It is no secret that I love smoothies. I especially love smoothies for an on-the-go breakfast. I can make them at home and then take them along wherever the breeze takes me. What I don’t like about smoothies? The amount of ingredients they take.
You are probably saying, “Fruit. Milk. Ice. That isn’t that many.” And you are right, that isn’t! But to make my smoothies into super breakfasts, I load them full of powders, seeds, and other nutrition boosters. By the time I get out, measure and put away all of my additions, a smoothie can take upwards of 20 minutes to perfect. Ridiculous! And so not the speedy breakfast option I want it to be.
So, a few years back, I came up with the idea of these smoothie booster packs—and they’ve saved me so much time over the years! These smoothie booster packs have all kinds of goodness in them, and they are just waiting in the freezer to be popped into whatever smoothie I’m making that day.
These smoothie booster packs are totally customizable to what you like in your smoothies and what nutritional goals you have. Looking for a boost of protein? Add protein powder. Want to get your dark, leafy greens in a drinkable version? Throw in some spinach. Looking to quell seasonal allergies? Toss in some local bee pollen. It’s up to you to craft your perfect booster packs!
I have a basic recipe for my “normal” smoothie booster packs below, but here are some options (plus I’m sure there are a whole bunch I’m forgetting) that you can add in—I’ve added affiliate links for each of my favorite brands where applicable:
- Dark leafy greens—My favorite way to get spinach or kale in my diet? Blend it into a smoothie! Buy your greens when they are in-season and on sale, blend them into your smoothie booster packs, and use them for months. Dark leafy greens are some of the most nutrient-rich foods in our diet! Eat ‘em, kids.
- Hemp seeds—These little babies are packed full of plant-based protein and essential fatty acids. They have almost no taste, so you won’t even notice ‘em! I much prefer to add hemp seeds to my smoothies to get a protein boost than processed protein powders.
- Chia seeds—These little omega-3 powerhouses are smoothie darlings for a reason—they have almost no flavor, and they tend to help a smoothie thicken up! I always put chia seeds in my smoothies.
- Local bee pollen or honey—I live in the seasonal allergy capital of the world (literally), and eating lots of local honey and local bee pollen is one of the major ways I keep my seasonal allergies in check. It also tastes great and helps to sweeten your smoothies (obviously).
- Protein powder—If you’re looking for a way to make your smoothie keep your tummy fuller longer, protein and fat are your answer. I’m not the biggest fan of protein powder (taste, texture, and processing wise), but it’s hard to beat the volume of protein you get for just one little scoop! My favorite protein powder is from Bob’s Red Mill—I like that it’s vegan and has recognizable ingredients.
- Ground flaxseeds—You probably know flaxseeds give you a great boost of omega-3s, but one of the most unique aspects about flaxseeds is the lignans content. Lignans are a polyphenol, and there are a lot of health benefits to a diet high in them. Flaxseeds are far and away the richest source of lignans. By the way, you must grind flaxseeds to get the nutritional benefits—our bodies can’t digest the hard outer coating of whole flaxseeds.
- Maca powder—Maca is a Peruvian herb that has long been touted as an all natural way to boost energy, mental clarity, and sex drive. The flavor of maca is very polarizing. Some folks absolutely can’t stand it—I personally think it tastes like butterscotch pudding! I recommend trying a small amount from the bulk bins at your natural food store before buying a big bag.
- Turmeric—If there is such thing as an “it” spice, turmeric is definitely the one right now! It’s everywhere (they even sell a turmeric chai latte at my local coffee shop). Turmeric has been linked to reduced cancer risk, lowered heart disease risk, and reduced joint pain (all thanks to turmeric’s anti-inflammatory powers). Just a little bit will make your smoothies bright yellow!
- Spirulina—Let’s be honest here, spirulina is basically pond scum. No, really. It’s the algae found on bodies of water that’s been dried and processed for consumption. Using it as a superfood dates back to the Aztec time. It’s packed with protein and vitamins and minerals. It’ll turn your smoothie bright teal (fun!) and give it a slightly funky, fishy taste (not so fun!), so use it sparingly.
- Wheatgrass—A smoothie-boosting classic, wheatgrass (which is literally the young grass-like leaves from young wheat plants) is packed full of iron, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C and E. It does have a grassy flavor that takes some getting used to! You can buy it in powder form, juice form, or even grow your own wheatgrass and use the whole stalk.
- Oats—Using rolled oats are a great way to bulk up smoothies to make them feel a little bit more like a meal. They add a nice dose of dietary fiber, too!
- Cinnamon—Don’t just put it in your cookies, add cinnamon to your smoothies, too! Cinnamon is packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Just don’t overdo it—the flavor of cinnamon can overwhelm a smoothie fast.
- Matcha powder—Matcha powder is finely ground green tea powder, and it’s packed full of the same antioxidant properties of the green tea you sip. Adding this to your smoothies will give you a caffeine boost and a very pleasant green tea flavor.
- Almond flour or meal—Want the easiest way ever to add a whole-food protein and healthy fat source to your smoothies? Almond flour or meal! Either buy it in the gluten-free baking section at your grocery store, or just save the leftover pulp from making almond milk.
- Espresso powder—Don’t have time to hit up your favorite coffee shop? Add some espresso powder to your smoothie booster packs! You get glorious coffee flavor and a caffeine boost.
- Cacao nibs or powder—Cacao is the older, wiser sister to chocolate, and she is packed full of goodness! You’ll get a boost of chocolate-y flavor, a touch of caffeine, and even a nice dose of vitamins and minerals.
- Ginger—Dried or fresh, ginger adds a spicy bite to smoothies—a little goes a long way—and a ton of health benefits. Ginger helps with tummy troubles, and is especially good for mild morning sickness (my morning sickness was of the not-so-mild variety and ginger—even in high doses—couldn’t even touch it).
This is also a great way to save smoothie mix-ins that are maybe getting ready to go bad (I’m looking at you, giant package of baby spinach that expires tomorrow)—just blend it up with the rest of the mix-ins, freeze, and use to boost the nutrition of your smoothies later. I’ve done this with berries, greens, and even avocados!
I just blend my mixture up with some water, pour it into a muffin tin, and then freeze overnight. And then, in the morning, pop out the discs (if they are struggling a bit, dip the bottom of the muffin tin in hot water), and toss them into a freezer bag for long term storage.
When I’m ready to make my smoothie, I just pull out two of the discs and throw them into the blender, usually with a banana, some frozen mixed berries, and unsweetened almond milk. Then I divide it into three servings (two grown-up size and one toddler size). Easy. Peasy.
If you end up landing on a smoothie recipe you love and want to have all the time, you can make this even easier by popping all the ingredients into zip-top freezer bags so they are ready to just dump into the blender. But I personally prefer the flexibility of the booster packs—that way, if my kid asks for a peanut butter banana smoothie today and a strawberry smoothie tomorrow, I’m covered either way!
Just a reminder: these babies are just asking to be customized! Below is just my recipe for what works for us and our family, but I highly recommend experimenting and figuring out your perfect booster packs. Happy blending!