smoothie packs & my favorite smoothie

by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.67 from 9 votes
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I’ve got another quickie for you tonight. It’s more of an idea than a recipe. I’m sure a lot of you Budget Byters already stock your freezers with these handy smoothie packs, but I wanted to share the tip for those who may be new to the kitchen. Not only does this make smoothies faster and easier to make, but they’re a fraction, a small fraction, of what you’ll pay at your local smoothie counter.

So, the formula is easy. Three one pound bags of frozen fruit of your choice, and four bananas. Divide the frozen fruit up into 8 bags, and place half of a peeled banana in each bag as well. Seal them up tight and toss them into the freezer. When you’re ready to make your delicious smoothie, place the frozen fruit in the blender, add milk (or soy or almond milk), and whatever else you want and press go! No more hauling ten ingredients out of the freezer every time you want to make one smoothie. Just grab one bag and add a liquid. Sure, I also add spinach, cinnamon, and ground flax seed, but it’s still way easier to have the fruit divided up. And it only takes about 5 minutes to make all 8 packs.

Top view of fruit n flax smoothie

This is my favorite smoothie – peaches, strawberries, raspberries, banana, spinach, light vanilla soy milk, ground flax seed, and cinnamon. It works, trust me! If you like things sweet, add a touch of honey and it’ll blow you away.

Smoothie Packs

4.67 from 9 votes
Make ahead smoothie packs makes your morning smoothie much faster and easier to prepare.
Servings 8
Prep 10 mins
Total 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. frozen strawberries ($2.69)
  • 16 oz. frozen raspberries ($4.15)
  • 16 oz. frozen peaches ($2.69)
  • 4 medium bananas ($0.86)

Instructions 

  • Divide the ingredients equally between 8 quart-sized freezer bags (1/2 banana per bag).
  • Freeze the smoothie packs until ready to use or up to three months.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 123.38kcalCarbohydrates: 30.71gProtein: 2.08gFat: 0.76gSodium: 2.28mgFiber: 7.24g
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smoothie packs & my favorite smoothie
 
Cuisine: $2.30
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen smoothie pack $1.30
  • 1 cup light vanilla soy milk $0.41
  • 1 handful baby spinach $0.53
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed $0.03
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon $0.03
Instructions
  1. Empty one smoothie pack into a blender and add the soy milk, spinach, flax, and cinnamon.
  2. Blend until smooth, adding more liquid if needed.
 

 


Step By Step Photos

frozen fruit in packaging
This is what goes into the frozen smoothie packs. I switch up the fruit a lot (I like blueberries too), but I always try to have at least three. Adding frozen bananas to a smoothie gives it a nice ice cream-like texture. If you’ve never used a frozen banana in your smoothie, then you haven’t lived. Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but you’ve got to try it.

fruit divided into eight baggies and ready to freeze
Divide the fruit between 8 freezer bags. One of my bananas turned out to be completely rotten inside so I could only make six this time around. I always tend to over estimate how much fruit is needed per smoothie and then I can’t fit it all in the blender. So, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of each of the frozen fruits per bag. Then just pop them in the freezer until you’re ready to make a smoothie. They’ll stay good in the freezer for a couple of months. The bananas will slowly turn brown, but they’re still good eats for a while.

one baggie of frozen fruit taken out of freezer and put in blender
When you’re ready to make a smoothie, just put the frozen fruit in a blender with some liquid (and whatever else you want) and you’re ready to blend. I add spinach for the nutrients, not the flavor… you can’t taste it with all of the fruit. It blends easier if the spinach is at the bottom.

vanilla silk milk poured into measuring cup with full milk jug on the side
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE milk… but in my smoothies I like light vanilla soy milk. It just has more creaminess than milk and the vanilla goes great with the fruit. In the old days, before Silk was everywhere, I used milk and added vanilla extract. So, that’s an option too.

flax and cinnamon added to blender with fruit for flavor
I like to add some flax for fiber and omega-3s, and cinnamon just because I like it :) If I’m craving something sweet, I’ll add a tablespoon of honey or so, but usually the fruit and silk are sweet enough for me.

blender with blended smoothie in it
Blend that sucker up ’till it’s nice and smooth! Sometimes I have to add a touch of water or more silk just to get it going. That’s what will happen if you have too much frozen fruit in your pack. It’ll be waaaaaay too thick to blend properly.

top view of a cup of blended smoothie
Oh yums. It’s good. And good for you. And spinach? What spinach?

I loved the suggestion to put avocados in smoothies (thanks, Brent!) and I can’t wait to experiment with that. So, for all of you smoothie lovers out there…

What is your favorite smoothie combo?

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  1. I like this recipe:

    6-10 frozen strawberries
    1 frozen banana
    3/4 – 1 C oat milk 
    3 T cocoa powder
    1 T cinnamon
    1 T ground flax seed
    2 T hemp hearts
    A handful of spinach 

    It tastes just like my favorite Beach Bum with dark chocolate smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Cafe, except I don’t end up regretting the cost or the portion size! 

    1. Jula.. Thanks so much. I will try this. I want to maintain as i am newly chronic diagnosed. I love this

  2. Can you do more breakfast smoothie recipes? And maybe add yogurt to thicken? Thanks!

    1. Yogurt is EXCELLENT in smoothies! :) I’ll brainstorm some breakfast smoothie ideas.

      1. Hi, I’ve been doing smoothies for several years so I have a few tips. And why are you dragging out 10 ingredients from your freezer when your only adding 2? How much time are you really saving? Anyway, I use old yogurt containers (the big ones) to make a week’s worth instead of ziplocs. 2nd, did you know you can freeze your baby spinach/kale/greens just like anything else and add it in with the fruit? Ginger is also a good add in and yep, you can add it to your frozen stuff as well. Add your seeds, spices whatever too, it’ll freeze. Yogurt is good too although I’ve never tried freezing it. Dates are healthy and add extra sweetness. I add chia seeds and goji berries too..yep I put them in the frozen stuff too. Good luck

        1. The “10 ingredients”, which was a hyperbole, is if I hadn’t pre-packed everything into the smoothie packs. I’d be pulling out each individual bag of frozen fruit, spinach, flax, etc. If I already have them packed together, then yes, it’s only about two. :)

  3. I found this today on Pinterest as I was searching for cheap smoothie recipes. I made one when I got home and loved it! Already pre-made all of the bags, excited to use them tomorrow morning.

  4. Hi Beth!

    Just curious, is there a reason you don’t go ahead and include the spinach and flax seeds to the smoothie packs?

    1. Since posting this so many years ago I have started including the spinach in the freezer bags, which has definitely been a game changer. :) I still do the flax for each smoothie since I feel like those little pieces would stick to the plastic bag.

  5. Yet another winning recipe! My family and I have loved everything that we have made from your website. Made one of these smoothies tonight and it was super yummy. Thank you so much for such a tasty yet nutritious treat! My only suggestion would be to cut the banana up into smaller chunks as it may make it easier to blend.

  6. I’m a virgin smoothie maker but I have chronic pancreatitis and I never know day to day if I’m gonna be able to eat. But alot of times I can’t tolerate above a full liquid diet I absolutely loath those canned drinks available only in chocolate mud, strawberry mud and vanilla mud lol but so true and even though I need it packed with as much nutrition and high in protein that because I had gastric bypass procedure 10 yrs ago I had done gastric bypass procedure and a supposed reversal because found out my jejunum is still connected to my stomach and by taking that much calories at once I get what the call dumping syndrom it incompacitates me with pain and sickness for about an hour. If I cant find a really good protein powder that’s not gritty I need to add also I need all the extra goodies to turn my malnutrition around, I need to gain weight because if I loose 4 more pounds I have to have a feeding tube placed again. I had a catheter in my heart for over year to which they kept it in so long it became infected and almost killed mm email & I was in the hospital for over two months followed by 7 years of being said with the tube for 12 hours a day stuck to a mechanical machine. I was able to maintain my weight which varies up and down but I’ve been to free for 2 years and I need help and hoping maybe a dietician and with your help maybe I can come up with something that is better for me will help me have a better nutrition value and taste really good LOL and I can avoid taking 10 to 12 pills a day because I take enough already. Will the protein powder freeze OK ? My nutrition is in the hole. Everything is out of whack especially my iron and b12 deficiency and duodenum/jejunal ulcers as well. And sometimes only getting in 200-250 calories input a day leaves me weak and no energy at all my I’m hoping you have some advice. I’m so very tired of taking pills and some things the doc just doesn’t take enough action on because I love you my lab work and I have been a registered nurse for 24 years but I’m not a dietitian. I thought about going the natural route or even juicing may be a better route. I’m really hoping you have some advice or if someone reads this reply and they have more knowledge please teach me what I need to do to have a better quality of life. They don’t know what to do for me and they have put me on hospice twice for a total of 3 years but I just wouldn’t die… LOL but it wasn’t my time and still isn’t. If someone will reply to me I will give you a way to contact me so I may have more confidentiality with my medical conditions as I have multiple major complications that further contribute to my condition but TMI or less privacy keeps me from posting all my conditions & keeps it in a more private manner but any advice I would really appreciate hope to hear from you soon thank you so much

    1. Hi Sheryl, Unfortunately I don’t have any experience using or cooking with protein powder, so I can’t help there. I’m also not licensed to give nutrition related medical advice, but I’m sure your doctor can refer to you a registered dietitian who would be able to help you with all of those things. :)

  7. There’s a place in Louisville, KY that makes the BEST avocado smoothies! I’d say they’re relatively healthy – I kept experimenting until I felt I had the right blend of ingredients! I love all the recipes I’ve tried of yours, so if you’re interested intruing this one, I found my replica to be a blend of the following: 1 avocado, peeled and pitted, about 1 cup of water, as much ice as desired (consistency becomes less easy to blend/make smooth the more ice you add, but I tend to add at least 1 cup of ice cubes and test it) and add 1-2 Tb. Sweetened condensed milk. Enjoy! I usually get about 2 smoothies this way. 😊

    1. I leave the strawberry and raspberry seeds in (they don’t bother me) and the peaches are already presliced with the pit removed. :)