Smoothies are a healthy, fast, easy way to get the whole family fueled each morning. And putting them together can be a creative, fun experience for the kids that gets them excited to head to the blender each morning. Find tips below for productive weekend smoothie prep sessions and for blending up delicious smoothie combos each morning.
Weekend Smoothie Prep
Make smoothies fun by getting kids in on the assembling action. In less than an hour, the whole family can have their favorite smoothies prepped to get them through the next two week.
Gather ingredients and tools. Place bowls filled with nuts, fruits (frozen or fresh) and other ingredients into large bowls, with spoons or small measuring cups (1/4 cups are perfect). You'll also want some small, sandwich-sized resealable plastic bags, gallon-sized bags, as well as permanent markers so kids can write their names on their bags.
Create smoothie bags. Let kids scoop fruits and nuts into small bags, creating their own combos, but encouraging them to try different options. Create one bag as an example so they can see how full to fill them—fruits should amount to about one cup, and a couple tablespoons of nuts is perfect.
Load up the freezer. Place smaller bags into larger bags, with each family member getting their own. Then little hands can choose a different one each morning!
Weekday Morning Blending
The prepped smoothie bags are a great way to get smoothies started, but you'll still want to keep a few ingredients on hand to finish them off each morning.
Greens. Fresh spinach and kale keeps great for about a week and half—and small handfuls go virtually undetected by the taste buds—so, if you make sure your fridge always has a bit of each, it's a great way to get in some veggies. You can also stock up on frozen greens that are great in a pinch.
Liquids. You'll want to add either milk (plant-based or otherwise), juice, or maybe even some yogurt to get your smoothie going in the blender. If you choose a plant-based milk, stock up on boxed versions—these stay good for months, unopened at room temperature, so it's easy to keep these in the pantry.
Alternate proteins. Some forms of protein like hemp seeds and almond butter are a little awkward and messy to add to the prepped bags, but they are easy to toss into the mix before you blend.
To-Go Cups. Buy a selection of reusable to-go smoothie cups to be sure there's always one clean if anyone needs to take their smoothie on the go. Even something as simple as a case of mason jars can do the trick without breaking the bank. You can find any number of companies that make dishwasher-safe lids and straws designed to work with the jars.
Bonus smoothie pro tip: Since most of your ingredients are coming straight from the freezer, there's no need to add ice to your smoothie—as it is, it should come out deliciously cold.
10 Top-Rated Smoothie Recipes
Not quite sure where to start? Use these recipes as inspiration for your prep session.
PICANTE gave this recipe five stars, saying "I've made this recipe three or four times in the last two weeks. I can't get enough!" They also had a great tip if you find yourself with leftovers: "Put it in the freezer, then thaw it out for an hour or so and blend again when you want a quick treat."
This recipe calls for powdered peanut butter to keep the calories low, but can easily be swapped out with the real thing if that's what you have on hand.
"Fabulous!!" This rave from BOLTBABE includes high marks for an ingredient that might give some pause: "I have never tried a smoothie with oatmeal! Who'da thunk—this is great!
This makes quite a bit, so is a great one to whip up for the whole family in the morning. Refrigerate any extra for afternoon snacks, or use PICANTE's tip above from the Blueberry Cream Slushy Recipe.
France C. only had good things to say about this recipe: "I made it exactly as written and it made a HUGE serving—three cups of deliciousness all to myself! It could easily be split to serve two people, though."
This paleo-friendly smoothie looks as good as it tastes with that deep purple from fresh or frozen blueberries.
This recipe is kid-approved, according to Jaimie: "Just made this for my 10-year-old son and he loved it. He especially liked the mint."
Strawberries, banana, yogurt, and fruit juice come together to create this vibrant smoothie. Want to cut the sweetness? Swap out the fruit juice, and add milk (plant-based or traditional).
"I am always looking for ways to use avocados," says 3BOYS3. "This was incredibly delicious. I made it for breakfast but it could easily be a dessert—it was very rich and creamy—like a milkshake. Even the kids enjoyed it."
10. Fig Smoothie
gottacook now has a great use for the bounty from her backyard fig tree: "So simple, and the figs really make the smoothie creamy. My husband even loved it and he's not a fig fan. I'm going to try to freeze some of our figs so we can make this smoothie all year."