5 Tips for Making Smoothies in No Time Flat

5 Time Saving Smoothie Making TipsYou want to eat healthy, but don’t always have time to make something. Even preparing smoothies can be a time consuming process.

However, there are ways to reduce the time involved in buying and preparing the ingredients for several smoothies a week. By employing one or more of the techniques I outline below, you too can shave time off of your smoothie making endeavors.

Making healthy smoothies should be quick, easy, and fun. Don’t let your busy schedule prevent your from making healthy smoothies on a regular basis and enjoying all the wonderful health benefits.

5 Time Saving Smoothie Tips

1) Prepare produce for several smoothies at a time

Identify the produce you commonly use in your smoothies or plan on using for the next week or so. This could be fruits or vegetables from your last trip to the farmers’ market or grocery store. Buy bulk to cut down on trips to the store or market and increase the number of smoothies you can prepare for.

I learned about this tip from my uncle Karl. He goes to his local farmers’ market every Sunday morning and comes home with a variety of ingredients, such as kale, spinach, collard greens, dandelion greens, Swiss chard, celery, and/or seasonal fruits.

Later that day he cleans and separates equal proportions of the ingredients into daily bags (unsealed), which he stores in the refrigerator for use during the following week. This makes it much more convenient to gather the desirable ingredients for blending into a smoothie each day for he and his wife.

Time Saving Smoothie Tips Wash Produce

Clean produce from the farmers’ market

Time Saving Smoothie Tips Produce Proportions

Separate equal proportions of the ingredients

Time Saving Smoothie Tips Produce Bags

Place produce in bags for easy storage and retrieval for smoothies

Taking this a step further, you can also add fruit to your “smoothie pouches”, seal, and put in your freezer. This extends the life of your produce and helps to ensure nothing goes to waste.

2) Combine other ingredients for multiple smoothies

This is the same concept as the first tip, but applied to other smoothie ingredients, such as protein powders, green powders, superfoods, seeds, nuts, spices, and herbs. This has personally saved me gobs of time because I often get pretty creative with my smoothies. I like to combine ingredients for up to 2 weeks worth of smoothies.

Here’s an example of what I do. Using a sealable container of some sort (1 quart mason jar is perfect), I measure out 2 weeks worth of protein powder, green superfood powder, maca, cacao powder, and cinnamon. When smoothie time rolls around I simply take a couple big scoops from my mixture and add to my blender. No more opening and closing each bag and making a mess on the counter-top. The more smoothie ingredients you use, the more time this tactic will save you.

3) Freeze your fruit, silly

Buying fresh fruit from the store or market a couple times a week isn’t ideal if you’re looking to save time. Instead, load up, wash, and freeze your fresh fruit. It takes very little time to add frozen fruit to your smoothie.

On a recent trip to the farmers’ market I procured two quarts of beautiful blueberries. After washing them, and eating a handful or two, to the freezer they went. I’m blessed to live in the blueberry abundant state of Michigan and often freeze several quarts of blueberries a year for smoothie making all fall and into the winter months.

You can just as easily do this with almost any fruit. My freezer also fills up quickly with raspberries and strawberries. Not only is frozen fruit great in smoothies, but those of you with a powerful enough blender can make ice cream with it too.

It could be said that bananas are a smoothies best friend. They provide that signature rich, creamy texture and sweet taste. To expedite adding bananas to your smoothies, once ripe, peel and break the bananas into small 1-2 inch chunks. Then, you guessed it, place in a zip lock baggie or other container and store in your freezer for easy retrieval.

4) Anyone care for some tea?

If you’ve been around Healthy Smoothie HQ for any length of time you know I’m a huge fan of using healthy teas as the liquid for your smoothie. Brewing a fresh cup of tea every morning is not a time saver, especially if you prefer it chilled.

To save time and money, purchase loose tea in bulk so you can brew a big old pot. Then simply transfer the tea to a container you can store in your refrigerator (1/2 gallon mason jar works great) and you’ve got a healthy smoothie liquid for the week.

5) Strategic Placement

This last tip is perhaps the easiest, yet often overlooked. Strategically place your blender and any often used smoothie ingredients next to each other, preferably on your counter-top. I use to stow my blender away making it a small hassle to get out and put back. End result, less healthy smoothies.

Now I have a “smoothie station” in the corner of my kitchen where all my ingredients are within arms length. Have your kitchen setup for easy cleanup as well. If it takes me more than 5 minutes to whip up a delicious and highly nutritious smoothie, something is not right :)

Bonus Tip

This is for everyone who loves using chia seeds in their smoothies. Fresh chia seeds are great in smoothies, but chia seed gel is the bomb in comparison. Chia seed gel is a great alternative smoothie base ingredient or thickening agent. If you need a break from bananas, this is a perfect replacement, although without the sweetness.

To make chia seed gel simply add about 1 part chia seed to 1 part water in a small to medium sized glass jar and stir with a spoon. In about 20 minutes you’ll have chia seeds gel. Store in your refrigerator and spoon out a tablespoon or two when your smoothie’s a calling. Chia seed gel can also be used to make delicious puddings. Do a little googling to find out more.

By investing a little time up front, you set yourself up for easy, breezy, healthy smoothie making all week long.

I’d love to get your feedback on this article. Please comment below if you use any of these tactics, or better yet, have your own time saving smoothie tips to share. As always, happy blending!

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23 Responses to 5 Tips for Making Smoothies in No Time Flat

  1. Tya #

    Fantastic tips Ryan! I completely agree — washing and prepping all the produce (as you described) right when you get home from the market, makes actual “smoothie making time” SO much more enjoyable! And what a great idea to combine “other ingredients” into one jar! Too easy! Like you said, a couple of big scoops from the jar and you’re set! Fantastic! Thanks for your continued dedication, knowledge and inspiration. This smoothie making girl really appreciates it. ;) Cheers! Tya

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hey Tya! Everything I publish on my site is geared towards making life easier for the smoothie girls (and guys) of the world :) Who wants to wash veggies before every green smoothie? Not I. I had to run several errands on my lunch break today forcing me to eat fast food for lunch…fast food being a smoothie! Cheers! Ryan

  2. RunnningHigh #

    Thanks for the tips! I currently freeze bananas and oranges for the week but I do wonder how much nutritional value is lost. I will definitely begin to break down my greens though, at the moment I just wrap them with wet paper towel to make sure they last through the week. Yes! I have a smoothie station set up and mason jars are kept in the fridge for easy transport to work. Just signed up for the Healthy Smoothie HQ Newsletters and will visit the site frequently!

    • Ryan Carmody #

      From what I’ve read freezing fruit doesn’t result in much nutrient loss. Breaking your greens down is definitely the way to go. That’s awesome that you have a smoothie station and utilize mason jars! I recently came across a must have mason jar accessory – cuppow (www.cuppow.com). Check it out, perfect for those who travel with mason jars.

      Cheers!

      Ryan

      • Toni #

        Based on my research, freezing actually ensures that you are getting the most of your nutrients over time. Keeping greens for a while, they can start to deteriorate and freezing slows it down. I also take my ziplock bags and seal them almost to the ends and then take a straw to suck the additional air out and seal that little corner as you remove the straw. You can make your own vacuum seal to ensure no freezer burn. It does not take all the air out but ot removes most of it. I know this keeps items fresher when you remove the oxygen content.
        I tested it by storing my gourmet popcorn that way for three days. My mother’s was stale the next day and mine was still fresh and crunchy 3 days later.
        Just make sure you buy freezer bags and not simply storage bags.

        • Ryan Carmody #

          Hi Toni,

          Thanks for the insightful and helpful comment. I’m going to have to try your straw air removal technique.

          Cheers,
          Ryan

      • Crissyb #

        I’m a recent recruit to smoothies & am loving them. I use frozen fruit a lot but buy bags of green leaves such as kale & spinach etc, is it possible to freeze the leaves in smaller bags as they are or do the leaves need blanching first?

        • Ryan Carmody #

          Hi Crissby,

          Welcome aboard the healthy smoothie train! You can freeze the leaves as is without blanching first.

          Regards,
          Ryan

  3. Mary #

    Love the site. Due to a neurological disorder that irreversibly trashed my GI system, most of my diet is liquid or pureed, and I’m not a big soup fan so I’m always on the lookout for new smoothies to add to my rotation. I wanted to pass on a couple of suggestions from my experience.

    *You don’t need to precut your bananas for freezing. I peel them and put them WHOLE into a plastic zipper bag for freezing. When I want some banana for a smoothie, I grab hold of a banana _through the bag_ and break it into chunks (which takes very little effort), then open the bag and transfer the pieces right to my blender. No muss, no fuss. They also seem to hold up better whole – maybe less surface area to oxidize.

    *Freeze your tea. Who needs water ice? It just dilutes the flavor of your smoothie (or other beverages like iced tea/coffee). Make a few flavors of tea ahead of time, make tea cubes and bag ’em up. No more waiting to satisfy that craving for a chai smoothie if you have chai cubes in the freezer, and you don’t have to have the same flavor of tea all week. I also freeze extra almond milk. Label the bags so you don’t mix up which ice-cubes are which. It’s also helpful for easy measuring – most ice-cube trays hold 2 tablespoons in each well. I freeze half-size cubes of lemon and lime juices (1 Tbsp in each well), sometimes I add the finely grated zest to the juice (1/2 to 1 tsp in each well) so it freezes together.

    *You may be better off purchasing commercially frozen fruit when it is not in season. (Where I live, that’s 9 months out of the year!) Frozen usually has MORE nutrients than its “fresh” equivalent sold in stores, because the fruit is picked properly ripe rather than underripe to survive shipping, and goes directly from field/orchard to processing. Organic frozen fruit is getting to be pretty widely available. If you have the freezer space to freeze enough fruit for the rest of the year when it’s in season, by all means do so! (And if you live where you can get berries in January – or July for you southern-hemisphere folks – without their being flown in from halfway around the world, count your blessings!)

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for what has to be the most insightful comment to date on my blog.

      I’ll have to try freezing bananas whole next time. Maybe they aren’t as hard to break apart when frozen as I thought.

      Freezing your tea and other liquids is another great idea. I’ve alluded to this strategy elsewhere.

      I agree with you on frozen fruit, which for me is mainly berries. Although living in Michigan I am able to procure organic and wild blueberries as well as a few others. I prefer local and wild, but like you said it’s not practical most months of the year.

      Are you familiar with the GAPS diet? From what I’ve heard and read it’s your best bet at restoring the health of your digestive track.

      Best,
      Ryan

  4. Mary #

    Thank you very much, Ryan!

    It’s much easier to break apart the bananas than you think. :-)

    Yes, I’m familiar with GAPS (and its cousins, SCD and WAP) but it is not a good choice for my situation. Thank you for thinking of me, though.

  5. Erica #

    Dude.. you are simply the best!! I LOVE this site and have taken my green smoothies to another level. Thank you!!!

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Awesome, Erica! Your comment just made my day. Happy Blending!

  6. Jane #

    I’ve been making smoothies for a couple weeks now. I was searching for new recipes and came upon your site. Thank you for all the great information you have here Ryan!! Looking forward to trying some of your recipes!

    I was having trouble with how fast bananas ripen and go bad, but did discover that if I cut them up, bagged them, and stuck them in the freezer, I’d always have them on hand! I like my smoothies cold and love using frozen fruit so that I don’t have to add ice. :)

    Going to be trying your banana hemp recipe, as well as the cacao ones, and several others!

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Jane,

      Great to hear you’re making smoothies and finding my content useful! Funny you mention freezing bananas because I have several I need to chop up and freeze myself.

      Happy Blending!

      Ryan

  7. Valerie #

    Do you ever pre-blend your smoothies? I want to take one to work as an afternoon snack for the drive home. Just curious if you had any tips for me.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Valerie,

      I do occasionally prepare smoothies ahead of time. They keep for about 24 hours refrigerated. If you have a fridge at work you could store it there for your drive home.

      Cheers,
      Ryan

  8. Vaneta #

    I purchase bananas in large quantities, they ripen quickly, sometimes over night! I separate the bunch into individual banana’s then toss in the freezer! no bagging required. To use, I take out one frozen banana and hold it under the running water at the faucet, it loosens the skin, then break the end off, squeeze from the opposite end and the banana pops out! If they weren’t truly ripe when frozen they do require peeling but the peel comes off easily. The water helps to thaw it slightly so they easily break apart into chunks.

    I also pre bag my smoothie ingredients but I economize time by placing everything I want in my smoothie except the liquid, into a freezer bag ( even the fresh greens go in). I only have one bag to grab from the freezer, saving tons of time each morning!

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Vaneta,

      I’ve never had any luck freezing whole bananas with the peel and all. Your method sounds revolutionary! Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to give that a try.

      Pre-bagging your smoothie ingredients is a huge time saver. Love hearing from others who plan ahead as well.

      Cheers,
      Ryan

  9. Betty #

    I cook my beets, carrots and celery with water or coconut water (not much) then puree and pour into ice cubes or cup cake pan, then I just pop one (if cupcake) or two (if ice cube) into my smoothie.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Brilliant, Betty! Using a cup cake pan instead of an ice cube tray is something I’ve got to try. Thanks for sharing.

      Cheers,
      Ryan

  10. fayek #

    Hey there! thanks for this very informative site!

    Ive dabbled in smoothies a few times but never had the commitment to keep doing them, i think the biggest reason for that is all the prep work (the 5 tips are excellent for a lazy bastard like me)

    But the reason why i stumbled upon your site is because of my dad. he recently had cancer tumor removal surgery in his mouth and it was quite an intrusive operation, they had to replace part of his jaw and most of his cheek and all he can eat right now has to be really puree or liquid form, my mother tries her best at making him food in the blender but i feel like he’s not getting proper nutrition so i decided to start getting back into healthy smoothie making to give him nutrition boosts and perhaps it could also make me pick up/keep the habit!

    selections are quite limited in my country unfortunately and there doesn’t seem to be any frozen fruits sold in supermarket anywhere. i’ll try to scout out where i can get a big selection of fruits and vegies for smoothie making and i’ll probably prep it all up and freeze them for quick access.

    thanks for all the great information! i wish there was a PDF with all your smoothie recipes for offline access

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Fayek,

      Without knowing where you’re from I have to imagine there’s some local fruits and veggies you can use in smoothies for yourself and your father.

      If you sign up for my newsletter (free) you’ll get a PDF with 15 recipes. My smoothie eBook is set to release in early 2016.

      Regards,
      Ryan

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