26 Jul Simply Homemade Series: My Double-Whammy! Smoothies and Popsicles
Summer is a season for some of my favorite things: watermelon, ice cream cones, iced tea, and fresh fruit smoothies! If you are looking for a fast, healthy, and yummy breakfast for your kids in the warmer months, smoothies are a wonderful option. I throw in milk, frozen fruit, ripe bananas (yet another way to use the really ripe ones!), my homemade yogurt, and a some fresh spinach to sneak some extra veggies into the kids daily diet.
I’ve made smoothies for myself for years, but started making smoothies regularly for the kids as soon as they were old enough to drink them on their own (around age 2). I’d love to share with you some of my favorite kitchen companions to smoothie making before I give you a basic recipe:
Reusable thick smoothie straws – these are great because they keep the kids from spilling and are thick enough that the smoothie can pass through easily. They are also re-usable so you can wash them out with a straw cleaner. These are the kind I have:
Ball jars with tops – I bought these at Target but you can get them as an add-on item on Amazon. I use Ball jars for canning my homemade jam and so we always have some extra on hand. These tops can be bought in wide mouth or regular sized. I got a set of both just because we make smoothies so much:
Blendtec Blender – I can’t really say enough about my blender. I use it to make pancakes, waffles, smoothies, soups, ice cream, hummus, peanut butter, protein bars, and more. I could go on and on about how awesome this blender is. I bought one several years ago with birthday money from relatives and I use it literally every day. If you are looking for a high quality blender that won’t die when you grind up wheat, nuts, or dates, this is a great one!
And now, here’s my basic smoothie recipe:
Place the items in your blender in this order:
8 oz milk of your choice (regular, almond, etc.)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I use homemade)
1 handful of fresh spinach
1 cup of frozen fruit (I get the no-sugar added kind that is just fruit)
Select “smoothie” on a Blendtec blender and within a minute – voila! you have your smoothie! For other blenders, I would say 60 second should do it at regular blending power.
Add ins – I like to do peanut butter/banana smoothies, mango smoothies, mixed berry smoothies, strawberry-banana smoothies, and even chocolate smoothies (adding cocoa powder and a few dates to the mix). You can have some fun experimenting!
When I’ve made a bunch of smoothies, I often have left-overs based on how much the kids drink. I pour this left-over smoothie mix into popsicle molds and then put them in the freezer. Later that afternoon when my kids want a snack, I tell them to get a smoothie pop. These are great because they are fun to eat and a delicious and refreshing snack for the kids – with no added sugar!
Here are the popsicle molds I use. They are very sturdy and don’t spill over in the fridge:
Finally, just for fun, here’s a picture of my kids enjoying their smoothies this morning – let me know if you make some yourself!: