At our house, we love to have homemade smoothies in the Summertime. Not only are they yummy and refreshing–especially on a hot Summer day!–but they can also be quite frugal. Yes, really, smoothies can be frugal!
Almost any kind of fruit can be used in a smoothie, but berries are especially good. During the Summer months when berries are in season and plentiful, the sales on them are usually abundant. Buy a little extra each week and wash, chop, and freeze them to have for later and you’ll save a bundle and stock your freezer with a nice variety of berries to use in smoothies for a few months to come.
I like to spread the berries on baking sheets after I’ve washed and chopped them and then stick them in the freezer until they are frozen. Once frozen, I transfer them from the baking sheets to freezer bags. This method prevents all of your berries forming into one big clump in the freezer bag and makes it much easier for you to get out a cup or two at a time to add to your blender for a smoothie.
Another fruit which is a must-have in smoothies is bananas. Our stores sell bananas which are past their prime for a very reduced price. I buy these up and we eat what we can the first day and then chop and freeze the rest to use in smoothies and banana bread. This is a much more cost-effective way to add bananas to your smoothies and you can’t tell that a banana was a bit overripe if it is in a smoothie!
Since I love experimenting in the kitchen, I find smoothies to be a great way to use up some of those odds and ends of produce from the refrigerator and freezer. From that little bit of leftover juice or yogurt which wasn’t used for breakfast the day before to the spinach from the garden which you have in abundance, almost anything can go into a smoothie so long as you put enough other things in it to “hide” it!
The other day, I used the items pictured above to whip up some strawberry smoothies: some of the YoBaby yogurt, frozen strawberries, milk, and some Santa Cruiz juice.
I always begin by adding in the frozen fruit and any fresh fruit, then yogurt or milk, and then liquids (either milk or juice). I add more liquid if needed and sweeten it with honey or sugar if it needs it (most of the time, we don’t add sweetener as the fruit is plenty enough!).
And the girls just gobble it up!
We love strawberry smoothies, but another family favorite is our Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie recipe which is posted here. I made it up on a whim one day and we all decided it was a keeper! If you’re a little more adventuresome, you might also try Green Smoothies. We’ve made these before and no one seemed to even notice the spinach in them!
Would you like to try your hand at making smoothies? Just for fun, I’m giving away a Smoothie Kit on my blog today complete with yummy smoothie recipes, a small Hamilton-Beach blender (shown above), and Bone Health t-shirts.
May was National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month and the Milk Bone Health Program was going to give away this kit then, but since I had a baby in May, I’m a little behind here. But I thought it’d be fun to still give away this kit–especially since it’s a wonderful time of year to be making smoothies.
To enter to win this Smoothie Kit, just leave a comment on this post in the next 24 hours. I’ll randomly choose a winner once this giveaway is closed.