Make Ahead

A Breakfast (or Lunch) You Can Make on Sunday and Enjoy All Week

September  4, 2016

We're¬†republishing one of our favorite posts of 2015‚ÄĒbecause 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‚ÄĒand 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 ‚Äúthing," so¬†I figured I'd give them a try‚ÄĒeven 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 ‚ÄúGreen Goddess.‚ÄĚ Hey, I‚Äôll take it.

More: How to make a smoothie without a recipe.


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.

More: Our best tips for packing flavorful, reliable smoothie packs.

Green Goddess Kale Smoothie

Makes 5 smoothies, enough for a week's worth

For the freezer bags:

10 leaves of de-ribbed kale
5 medium-sized bananas
2 ripe pears

For the morning:

5 tablespoons almond butter, I like Trader Joe's Raw
5 cups almond milk, I use Califia Farms Unsweetened Vanilla
5 pinches flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

Photos by James Ransom 

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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 ‚Äėem through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Allison Backous Troy
    Allison Backous Troy
  • Cassandra Torres
    Cassandra Torres
  • Erin
  • sheila mahon
    sheila mahon
  • Laura415
Food writer in Brooklyn! Also, Reva's mom ūüíĖ


Allison B. September 4, 2016
I really love this! Would it work to incorporate some kind of protein powder (I'm thinking the Vega Protein/Greens mix) into this, or would that mess up the texture?
Jane K. September 6, 2016
I've never tried it, but give it a shot! I'd add extra liquid (almond milk, etc) to make sure it doesn't get too thick :)
Cassandra T. August 23, 2015
Yum! Every morning I make myself a kale, almond butter and banana smoothie and it is seriously the most delicous thing!! I've never thought about freezing it and making some ahead. Great idea! This leaves me full for at least a few hours
Erin August 17, 2015
This sounds delicious and a good alternative to my normal breakfast smoothie... but, I really wish food blogs would stop encouraging people to use plastic bags when it would be just as easy to put all these ingredients in a freezer container and just take out what you need each morning.
Jane K. August 18, 2015
Hi Erin, I like plastic bags because they take up less room (my freezer is tiny) but I think using containers is a great idea too. Thanks for sharing.
sheila M. August 17, 2015
Thanks for the replies to my earlier comment. I have another question - I have tried to put fruites and veggies in the frezzer w/o success - how do you properly freeze these items?
Jane K. August 17, 2015
Hi Sheila, my pleasure! What was your trouble when freezing fruits and vegetables? I have found that as long as I use high-quality plastic freezer bags, the items freeze well, and without any ice on the surface.
Laura415 August 17, 2015
"combining 1 bag of pre-packed vegetables with with 1 cup of almond milk and 1 (heaping) teaspoon of nut butter."
The recipe for 5 smoothies calls for 5 tablespoons of almond butter but the written description of your method calls for a heaping teaspoon. Perhaps a heaping teaspoon = 1 tablespoon?
Jane K. August 17, 2015
Hi Laura,
Yes, I just meant roughly 1 tbs per smoothie!
Joni August 17, 2015
How do you wash the kale and any other greens so it can be used raw safely? Even organic can hold bacteria.
Jane K. August 17, 2015
Hi Joni,
I am not an expert but I usually just de-rib the kale, wash it under cold water a few times, pat it dry, and then use it. Perhaps you could use a fruit wash if you prefer a more thorough cleansing?
sheila M. August 17, 2015
What can you use instead of bananas?
Laura415 August 17, 2015
Mango could be a good substitute. It's as sweet as bananas and while not as dry as a banana it is somewhat less watery than other fruit. You could also add more pears but they are juicy, perhaps resulting in a thinner smoothie. If I'm using watery fruit I sometimes add chia seeds to absorb some of the liquid.
Jane K. August 17, 2015
Hi Sheila,
I can't say there is an exact replacement but maybe you could try using 1/3 cup of silky tofu instead. You may also need to add a little bit of maple syrup or agave extract to make up for lost sweetness.
Patricia B. August 28, 2015
I have used avocado in the past in place of banana in a pinch, same creamy texture. You can add honey to taste if it's not sweet enough, but I think the pears would provide enough sweetness (and sugar) for my taste.
Sd4Texas August 13, 2015
Any suggestions for someone who can't eat Kale because of hypothyroidism? What would you substitute...thanks so much. This looks amazing!
Jane K. August 13, 2015
So glad you liked the recipe Suzanne! If you can eat other greens, I would suggest a small handful of spinach. If you prefer to leave out greens entirely, feel free to use a 1/4 cup of blueberries for a nice violet hue!
Laura415 August 17, 2015
Parsley, dandelion greens, puntarelle, spinach, sorrel and celery are some of subs for kale. I too watch my goitrogenic veg and although this recipe has kale it is only 2 leaves per smoothie. I wouldn't eat this everyday but if it's my breakfast only 2 or 3 days a week then it doesn't seem to affect my hypo problems. Check out these articles about moderation and the list of goitrogenic fruits!
erinrae August 13, 2015
Could the whole batch be made up and frozen in smoothie form in individual packets? Or would this ruin everything?
Jane K. August 13, 2015
Hi Erin!
I have not done that but I think it would affect consistency. I really enjoy blending the smoothies fresh because they are thicker and I can drink them slower. However, if you don't mind a thinner drink, it should not be an issue. Let me know if you do try that!