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.

    • megz says

      I freeze milk ALL the time and have never had a problem, it is really great to keep the cooler cold while camping.

    • 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.

    • says

      Anna, Walmart and most grocery stores sell these…they’re actually used for canning…so you’ll find them in the canning section of any store carrying canning supplies!

      • Stacy says

        You could use glass mason jars, pint size for little hands…those freeze really well if you do not put the fluid to the tippy top…and then you don’t have your smoothies in plastic. Make sure it doesn’t contain BPAs…

        Thank you for the suggestion of doing smoothies for lunch!!! I love the idea of not bothering with ice packs! YAH! :)

  5. says

    Thanks for the great idea! I’d love to try this for myself. I’m not one to sit down and eat strawberries or a peach on their own, but mixed up in a ‘premade’ smoothie might do the trick for me.

  6. Patsy says

    sounds delish!
    @Anna ~ they sell freezer jars at Wal-mart or K-mart. not sure of price (it has been a couple of years since I bought them)

    thank you for the site!

  7. Sue says

    Jill,
    I use Almond Milk in my smoothies. It’s Delish…. Plus lactose free and 50% more calcium than milk.

  8. Jo says

    This is going to be awesome! I hate making lunches and my daughter loves smoothies! Hehehehe *insanely happy maniacal laughter* (o.O)

  9. 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

  10. 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?