The Simple Trick to Blending a Week's Worth of Smoothies in Advance
Hint: work thy freezer. And thy cauliflower rice!
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Calling all smoothie lovers. Wouldn’t it be magical if you didn’t have to haul out the heavy blender every morning when you’re barely awake? Or throw the dirty carafe in the sink because you didn’t have the time to carefully seesaw the sponge around the blade? Surprise, you don’t.
Food Network managing culinary producer Dana Beninati invented a brilliant way to make a week’s worth of smoothies at once — and we don't mean just by portioning bags of fruit ahead of time. With her method, you can blend in advance too, so you only have to deal with your blender once a week (and it doesn’t even have to be in the morning). Breakfast meal prep at its finest.
You might be asking yourself at this point, "Hold up, hold up, won’t those make-ahead smoothies separate?" Because anyone who’s read a smoothie recipe before knows that you must enjoy your smoothie immediately. That’s why most smoothie meal prep recipes (and in fact, smoothie delivery services) focus only on prepping and portioning ingredients ahead of time. Here’s the answer: stored in the fridge, those smoothies would certainly separate and oxidize. But stored in the freezer, they last indefinitely. Aha!
Let’s back up a minute to Beninati’s second year in grad school. She and her roommate would take turns making one another smoothies every morning (awwww); inevitably, they’d have leftovers which they’d freeze. Beninati realized that the smoothies coming out of the freezer were perfectly preserved and icy cold. That’s when freezer smoothies were born.
"I’ll make a big batch in my tall blender carafe, then I’ll remove eight ounce portions and freeze them individually," Beninati explained. "To thaw one, put it in the fridge overnight or thaw it on the counter for a couple hours. I’m impatient so I’ve been taking them out of the freezer and putting them in the warm sunshine and then they thaw in more like thirty minutes."
Beninati loves using this technique to make smoothie bowls too — simply use less liquid and it’s easy to achieve that soft serve-like consistency. In fact, she assembles and freezes the entire smoothie bowl by pre-portioning them into deli containers and topping them with ingredients that hold up well in the freezer (berries and flax seeds or a drizzle of nut butter or tahini). Come breakfast time, the deli container doubles as a bowl. So darn brilliant.
For extra creamy results, Beninati adds a surprise ingredient: cauliflower rice. "You don’t taste it, but it’s a great emulsifier and thickener," she explains. "It makes the smoothie creamier and gives it more body." Typically, she uses coconut water or almond milk to dilute her smoothies — or leftover coconut milk as a treat if she has a half can leftover from dinner the night before. "I also always tell people to not to underestimate the power of their spice cabinets: cinnamon, ginger or even apple pie spice go a long way."
Did anyone else just write "smoothie ingredients" on their grocery list?