At face value, smoothies are pretty easy to make — you throw some combination of fruits and veggies, liquid, and other mix-ins into a blender, whiz it all together until smooth, and serve it straight-up. But if you’re a regular smoothie drinker, you know there’s so much more that goes into the perfect blend. Figuring out the right balance of ingredients is one challenge; keeping those ingredients in constant stock is another. And then there’s the chore of having to clean a blender, blades and all, every single morning.
For easier, mess-free mornings, choose one recipe each week and buy ingredients in bulk.
Meal prepping big batches of lunch and dinner staples — cooked grains, roasted vegetables, slow cooker meat, etc. — is commonplace. This shrinks your grocery list and time spent in the kitchen, and is a real lifesaver on busy weeks. So, it’s no surprise that batching your smoothies has the same effect.
To make your smoothie routine as seamless as possible, choose a single recipe and stock up on the ingredients you need to make that recipe for an entire week. Don’t worry about shelf life, since you’ll ultimately be freezing everything.
Don’t just portion your ingredients into freezer packs — blend all of your smoothies at once.
I’ll admit that when I first saw the now-ubiquitous frozen “smoothie packs” on Pinterest years ago, I thought they were pretty clever. The idea is that you wash and chop enough fruits and vegetables for several smoothies all at once, then portion them into individual bags and freeze them. Each morning, all you need to do is blend a smoothie pack with some liquid.
Now, though, I realize there’s a much more efficient way to do things: blending a whole week’s worth of smoothies at the same time. The major sell here is that you only need to clean your blender once a week. Another real plus is that you won’t be wasting disposable plastic bags making smoothie packs.
Keep in mind that most blenders will only hold about two smoothies at a time, so you’ll have to blend your ingredients in batches. And remember that liquids expand when frozen! I recommend using plastic mason jars with airtight lids, and filling them only about three-quarters of the way full. You can use glass jars, but you’ll need to be even more vigilant about leaving ample space at the top of the jar, since they’re more likely to shatter.
Once your weekly batch is successfully blended, all you need to do is move one smoothie from the freezer to the fridge every night, so that it thaws by morning. Just be sure to shake your smoothie vigorously before drinking it (another reason to use airtight jars and leave plenty of space), in case anything has separated.
Ready to get started? Here are some of our favorite smoothie recipes.
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