How to CookBreakfast

Smooth Out the Morning Rush With a Smoothie Kit

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What can you do with just 5 minutes? Actually, way more than you think. Check out Food52 in 5—our list of 5-minute recipes, mini projects, and joyful moments—for more.

Smoothies are my eat-while-I-get-ready—or while-I-run-out-the-door—breakfast. Put on one shoe. Slurp. Other shoe. Another slurp. Which is to say, if I don’t have time to sit down and pick up a fork, I likely don’t have time to lovingly blend my next smoothie masterpiece. But I still want a wonderful breakfast. I want to have my smoothie and drink it, too.

Enter: kits. Using frozen fruit instead of ice cubes in smoothies is nothing new. Not only does this yield that dreamy, frothy, slushy smoothie texture (and temperature!)—it also avoids any potential wateriness. So, what if everything else was frozen, too? Then, all you’d have to do is a pull a pre-assembled plastic bag from the freezer, dump its contents into the blender, add your liquid of choice, and vroom vroom.

You can make your kit the night before or weeks in advance, one at a time or in big batches. Whatever works for your (and your fruit's!) schedule. Just follow these four steps and whoa-oh, you're more than halfway there.

Hi from smoothie heaven.
Hi from smoothie heaven. Photo by Julia Gartland

Bulk up

The backbone of your smoothie will be fruits and vegetables. Figure 1 to 2 cups, depending on how hungry you are and how dense your ingredients are. (You’ll need, for instance, less blueberries than you would leafy kale.) I like to use a plastic sandwich bag as my measuring guide—if my smoothie kit can’t fit in there, it’s too large. My go-tos (roughly chop all, excluding tiny fruits): banana; kiwi; pineapple; mango; peach; nectarine; avocado; zucchini; carrot; kale; spinach; cauliflower; broccoli; blueberries; blackberries; raspberries; cherries.

Get grounded

Because smoothies are based on bright, raw ingredients, they often crave some fatty grounding. Think: nut and seed butters, from peanut and cashew, to almond and sesame. I like to add half my fruit/vegetables, then a big dollop of nut/seed butter, then the rest of the fruit/vegetables—this way, the sticky butter gets bundled in the middle. When it freezes, it solidifies, all ready to jump out of the bag, into the blender.

Bonus time

You could stop at fruit and nut butter, skip ahead to liquid, and still have an A+ smoothie. But if you’re one of those morning overachievers, consider adding: chopped ginger or turmeric; ground spices like cinnamon, black pepper, or cayenne; dried fruit, especially chopped dates; toasted wheat germ or flaxseed meal.

Pour one out

Whatever liquids are in your fridge will work. But if you’re buying a bottle with future smoothies in mind, here are some favorites: fruit juice, like orange, blood orange, cranberry, or pomegranate; vegetable juice, like carrot or beet; dairy products, like whole milk, kefir, or runny plain yogurt; non-dairy milks, like soy, nut, or oat. Add a big splash of liquid, then your smoothie kit, and pulse—using the ice setting, if your blender has one. Add more liquid, splash by splash, until it’s as thick or thin as thin as you like.

And that's it. Ready to get started? Here are a few of our favorite combinations:

Beet, Berry, Tahini Smoothie
Beet, Berry, Tahini Smoothie
Kale & Kiwi Smoothie

Kale & Kiwi Smoothie by Emma Laperruque

Golden Milk Smoothie

Golden Milk Smoothie by Emma Laperruque

What would you add to your smoothie kit? Tell us your favorite combos in the comments.