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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ziplock Freezer Smoothie Packs

I found the idea of these freezer smoothie packs on Pinterest from Budget Bytes.  I make a smoothie for myself almost everyday, and I love the idea of not having to lug 10 bags out of the freezer every time I go to make one!  Plus, now my kids can grab a bag from the freezer and make their own smoothies. 

This is what my smoothie ended up looking like.  The color will all depend on what fruit you decide to put in it.

I had 5 bananas and a bunch of frozen fruit.

Raspberries, pineapple, blueberries and a cherry berry blend.

Peel the banana, you need one banana per Ziploc bag smoothie.  If you are not a banana lover, frozen peaches or mangoes are a great substitute, as they are hearty and will help make up the bulk of the smoothie.  A banana is so sweet and creamy, that it tends to be my favorite.

Add 1 cup of whatever type of frozen fruit you would like.  

I did a combo of berries and pineapple here.

Just choose your favorites.  You can't go wrong!

To make the smoothie, put 2 handfuls of spinach (about 2 cups) in a blender.

Add 1 cup of your choice of milk. (Dairy, soy, almond or coconut.) I use almond.  Blend until spinach is chopped up teeny tiny.

Add your pouch of fruit containing 1 banana and 1 cup of assorted berries/fruit.

Blend.  See how the green disappears into a nice purple?  The kids will never know what is REALLY in there.  The spinach taste goes away thanks to the berries.

I  like to add Chia seeds for extra fiber and protein.  This is optional.  Some also like to add cinnamon. Some add protein powder or honey if the fruit is not sweet enough.  Make sure you taste.  The one I made today was so sweet, it DID NOT need any more sweetness.

This recipe made enough for a very full 12 oz mason jar...about 15 oz all together.

Enjoy!  So refreshing, and a great way to get in some of your servings of fruits and veggies each day!  

Ziploc Smoothie
1 Ziploc
1 banana
1 cup assorted berries/fruit
2 cup baby spinach
1 cup milk (almond, dairy, coconut or soy)
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Optional ingredients:
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 scoop protein powder
Honey, Stevia or Agave to sweeten if needed

Make your Ziploc smoothie packs, each containing one banana and one cup of fruit.  Freeze until you are ready to use them, you can use one right away, the banana does not need to be frozen.

Place spinach in blender.  Add milk.  Blend until smooth.
Add Ziplock smoothie pack. Blend until smooth.
Add optional ingredients if desired. Blend until smooth.

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A Little Bit About Blenders

Professional Grade High Speed Blender
Some of the best money I have ever spent!



This is the model I have.  I drooled over it for a couple of years! 
It was a splurge, but worth EVERY penny.  I use it 2-3 times a day.
It makes crushed ice in seconds.  It takes almonds to almond butter in seconds.  It makes the best raspberry fruit purees for pancakes and ice cream--obliterates all those little seeds into smooth puree heaven! We are eating 3 times the amount of fruits and veggies since purchasing this amazing blender, which I know is keeping us out of the doctors' office and away from those expensive co-pays, so in my mind it has paid itself off. 


I've never used one, but have heard good things about them.  They are not professional grade like the Vitamix, but the price is much easier to swallow and they are powerful.

{my old Oster on the left, my New Vitamix on the right}
I had one of these for years and it does the job.  You can't beat the price, and for smoothies, it works, although you have to blend much longer. You will still have chia and raspberry seeds in your smoothies, but if you don't mind the extra texture, this one will do.  If you have had a high speed blender, you will not be happy with this one.  If you are looking for something to get by until you can get a high speed blender, and to just get those smoothies in you, this will do just fine.


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49 comments:

  1. A fantastic time saving idea - I've also seen people do "juice packs" for those that do fresh juice and put all the juicing ingredients into a veggie saving bag. Grab the bag and done - brillant!

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  2. This is brilliant! I would have these anytime :0)

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  3. For some reason my chia seeds do not break down in the smoothies. I'll get all of the little seeds stuck in my teeth...every time. What am I doing wrong

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    1. I have used chia seeds before but ground them up in a coffee grinder or magic bullet before adding them. I grind up a bunch so I have it ready when I want.

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    2. Chia seeds are meant to be eaten whole, they soak up moisture and make you feel fuller.

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    3. If you mix your smoothie in the blender first - drop the chia seeds on top, then put the blender on the lowest setting, which will suck the seeds into the drink and separate them. Then increase the speed setting to the highest for a few seconds and it should be mixed into your smoothie nicely.

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    4. chia seeds absorb many times their weight in liquid....all you have to do is soak them in a small amount of water for about 15 minutes. will turn into a jelly like consistency. then add to smoothie or recipes! you can also store in fridge in this state so it is ready for use.

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    5. I always have chia seeds in the fridge soaking in either almond milk or water and just scoop out a tablespoon full when needed. (They turn into a gel like substance once soaked) They will keep up to a week in the fridge.

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  4. Oh yum! I have been hearing a lot about chia seeds and need to get some
    Thanks for sharing

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  5. can you use flax seeds

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  6. @Missy--love the idea of juice packs..I feel another blog post coming on!
    @Adventuresindinner--thanks!
    @Julies--yeah, it does seem like some chia seeds break down easier than others. My smoothie was not entirely smooth. Sometimes I leave them out if I am in the mood for complete "smoothness" :)
    @Anonymous--yes, you can for sure use flax seeds. I would use ground, as they digest much better, and add more liquid.

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  7. @Dawn--yes, try them out. I have a few more recipes coming up that have them in it. They are a great little superfood!

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  8. Yum! Looks a lot like the smoothie I had this morning, complete with about the same amount of spinach! Love that you put yours in Mason Jars! Where did you find them, are they vintage or new? I never thought to pre-make them in zip lock bags. Duh. Sometimes the best ideas are so simple, and seem obvious in hindsight. Why did I never think to do that? Genius for crazy school days!
    xo-Lisa

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  9. what a great idea to get your smoothie in everyday....my son loves smoothies this will work so much easier than pulling out the big bags of frozen fruits everytime! Thank You for the ideas! Carla Sue

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  10. can you use frozen spinach?

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  11. I've been doing this for awhile but I also freeze plain greek yogurt into ice cube trays, pop them out and put two cubes into each of my baggies with the fruit.

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    Replies
    1. Genius!!! I was trying to think of how I could incorporate yogurt in there :)

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    2. Oh, good thinking!!

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  12. I love smoothies! I have been doing the same thing (grabbing a ton of bags out of the freezer to make mine). Question for you though...do the bananas freeze well? I've heard that they will turn black-ish... and can you freeze spinach in them?

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    1. The fruit itself doesn't turn black. If you freeze the entire banana in the peel, the peel will turn black. It doesn't effect the flavor at all.

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    2. I peel the bananas and break in half. Then I freeze them. They may darken but no flavor loss. Love the prebagging.

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  13. Hello, great tip, now the mason jars are freezer safe, you can save the baggies and prepare as above and put into jar, freeze and then empty jar in the morning into your blender, when made pour pack into your jar.

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    1. Make sure it's a wide mouth jar or you may have a hard time getting everything out if it all freezes together.

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    2. I've certainly seen other bloggers that swear by it. I'll give it a try as soon as I acquire some. Apparently the warning is to make sure they're "real" Mason jars (that is, the higher-quality jars), so breakage isn't so much an issue.

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  14. I love your post. Found it from Pinterest. x

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  15. Love your idea... since everything is frozen and cold, one doesn't have to water things down with ice cubes - great!
    How about using Spaghetti sauce jars for drinking your smoothie... I keep mine, clean them out and use them for saving odds and ends of everything. I love them, as most have interesting things on them and I can see what I have. (But don't put them in the freezer.)

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  16. I process spinach & kale & freeze it. I love this smoothie kit idea, so much cheaper than buying Jamba Juice at the store. I just made some kits & threw in some of the frozen spinach/kale mix.

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    Replies
    1. I love the idea of processing & freezing spinach & kale. How have you pricessed them?

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    2. I mean processed them.

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  17. I love this!!! I featured your post on my blog!! It should be up by 9am Pacific.. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  18. can u throw fresh spinach in the bags as well and freeze it? looove ur blog btw!

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    Replies
    1. I was wondering the very same thing.

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    2. I do and i dont prepare it I just freeze it fresh and it is great in smoothies.

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  19. Google "Jamba Juice recipes" for some ideas. I love the idea of spinach, though I have kids who like spinach so I don't have to sneak it in!

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  20. This is such a great idea and can't wait to try it out. Is there any way to know a roundabout calorie count for each smoothie? I am currently trying to keep a daily food and exercise log so I am trying to keep track of where my calories are coming from. Thanks!

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  21. This is the coolest idea. I love that the fruit is ready to go. It would be neat to have a container in the freezer full of the fruit packs all ready to go. I freeze blueberries and will keep this idea in mind for summer preservation. Thank you.
    Bethie

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  22. I love this idea! You've solved such a big problem with smoothie-making - the grab-n-go factor. I'm going to go make my bags now :) Thanks for sharing!

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  23. You have to grind your flax seeds otherwise your body will not digest them and they only pass through. Only grind what you need, or for up to three days otherwise they lose their nutritional value.
    I think that this baggie idea is brilliant :)

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  24. When I first started experimenting with stevia, I hated the aftertaste. However, I found no aftertaste using liquid stevia in smoothies or plain yogurt; it must be the cold dairy. I am usually fortunate to get raw milk, and I always use yogurt for protein. Make SURE you blend the spinach with dark berries and don't use too much at first (voice of experience here).

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  25. I "pinned" this idea MONTHS ago and was wondering if, as another time saving idea, you would be able to freeze the pureed spinach/almond milk in ice cubes trays and save them in the same ziplock bag? Do you think it would keep? I'm just looking for ways to streamline this smoothie making process even more, and prolong the life of the fresh spinach. Just a thought!

    Thanks for the great tip!

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    1. I pureed spinach with a little water and poured it into muffin tins, froze, and then put 'em in a big ziploc bag. I was able to "put up" a whole Costco-sized bag a fresh spinach in one gallon freezer bag: about 30 spinach cubes, each with nearly 1 cup of spinach in it. And they blend up well, too. (This genius idea wasn't mine; saw it on someone else's blog.)

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  26. Great idea! I already freeze my fruit and yogurt. But it never dawned on me to do individual bags or containers. That will save so much time in the mornings.

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  27. What a great idea. I already freeze my bananas and yogurt. But I never thought of putting them with my other fruit in individual bags or containers. Genius!

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  28. This is awesome! Even more time savings, the canning jars fit most blender blades. I use my jars all of the time instead of the blender pitcher, works great and saves on clean-up.

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  29. What a brilliant idea. Totally saving this post!

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  30. Great time saving idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  31. Thanks you for this idea! I've been loving the spinach smoothies but they take too long to make when I'm getting ready for work. I did blend up spinach and freeze in cubes (which I saw on Pinterest) and someone else commented above about freezing yogurt cubes too. Freezing all these in individual baggies will make it soooo much easier! Thank you again!

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  32. I do same ziplog idea for my daily fresh juice - keeping it in fridge

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  33. I have been making these smoothie bags of fruit for quite some time. I put whole spinach leaves in the bag too (as they freeze wonderfully). I have also used my juicer to juice fruits and veggies. I freeze the juice into ice cubes trays. Once frozen, I add 3-5 cubes into my whole fruit & spinach bags and keep in the freezer until ready to use. The kids LOVE that everything is ready to go for them!!!

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Thank you so much for your lovely words to me! Due to the number of comments I receive, I cannot respond to all of them - but know that I read and love every word. If you have a question in need of a response, please e-mail sponsornewnostalgia@gmail.com and either Robyn or I will get back to you.