing for several meals.

Guess what? You can also use the Sunday technique for smoothies!

Ideally, I like to blend and enjoy my smoothies right away, but some mornings are just too busy for that. And when you're having one of those mornings, there's nothing like reaching into your fridge or freezer and having a homemade, delicious and nutritious smoothie ready to go.




Quick tips on freezing your smoothies


Freezing your smoothies is a very simple process, although I have some tips to help with logistics and flavor retention:

  • Use wide-mouthed, glass mason jars — don't fuss with squeezing contents out of ziploc bags. Once your smoothie thaws out, it'll be ready to enjoy in a cute, Portlandia-style drinking glass. As for size, I prefer pints — perfect for a single serving, and easy to fit into your freezer. Just pop on a lid and you're good to go!
  • Enjoy soon — I'm a huge fan of short-term freezing. Food doesn't have enough time to develop freezer burn or other degradation when it's only been in the freezer for a few days. Once your freeze your smoothie, plan on enjoying it within a week or so.
  • Leave some room at the top — wide mouthed mason jars do well in the freezer, as long as you don't fill them to the brim with liquid. Leave an inch or two at the top so the contents have room to expand.
  • Omit the ice while blending — when I blend smoothies for immediate use, I usually add some ice to keep it cool. However, you won't need that if you're freezing the smoothie — extra ice tends to “water down” the flavor.
  • Plan for defrosting time — if you want to enjoy the smoothie first thing, then let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight. If you'll be taking it to work, I find it thaws out pretty quickly if you leave it on your desk for awhile. Once defrosted, just stir and enjoy. I'm sure this goes without saying but… whatever you do, don't microwave it. Not tasty!

I hope these quick tips save you some time and energy as you start getting back to your regular routines.

Special thanks to my friends Becca and Gulgun for reminding me about this wonderful time-saving technique!

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