There is a small chance - although greater than I might have ever believed - that I might one day become a domestic goddess. Today I had a stroke of brilliance. Brilliance I tell you!!
Yesterday I made myself a smoothie. I had lots of frozen fruit and thought "it's frozen! I don't remember buying it, but how bad can it be?" oh, how wrong I was. My smoothie tasted precisely like freezer burn. I had a bit of a lazy summer and only managed to freeze a few peaches, sour cherries, and rhubarb. I needed some frozen fruit.
I was headed to Costco today, and it seemed like a good idea to stock up on some frozen fruit. I bought 5 pound bags of frozen wild Maine blueberries (which are amazing) and strawberries, along with lots of bananas and a giant carton of plain yogurt. Throw in a few bottles of Bolthouse Blueberry juice and I'm in business.
That's when I had the stroke of genius! I could avoid inevitable freezer burn by making smoothie packs. I could divide the fruit into individual, one smoothie bags, and would be free from freezer burn forever! I am brilliant. Seriously.
I placed 2/3 of a medium banana (cut into 2-inch chunks), 1/2 cup of blueberries, and 5 strawberries (these were huge) into a pint zip top bag. I squeezed out as much air as possible, and then packaged 4 bags to a larger foodsaver bag. Now, every morning I can grab a one-serving bag of frozen fruit, all ready to become breakie. I made the foodsaver bags large enough that I can reseal them each time I remove a smaller bag. Of course, you could freeze each serving in its own foodsaver bag, but they are expensive.
Whenever I need a smoothie, I grab a bag and throw it in the blender along with 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and about 3 ounces of juice. Blitz in the blender and yummy yummy. I usually let the frozen fruit and juice sit in the blender for 5 minutes to soften; alternatively, sometimes I add just a little hot water - 3 ounces or so. I like my smoothies full of fruit with a little yogurt; not too sweet and a little tart. While I was drinking today's concoction, I was thinking that many people would probably want it a little sweeter. I would recommend adding a little honey, or apple or white grape juice for sweetness versus just dumping sugar in. And I'm not super crazy about artificial sweetener, and try to keep them to a minimum.
The smoothie, as I've made it, contains three servings of fruit and one serving of dairy. It boasts a full 40% of your daily fiber (which can be difficult to get from food alone) and is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin C. All of this for just around 260 calories. Compare that to a commercial smoothie, where a small clocks in a over 400 calories, and I think the proof is in the pudding. The nice thing about smoothies, aside from their fruit and fiber content, and the way they can soothe your sweet tooth, is you can sneak all sorts of additional healthy additives in. You could add a scoop of protein powder, some spirulina, or a few tablespoons of chia seeds for a really good boost of fiber.
Furthermore! These smoothies cost around $1.50 per serving (I got 20 servings). The small smoothie, full of sugar, from the smoothie chain, costs about $4.50. And I promise you: mine is better.
The smoothie, with 3/4 banana, 1/2 cup blueberries, 5 large strawberries, 1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt, and 3 ounces blueberry juice has 258 calories; detailed nutritional information after the jump.