How would you like have one less thing to do in the mornings? Between leaving a warm bed, wrangling a toddler out of their PJs and into clothes, sometimes eating a healthy breakfast on top of everything can seem like an insurmountable barrier. I believe this is why Pop Tarts were invented. Luckily for you, I’ve been consistently fighting off the allure of these packaged, sugary treats with the help of smoothies for a year now. With the impending arrival of a little one, my 2 year old and I have been working on making the process even easier with the help of DIY Smoothie Packs.
What the heck is a smoothie pack? Good question. At Costco they have some cleverly packaged and marketed products that have everything you need to make your smoothie in one plastic sleeve. You just add liquid, blend, and you’re ready to go. They look something like these ones from Snowcrest Foods:
Why Make Your Own Smoothie Packs?
Good question – if you can buy these at Costco, why bother making your own? I undertook this project for a few reasons:
- It’s super easy – It took us less than 5 minutes to make 5 different smoothie packs.
- It creates less waste – I make mine in plastic Ziploc bags but rinse and reuse them for future smoothie packs. You could even use plastic containers or Mason Jars if you have space in your freezer.
- They’re customizable – Especially with kids, I find that having an option of what to include is worth the ~1 minute of pre-work per smoothie.
- You can save money – Like anything, you’re paying for someone else to do the work. I find that by stocking up on organic frozen fruit (usually at somewhere like Costco or Trader Joe’s) I can minimize the overall cost.
- Its a fun kid’s project – I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for ways to enlist kid help. This is simple enough that a two year old was actually help in assembling them, which also made him extra invested in using them. Just think how much help a 10 year old could be!
How to Make DIY Smoothie Packs
Assembly lines are your friend here. We got out all of our ingredients, lined them up, and then scooped into the bags accordingly. Here’s how to set it up:
- Gather as many bananas as the number of smoothie packs you want to make and slice, keeping in piles of 1 banana each
- Grab a variety of frozen fruit and set out with a 1 cup measuring cup
- Pull out your bag of frozen kale or other greens and set in the line
- Add a container of chia seeds and 1 Tbsp measuring spoon (if using)
Now, line up a row of Ziploc bags (or whatever container you want to use) in a row. These are the ones I like because they stand on their own.
Into each bag, scoop:
- 1 banana’s worth of slices
- 1 cup of frozen fruit (can be all the same or mixed)
- A handful (or about 1/4 cup) of frozen greens
- 1 Tbsp of chia seeds (if using – you can also add at the time you make your smoothie)
Seal, label, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
You can also make them in mason jars if you prefer!
How to Use DIY Smoothie Packs
Ready to make a smoothie? Great!
- 1 smoothie pack (makes 2 servings)
- Liquid of choice milk, milk alternative (like almond milk), coconut water, or juice
Add smoothie pack to blender. Pour in 1 cup liquid. Blend. If it’s too thick, even after tamping down or stopping and stirring, add a little more. Depending on the ingredients I sometimes need up to 1 1/2 cups liquid. Pour and serve!
And here’s the full recipe for reference:
- For Each Smoothie Pack:
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 cup frozen fruit
- 1/4 cup frozen greens
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
- For Each Smoothie:
- 1-1.5 cups milk, alternative milk, coconut water or juice
- For Smoothie Packs: Combine all smoothie pack ingredients in a Ziploc bag or storage container and freeze up to 6 months.
- To make a smoothie: Combine 1 smoothie pack with 1 cup liquid. Blend. If it's too thick, even after tamping down or sopping and stirring, add up to 1/2 cup more liquid and blend until smooth. Serve.
The other day I wrote all about stocking a healthy “pantry”, what was included, and what you could make. This is just one of the recipes that you can make with ingredients you store long-term in your freezer, which is a key element of my healthy pantry guidelines. Check out all the details here.