DIY Freezer Smoothie Bags + Recipe

 

 

 

DIY Smoothie Bag

I make smoothies almost every day, for breakfast, exercise pre- or post-fuel, or as an after-school snack for my kids. But when I’m trying to juggle work, being a mom, and all the craziness life throws my way, even the simple task of throwing together a quick smoothie can seem overwhelming. So, what’s a busy mom to do? Prep ahead of time, of course! Prepping and assembling smoothie ingredients in smoothie bags ahead of time can make all the difference in the world between getting a nourishing, frosty smoothie in your belly STAT versus ravenously grabbing whatever food you can get your hands on.

In just about ten minutes, you can get smoothies for an entire week prepped and ready to go! Assemble them ahead of time and then keep in the fridge or freezer to pull out whenever you want them. Prepare them just like you would if you were making the smoothie right then and there. Here’s how to make it happen:

Chop and Prep Fruits and Veggies

  • Use whatever you like/have on hand. I like bananas, kiwifruit, blueberries, tart cherries, cranberries, kale, spinach, avocado, etc. Seriously, pretty much anything goes. Chop into small pieces, if necessary, and place in small, sealable plastic bags.
  • If you have any fruits or veggies that are about to turn, these smoothie bags are a perfect way to reduce food waste! Just be sure you freeze these ones when they’re assembled!

Add Extras

  • Toss whatever add-ins you like into bag with your produce. Nut butter, Greek yogurt, and protein powder are all good options. I also like cinnamon, vanilla, and other spices to enhance the flavor.

Seal and store

  • Roll up the bag to squeeze all the air out, and then create a tight seal to keep ingredients fresh. If you’re freezing your bags, use a freezer bag for optimal freshness.
  • If you prefer reusable containers, fill these up as much as possible to reduce amount of air in the container
  • Store in fridge or freeze them. The freezer will definitely keep everything fresh for a longer time, but be sure to pull them out the night before you want to use them to keep your blender happy.

Blend and Enjoy

  • Pop the contents of the bag in your blender. Add liquid to make it smooth (your preferred milk, water, coconut water, etc.) and ice to get it nice and cold, and blend as usual

Like I said, these are no-brainers that you really cannot mess up. Just about anything can go in a smoothie. Below is one of my tried and true recipes, but feel free to play around with it and find your own personal faves!

Banana Split Smoothie
 
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It's dessert in a cup! This creamy blend of cool sweetness delivers a heap of nutrition and fiber, making it a perfect option to satisfy that sweet tooth or refuel after a workout.
Author:
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • ½ cup pineapple (fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • ½ cup of strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced
  • 1 cup plain or Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate sauce
  • ⅓ cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup ice
  • ½ cup your favorite milk
  • 1 T peanuts, crushed, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except ice, milk and peanuts, in bag and freeze or refrigerate until ready to use. Place bag contents in blender, add milk and ice, and blend until desired consistency is reached. Top each with crushed peanuts, if desired.
  2. *Add spinach, kale, or avocado to “green” up this recipe

 

Try This: “I had a long day” Recipe Stuffed Sweet Potato

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This sweet potato recipe is easy to make after a long day where all you want to do is sit down and relax. This spin on a favorite comfort food could be the main course of your dinner or split between the family for a tasty side dish.

When I eat this as a meal, I add chopped chicken or beef for a boost of protein and satisfaction. Anything goes – Use what works for you.

Stuffed Sweet Potato
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves 1
Author:
Serves: 25 min
Ingredients
  • 1 Sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • ¼ cup of dark greens (spinach, kale, chard etc. )
  • ⅛ cup finely chopped carrots
  • ½ chicken breast, cooked and chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese (I love cheddar!)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Scrub sweet potato and cut a ½ inch deep line around the middle.
  3. Microwave for 7-10 minutes, or until cooked all the way through.
  4. Scoop out flesh, and leave the skins to the side (don’t throw them away!).
  5. Mash the sweet potato in a bowl with milk and butter.
  6. Stir in greens, carrots, chicken, and half of the shredded cheese.
  7. Put the filling back into the sweet potato skins, and put on a tray or in tinfoil (I find it is more stable if I make a boat out of tinfoil for the sweet potato!).
  8. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, and bake until the cheese on top is golden, which takes about 8-12 minutes!
  9. Enjoy!

 

What are your favorite foods to make after a long day? Share below in the comments.

Cool Foods for Warm Weather

Me mind on fire. Me soul on fire. Feelin’ Hot. Hot. Hot

You too? Last thing you want to do is turn on the oven. I feel ya. That’s why I I’m keeping mine off and making these easy foods and recipes instead. No oven necessary.

Go ahead and store your winter sweaters and other things you don’t need in there. Pour a nice cold glass of ice water and get inspired to keep it cool (and healthy) when it’s hot outside.


Disclosure: The brands and organizations included in the TV segments and blog are clients of mine.


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Give Your Breakfast Cereal an Upgrade

Get your “good energy” before heading out the door by upgrading your morning cereal!

post-great-grains

Post’s Great Grains Protein Blend Honey, Oats & Seeds has whole grain flakes made from cracked wheat and whole kernel barley. It is sweetened with a kiss of honey and combined with nutritious pumpkin seeds, almonds and multigrain clusters studded with sunflower seeds.

I love this cereal because you get about 8 grams of protein in a one cup serving along with fiber, whole grains, vitamins, and minerals. Great Grains Protein Blend is also a non-GMO verified cereal, and the less processed whole grain nutrition can help support a healthy metabolism, providing a great start to your day.

Try it with fresh fruit in a yogurt parfait or get more creative recipe ideas at www.GreatGrains.com.

Replace Your Oven With Your Blender

Swap your oven for your blender and stay cool this summer! I love smoothies in warmer weather. They can be a great way to boost fruit and even veggie intake AND you can get your kids to like them too.

Fuel Up Smoothie 2

TruMoo Chocolate milk has no high fructose corn syrup and no artificial growth hormones, so you can feel great about serving it to your family, whether it’s in your smoothies or served cold in a glass! It’s the perfect base for smoothies because it has protein calcium and Vitamin D, which are essential for bone health.

This is the “Fuel Up Smoothie” with just three ingredients – chocolate milk, almond butter and kale!

TruMoo Fuel Up Smoothie

1 1/2 cups TruMoo Chocolate milk

1/2 cup baby kale

1 cup ice cubes

1 tablespoon almond butter

In blender combine TruMoo Chocolate milk, baby kale, ice cubes and almond butter. Blend until smooth and frothy, and serve.

Serves 1.

Visit www.TruMoo.com for this and other great recipes!

Boost Flavor with California Cling Peaches

I love to enjoy the flavor and nutrients of peaches year round thanks to my trusty can opener and stockpile of California Cling Peaches in my pantry (and refrigerator – Yes, it’s true!)

SweetChickenWrap-632x474

Here’s a surprisingly simple and exciting tip: Did you know you can store canned peaches in the refrigerator so they are nice and cold when you’re ready for a nutritious snack?

Thanks to recent studies, we know California canned peaches are nutritionally on par with fresh. Canned peaches packed in extra light syrup have the same grams of sugar as peaches packed in juice. So the choice is up to you, both are healthy choices.

Most canned, cupped or jarred peaches are grown in California by third and fourth generation family farmers. They are made in the USA. Check your food label for Domestic peaches. It will say product of USA or California or nothing at all.

Most importantly, they are delicious on their own AND they add flavor to any recipe! For example, I dressed up my chicken wraps by adding slices of peaches (get the recipe here!).

You can also try peachcicles made with peaches, greek yogurt, and nutmeg. They remind me of peach pie! They are also a fun treat to make with kids that will keep you cooled down in the afternoon.

Get a free downloadable cookbook at the website for California Cling Peach board at www.CalClingPeach.com.

Dip Into Cool, Zesty Snacks with Sabra

Sometimes when you’re on the run, it’s nice to have options that don’t require any work at all! I love the Sabra snack packs. You can get hummus with pretzels, salsa with tortilla chips, or the hummus on its own ready for your sliced veggies to dip.These are great to take to the zoo, on a hike or picnic, or a day at the water.

sabra eggs

If you’re entertaining, it couldn’t be easier to put out “party size” Sabra hummus and several varieties of salsa as dips for veggies, pita triangles, or tortilla chips. Hummus is made with fiber rich chickpeas and salsa is made with fresh vegetables including tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic making them healthy AND delicious!

Celebrate National Hummus Day on May 21! Sabra would love to know how you are choosing to enjoy your hummus with #2SpoonsHummus!

Use both salsa and hummus to add zesty flavor to your favorite recipes, like these hummus deviled eggs – a summer classic. Get this recipe and more at www.Sabra.com.

Spice Up the Party with Lean Lamb

Swap the burgers and dogs for lean and nutrient rich lamb from Superior Farms. (shop tip for D.C. area – I got mine at Shoppers in Takoma Park. Check the Shoppers website for a location near you.)

SuperiorFarmsBlueCircleCOLOR

With a “flock comes first” motto, these ranchers take great care of their lamb. Lamb are raised outdoors on high quality natural grasses and grains, which contributes to the unique flavor of lamb.

Lamb is lean, with a 3 ounce serving on average 175 calories and 10 grams of fat. Plus lamb has protein, vitamins, and minerals to help nourish you.

Try these two great recipes that your family or dinner party guests will love!

First up, lamb sliders made with ground lamb and seasoned with Mediterranean herbs – a perfect “finger food” at parties. Even easier, any recipe that uses ground beef can be modified to use ground lamb.

Or try pulled lamb tacos with creamy cilantro slaw. (I’ll be honest, I took a super quick shortcut and did a quick dry rub on Pulled Lamb Tacos 1my lamb, then put it 8 hours in the slow cooker, overnight, filled 2/3 high with water. The lamb feel apart so easily the next morning and I stored it in the fridge until dinner.

If you don’t have time to make your own slaw from scratch, buy a small store container, then buy the package of slaw without dressing and combine them. If you need more dressing, add Greek yogurt and a bit of vinegar.)

For these recipes and more, visit www.SuperiorFarms.com.

Halt the Salt with a KIND Snack

Between meals and snacks, especially on the go, it can be easy to overdo the salt. A Center for Disease Control report states that 70% of packaged foods contain excessive amounts of sodium – exceeding the FDA’s “healthy” labeling standards.

KIND snacks are low in sodium and they are so easy to take with you anywhere.

Kind bar

Almond Coconut Cashew Chai bars are “Very Low Sodium” and Salted Caramel & Dark Chocolate Nut bars are “Low Sodium” even though it’s got that great hint of salt! Both of these bars have 5 grams of protein and you can get them at Starbucks with your coffee and you’ll have a snack you can feel good about for whatever adventure you have that day.

 

 

Through May KIND is honoring our nation’s military with #ThanksKindly on Twitter. All you do is send a tweet and then a very cool robot actually handwrites the “thank you note” and gives it to an active service member. For every tweet sent, $1, up to $10,000 KIND will donate to Cell phones to soldiers.

Check out the video at www.KINDsnacks.com/ThanksKindly.

These ideas are easy and fun. They work whether you are entertaining or “out and about” enjoying the weather and all the great activities summer has to offer. What plans do you have for “fun in the sun” this week?

Join the #Spring2Wellness Challenge Today (3 more weeks left)

Spring (1)Since the start of spring, over 1,000 people have been enjoying their time learning new tips for motivation, recipes and workouts absolutely FREE with my latest challenge, “Spring 2 Wellness.”

It’s not to late to join in. We have three more weeks left of weekly challenge emails. Sign up here.

After you complete it, I’ll be sharing my 7-day “feel good guide” (also free). Then you’ll get messages from me ongoing 1-2 times a month, with some of my favorite tools, tips and resources right to your inbox.

Read on if you would like to catch up and get some wellness in your life instantly! Next challenge goes out Friday April 25th,

Spring 2 Wellness Week 1

Week 1 was all about goal setting.

Your intention is your commitment to take action. Start by (1) get a clear on what you want and why you want it and (2) WRITE IT DOWN or it isn’t happening.

I will ______ on (or by) ________.

Check out this link for more goal setting tips 9 Habits For a Happier Healthier Life

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 2

Week 2: plan, plan, plan.

You know the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Even if you can eek by without planning, imagine how much more could you get done with healthy living if you plan. You save time, you’re more clear on your goals, and you’re more likely to stick to them when you feel like bailing.

Learn how to meal plan like a boss.  Meal planning makes grocery shopping much more efficient (saving you time and money), and keeps your mind set on eating healthy.

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 3

Week 3: Move to the rhythm of the work out

Turn something dreadful into something less dreadful.  Let’s face it, you may not feel like working out at all.  It’s tiring, takes up time or uncomfortable.  It’s OK.  Do it anyway.

Use music as a distraction and it can make your workouts more fun.  Think of some of your favorite songs, create a play list, and I dare you not to move to them!

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 4

Week 4’s challenge was all about meditation.

While I love yoga, I could never seem to get into meditation. My brain is constantly thinking, moving from one idea to the next. Trying to control or stop my thoughts seems like the opposite of what I am supposed to do.

However, after trying to give my self 1 to 5 minutes every morning to just do nothing, I could see how it helped me feel more positive and energized for a great day. I got a real boost to my health and happiness.

I wrote an article published on US News: Health, check it out, it talks more about Mediation and how and why you should try it.

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 5

Are you dying to know? Sign up for the challenge and you’ll see what’s up my sleeve next.

Balance Your Plate Better: My Food Tips for National Nutrition Month

(Disclosure: National Peanut Board, Post Grape Nuts FIT, Nestlé, and Genova Seafood are clients of mine. I was not compensated to write this blog posts.)


March is National Nutrition Month which means it’s time to celebrate with the theme“bite into a healthy lifestyle”.  I’m thrilled to share these ideas — they’re easy, fun, and delicious and perfect for all occasions!

WBAL TV 11 March 14, 2015

WBAL TV 11 March 14, 2015

Check out my recent segment on NBC WBAL TV 11 and read on to get my tips and recipes you need to balance your plate better – and it’s not hard!

Add Peanuts and Peanut Butter Anywhere

Use peanuts and peanut butter anywhere.

Use peanuts and peanut butter anywhere.

Peanuts and peanut butter are a smart choice for any meal, any time of day. Have a handful as a snack, top a piece of wheat toast or wheat pancake, stir in your oatmeal or smoothie – they are so convenient and easy.

Peanuts have more energy-boosting protein than ANY other nut with 7 grams protein per serving PLUS over 30 vitamins and nutrients. Peanuts are also an affordable source of protein, which anyone on a budget surely can appreciate.

Both my girls are eating real food now (they grow up so fast!) Both love to “dip” and I made up a super easy dip that taste great with fruits and veggies.  Simply stir 2 tablespoons of peanut butter into 1/2 cup yogurt or Greek yogurt and dip your kids favorites. Let them help make it and taste it if they are old enough.

Get more creative recipe ideas at www.NationalPeanutBoard.org

 Try Grape Nuts FIT Granola

Everyone loves granola and I’m digging the taste and crunch of this new Grape-Nuts FIT granola, which is a good source of fiber, provides 30 g of whole grains and has 9g of protein per serving.GrapeNutsFit225

Made with crunchy Grape-Nuts nuggets, puffed barley, and cranberries, it’s a nutritious way to fuel your everyday adventures and your workouts.

Try it with Greek yogurt, milk or oatmeal for a power-packed breakfast or snack. You also might like it on it’s own. Instead of running to the vending machine in that afternoon energy slump, try a couple handfuls of this granola and get re-energized without the crash.

Get more information and recipes at www.GrapeNuts.Com

 

Balance Your Plate 

nestle-mac-cups

I enjoy working with Nestlé on their “Balance Your Plate” education campaign. The idea is to pair frozen prepared foods with vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins for a balanced meal.

Mac and cheese is a family favorite, including mine. But I don’t always have the time to make it homemade.  Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese has freshly-made pasta and real cheddar cheese.

I love these Stouffer’s Classic Mac Cups because they are conveniently portioned with 10g protein, no preservatives, and they cook in about 3 minutes!

On a busy weeknight, the Classic Mac Cups can be an easy and tasty component of your family’s meal. Serve it with any vegetable. My girls love broccoli and we say “mac and cheese with little trees” when we eat this (cute, huh?) Then pick your protein. I happen to like grilled chicken with this dish. Then, serve up some fruit for dessert and you have yourself a simple and easy balanced plate.

For more information about the Nestlé Balance Your Plate, visit www.NestleUSA.Com/balance.

Upgrade Your Tuna with Genova Seafood  

Higher quality food is more satisfying and enjoyable, making eating healthier more fun. Genova is premium quality seafood with three simple ingredients – wild-caught Yellowfin tuna fillets, a touch of salt and just enough olive oil.

Chilled grilled vegetables with Genova tuna.

Chilled grilled vegetables with Genova tuna.

The simplicity of the ingredients make Genova uniquely satisfying – whether you simply top it on your salad at lunch or use it as an ingredient at your next dinner party.

Because Genova is a premium quality tuna, it’s a favorite of local foodies and culinary experts.

Try chilled grilled vegetables with tuna and tuna with black lentils – both of these recipes and many more yummy ideas for tuna are available at www.GenovaSeafood.Com

 

 


(Disclosure: National Peanut Board, Post Grape Nuts FIT, Nestlé, and Genova Seafood are clients of mine. I was not compensated to write this blog posts.)