Let’s Get Organized!
Green smoothies require lots of fruit and vegetables. One of the most challenging parts of eating a smoothie every day, is being organized enough to make one every day. I have written a bit about this on my own blog here. This very morning I had a smoothie with one missing ingredient. So with the best laid plans, there will still be some mornings where you will just have to stay committed and be flexible. This translates to: blend what you have!
So, I like to start at the beginning, before you even go to the store. Take a look around at your kitchen. Do you have the right “tools”? By tools I mean: cutting boards, good knives, containers and an awesome blender.
Cutting boards are a basic and a must. It is easy to get a variety of them: different sizes etc. It is important, for the care of your knives, to make sure you use only wood or bamboo boards. Keep them clean and store them in a place where you have easy access. I know some people have installed a chopping block countertop for their island.
Investing in the best set of knives you can afford will not be something you regret. In the world of food prep and cooking at home, good sharp knives are invaluable. Also store them in a place where you have easy access. Be sure to hand wash and and clean immediately after use to keep them from becoming dull.
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Many people like to make enough smoothie to enjoy it throughout the day. Some people like to store their smoothie in different kinds of water bottle like containers. Personally, I like mason jars. They are easy enough to drink from, easy to keep clean, and cheap to buy a lot of. They are also portable.
This may be optional, but I find that having an extra freezer is essential. Having extra freezer space allows me to have a lot more food on hand and lessens the number of times I have to go to the store. (The freezer that is part of my refrigerator is just too small and I think it is smaller than typical.)
When I first started making smoothies I used an OLD blender. This one was hard to keep clean and was complicated. Then I graduated to a newer blender, which was still not ideal to clean but this one was less powerful. It was a standard blender one can buy at Target. I forced myself to use that blender for as long as I could and then I purchased a refurbished Vitamix. I can not even tell you what a difference having this blender has made. The smoothies take less time to make and they turn out creamier.
This is the other big part of ensuring you are organized and prepared to make smoothies every day. Life is busy and no one has time to be going to the store every or every other day to buy produce. It is helpful to have certain routines in place to keep your fridge stocked.
Let me share with you what I have put in place for my family. My family eats locally and organically whenever possible. It isn’t realistic for us to do this 100% of the time. Part of the reason for the freezer is that it makes full use of what we get out of the garden in the yard and the CSA during the growing months of the year: we live in Wisconsin.
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Ok. So here we go. I have a membership at CostCo. It is a trek for me at 30 minutes, and I am used to shopping at the local co-op which is less than a mile, but the price difference in organic frozen fruit and organic greens makes the trip worth it. I make this trip only once a month. For my smoothies I make sure to purchase the following:
8 pounds of spinach
1 bag of romaine hearts (I think there is six per bag)
1 bag of Chia seed, if needed
Several bags of frozen fruit (strawberries, mixed berries, mangoes, pineapple, etc)
I bag 7 of the eight pounds of spinach into sandwich bags when I get home. (This is another reason I only do this once a month: this part takes about 45- 60 min.) The last pound of spinach and the bag of romaine hearts stay in the fridge. It takes me about 2 weeks to use those greens up as part of smoothies and salads. The bagged spinach goes into my extra freezer.
When the fresh greens are gone, I be sure to keep one weeks worth of spinach in my main freezer along with two bags of the frozen fruit. (By the way, some of my frozen fruit is from the summer too!)
Instead of water, I use coconut milk (the kind you purchase in a carton, not the kind from a can). I also put one banana into every smoothie. So, these two items I get from the nearby co-op on a weekly basis with the rest of my groceries.
We have found this system to be effective in keeping ourselves stocked with the right stuff to have smoothies every morning for breakfast. I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration!
I know you may not have time to digest all this right now, so I wanted to give you a handy print out of this blog post so you can stick it on your fridge to help you on your journey to optimal health.
This post was written by Lisa Reinhardt. Lisa is a certified parent coach at TheParentJourney.net and a green smoothie enthusiast at Green-Smoothie-Recipes.net . She transforms families through a holistic approach.
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