I’ve started doing something new recently – let’s pretend I made a New Years resolution in which I said I was going to be super organised and prep everything, so that I had plenty of snacks, smoothies and food to keep me going through the work week. I’ll tell you who is the queen of this, Charlotte – seriously, check out her Instagram for her super productive weekends where she makes ALL the food and preps ALL the snacks. As I was saying, let’s pretend I made this resolution, because I’m pretty proud of myself – I’ve done 3 full weeks of prepping fruit and veg in freezer bags for smoothies during the week, woop!
Okay, so that’s not huge, but it’s a step in the right direction. I’ve also succeeded in not having to buy my lunch once so far this year back at work – we’ve managed to have enough leftovers, or made up a batch of stuff in advance which is in the freezer, so that I’ve had something ready every day without having to go into town and buy something.
I’m no smoothie expert, I’ll admit that much, but I thought it would be fun to talk about my smoothies anyway. I got my Russell Hobbs Mix and Go Blender for my birthday, after insisting that I get a juicer, using it a total of, um, maybe three times and realising it created very little juice from a lot of fruit, and that juice also didn’t keep very well either. So smoothies were the way forward I decided! Now, my birthday is in September, and between then and the beginning of this year I probably only made two or three of smoothies – woops. Seemed like the smoothie plan was out of the window too.
But no! A couple of days before I returned to work, Ben had already returned to work and I was bored. I noticed that we had a box of nectarines that I’d bought on a whim (noticing a theme here yet?!) that were looking like they were reaching the end of their lives, so I wondered what I could do with them. Then it hit me, smoothies of course! I went to the Coop, grabbed any fruit and veg I could find that was fairly cheap (this meant apples, bananas, spinach and blueberries on this occasion), chopped it all up, shoved it in freezer bags with a spoonful of coconut milk in each, and stuck them in the freezer. All the next week I had fresh smoothies every single morning at work!
And it’s now become somewhat of a routine for me (as much as doing this three times can be…). Last week I ended up with frozen raspberries and some frozen mango I found in the freezer too, and this week I’ve branched into including more veg in them, so I’ve got various mixtures of melon, frozen spinach, cucumber, apple and a single carrot (it was lonely!), plus coconut water this week. So I thought I might give you some tips on smoothie making (from my point of view!), then a quick review of my smoothie maker.
- Make sure to include veg as well as fruit. The fruit smoothies might be yummier, but they’ve got more sugar in. Sure, it’s all natural sugar, but it’s still a lot in one go. I find spinach is pretty inoffensive (aside from the colour), and cucumber is good if you like the flavour.
- Use frozen fruit and veg – it’s much cheaper! Frozen spinach was our revelation a couple of years ago, but things like frozen raspberries, mango, mixed fruits and various types of veg are a lot cheaper and widely available. It also makes sense for more since I make smoothies in bulk and freeze them for the week, so the fruit is frozen when I buy it and goes in frozen – easier to handle too!
- Take your smoothie mix out of the freezer the night before. I found the mixture went a little bit pulpy in my blender when I tried to use it straight from frozen and took a lot of watering down to get everything mixed in – I also did find a stray bit of apple that hadn’t been caught when I did it straight from frozen.
- Add plenty of water to your chopped fruit and veg. It gives the smoothie a better consistency as well as helps you up your intake of water. I do drink a lot of water on a daily basis anyway, but it’s easier to remember to have it when it’s hidden in your smoothie!
- Top it up with something a bit more interesting! In my first week I used coconut milk, second week was coconut cream, and this week is coconut water (bit of a theme again!). Coconut water is more healthy than the other two, and is apparently really good for you anyway, but you could also stick in a spoonful of yoghurt, a small handful of seeds or almonds – I’ve tried ground linseed, which was nice and made the smoothie a bit more filling, but beware not to go overboard or else you end up with a smoothie the consistency of jelly :/ Even use a spoonful of honey if you want to sweeten it up a bit without going down the sugar route.
So, onto my smoothie maker itself! As I said before, it’s the Russell Hobbs Mix and Go Blender one. Ben says it’s not the nicest looking one (although I disagree, I think it looks fine!), but has a really good warranty. I was so surprised when I found it on Amazon too – it’s only £20?! I could have sworn it cost more – the quality is fantastic! I’m not sure why ones like the Nutribullet are selling for £99 when this one works just as well?!