My son loves those Jamba Juice and Yoplait frozen smoothie mixes you can buy in the frozen section. However, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a screaming deal for those, so I decided, “hey – why not make my own?”
Here’s What You’ll Need
Yogurt (I used a 32 tub to save on cost)
Frozen or Fresh Fruit
Ice Cube Trays
Orange Juice, Milk, or Non-Dairy Milk
Here’s a tip for saving on smoothie bananas: look for baker’s bananas! They are usually substantially cheaper than their under-ripe counterparts and make for sweeter tasting smoothies anyhow. I found a table of marked-down bananas towards the back of my store. If you can’t find them, just ask someone in produce if they have any!
Pour your yogurt into ice cube trays to freeze. I chose Vanilla Mountain High Yogurt because I found a deal on it at Fred Meyer yesterday – it was $2.99 with a $1/1 peelie on it, making it $1.99! You can often find yogurt running close to date on markdown at grocery stores – this could be another bet for saving money on this ingredient. I chose vanilla flavored because I thought it would be a good base flavor since I wanted to make a couple different smoothie varieties.
Want to make this non-dairy? There are so many wonderful non-dairy yogurts you can choose from! A few of my favorites include So Delicious (Coconut Milk-based), Almonde (almond-milk based), and Stonyfield O’Soy (soy-based). Here too – look to see if you can’t find some on markdown since it’s going straight into the freezer.
Into each freezer bag, you are going to place 1/2 cup fruit (fresh or frozen) and 1/2 banana:
I made two varieties: strawberry banana and tropical fruit banana (basically mangos and pineapples). I opted for frozen fruit, but you could really be creative depending on what you find on sale! Some other ideas I thought of:
- Raspberry & blackberry (raspberries are on sale right now at QFC and some of us foraged for berries this summer!)
- Peaches (these have been on sale recently)
- Kiwi & strawberry
- Pineapple & shredded coconut (one pineapple should yield quite a few servings)
After your yogurt cubes are frozen, you’ll add about 5 to each baggie.
And that is it folks!
When you are ready to make your smoothie, you will empty the contents of one bag into your blender along with 1 cup of the juice/milk/nut milk beverage of your choice. I tried making one of the Tropical Smoothies for my son with 1 cup of orange juice (I found 1/2 gallons of calcium-fortified orange juice for $1.25 at Fred Meyer yesterday, too.)
I should also add that you could add in a mix-in at this point or two if you wish. I personally love adding chia and flax seeds into my smoothies, and I’ve found a handful of spinach is easily disguised in a smoothie (you can also disguise its color by mixing it with vibrantly-colored berries). You could also experiment with a scoop of nut butter, raw cocoa powder, or a little coconut oil in a tropical-based smoothie, depending on how adventurous your family’s tastes are!
One bag made one good-sized serving – perhaps 12 ounces or so. I gave it to my son, who proceeded to guzzle it down. “Mama, this is so good I can’t stop drinking it,” he said. I told him that I’d prepped a bunch of these in the freezer for him to which he replied, “I want one every day!” (By the way, the cute Halloween-themed tumblers are just 8/$1 this week at Walgreens with the coupon in their ad.)
So that’s one enthusiastic thumb’s up from my lil’ guy!
I know some of you are likely curious about the cost breakdown, so I thought I’d provide that for you.
Yogurt = $1.99
Frozen Fruit = $5
Bananas = $0.60
Orange Juice = $1.25 (enough for 8 servings)
Total Cost = $8.84
8 Bags Made (8 servings) = $1.11 per serving!
While I consider this a deal for smoothie making, the cost could be reduced further depending on the cost of fruit. For instance, I could’ve opted to use up all my frozen blackberries (which were FREE), in which case the serving cost would end up being $0.48 each. (I’m opting to save them for our green smoothies instead.)
Of course, I don’t have to tell you that another advantage to making a recipe like this is that you get to control the ingredients. You can opt for garden-grown produce, organic fruits, or no-sugar added juices. Besides that, there’s something so satisfying in providing your family with food you’ve prepped yourself like this, isn’t there?
Drink up! 😉