My post on "5 Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies" got such a positive response which kinda tells me that you guys enjoy fruits and veggies and are always looking for more ways to incorporate into your life. Things like this make me really happy! While eating fruits and vegetables comes naturally to some people, it's a constant struggle for others or not knowing how to go on about it. One of the easiest ways to get my fruits and some veggies in the morning is via smoothies especially this time of the year. If you are new to the smoothie scene, I suggest you check out this "Smoothie 101" I shared a while back.
Remember that smoothies are different than juicing (here's a whole post on juicing for beginners) as it contains blended fruits/veggies/liquids and other add-on such as peanut butter, flax meal, protein powder etc. Smoothies are definitely more filling than juice because it contains more wholesome ingredients, fiber, protein etc which is why it is a good choice for breakfast or a snack. BUT calories in smoothies can vary depending upon how much of what you add in it..and NOT all smoothies are necessarily 'healthy'.
Lately, I have been making smoothie packs to save me some time in the morning and help with portion control. It has been super handy because all I do in add liquid, some flax meal and off I go with my breakfast.
Make Ahead Smoothie Pack begins with your choice of fruits and greens. You can pick and choose your choice of fruits (fresh or frozen) but since I am loyal Trader Joe's shopper, I get their Organic Mixed Berry Blend, frozen mango chunks, and frozen pineapple tidbits.
Additionally, fresh bananas and organic baby spinach are a regular in my smoothies (you can use kale if you wish). My current freezer smoothie pack currently contains two different types of smoothies - tropical & mix berries with spinach.
Tropical Smoothie :
Frozen mango, frozen pineapple, sliced banana. I added spinach right before blending but go ahead and add spinach, it will be just fine.
Per Tropical smoothie pack - I used about 2 cup of fruit + 1 cup of spinach + 1 sliced banana. Then mixed in with 1 cup liquid (milk is my go to) and tablespoon of flax meal/chia seed to yield 1 large smoothie. This is roughly 435 calories, 89 grams of sugar (12 grams fiber and 63 grams sugar), and 13 grams of protein. This makes a large, filling smoothie which you can probably share with 2 people.
Mixed Berry with Spinach:
Frozen berry mix, sliced banana, and greens. Per smoothie pack - 2 cups of berries + 1 cup of spinach + 1 sliced banana. Then mix 1 cup of milk + chia seed or flax meal to yield one large smoothie. This is roughly about 400 calories, 14 grams of protein, and 77 grams carbohydrate (16 grams fiber and 46 grams sugar)
do not let frozen fruits thaw, work quickly when it's frozen
progressively increase the ratio of greens to fruits in order to reduce the amount of sugar, even though its natural sugar
make 2-3 different types of smoothie packs at a time
vary your liquid of choice such as filtered water/coconut water for a change
instead of banana, you can use yogurt or avocado to thicken up the smoothie