Smoothies have a summertime feel about them. I don’t know if it’s the fresh fruit or just the liquid instead of solid food that really makes it the ideal meal choice on a too-hot-to-eat kinda day.
The one thing I struggle with making smoothies is the portioning of all the ingredients. You often only need half of a whole fruit so I’m often stuck as what to do with the other half?
Also, a lot of smoothie recipes make more than 1 serving. Smoothies don’t keep very long and I was starting to get quite stressed about food waste.
These issues lead to the question forming in my mind, can you freeze smoothies?
The answer is yes, you can blend smoothies and then freeze them or freeze the ingredients and then add them to the blender. The frozen smoothie makes a delicious ice-cream type treat or defrosted to a liquid if you prefer. Frozen smoothies make smoothie making quick for busy mornings and are much more eco friendly as they save on kitchen waste!
BLEND THEN FREEZE?
One of the best time-saving tips for a busy morning is to prep a batch of smoothies ahead of time. The smoothie can easily be frozen (as long as you use a freezer-safe container) and is ready to grab and go.
The only downside to this method is the de-frost time. If you like your smoothie in liquid form then you need to plan ahead and get it out the freezer an hour or so before drinking (less time if it’s a very hot day!).
If you like a cooler, or even completely frozen texture then this method is ideal for you!
It can be tricky to decide the best way to store a big batch of smoothie so here are some freezer-friendly ideas to get you started.
A simple Tupperware container is about as easy as it gets. Anything from a lunch box, food storage container, or (cleaned) takeaway boxes. Simply pour the mixture in, pop the lid in place and it’s ready to go! This option is cheap and simple and you can re-use the containers!
Freezer bags are a cheap and easy way to keep those smoothie portions contained until you need them. The benefit of the freezer bag is that you easily transfer the smoothie to a non-freezer friendly glass or travel mug once it de-frosts a bit.
The package can easily fit into a lunch box or bag and will keep your other items nice and cool as the day wears on. The only thing to note with using freezer bags is some brands are a bit thinner than others so prone to leaking.
Also, the frozen moisture on the outside of the bag can cause dampness around it. To avoid this try wrapping a paper towel around the smoothie pack to absorb any drips.
You can always double-bag the mixture by popping it inside a second freezer bag once you take it out the freezer to save any mess whilst it’s defrosting.
A freezer-safe mug (or a mug designed for the freezer – have a search on Amazon!) is a good idea to keep your smoothie ready for drinking. Simply get the smoothie out of the freezer an hour or so before you want to drink it or a few hours in advance and keep it in the fridge.
If it’s a hot summer day or you just fancy a cool treat then you can eat the smoothie with a spoon like ice cream.
To take the ice-cream theme to the next levels you can actually turn a smoothie into a popsicle using a popsicle mold. The frozen smoothie popsicles are a yummy treat on a hot day or the perfect quick breakfast for when it’s just too hot too think about eating.
Similar to the frozen mug idea, just a bit more hipster, the mason jar makes a perfect smoothie vessel. Mason jars are completely safe to put in the freezer but it is best to use one with a handle otherwise the frozen smoothie will be too cold to hold.
ICE CUBE TRAYS
Another great way to freeze smoothies is by using an ice cube tray. The largest ones make a good mold for smoothie shots.
The benefit of ice cube trays is the small volume of the individual compartments means the smoothie freezes very quickly. It only takes a couple of hours for it to start to set so prep time is further reduced.
One thing I love to do with smoothie ice cubes is to mix and match. Try mixing some green smoothie with a fruit smoothie for a sweeter result. The options are endless and whether you enjoy a quick frozen smoothie bite or adding them to a large glass to defrost, anything goes.
FREEZE THEN BLEND?
So far we have covered all the ways you can freeze the blended smoothie ingredients but what if we did it the other way around? Another option for a busy morning is to have your favorite smoothie ingredients frozen, ready to be added to the blender.
This method allows you to adopt a meal prep approach to smoothie making by preparing the ingredients and storing them for use. You will need a powerful blender (such as a Vitamix) to ensure you get the perfect consistency. When frozen fruit and veggies are used you can leave out the ice cubes from most smoothie recipes.
The benefit of prepping the ingredients first is that you end up with a drinkable smoothie, very quickly. The downside is, you do actually have to blend the ingredients and clean the blender every day. Which option you choose really depends on your routine and what you prefer.
FREEZE INDIVIDUAL INGREDIENTS
If you like to mix and match when it comes to smoothies then this method may be the one for you. It’s basically just the preparation and freezing of individual items (fruit or veggies). I love to do this for seasonal produce so I can enjoy the fresh summer raspberries even in mid-winter.
Once you build up a store of frozen treats you can grab and go when it comes to smoothies. Whatever you fancy that day, you can just throw in the blender and it really cuts down the total time needed to make your favorite smoothie.
The individual ingredients can be stored in Tupperware, freezer bags, ice cube trays, or any other freezer-safe containers.
FREEZE MIXED PARCELS
If you’re a one-smoothie kinda guy or gal or you just have an all-time favorite smoothie recipe then you may like the idea of ready-to-go smoothie packs.
Plan ahead and chop up a weeks worth of ingredients and portion them out. Simply add the pre-measured fruit to a freezer bag or container of your choice and pop it in the freezer. The ready-made parcels are good to go whenever you like.
This option takes a bit of prep time beforehand but the result is an instant smoothie whenever you feel like it.
Here are some great recipe options for frozen smoothie enthusiasts. All gluten-free and vegan options are available.
- 1/2 cup Frozen Blueberries
- Handful Frozen Strawberries
- 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds (optional – you can soak them for 10 minutes beforehand)
- 1/4 cup Almond Milk
- 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt (or dairy-free option to keep it vegan)
Packed full of vitamin C this smoothie works great as a breakfast option or a pick-me-up any time of day. The strawberries can be substituted for blackberries, raspberries or any other summer fruits.
Simply add all the ingredients to the blender and then freeze or serve immediately.
- 1 tablespoon Peanut Butter
- 1 ripe Banana (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy options work)
- 1/2 cup Vanilla Yogurt (you can substitute soy or coconut yogurt here)
- 2 tablespoon Ground Flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon Honey (or any other sweetener of choice)
- 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
If you’re enjoying this smoothie post-workout or as a meal replacement then you can add a scoop of vanilla protein powder as well.
Add all ingredients to the blender and blend on high speed until smooth.
Adjust the sweetness as desired. If you want to keep it vegan you can use maple syrup in place of honey.
- 1/2 a pineapple, cubed
- 2 cups chopped Kale (can be steamed and then frozen)
- 1 whole Avocado
- 1/2 cup light Coconut Milk
- Maple Syrup to taste
A healthy and filling option, the recipe makes 2-4 servings depending on whether you fancy it as a snack or a meal replacement. Just blend everything together and enjoy or freeze for later.
Make-ahead smoothies allow busy mornings to become slightly less chaotic. Whether you prefer to blend first for a frozen smoothie treat or freeze the ingredients for an instant smoothie fix, using your freezer really helps make smoothie making quick and easy.