I'm sharing 3 ways to prepare your smoothies in advance as well as giving you tips for how to improve both nutrition and flavor of your smoothies so you can nourish your body well without compromising on flavor!
First, let's start with add-ins that will boost the nutritional value of your smoothies. Although pure fruit smoothies taste delightful, they don't offer a well rounded nutrition profile, resulting in high insulin spikes followed by crashes leaving you desperate for energy! By adding in healthy fats, fiber, and protein, we can reduce those glucose spikes and give you longer-lasting energy and more nutritional value.
Add-Ins to Enhance the Nutritional Value of Your Smoothie
Oats: these add heartiness and are a great source of dietary fiber
Matcha: adds a natural form of caffeine and contains the amino acid, L-Theanine that promotes a calm state of alertness
Flax / Chia/ Hemp Seeds: all offer omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, and protein
Goji Berries: high in antioxidants for immune support and great source of vitamins A & C and iron
Spinach/Kale: great source of vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients
Protein: greek yogurt, collagen, and protein powders provide your body with protein to build and maintain lean muscle mass, reduce hair loss, and assist in numerous processes in the body including balancing hormones
Nut / Seed Butter: great way to add both protein and healthy fats while adding creaminess. Cashew butter is my favorites (specifically, Bae’s Butters in Nashville, TN) but you can choose from almond, coconut, pecan, hazelnut, tahini, pumpkin seed, macadamia, peanut etc.
Avocado: this adds a nice creaminess with a solid punch of dietary fiber and B vitamins
Adaptogens: ashwagandha, rhodiola, maca root and lion’s mane are some of the most popular adaptogens to add into your daily smoothie. These roots and herbs each specialize in how they balance your body ranging from helping reduce stress, to managing anxiety levels, promoting better focus, reducing fatigue, and balancing hormones
Now that we've given your smoothies some high quality sources of nutrition to help your body perform at it's best, let's talk about flavor! There are so many different ways to naturally enhance the flavor of your smoothies without adding in tons of sugar. Here are some of my top recommendations for enhancing flavor:
Enhance the Taste of Your Smoothie
Use natural sweeteners: fruits such as bananas, oranges mangos, berries, and pineapple are an excellent way to naturally sweeten your smoothie. One of my favorite natural sweeteners are pitted Medjool dates - soak in hot water for 2-3 minutes to soften and then add to any smoothie combination!
Try spices & superfood boosters: cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, turmeric, and ginger offer warmth. Including superfood powders like acai, beetroot, cacao, maca root, or matcha can really upgrade the flavor profile while also greatly elevating the nutritional benefits as well
Reconsider your base: opt for plant-based milks, naturally flavored yogurt, or fresh squeezed fruit and veggie juices. You can even add coffee to your smoothie, but for best results stick to dates, a banana, coconut butter/coconut oil, and protein powder/collagen as add-ins. Mixing other fruits with coffee results in a smoothie that is far too acidic, while healthy fats results in a slower release of caffeine for smoother, more sustained energy.
Experiment with different veggies: Spinach, Kale, Zucchini, Algae (i.e. spirulina and chlorella), and Wheatgrass Powder are excellent options for getting in greens. Frozen cauliflower is a sneaky way to get in veggies without changing the flavor, while pumpkin and avocado add a nice punch of dietary fiber and a creaminess.
[Helpful Hint: Some, like cauliflower and zucchini are much more neutral flavor in flavor, whereas pumpkin and wheatgrass will be more bold and should be paired more thoughtfully! For example, wheatgrass pairs with more neutral flavors like spinach/kale/avocado and citrus juices like orange/pineapple, whereas pumpkin is already neutral so including your favorite nut butter, a banana, and pumpkin pie spice will enhance it.]
Now that we've covered how to improve both nutritional quality and flavor, let's talk about ways to prepare smoothies ahead of time so you can spend more time doing what you love and less time in the kitchen!
3 Ways to Prepare Smoothies in Advance
Freeze in Ice Cubes
A super easy way to prepare your favorite smoothies ahead of time is to blend and pour into an ice tray. I prefer the silicone ice trays because they are easier to pop out when I’m ready for my smoothie.
How it works: Once you’ve blended your smoothie, pour it into your ice cube tray so that each “cube” space is evenly filled. Place your ice cube tray in the freezer overnight or for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to drink your smoothie, you have two options:
Thaw & shake: Place the smoothie cubes in a jar with a lid and transfer it to the refrigerator for about 1 hour. Then, just give the jar a few good shakes and your smoothie will be ready to drink!
Blend: Transfer the smoothie cubes to your blender, add extra milk and blend. You can always wait to add any powders to your smoothie until this time as well.
Store in Jar
A convenient way to make a smoothie a few hours ahead of time to take with you on-the-go or meal prep for breakfast the next morning.
How it works: Once you’ve made your smoothie, pour it into a mason jar and close the lid. Refrigerate until ready to drink or freeze for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to drink your smoothie, if it’s been in the refrigerator, you can just give the jar a few shakes and it’ll be ready to drink, otherwise you’ll want to defrost for a few hours in the refrigerator beforehand!
[Helpful Hint: personally, I don’t like smoothies with fresh greens to sit for more than a day, so if I’m prepping for multiple days, I will opt for the ice cubes or the individual smoothie packs to maintain the freshness of my greens or I use KOS Show Me the Greens powder.]
Make Individual Smoothie Packs
This is a pre-portioned method most frequently used for meal prepping because you simply add it to the blender with liquid and you’re good to go!
How it works: Pre-portion out your smoothie ingredients into individual airtight containers (I LOVE stasher reusable Ziploc bags) and freeze for up to 3 months
When you’re ready to drink your smoothie, add one frozen smoothie back to your blender with additional liquid (& desired powders), blend, and enjoy!
My favorite products for smoothies:
these are not affiliate codes, I've just linked them here for your convenience
Stasher Ziplocs: https://www.stasherbag.com
KOS Greens Powder: https://kos.com/products/kos-organic-daily-super-greens-powder
Nut Butters: https://www.baesbutters.com/products