Healthy Smoothies for the Busy Person

Healthy Smoothies for the Busy Person!

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I am usually super busy in the mornings. I have kids to get up and going, a husband that needs to be up and going, dishes from the night before,a blog post to go out,a family to feed,a dog to take out, a toddler to chase, and the list goes on and on! I’m sure some of you know what I am talking about!

I was finding it really hard to accomplish all of those things and still measure out all the ingredients,chop all the fruit and veggies, and clean up from making the smoothie. Most of the time I just forgot and when I remembered I was in the middle of 20 different things and just didn’t want to create an extra mess.  Of course then it would get to the end of the day and I had not had my smoothie. I never mind having just a plain shake with just this, ice, and almond milk. It tastes like cake and I love cake, but I really like to put stuff in it (like in this recipe and this one).

My solution-  Make up smoothie packets ahead of time and have them ready for me anytime I needed them! 

This has been so helpful to me and has really helped me get back on track with eating healthier again. It is so easy to do and so convenient- you just really have to try this!

This is how I did it-

To get started I pulled out everything I had in my freezer,fridge,and cabinet that I wanted to put in my smoothie packets. I knew I needed oatmeal (to make my smoothie more filling), some Spectrum Essentials Chia Seeds, 12 Ounce for fiber and extra nutrition,fruit (I had tons of frozen fruit), and  most importantly a “green ingredient ” for my smoothie ( I had kale and spinach).

Next I laid out my bags I wanted to use. I choose sandwich size ziploc bags. I did this becasue they were cheap,easy to rinse out and use again (yes I do that- Reduce,Reuse,And Recycle!!), plus they were what I had on hand. I didnt want to spend money on something fancy if I didn’t have too. I am so glad I went this route, it worked out so well for my freezer size (Ill explain below).

I opened up all the baggies ( I folded the tops over just a little bit them stay open easier) and started adding all the ingredients except the greens. I found if I did one ingredient at a time then the packets were done in no time,and each one had exactly what I needed in it.

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Next I added in as much of the green ingredient as I could shove in the baggies,and sealed them up.

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Each baggie had the following in it-

1 Tbsp of Spectrum Essentials Chia Seeds, 12 Ounce

1/4 cup oatmeal

1 cup of mixed fruit ( I just used  a random combination of my frozen fruit in mine-strawberries,peaches,bananas,blueberries)

Big handful of kale or spinach

-when making these I was glad they were not all the same. It gave me some variety of flavors so I didn’t get bored.

After I got them all loaded up I put them in the freezer and let them flash freeze for a couple of hours. Once they were frozen I dropped them down in a gallon size ziploc bag. This kept them from getting freezer burned.  It also kept them nicely organized and together so they didn’t get lost in my freezer. This helped with the convenience factor too. All I had to do is open my freezer,grab the big bag of smoothies,and pull one smoothie packet out.

To make the smoothies simply dump your packet in the blender and add 1- 2 cups of almond milk ( or whatever nondairy milk you prefer) , a scoop of my new favorite protein powder, and blend up! It is that easy!!

If you are in a hurry in the morning or if you just like the convenience of a no mess breakfast you should really try this idea out! These have been a real hit with my 6 Week Transformation clients ,so I hope they help you too!!

I told you what I put in my smoothie packets- What would you put in yours? 

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132 comments

  1. My simple recipe has a frozen banana, fresh spinach, raw almond butter, almond milk and cinnamon! I eat it almost every day!

    • Oh wow! that sounds really good. I might have to try that one tomorrow!

    • This morning I made a persimmon -mango with vanilla spinach and almond milk. I love your idea. I just finished making some packets. I get off work late and try to have a smoothie then. Most times I’m to tired so I just grab whatever is available. Now smoothies will be! Thank you .

  2. This is seriously the greatest idea ever! My mornings are no where near as busy as yours, but I am NOT a morning person, so this would be fantastic! I think I may have to try this next week! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Much Love!
    Dee @ gypsyveganmama.blogspot.com

  3. When Ia found your post on Healthy Vegan Friday I had to hop by. I was so intrigued by your timesaving idea that I am definitely going to try it at home. I find that too often I don’t make my daily smoothie because I don’t have the time or “I don’t want to take the time to stop and do all of the prep work”.
    You have certainly solved that problem. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. This is truly genius! I love this idea. I am always making excuses about not having time to eat healthy or drank healthier drinks / smoothies. You just solved that problem for me. Thanks for sharing!

    This for inviting me over. Have a great day!
    Kim ~ This Ole Mom
    http://www.thisolemom.com

  5. This is an absolute stellar idea!! Why didn’t I think of it, LOL!!

  6. What a great idea! I wish I was so organized:)

    Thanks for sharing at Foodies & Crafties Soirée!
    Gosia | Kiddie Foodies

  7. Truly wonderful idea! Love these grab and go tricks that are good for you. Thanks for joining us at the Foodies and Crafties soiree!

  8. Can you taste the greens in these or is it hidden pretty good by the fruit?

    • I cant taste them a whole lot but you can always start out with a small amount and work your way up to the amount that you are comfortable with.

    • I’ve found that the best fruit to mask the flavor of the greens is banana. Whenever I add a banana to my green smoothies, that’s just about all I can taste!

  9. This would be great for me since I’m a college student with all 8 AMs. How long will the baggies last in the freezer? This would be an easy throw together on Sunday nights for the week ahead.

    • I make mine up for the week and by the weekend they are gone so I am not sure how long they would last. But I would think they could keep for awhile as long as you dropped the sandwich bags down into a freezer gallon size ( or larger) bag after they flash froze.

  10. I have some trouble with kale and spinach, or any other rich green for that matter. It makes me… uncomfortable… for days after I consume it. Do you know if there are any other green options that are comparable or a replacement ingredient that could be used?

    • I am not sure, but let me do some looking around and ask a couple of people and I can get back to you!

    • If you still want to use greens for the fiber, vitamin and phytochemical content, try blanching them first. 30 -60 seconds in boiling water, then drain quickly and rinse thoroughly with very cold water to stop them cooking. This might eliminate or reduce the discomfort-producing qualities while not sacrificing (much) the nutrition.

  11. Great tip! I can’t wait to try it out. Thank you.

  12. I thought spinach or kale dont freeze well. Is this true? How long do they keep?

    • I have been using these packets for a couple of months now and mine have been fine.I have never had them longer than 3 weeks ( becasue I use them up pretty quick) so I am not really sure how long they would keep.

  13. Great idea! Are you using these smoothies as meal replacements? Curious how long they fill you up. 🙂

    • yes and no. They can be meal replacements if you need them to be. I made these up becasue I never have time to eat a healthy breakfast and so usually I just end up skipping breakfast.Having these means I get a healthy breakfast (or a fast snack) when I need it.
      They keep me full a good part of the day and even by afternoon I am still not really hungry which is great becasue then I can eat a light lunch instead of overeating becasue I was starving from not eating breakfast.

  14. What other liquids could I use instead of Almond milk? Can I use regular milk?

    • you could use anything you like for the liquid (other nondairy milks,milk,water,juice,etc). I use almond milk becasue that is my favorite and I don’t drink regular cows milk. You can put whatever you like in these packets, including ingredients. I just used these ingredients becasue I was trying to make a complete meal in a glass becasue I get too busy in the morning to eat. I have other packets that just have a green (spinach or kale) and some fruit in them which I use for my kids.

  15. We love mango and guava in our house. Sometimes I use almond butter for a decadent smoothie (when I crave it), with dark chocolate nestle morsels…yum! I freeze plain nonfat yogurt, and coconut milk in ice cube trays 🙂

  16. I do the packets but didn’t know I could freeze the greens! That is awesome! Sometimes my spinach goes bad before I can use it all up.

  17. I would add a half or whole scoop of protein powder…wards off hunger longer and keeps your energy up

  18. Does putting the kale and spinach in the freezer raw make it go bad? Seems like it would wilt and get mushy. But maybe it doesn’t matter cause it’s going in a blender? I’m looking forward to making these this coming week!

    • Mine has always come out good but I just use it all frozen. I dump it right from the freezer into the blender. I dont let it thaw out or anything.

  19. I can’t wait to try these, I just recently aquired a blender and made my first acai berry juice smoothie tonight… I’m not sure what to put in these packets that will be a good combination, I love acai berry juice and strawberries but I want some variety!

  20. Do you have any tips to make the oatmeal and almonds less chunky in the smoothie? I have a Ninja blender…

    • I add more liquid to mine to help with that. I found if I add more liquid it lets it really blend better and I can let the blender go for longer too which also helps.Remember you can always leave them out if you dont like them. The only reason I used them in this was becasue I was looking for a complete meal replacement for when I was too busy. I have other smoothie packets that just have greens and fruit in them.

      • I use a coffee grinder for my flax seed, grinds it up really good into a fine powder. A food processor would probably work well for oatmeal. Cant wait to try the spinach!

  21. Wonderful idea! I know how busy it is in the mornings and I also use the following tips to help out: Kids get ready for school before bed by laying out their clothes/socks/shoes and packing school bags and I choose my outfit (including socks-because I usually end up wasting 5 minutes or more searching for a match) and gather my work items as well. It is a great reminder too if you need to do laundry for one kid or if (like me) you need to carve out time to reorganize a drawer…I don’t know what your night time routine is but I try to have a clean kitchen sink (the flylady.net) every night. There is something about waking up and spending the morning in a clean kitchen that reduces stress for me…Thanks for posting!! Love your smoothies 😀

  22. Have you ever made the smoothies the night before? I am a college student living with a bunch of either ladies in a house. I am up and out the door before 6:50 everyday and I don’t think anyone wakes up until close to 8. I try to be quiet so I don’t disturb people and running my blender in the morning every day certainly would. When I drink smoothies, it’s mostly when I have time to go home for lunch. On a low budget, smoothies are a great way to pack in a lot of nutrients on the go for a busy student and I love them!

    • I have made large batches before and left them in the fridge. I know to optimize nutrients you need to drink your smoothie right away but I also think something is better than nothing! You could always try one and see what it is like. I am sure you would just need to really stir it up. If you try it out let me know how it goes!

  23. Can you add protein powder to the blender?

  24. We tried these & thought they were really good except we don’t add almonds to ours. We thought it had too much of a raw almond taste. I have also switched out flax seed for the chia seeds sometimes. Our favorite so far is banana, strawberry, grape, & spinach. We also liked blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, & spinach. Can’t wait to try some other fruit combos. I have bad arthritis so this is a great way to add extra Omega 3 in my diet!

  25. I need to use gluten free oats but I don’t know what kind to use. Steel Cut, Quick Cooking oats, Rolled Oats? Since they’re raw I wasn’t sure if they would all work. Any thoughts?

    • I am not sure. Let me do some research and see what I can find. I have a couple of friends who have to do gluten free and they may know so I will get back to you on it!

    • My chiropractor JUST told me that steel cut outs are gluten free (at least the ones that start with Mc… (something or other).

  26. I love this idea but I too never used raw oats. Guess I need to try.

  27. Why Nondairy? Can’t I Use Milk?

    • You can use whatever you want, I just use non dairy becasue my body and milk just dont mix very well. Plus if you use almond milk it has a lot less calories than cows milk. Non dairy milks also do not have the cholesterol that cows milk has and has no saturated fat like cows milk does (most- look at the labels).

  28. I sometimes add a tablespoon of peanut butter, honey, and flax seed if I don’t have any in the freezer, I also add a handful of ice too. I have one at 7:30 AM and don’t get to eat lunch until 1:30. It keeps me full. I have never had any of my greens go bad and I make up a bunch at a time. I don’t like the texture of the frozen banana so I just add that in the morning.

  29. I can’t not stress how much these smoothies have changed my life! At first I tried spinach and peaches (with all the other ingredients of course) now I do kale and mixed fruit. Both were fantastic! I have one every single morning. What i love is that this smoothie actually has substantial ingredients; they’re not just fruit! I can have one in the morning and not feel bad or like I’m just overloading on sugar. Making these has become a part of my routine and something I look forward to every day.

    • I am soo glad!! It is funny how doing something simply can really change your life! I feel the same way about them!! This comment totally made my day!

  30. Love this idea but had trouble with the bag of mix not fitting properly in my Ninja blender. I suggest you crease your bag before freezing to ensure you can at least brake it into two chunks.

    • That is a great point!I have nutribullet now and I have had to really squeeze it to get it in so I think when I make up my new ones this week I will try that! That is why I love comments. It is so awesome to get everyones good ideas! It always help me tweak things!

  31. I am not a morning person, and find myself grabbing something quick just to get out the door. I made these smoothies bags today and can’t wait to try my first one in the morning. Thanks for the great idea.

  32. I pull my bag of frozen smoothie mix out of the freezer to thaw overnight in the fridge. It’s still a little frozen in the morning, so my smoothie is nice and cold. I have found that it transfers to the blender easier this way.

  33. Did I is how much oats you put in each bag?

  34. Do you just throw your chia seed in as is? Or do you put them in water first to make them like jelly? Yes, I over think everything. 🙂

  35. I sub avacado for part of the greens. Even my picky kids love it!

  36. Could you use frozen greens as well as frozen berries? Or does that decrease the nutritional value? I’m due in 2 weeks with our first baby and I’ve already prepared freezer/crock pot dinners but I was looking for something that could be quick and easy for breakfast. Something even my husband could make for me 😉

    • I bet you could! I use the fresh ones becasue it was easier for me to separate it and put it in the packets. Let me know how it goes and good luck with labor and the new baby!

  37. What kind of blender do you use ?
    I have a nija and it does not mix the nuts and oatmeal up very good, lots of little piece.

    • I have a Nutribullet. When I used to use my old blender it would do that. I would have to let it sit a minute and then blend again. If you don’t like the texture you can always leave out the oatmeal and just eat a small handful of nuts instead of putting it in your smoothie. That is what my husband does.

  38. I put honey, and chocolate protein powder in my version of this smoothie. It is the best smoothie that I’ve made so far. I love the oatmeal and it definitely fills me up. The honey and chocolate protein powder give it a little added sweetness that makes it irresistible. I had mixed frozen berries and 1/3 of a banana, chia packet, almonds and the oatmeal. Again, super yummy. A great lunch.

  39. Love this idea! Been doing this for a week now and its so great! I love it. Just got done making up this weeks baggies. I use oatmeal, almonds, blueberries. Strawberries, bananas, spinach, vanilla yogurt, flax, sometimes chia, protein powder, coconut milk. Delicious. Oh and sometimes agave nectar. Thank you!!!!

  40. This is a great idea. I am going to try this. I leave for work really early and I believe this idea would work great for me. Grab one out the freezer, blend, and head out the door. Thank you for this wonderful post

  41. Do you thaw it at all before putting it in the blender? I’ve done this before but they are so solid frozen that they won’t blend. It could just be that I have such an old blender. I’d always have to run under hot water to thaw first.

    • One reader messaged me and said she puts her in her fridge over night becasue her blender couldn’t take it either, so maybe try that. Another option is take it out when you first wake up, and then go ahead and get ready for your day. Maybe after a little while out of the freezer it would be easier? I use a Nutri-bullet now and I dont have a problem. But with my old blender I had to let it thaw a little first, and add a little more liquid.

  42. Awesome idea thanks for sharing and will be making mine at weekend 😉

  43. Hi Amber, What a great idea to make the smoothie ingredients before with so many people these days with such busy schedules. We all need start eating healthy and smoothies are a great way to do that. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful healthy day!

  44. This is exactly what I need to do! I can’t believe I never thought of this. Thanks for sharing!

  45. Pinned! Getting chia seeds today!

    • yay! Just to give you a heads up- the sticker shock on chia seeds can be a little much if you have never bought them before. But keep in mind a little goes a long way! Mine lasts me a good amount of time.

      • I have found Chia seeds on-line at less than half the price of the shops – organic too. {I’m in U.K.}.
        Thank you for all the tips Amber.

  46. I have tried the nuts before, but I will give them another shot because of you. Every time my son comes over a smoothie is the first thing he asks me to make, so these pre-made bags are terrific! Thanks for sharing.

    • let me know what you think. I have a Nutri-Bullet and that seems to get everything really smooth for me.Maybe make one and see if he likes it, and if he does then you know the other packets wont be for nothing. You can always leave out whatever he doesnt like.

  47. I love smoothies and drink them everyday too! I like your idea.

  48. I liked this idea when I first saw it on your blog I made a thousand excuses not to try this but, after seeing it again I’m making an effort to start preparing my smoothies ahead of time. I love your clever idea! Thank you for sharing again! I a little lazy when it comes to prepping my food .

    Kim

  49. This is such a super helpful post! I am always slapping myself on the wrist for eating poorly and not taking advantage of the tools I have in the kitchen to help me eat healthy on the go. Prepping smoothies beforehand is something I never even considered. Pinned this for later and will definitely be trying! Thank you!

    • I used to get upset with myself too! I mean for goodness sake I wrote a blog about healthy eating and I would forget to eat or make a bad choice just becasue I was starving by the time I figured out I had not eaten! That is why I love these so much. Once I made them and started using them I knew I had to share this idea with everyone because I knew I was not the only one! I hope you like them, they are pretty easy to tweak and use what you like.

  50. Thanks so much for sharing! I love smoothies for breakfasts but like you say it’s just way too crazy in the morning… I’ve been considering doing this for a while and I need to go grocery shopping so your suggestions are definitely on the list! Thanks again xx

  51. What a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing this helpful, time-saving advice for making smoothies on the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Blog Hop! I appreciate it!

  52. What a great idea. I need to do this for the kids too because they like smoothies almost daily too. Visiting from the MaMade Blog hop.

    • You should! I think if you have something healthy ready to go you are more likely to grab it then a unhealthier choice.

  53. What a great idea! Your smoothie packs are loaded with healthy ingredients and this is the perfect suggestion to stick with your goals. I absolutely love it and will be doing this myself. Great post!

  54. This is such a great idea ! Sometimes a mindful planning is all you need to ensure healthy eating.
    Thank you so much for sharing this at Tasty Tuesday. I am featuring you this week.

  55. Do the Chia Seeds also go in the baggy and into the freezer, or do you add those right before you blend the smoothie?

  56. I am a chocolate and coffee lover. Do you have a cappuccino/coffee/malt/chocolate smoothie recipe? It does not have to include all of the ingredients I have listed but at least one of them. I would love to have it for breakfast or a after dinner treat!

  57. A few questions for you: was the oatmeal cooked or dry? Did the spinach go bad in the freezer?

  58. I have been doing these about a week now. I absolutely love them! And I feel better already! They seem to give me the energy boost I need in the mornings, and I don’t feel hungry till mid-afternoon.
    However, I started trying to track my calorie intake on the MyFitnessPal app, and I was suprised at how many calories these have. Am I over-thinking it? They seem so healthy, but it doesn’t leave my many calories for the rest of the day. Any suggestions?

    • There are ways to cut down the calories on these but it would mean leaving out something that makes it so healthy. You can cut down amounts if you are watching your calories, that will help. Or use some water and less non dairy milk, that is another way to cut some calories out. If you use the Complete Mix you can cut out the almonds and the oatmeal and just use the fruit and spinach (or kale). (The complete mix makes it a complete meal so you don’t need those components). In the end though it is better to give your body what it needs (good real whole foods) and it will function better, you will have more energy, feel better, have less unhealthy cravings, and get your metabolism going.

  59. Hello,

    Awesome recipe. Did you find out which kind of oats (gluten-free) to use?

    • From what I understand some oats are gluten free and others are not. My suggestion is just to look at the labels carefully and talk to your dr and find out what you can have and can not.

      • Hi,great post!
        All oats are gluten free but have possibly been in contact with an environment where other grains are stored. This means all oats are fine if you are avoiding gluten but not if you are a coeliac. J x

  60. The link for your favorite protein powder is broken. What IS your favorite protein powder?

  61. I make banana, oatmeal, strawberry, and peach with vanilla carnation instant breakfast, greek yogurt and a splash of milk. I want to try them with spinach. Thanks for posting!

  62. Love this idea. Pinned. We had so much fun partying with you at our last party. We hope to see you tonight’s party at 7 pm. We love to see what you have been working on! http://loulougirls.blogspot.com/
    Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  63. what is your favorite brand and flavor of protein powder

  64. Thank you for this post. It will make my life so much easier “Click and Chat link up party”

  65. It takes a little more prep work but I blend my spinach or kale with some water or almond milk then pour the liquified mess in ice cubes trays. I freeze them then pop a cube or two into each smoothie bag.

  66. made my packets today. However, I ued fresh fruits because i dont like using frozen stuff, plus with all my food allergies, i have to be safe. I did make one so i could determine how much fruit to use..and i have to say, I am pretty impressed on how good they taste. i got fresh pineapple to do with mine and found one to do with coffee that I will try tomorrow (weekend one for sure) I also added ice to give mine a little more of a slush smoothie, plus it helped keep it cold longer since i didnt get to drink it all right away since i need to prep dinner for the family!! I cant wait to get this started on a regular bases…. 🙂

  67. I just love you. I don’t know why I never thought of this, but thank you for making the mornings in my life a little simpler! I am not a morning person so I tend to hit snooze until I have to rush out the door. This is so fast & easy! Hello, Breakfast, I’ve missed you!

  68. Wonderful Post will definitely try and let you know how I get on! 🙂

    Please follow Mama Bee
    Monica Dubsky

  69. I do this idea also, but I pre- grind my oatmeal in a blender first to give it a smoother texture. I put my protein powder in a separate baggie and add any other dry ingredients. In another baggie I place all my fruit( and or veggies). In a 3ed baggie I put in all my wet ingredients. ( including my almond milk, cottage cheese, or yogurt)
    I place all the baggies into a gallon bag and put in my ice. label gallon bag and freeze. When I need a smoothie in a hurry I pull out my gallon bag and put dry stuff, & fruit into blender. I pop my wet baggie into the micro for one minute, this thaws out the ingredients just enough to put into the blender. Mix it all up and go.
    So maybe I use more baggies for this but I save more time to fix it and it takes up less space in my fridge, as I have a small fridge and a large freezer.

  70. I tried this recipe exactly as you have it listed and my smoothie was so thick I couldn’t drink it. I had to add a ton of extra milk just to make it drinkable. Any thoughts what I might have done wrong? I’ve never really mad smoothies before. Thanks.

  71. Hi! I love this idea to save time. I currently use a flax, chia and oat mix with yoghurt and skimmed milk and fruit in my morning smoothies but have never included spinach or kale. Will this really change the flavour of my smoothie? I quite like it fruity!!

  72. Thank you for sharing these! They have completely changed my morning and after exercise routines for the better. At first they were hard to blend in my regular blender, but now I slice up the banana and roll it in the oats before adding more ingredients. It only takes a few seconds, but now it blends much faster without one big frozen chunk of banana holding everything together.

  73. My favorite smoothie is this: almond milk, dates, sea salt, soaked oats, cinnamon, blueberries, small banana. Its divine.

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