Over the summer I looked at Mr. OPRFLife and declared, “I think I’m going to retire from cooking.” He looked at me incredulously and said, “NO!” Apparently I entered into some tacit agreement when we began our relationship that I would be preparing meals for him until one of us dies. Great.
Then I looked into Freshly. Prepared meals that are healthy and only take 2 minutes to heat sound like a dream, don’t they? I did the math, however, and for our family it would be too expensive in the long run. I don’t make enough money to justify the expense in relation to the convenience.
I recently discovered that I could save time and money by making ahead and freezing meals. You probably already knew that, right? But are you doing it?
Here’s my recipe for DIY Smoothie Mix:
- 1 Handful of Power Greens
- 1 Banana
- 1 Date
- 1 Fig
- 1 Scoop Protein Powder
- 1/2 Cup Berry of choice
- 1-2 T. Spoons of Almond Butter
Of course, you can modify this recipe based on your preferences and dietary needs. This mix is unique for me because I eat for my blood type (O+). I don’t like to snack on dates and figs straight out of the container. Yuck. For O+ blood types these foods are very good so putting them in a smoothie is a great way for me to consume them.
Before You Get Started Make Sure You Have:
- Room in your freezer
- Enough containers
- A labeling system
Last night I had 7 bananas that were the perfect ripeness. I knew I wouldn’t eat them all today so I made 7 smoothie mixes while dinner was warming in the oven. (This is another example of why freeze ahead meals are so fantastic. I’m finding that we are wasting much less food. Yippee!)
LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES
Why suffer yourselves when I can suffer for you and then impart my wisdom on this blog? I didn’t always use reusable containers for my smoothie mixes. I used shameful plastic sandwich bags the first time around. I felt guilty about it because I try to minimize what our family sends to the landfill. It turns out that the reusable containers are not only better for the environment but the fruit is not smushed together when they freeze so when you blend them (I use a VitaMix I’ve had since 2005) the process is quicker and the smoothie is smoother. I want a Smoothie, not a Lumpy. Also, if you’re like me you could have a bag of mix explode on you -sending protein powder down the front of your dress moments before you are to go out the door for an important meeting.
Also, did you know dates had pits? Hmm. I never really thought about it but now I’m 100% certain they do. My first batch of 14 frozen smoothies had dates that needed to be pitted. Prying a frozen date from a frozen ball of smoothie mix and trying to extract the pit is so time consuming I might as well have made each smoothie from scratch. Maybe you knew all this and you are laughing at my expense? Maybe not? Either way, LEARN FROM MY MISTAKE.
For my labeling system I use painter’s tape and a sharpie. I write down what the meal is, what needs to be added and the date.
- Whitney’s Smoothie Mix
- Add Oil and Milk*
*I add 1-2 tsp. of Cod Liver Oil (Yuck, I know!) and 1-1 1/2 Cups of Almond Milk to the mix before I blend it. I have these amounts committed to memory so I don’t write them down on the label.
Some people like to add their dry ingredients (protein powder, chia seeds, etc.) when they blend their smoothie. I find that my protein powder is just fine if it’s frozen in the mix. Seeds might be a different story so proceed with caution.
I find that if I freeze my mix I don’t need to add ice.
A STITCH IN TIME:
I estimate that each of my smoothies cost around $3.75 each to make. My protein powder is expensive. If I were to go to a smoothie shop a similar smoothie would probably be around $8-$10.
I estimate that I save over an hour over the course of 7 days when I make ahead my smoothies. It takes me less than 5 minutes to blend my smoothie mix as opposed to 15-20 minutes to make one smoothie from scratch. I can make 2 weeks of smoothie mix in less than 1/2 hour.
I’d love to hear from you if you’re already doing something similar! I also wouldn’t mind hearing about what works for you.
Thanks for reading!