I am not entirely sure what goes on at school after lunch, but I do know whatever it is makes my kids awfully hungry. When the bus pulls up, they race down the hill, crash through the backdoor and start clamoring “What’s for snack? What’s for snack?” No “Hey mom! How are you? How was your day?” No “Guess what happened at school?” The only greeting I get is demands for immediate nourishment!
Because of this I always try my best to have something on the table, ready to go. (Get my tips on on how to up your game in the after school snack department here!) They rarely complain about what I’ve put out for them…they only complain when I haven’t prepped it ahead of time! And while they’ll eat anything in their frenzied state of hunger, they definitely get more excited about some snacks than others. And one they always go nuts for: smoothies!
Smoothies are pretty quick and easy to make once you get in the habit of having the ingredients ready to go. And luckily you probably have everything you need in your kitchen already: fruit, yogurt, juice. There are endless combinations of smoothies and you really don’t even need a recipe. But I will share a few tips that I have found to take your smoothies from good to great.
- A Good Blender – First of all, you need a good blender to get nice, smooth smoothies. I have a Nutribullet Pro 900 Series blender and this thing rocks. (Not trying to sell you on anything! I just genuinely love this blender.) Of course you can make smoothies in any blender. But the Nutribullet is just super powerful and quick and SO easy to clean!
- Frozen Fruit – Next, smoothies are best when they are super cold. Ice works, but I find it never really blends well and then you get these annoying little chunks of ice in the bottom of the drink. But, if you freeze the fruit, you get that same icy coldness without chunks! If you have a great blender, the frozen fruit just gets pureed and works beautifully to give you a nice, cold, thick smoothie. I buy tons of bananas and berries and just take 15 minutes to put them on a cookie sheet and freeze. I’ll come back later in the day, once the fruit is frozen solid, and place it in freezer zip bags. Then it’s ready to go whenever the smoothie craving strikes!
- Sneaky Nutrition – If you were to ask your kids to have a little spinach salad after school, what kind of reaction do you think you would get? (And good for you, all you lucky moms who have kids that LOVE spinach!) But you can take a little handful of spinach, kale or whatever greens you have on hand and drop it in that blender and no one will be the wiser! Seriously. The smoothie will turn green if you have more spinach than fruit, but a small handful packs a big nutrional punch without changing the color, texture or taste of the smoothie!
So if you haven’t done so already, try your hand at an after school smoothie and see what your kids think. And with school ending, think about smoothies for breakfast, an on-the-go meal, or an anytime snack!
- 1 frozen banana
- 6 frozen strawberries
- ¼ c. baby spinach leaves
- 1 c. vanilla yogurt (we like Greek yogurt, but regular works too!)
- ½ c. orange juice
- Place all ingredients in blender up and blend until smooth! If too thick, add a little more juice or water and blend again to thin.
- Serve and enjoy! Cute bottle and straw optional!