As the weather warms (at a snail’s pace) here in the Southeast, I have been craving green smoothies like they’re going out of style. Smoothies are such a simple and delicious way to get your morning dose of veggies, especially if you don’t wake up with a savory tooth. And I’m certainly not the only one touting their benefits! I’d wager that every healthy living publication in existence has written about, and offered recipes for, the Green Smoothie, or GS. Social media outlets are near-bursting with endless artfully decorated, posh-looking GS variations.
The one down-side? They can be kind of a hassle to throw together on a busy morning. If you’re a mom looking after several hungry kiddos, or you catch a super early train, or you just too darn exhausted to deal with a whirring blade, you might count yourself out of the green smoothie club.
As someone who has suffered from major sleep deprivation due to insomnia, that last one resonates. But the truth is, you can have your green smoothie and drink it too, regardless of what else you have going on. Here are some of the tips I’ve learned to keep the GS nectar flowing in my life, without resorting to green powders that may not offer the same nutrition as whole foods.
Carve Out Time for Proper Prep
Almost everyone has a few hours on the weekend to go grocery shopping and do a little prep. Stock up on fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, depending on your preference -- see below to figure out which is best for you. I’m big on organic frozen kale and spinach right now. Purchase enough liquid base like almond milk or coconut water to get through the week and make sure you have any other add-ins your enjoy, such as almond butter and chia seeds. Complete any prep as soon as you return from the grocery. If you are chopping and freezing fruit, lay the chunks flat in a zip lock so they freeze in a horizontal block. This makes them so much easier to break up.
Make It the Night Before
If you use fresh ingredients instead of frozen and leave out the ice, you can whip up a green smoothie the night before you’re going to enjoy it. Pop it in the fridge and it will be excellent the next day. I recommend adding some acidity from citrus to keep the colors and flavors bright and fresh. If you own a Yeti cup (see number four below), you can make yours with frozen ingredients and keep it overnight in the Yeti.
Make Green Smoothie Ice Cubes
Purchase some large-cube silicon ice cube trays from Amazon. Place silicon trays on baking sheets. Make a few green smoothies using fresh ingredients but omit the liquid — so it will be more of a green “frozen yogurt” texture. Dollop these into ice-cube molds. Wrap baking sheet and trays with aluminum foil. In the mornings, add one half cup hot water to your blender and then a few of your GS cubes. Pop out however many cubes you like and place them in the blender. Blend, adding more of whatever liquid you choose, until you reach desired consistency.
Invest in a Temperature-Regulating To-go Cup
When my husband came home with two Yeti cups last year, I gave him an indulgent smile and placed them in the cabinet, where I thought they’d collect dust. How wrong I was! When looking for a way to keep my smoothie cold on-the-go one morning, I decided to bust out a Yeti, pour in my GS and pop a straw in the opening. And whadya know? My smoothie was the perfect texture and temperature as I sipped it over the entire morning! They’re a perfect way to make your GS fit your busy, mobile life.
Pre-Make Frozen Green Smoothie Packets
Take an hour on the weekend to grab five zip lock baggies and fill each with fresh or frozen greens and fruit for individual portions. In the morning, add one cup liquid to the blender first, then the contents of one packet. Blend, adding liquid as necessary to reach desired consistency.
Need Some Inspiration? Make My Go-To Green Smoothie!