Fruit smoothies are a favorite in our house and we really like the ones that include yogurt. In stores you can find freezer packs already made in the frozen food section and they taste great, but they can be on the expensive side. So Hubby and I decided to make our own freezer packs so we could save a little money, create any flavor combo we wanted, and make several at once to have them on hand always. They really are easy to make and our FoodSaver (thanks to FoodSaver for our newest machine they sent to us – we love it) was just perfect for the job too. The most important thing of course is the taste and I assure you they are delicious! A Greek yogurt fruit smoothie is by far healthier this summer than milkshakes, floats, and ice cream too.
The first thing to do is make some Greek yogurt ice cubes. You do not have to do this, but it is a lot less messy this way than spooning the unfrozen yogurt into your bags. Just use standard ice cube trays and fill them with the yogurt. I am using plain Fage Greek Yogurt. Another tip is to use a piping method rather than a spoon to fill the trays. Just put your yogurt into a plastic bag, seal, and snip off a bottom corner and pipe easily into the molds.
This big container, 35.3 ounces, of Fage Greek Yogurt filled two ice cube trays. Each cube is about two tablespoons of yogurt. Once the trays are filled just freeze them overnight. They will pop right out just like ice cubes the next day. While yogurt can change consistency a bit when frozen it does not really matter here because we are making them into smoothies anyway. The yogurt should stay good for 1-2 months (I go with 6 weeks) after the expiration date on the original package.
You can really put anything you want into your smoothies. It is really a matter of what you like. Fresh and frozen fruits both work. You can also include things like spinach and kale if you want. Today we used fresh bananas, frozen peaches and frozen berries. I also used a bit of fresh ginger in some of them. In each pouch we used two cubes of the frozen Greek yogurt and about one cup of fruit. I’m not big on measuring so I just eyeballed it. For each of these packs you will blend with eight ounces of liquid when you are ready to drink them.
We used our FoodSaver for the smoothies. If you do not have one regular freezer bags will work also but the FoodSavers are really worth the investment. We made our bags about 6”-8” long.
Add your yogurt cubes and fruits (or whatever you like) to the bag and then vacuum seal the bags. If you are using fresh fruit that is very juicy be sure to set it to moist.
We used the FoodSaver Portion/Pouch bags today. They make two bags at once basically and once sealed, just tear on the perforation down the center to end up with two individual freezer packs.
You can mix and match and add whatever you like. We ended up with 15 freezer packs of smoothies today. Label the bags as to what is in them and put an expiration date. Throw them in the freezer.
When you are ready to make a smoothie just grab one of your freezer packs out of the freezer. Put into a blender or container and add 8 ounces of liquid. You can use milk, juice, coconut water, etc. Whatever you prefer and you can even do have juice, half milk. Now just blend it up until smooth and thick. I love this stick blender for smoothies, it is a Cuisinart Smart Stick and really powers through everything.
You can see how thick and creamy your Greek yogurt fruit smoothies will be! This one is blueberry and strawberry. Now some might find it needs a little more sweetness. That will depend on your tastes and the level of sugars in your fruit. You can also use a vanilla yogurt as the base rather than plain which will add some sweetness. Other options are honey, agave, nectars, or whatever sweetener you like.
There is about 11 grams of protein from the 2 cubes of yogurt and 8 ounces of skim milk I used in these smoothies. Obviously, the nutritional information will change based on what you include.
Since we are almost into summer be sure to watch over the next several months for deals on fresh fruits and veggies. If you get a good deal on them it can really make these even less expensive. Just clean, peel (if needed), and chop your fruits to include in your freezer packs.
Are you a smoothie fan? Do you make them at home or only buy them at restaurants and juice bars? What is your favorite flavor combo?