Lunch Box Smoothies

Lunch Box Smoothies

If it weren’t for smoothies….I don’t know how we would have survived the first months after my son was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease. I think he had a smoothie for breakfast everyday for 6 months! Thankfully I have learned a LOT since then and have more gluten-free recipes in my arsenal. :-)

Smoothies for breakfast continue to be a favorite however. Just not every day. But I never really thought about them for lunch (or dinner for that matter) because, well, that would just be impractical! Making a smoothie in the morning to send with my kids to school for lunch…that’s just bonkers!

Obviously I was not thinking outside the “lunch” box like Shaina at Food For My Family was! She began FREEZING smoothies to put in her kids’ lunch boxes. Brilliant. Not only do you have a delicious treat to eat that’s good for you, you have also eliminated the need for a separate freezer pack to keep the lunch cold. It’s built in to the smoothie! :-)

I loved this idea so much I immediately went to the freezer to see what I had on hand in the way of smoothie ingredients. I was in luck!!!

 

lunch box smoothies

I had 1/2 a bag of frozen strawberries, a couple of frozen bananas (I toss bananas that are on the verge of “unfreshness” into a plastic zip baggie that then goes in the freezer), and a BIG bag of frozen peaches from last falls’s peach jam-making project. (I bought WAY too many peaches at the time!) I’d been looking for a way to use these up before I buy MORE peaches very soon. (We simply MUST have Peach Freezer Jam in the deep freeze throughout the winter or all hell breaks loose! lol)

So I decided to blend up a big batch of Peach-Banana-Strawberry Smoothies! I don’t really have a “recipe” per se for my smoothies….but if forced to write it down (or type it up!) it goes something like this:

  • 1 cup peaches (frozen, canned, fresh…whatever)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 banana (again, frozen or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup milk (sometimes I substitute O.J.)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla or strawberry yogurt (if I have it on hand, if not, I skip it)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • Optional: 1 – 2 packets of Stevia (I only use this if the fruit isn’t very sweet)

 

lunch box smoothies

 

BLEND!

 

lunch box smoothies

 

lunch box smoothies

I think after all was said and done I almost DOUBLED the recipe above. I ended up with a BIG batch of smoothies that I then put into these handy 8 ounce freezer jars. I ended up with 6 smoothies in all.

 

lunch box smoothies

And here they are after spending some time in the deep freeze. All ready to do double-duty as a delicious lunch box treat AND as a built-in freezer pack to keep things nice and cold.

 

lunch box smoothies

lunch box smoothies

Mmmm…mmm…mmm.…I am tempted to go grab one right now! It’s actually kind of nice to know you have a smoothie-at-the-ready when you have hankerin’ for one….even if you’re NOT packing a lunch to work or school.  A smoothie treat anytime!

(I might just have to take a lunch to the park today!)   :-)

 

 


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Comments

  1. melissa says

    this sounds great, but i heard that milk doesnt freeze well. also, for those who are allergic to honey, like i am, switch out the honey for agave nectar, which is a natural sweetener from cactus plants, which is also good for those with diabetes.

    • andi says

      Agave nectar is second only to white sugar as the worst sweetener to use if you re diabetic. Coconut nectar, however, has a very low glycemic index…great for diabetics. Agave nectar is “natural,” but it is highly refined.

    • Rachel says

      Milk has always frozen oddly for me. It’s like the water in the milk freezes and the non-water doesn’t, so it’s a slushy kind of affair. I don’t really like it to drink this way, but in something else like a smoothie it would probably be fine. And when it melts, it’s regular milk again. No ill effects from the freezing in my experience.

      However, I don’t really like milk in my smoothies . I usually just use water in mine, but like Jillee said, orange juice would work fine. You can even get away with using the pulpy orange juice since you’re blending it with real fruit. I would imagine most any juice would work, but the flavor grape or cranberry might alter the flavor of the fruit you use.

  2. says

    I am going to try this for the lunch I pack for work! I usually use greek yogurt in my smooties, so well see how the freezing/thawing for lunch works… but, if you think about it, IceCream has dairy in it, and it freezes ok :D

  3. Susan H says

    Melissa ppl freeze gallons of milk all the time….they just have to make sure it THOROUGHLY thaws in the fridge and shake it up once it is b/c the cream will seperate. If you try to drink it w/o the thorough thawing all your drinking is the cream.

  4. Anna says

    Jillee,
    I found your blog through Pintrest and have been following you for a few months now! You are so creative! I love the smoothie idea. I have to start packing my husband lunches and I’m sure he will love these. Where did you get the “freezer jars”?
    Thanks for all the great ideas.

  5. April says

    What a great idea!! I think it would also be great for road trip snacks. Freeze them the night before, and by the time snack time comes around (usually 10:00 am) the smoothies would be melted enough to eat but not too melted.

    Thanks! ~ April

  6. Sarah Mc says

    Melissa, milk freezes very well. Let it thaw slowly in the fridge, say, overnight. No problems. Especially for fat-free. Our local mommie group stalks the dairy aisles of different stores and we text clearance goods’ locations. We stock up and freeze to stretch our grocery $ which is pretty crucial to most of us being stay-with-our-kids moms ( we don’t stay at home much. That’s boring). We are okay with crumbly frozen cheese since its a salad topping mostly and separated sour cream is fine for baking and ranch dip. Our vow is that we will never pay more than $1.99 per gallon again! Those fancy creamers? Make a simple syrup to pour in a glass jar with a dash of flavoring or cocoa and you are both undercover frugal and swankily decanting…uh…well, mine is a Mason jar so maybe that last bit should be revised. Except we ARE in the South.

    • Karen says

      Sarah, Any chance your mommie group has a blog with all of your money saving ideas? Would love to know more!

      I love this idea of frozen smoothies in kids’ lunches, but I don’t think glass is a great idea for my son. Is there a safe plastic that could be used for this?

  7. Terri says

    I have been using smoothies for lunch as a way to get more good veggies in my diet. I have found you can add carrots, any sweet peppers, etc. and they don’t change the taste at all. In mine I add kale or spinach. The kale gives it a crunch and you have to chew a bit, for that reason I wouldn’t use it for kids. The kale and the spinach also don’t change the taste.

    When I first started using smoothies for vegetable add-ins, I looked up the Top Ten Green Foods. Top of the list: Spinach! Then, in order, Broccoli (haven’t tried that yet), Kale, Dark Green Lettuce, Artichoke (okay maybe not in a smoothie!), Brussel Sprouts (ditto), Avocado (interesting idea), Green Peppers and Kiwi.

    I’ve put just about any fruit like you do. I’ve also done apples, especially when they’ve started getting over-done. I used windfall peaches and nectarines from our trees.

    Yummy, yummy!

  8. Becky B says

    I am going to try this!! But I read in the article that you make freezer jam, can we get the instructions for this.
    I have always wanted to make it but never heard how. Love your blog, helps me get through the day. Thanks;}

    • Carol T says

      Ooh, I’ve got some of those on order after reading another blog where the writer uses them to put frozen yoghurts and smoothies into her kids’ lunch boxes. I *LOVE* the look of your recipe – sounds delish!

  9. says

    I have been doing this for kids. I use 32 0z. vanilla yogurt, a big bag of great value frozen smoothie fruit, and a can of madarin oranges. I don’t use any sweetener. Every Sunday I make up a batch of 20 for my 4 munchkin’s lunches and stick them in the freezer. In the morning I stick them in their lunch box along with a straw and they are thawed by lunch! The kids love them and they are so healthy!

    P.S. I also use the ball 80z. Jars. I think I have a bajillion. Yep. That’s a word.

  10. Karina says

    I never add sweetner just whatever fruit I have on hand. Sometimes I’ll use a bit of almond extract or orange juice concentrate. Nearly anything is great in smoothie form. Putting frozen banana makes it extra good if consuming right away.

  11. Martha says

    Love the lunch box smoothie idea. A trick I use for bananas on the verge of “unfreshness”. I cut them up into bite size pieces and put them into the freezer bag also. When the bag is full (gallon size) I heat 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream over medium low heat until hot and add 1 cup chocolate chips until melted. I line a baking sheet that will fit into my freezer with waxed paper. Dip the banana chunks into the chocolate mixture and lay on the baking sheet. Let freeze and them dump them back into the freezer bag. Yummy!

  12. HEATHER says

    I just bought the handy freezer jars today. I am so going to do this for my daughter’s lunch. She isn’t a big breakfast eater, but I think she would LUV to find a smoothie in her lunch….like a lil hidden surprise. ThanX Jillee!! I luv luv your blog…my next project is your Mom’s Eng. muffin bread!

  13. Karen says

    I just happened to find the freezer jars today at Target. They are plastic, but BPA-free. I had assumed that since they were “jars” they had to be glass — and couldn’t see sending glass in my son’s lunch. He drinks smoothies with breakfast and eats hardly any lunch (ADHD and very picky) — so will give this a try! Has anyone tried this in an insulated lunch bag? Does it thaw enough by lunch-time?

  14. says

    i, too, make a smoothie almost every day! those containers look really cool but the reviews on amazon.com are AWFUL. do you like them? i’d love to be able to make a batch of smoothies ahead of time and store in the freezer.
    jd in st louis

  15. chandra says

    I tried this but it was very thin… i ended up ouring them into ice trays and popsicle molds and freezing them that way. The kids loved it, but i would have prefferdd the correct consistency. I used milk, strawberry yogurt, peaches and Mandarjn oranges. No honey on hand so skipped that.

  16. L Stone says

    Hey Jillee
    Did you know you can use a wide mouth mason jar on your cuisinart mixer
    for mixing smaller things?
    I just made your smoothie recipe but cut the ingredients in half to make one smoothie for my son using
    a wide mouth quart size mason jar attached to my Breville Mixer
    It was great!

    Thanks for your blog!

    Lois (California girl of 40 years transplanted to Colorado 3 months ago)

  17. Meg says

    I really love this idea and wanted it to work for me for me because I’m always running late in the mornings and usually skip breakfast or put off making breakfast for myself when I’m at home since I take care of the kids first and never get around to fixing something for myself. Anywho…this was the answer to my problems or so I thought. I make my smoothies with frozen spinach to kick up the nutritional factor. I made a double batch yesterday morning and froze half. Unfortunately frozen spinach doesn’t like to be blended and then refrozen, It’s very, very bitter. So, just a word of warning to anyone else who likes making green smoothies. They don’t re-freeze well! I’m going to have to figure out another solution. This is a great idea if you’re just using fruit and yogurt though!

  18. Back to Work YAYA says

    I am going to make up a batch of these and use my vacuum sealer to make individual pops like the GoGurt ones they sell. That way I will not have the issue of leaks or spills and they can be eaten frozen or thawed~ Thanks for the great idea!

    • Dani says

      I can make little “gogurt” pops with a vacuum sealer? Where have I been and why have I not in vested in one of these? Do you have a favorite brand of sealer? Is there a tutorial somewhere? I’m intrigued:)

      My five kids are just a list of food allergies. I’m always looking for easy solutions for traveling with them. I love all things reusable, but sometimes it’s just not possible.

  19. Hailie says

    Omg! You are amazing my friend has Celiac disease and she has found many different foods that help her and it is so much healthier I have not seen anyone does with the same disease

  20. DEllen says

    I love these ideas. When I make a smoothie I start it off with an herbal tea, depending on which one I choose it doesn’t alter the taste. Then I add whatever is in the refrigerator or freezer that suits me. I have taken it in a cooler for lunch but have not been delighted with the results. Now I will do this the night before and put it in the freezer. I love to get the email each day with another idea, thank you Jillee.

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