This week I share Freezer Smoothies with Veggies from the upcoming August menu at Once a Month Mom. Stop by and say “Hi!”
Be sure to check out the Gluten and Dairy Free July 2011 Freezer Menu at Once a Month Mom. It includes printable menu cards, labels for your freezer meals and a grocery list! Let me know if you have anything special that you would like to see added to a freezer menu in the upcoming months. Hope you like it!
Other freezer cooking resources:
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My kids drink a fair number of smoothies. As a mom, I love that I can slip some extra nutrition in while whipping up something yummy. I especially like that bonus when dealing with my youngest super-picky-eater girl as she will drink veggies and fruits in a smoothie that she would never let past her lips whole.
Smoothies are already quick to make, but if you freeze them ahead of time, smoothies make a healthy last-minute addition for an picnic in the park or my kid’s school lunches. Grab a smoothie and round out your meal with vegetables and hummus and a few gluten free crackers or pretzels, and they have a fantastic lunch that hardly takes any time to put together.
I only freeze smoothies that have not has any added ice in the ingredients, preferring the finished texture of smoothies made without ice cubes. I also like to use frozen bananas in most of the smoothies I make as it gives such a creamy texture without using dairy. Pour the blended smoothie into 8 ounce freezer containers leaving a bit of head space at the top which will give the smoothie room to expand as it freezes. I like to use freezer canning jars for mine. The ones in the photo are made by Ball, and I have found them anywhere you can get canning supplies. There is a small mark right on the jar you can use for the head space needed, they travel well (not leaking in a lunch box. Yay!), and are really economical. This is also a great tip if you have made a smoothie and have too much left over, just dump the extra in a jar and you will have one made for another day.
I find that smoothies take about 4 hours to thaw well enough to eat if stored in an insulated lunch bag, which makes them perfect for the lunch box. If setting on the counter to thaw for a snack, remove about 1-2 hours before serving. Mix with a spoon or straw before eating. My kids like to only wait about 30 to 45 minutes for our smoothies to thaw. Then they can eat their smoothie as more of a slushy frozen treat. Yum!
One note about putting carrots into a smoothie: Even with a very high-powered blender (we have a Vita-Mix) my kids can still feel a bit of grittiness from raw carrot in a smoothie, which they don’t care for. You could juice the carrots or (the solution I have here) lightly steam the carrots until tender. Cool them quickly by putting in cold water then drain well before adding to the smoothie. This will eliminate any grittiness if you have family members who dislike that texture.
- 2 apples, cored and chopped
- 2 cups carrots, chopped (lightly steamed and cooled, if desired)
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 4 oranges, peeled and seeded
- 1½ frozen chopped bananas
- 1 cup chopped, pitted and frozen peaches
- 1 cup pears, cored and peeled (or use canned in 100% juice)
- 2 tablespoons honey, optional
- Put ingredients into blender in order listed. Blend until all chunks have been broken down and the smoothie is one uniform consistency.
- To freeze: Pour into freezer containers, cap and freeze.
- To serve: Remove from freezer at least 4 hours before serving if storing in an insulated lunch bag. If setting on the counter to thaw, remove 1-2 hours before serving. Mix with a spoon or straw before eating.