Ready to Blend Smoothie Packs for the Freezer #SundaySupper

I need quick and healthy side dishes, drinks, deserts, breakfasts, snacks for my 3 young kids.  Ready to blend smoothie packs for my freezer are a great way to save the summer bounty all year AND feed my family healthy on a budget.

Saving summer with blueberry smoothie packs for the freezer




Harvesting Blueberries for Freezer Smoothie Packs


Last week, my three little kiddos and I trooped across town and snuggled into a cave of towering blueberry bushes.  The birds chirped. The butterflies fluttered.  The blueberries were think and plump that they almost fell into our buckets.

Blueberries on the bush in the summer ready to be harvested

My littlest reminded me of the story Blueberries for Sal.  He would sneak his hand into my bucket and put some berries into his own. Then eat them all.  The preschooler picked a few and then grabbed some sticks and started to build a fort.  My 3rd grader picked as fast as us grown ups, cooking out loud.  We should make blueberry pie, blueberry jam, blueberry Popsicles, blueberry smoothies.... She must have been inspired, because her bucket was bursting over the rim by the time we were done.

With my 3 little helpers, were able to pick 31 pounds of local, organic blueberries at $1.00 per pound at a U-Pick farm in a neighboring city.  Yes 31 pounds of local, organic blueberries for $31.00.  I cannot beat that price for health and nutrition and am thinking I probably should have gone back again for more!
Blueberries in a child's hand

We found out about the farm from a friend in the area.  Word of mouth is often the best way to find small organic farms in your area.  The local paper also advertises some local u-picks in the classified section.  I also use the U-Pick or Pick-Your-Own website http://www.pickyourown.org/ to find new farms that are open in my area.

If there is a phone number, call ahead.  If not, go ahead and head out (just keep your expectations low in case it is closed).

What you will need to harvest blueberries at a U-Pick farm:
bugspray
sunscreen
buckets
belt or strap to attach the bucket to your waist
long pants
cash (most you-pick farms do not have credit card machines)

When we got home we made  peach and blueberry cobbler, fresh blueberry pie, blueberry pancakes, and blueberry orange muffins.


Preparing Blueberries for Freezer Smoothie Packs


My family LOVES blueberries, but there is no way that we could possibly eat that many blueberries in a week.  So we worked as a team to prepare the summer harvest of blueberries for preserving.

Yes, the blueberries were organic.  Even so, they are dirty from growing outside.  We filled up the sink with cool water and gently tipped the berries into the water by the gallons.  My children mixed the berries in the clean water with their hands, picking out any stems and leaves, then scooped them out of the water with a strainer.  We used the spray attachment for one more berry rinse and then poured them onto the towel covered counter to dry.

Children as young as one year old can help with washing!

Steps for preparing blueberries to freeze

When all the berries were washed, we started packaging them for the freezer.

I like to freeze them in quart packs for use throughout the year.


Make a Ready to Blend Smoothie Pack for the Freezer

Makes 3 Smoothie Servings

Ingredients:
1 cup of plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
1 tablespoon of local honey*
1 banana
1 cup of blueberries

1 quart freezer bag
parchment paper or tin foil

Prepare A Day Ahead of Time:
Mix plain yogurt and honey in a small bowl.  Spoon into an ice cube tray, cover and freeze.
Slice a banana and lay on parchment paper.  Cover and freeze.
Wash and dry fresh picked blueberries.  Freeze in a container or bag.

Making a ready to blend blueberry smoothie freezer pack

If you are like me and want to make a larger batch - just triple the recipe for 3 ready to blend smoothie bags.  We try to make 5-10 bags of each smoothie flavor and rotate the bags we choose to take out.


Assembling the Smoothie Packs


Label your freezer bag:

Blueberry Smoothie. Add 1/2- 1 cup milk.

Take the yogurt mixture, banana, and blueberries out of the freezer.  Layer the bananas, yogurt + honey cubes, and blueberries in the bag. Remove all the air from the bag and freeze.

*I am not a nutrition expert, but understand that there may be some allergy benefits to eating local honey.  Children under the age of 1 should not be served honey.  We buy our honey by the quarts from a lady 5 minutes from our house.  It is very mild in flavor.  She ran a special this month and each quart was $15.  I use it in smoothies and baking.


Make a Blueberry Smoothie Pack for Your Freezer!


Ready to Make Your Blueberry Smoothie?


Take the ready to blend smoothie pack out of the freezer and dump it into the blender.  Add milk.  Use less milk for a thicker smoothie. Blend and serve.

What is great about these ready to blend smoothie packs is that they are versatile:

Blueberry Smoothie + Hard Boiled Egg + Raspberry Coconut Muffin = Breakfast
Grilled Ham & Cheese + Side Salad + Blueberry Smoothie = Lunch
Blueberry Smoothie after dinner = Dessert

What is also great about these ready to blend smoothie packs is that my 8 year old can make them on her own with a relatively small mess in the kitchen. She just gets the blender out and dumps the ready to blend smoothie bag in, adds the milk, blends and it is ready!



Kids that Cook with Blueberry Books:

Of course, as true educators cannot resit the urge to sneak in a little literacy and learning into any and all activities.  Cooking with kids is no exception.  We read Blueberries for Sal, a picture book favorite of mine since childhood together and talked about how we would feel if we discovered a bear walking behind us!  For more Blueberries for Sal lesson plans, stop by Scholastic.com

Kids that cook with blueberry books, a list of blueberry picture books to read with any blueberry recipie

Would you like to add a book or two to your home library all about blueberries? We like to order a bunch of thematic books from the library online. They e-mail us when the books are available and we go pick them up.  Here are a few on the market you can request from your library or consider purchasing:

<Amazon Affiliate Links>
BLUEBERRIES FOR SAL
Peter in Blueberry Land
White Is for Blueberry
Blueberry Mouse
One Little Blueberry
Blueberry Queen (Kylie Jean)
Blueberries for the Queen*
Mr. Astley's Blueberries
Blueberry Shoe
Blueberry Girl
Blueberries Grow on a Bush (How Fruits and Vegetables Grow)
Hi, Blueberry! (Fuzzy Lift-The-Flap, Light-Up Books)

*This one does talk about WWII.  As with all books, make sure you read

Would YOU like to SAVE SUMMER?  

Check out these other articles from the Sunday Supper Team on preserving the summer's harvest!

Learn how to …

Sip sunny cocktails and smoothies

Scoop up special salsas and sauces

Jump into jellies, jams and preserves

Pucker up for pickles

Slurp and spoon soup and a side dish

Dive into divine desserts


Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.


Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement?
It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
   


For more BLUEBERRY ideas here at The Educators' Spin On It, we recommend

Blueberry Gift Idea
Blueberry Activities and Recipes for Kids
Sewing Adventures with Peter in Blueberry Land

42 comments:

  1. We love those pick-your-own farms! It's such a great family outing and we get the benefit of much cheaper produce when we are willing to pick it ourselves. What a gorgeous color that blueberry smoothie is! Who could resist? Thanks for the tips on making freezer packs for smoothies.

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    1. Thank you so much Stacy for your sweet words. We try to pick peaches, strawberries, persimmons, and blueberries at our local u-pick farms and preserve them for the year.

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  2. What gorgeous blueberries you picked! And what a great way to save them too.

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    1. Why thank you! We tried blueberry jam, blueberry compote, blueberry lime jam in the past, but my family seems to like them frozen and in smoothies more!

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  3. What a terrific idea! I can only imagine how delicious a peak of the season blueberry smoothie will taste in the middle of winter! I'm guessing pretty darned amazing!

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    1. Yes! When they are $3.99 for a tiny container I can only HOPE that I have a bag left at the bottom of the freezer.

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  4. This is a great idea for kids! They could take the packs out, add milk, and have a ready made breakfast!

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    1. Agreed Heather! My 8 year old is great at helping out in the kitchen. Having the smoothies ready to be blended in smoothie packs is a great way for her to help!

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  5. Great idea! I love smoothies and making it this way is a nice time saver!

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    1. Thank =) It is a great way to save time in the mornings.

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  6. I love pick your own farms! I try go when I can! This great idea for creating your own packets, so much better then buying ones that in the stores!!

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    1. I actually looked at the ingredients in the store bought blend your own smoothie packages and was amazed at the ingredients. Here, I know what goes inside each smoothie!

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  7. So excited to see you around the family table for #SundaySupper - there is nothing more important for families than spending time cooking and conversing together. Love this fantastic idea. I will be doing this with my boys!

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    1. Glad to be part of such a wonderful team - We are firm believers of bringing the family together to harvest, prepare, and eat dinner. PS - you may want to make bigger smoothie packs for teenage boys!

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  8. This is such a great post, so glad you decided to join #SundaySupper. You have been a breeze to mentor but if you need anything please ask!!

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    1. Awe - thanks Tara =) I love that we were both on blueberry kicks this week! I have to make the spa water with my frozen blueberries and garden herbs!

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  9. Such a great idea! Now I'm inspired to find a U-Pick farm and pick something. I love how easy you have made making smoothies at home.

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    1. Thanks Christy - U-Picks are a TON of fun. We "may" eat a few as we pick, which makes it all the more tasty!

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  10. What a great idea! Though my daughter is too young to do it on her own it's great for me!

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    1. I got a good chuckle out of your comment Tammi because my 18 month old thinks he is in charge of the blender! Really, I think around 5 is when we let them make their own smoothies with supervision of course. I didn't get any picture during the assembly or making of the smoothie because all 3 kids were helping and there is no way I can manage all 3 and a camera! LOL

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  11. LOVE this idea for mornings when you have to make a quick breakfast!!!

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    1. Thanks Shaina. We do smoothies a lot for breakfasts and snacks from when we come in from outside working in the garden and need a cool treat.

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  12. I make smoothies up the wazoo! What a great idea to have individual portions ready and waiting!

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    1. I second the making smoothies up the wazoo =) What are your favorite blends?

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  13. What a great idea! My son loves smoothies -- how easy it would be to just grab a ready-to-make pack from the freezer!

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    1. My 8 year old loves helping make breakfast - these packs make it super easy for her to make breakfast!

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  14. These smoothie packs are such a great idea! So quick for busy mornings!

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    1. Thanks Laura for stopping by and leaving such sweet words!

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  15. Years ago I stopped at a u-pick-your-own farm for blackberries and made the best cobbler I think I've ever made. And what a great idea for having a smoothie at your fingertips at all times!!!!! I love all these freezer ideas today.

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    1. Ooh, I pine over fresh blackberries! What a great memory Susan!

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  16. I always think of making smoothies for breakfast, but I'm put off by having to prepare all the fruit in the morning - so this is a fantastic idea!

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    1. Preparing ahead of time does save morning sanity at our house! You will have to try it and let me know how it goes!

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  17. What a fantastic adventure, Amanda! And your children have wonderful tastes in fruit and literature. Love Blueberries for Sal! Anyway, brilliant and practical how-to =)

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    1. Why thank you Kim for such sweet words. My kids are definite keepers!

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  18. omg ... I am in love with this!

    The hubby and I like to make smoothies for breakfast, and it can be a bit time consuming when grabbing all the ingredients ... this is the perfect solution!

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

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  19. My coworker LOVES smoothies, this is great for her

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  20. I love this idea! I guess I didn't realize bananas could be frozen too lol I need to start freezing more of my own fruit for all the smoothies we make!

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  21. My boys and I recently received some blueberries so I am in need of some ways to use these beauties up. Thanks!

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  22. You KNOW I need a few of these kits in the freezer!

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  23. What a neat idea. These would make such a speedy breakfast!

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