We're republishing one of our favorite posts of 2015—because back-to-school, back-to-reality season is upon us and we need all the help we can get.
Every other morning of 2014 started the same way, with a cup of nonfat, organic Greek yogurt. It was tart, fat-free—and relatively flavor-free. I'd make efforts to spruce it up by adding in flaky salt shards, thick honey, and blueberries, but even after the embellishments, I found it over all too quickly, and I'd be starving a mere 30 minutes later.
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One November day after reading this article, I decided to consume fewer dairy products. Considering the massive hunks of feta that normally garnished my salad and the downpour of Parmesan that hit my pasta, chicken, and [insert any food here] at dinnertime, my diet needed a revamp, starting with the milkiest meal of my day: breakfast.
From over-filtered and hyper-processed Instagram photos, I knew $9 smoothies were a “thing," so I figured I'd give them a try—even at that steep price. With my very first sip, I was sold. Before I even realized how satiated these made me feel, I'd fallen in love with the silky blend of nut butter and maple syrup. Still,I hated the soon-to-be bankruptcy I would face if this expensive habit lingered for too long, and so I set out to re-create my favorite breakfast smoothie at home, which most places marketed as a “Green Goddess.” Hey, I’ll take it.
I knew that with my laissez-fare attitude about getting ready in the morning, time was of the essence, so I pre-packed zipper bags with fruit and vegetables at night and placed them in the refrigerator so I could just dump their contents, then blend, zip, and sip upon waking.
I began combining 1 bag of pre-packed vegetables with with 1 cup of almond milk and 1 (heaping) teaspoon of nut butter. The results were truly magnificent. The only thing that I wanted to improve upon was the smoothie temperature. By the time I transported breakfast, it wasn’t very cold and had thinned down significantly. On a hot summer morning, I needed a beverage that was frosty and refreshing. I tested keeping the bags in the freezer instead, and my final problem was solved. The best part? I can toss it in a cup with a tight lid and throw it in my purse for an easy, fresh deskside breakfast at work.
Now every week, on Sunday nights, I pack an army of smoothie packs that sit in the freezer and wait to meet their fate: Slurp-able, delicious, vegan breakfast treats.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).