Formula Meal: Freezer Smoothie Bags

Learn my trick for making a smoothie in less than 2 minutes! Freezer smoothie bags are perfect for a quick breakfast, snack or post-workout replenishment.

Back in the day, I was featured in a nutrition spot on the local news about how to eat healthy on a budget. I never actually watched it (it's awkward enough to listen to my voicemail) so I'm not sure what footage they used. However, I do know one quote that made the cut: "The freezer is your BEST friend!"

I know this because my friends from work teased me mercilessly about it. Apparently, I sounded really enthusiastic about my freezer.  Rachael + Frigidaire = BFFs forever!!!!

Next time I'm on TV and the topic of freezers comes up, I'll take it down a notch. But in real life, me and my freezer may not be best friends, but we are definitely tight. I love to use mine to the max and keep it filled with ingredients to make quick and easy meals, like these freezer smoothie bags. 

(Speaking of freezers, this week I was excited to be featured in an article on mindbodygreen listing healthy foods top nutritionists pack in their freezer.)

Today, I want to share another one of my secret freezer stashes that will change your life. Okay, maybe not your life, but it will save you a good 10-15 minutes in the morning, which in pre-7 AM time is equal to an hour and a half.

This year, I've gotten into the habit of waking up early to either run or go to a 6 AM Pure Barre class a couple days a week. Waking up before 5:30 is just not going to happen, but I definitely need something in my system before exercising, preferably something light since there's not a whole lot of time for it to digest before breaking a sweat. Smoothies would be great and although they're quick, they're not quick enough predawn.

So, I came up with this trick of freezing ziplock bags of all my smoothie ingredients. Fruit is obviously freezable, but so are the rest of your smoothie ingredients too! Check out the list of freezable add-ins below. In the morning, all you have to do is pop it out into a blender, add 1 - 1 1/2 cups of liquid and blend. It takes just two minutes, if that!

Each week when I'm at the grocery store, I pick up a couple types of frozen or fresh fruit to make smoothie bags. Then I'll make 4-5 for a week or so, switching the ingredients in each bag up to keep from getting bored. Don't forget to label it so you remember what's in there. I just use a piece of masking tape and a sharpie. No need to get all pinterest on this one.

Here's my formula for making the perfect smoothie freezer bag:

1 1/2 cups fruit + add-ins + ziplock bag = perfect smoothie bag!

Here's a list of ideas for add-ins:

  • handful of spinach or kale
  • couple tablespoons of coconut milk or cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina
  • hemp hearts
  • 1/4th avocado
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • couple tablespoons chia seeds
  • tablespoon of nut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • tea leaves from a bag (try green tea or chai)
  • half ounce of nuts or seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • pinch cayenne
  • protein powder (preferably plant based, I like Vega and Trader Joes makes a decent hemp one for cheap)
  • maca powder
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4-1/2 cup plain organic yogurt
  • dates

Here's the "recipes" for the ones I created last week:

Berry Coconut: 1 1/2 cup frozen berry blend + 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder + 2 tablespoons coconut cream

PBJ: 1/2 banana + 1 cup frozen strawberries + 1 spoonful peanut butter

Green Peach: 1 1/2 cups peach + 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder + 1 handful kale + 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Coconut Chai: 1 1/2 bananas + leaves from 1 bag chai tea + 2 tablespoons coconut cream

Tropical Turmeric: 1 cup mango + 1/2 cup pineapple + 2 tablespoons chia + 1/2 teaspoon turmeric + juice of 1/2 lime

So, now you guys know my secret! 

More smoothie recipes:

Peach Kefir Chai Smoothie

Peach Kefir Chai Smoothie

Cherry Cheesecake Smoothie

Cherry Cheesecake Smoothie

Classic Green Smoothie

Classic Green Smoothie

Freezer Smoothie Bags