Nutrient-Packed Smoothie + Using Your Juicer Efficiently

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Smoothie with Juice Ice Cubes

This berry smoothie has a secret. I know that it looks innocent enough. Maybe it’s a standard mix of fruit, yogurt, milk etc., or maybe it’s something really cool you don’t even know about.

Sorry, I know Old School references stopped being cool circa 2005, but I watched it recently so I can’t control it.

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Smoothie with Juice Ice Cubes

When The Beast and I aren’t watching 10+ year-old comedies, we like to watch documentaries (although I’m very choosy about which ones). A few weekends ago we watched Hungry for Change, a documentary on processed food and, basically, how it will kill us all. Let’s not even get into the fact that we chose to watch this on a Saturday night. We’re apparently old cranky people.

I felt empowered throughout the video, thinking “I’m totally doing everything right! yes!” up until the final section, which covered the benefits of juicing. According to the documentary, juicing is the BEST thing you can do for your health, because the nutrients are so easily absorbed by your body. The very next day we bought the juicing attachment for our stand mixer, then went to the co-op and came home to juice our weight in organic vegetables. Yes, I do realize that we’re total suckers and easily persuaded.

For the next week, we juiced daily, and we felt SO HEALTHY. We would laugh at each other when we took our vitamins before bed, saying things like, “Ha! Who even NEEDS vitamins? We’re already full of so many nutrients!” I know, we’re annoying.

…aaaand then we burnt out. Juicing takes a long time for little payoff (1 bunch of kale only gives you a piddly little cup of juice), so after that first week we realized that taking out the juicer, cleaning the vegetables, and juicing each single leaf of kale and bunch of broccoli just became too much of a chore for daily living.

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Smoothie with Juice Ice Cubes

After a few days off from juicing, The Beast, who I often refer to as the “beacon of wisdom,” found a solution to make our nutrient intake way more efficient. I came home from work last week and he had juiced all of the vegetables in our refrigerator, plus some extras he picked up during the day. He poured all of the juice into 6 ice-cube trays, and stuck them in the freezer beside the frozen berries and bananas. Nearly every day since then, we have made what we call “vita-cube” smoothies, which take about 3 minutes start-to-finish, and are the perfect breakfast. We simply blend together 4 frozen juice cubes, yogurt, fruit, almond or peanut butter, sometimes a bit of sweetener, and voila – smooth, refreshing, and HEALTHY perfection.

I know many of you probably add handfuls of spinach and kale in your smoothies and just blend away, but my results have always been a bit…chunky. Perhaps it’s my dinky Magic Bullet blender, or maybe I’m just not patient enough, but I have never been able to get on board the leafs-in-blender train. With our frozen juice cube smoothies, I get the same “I AM BEING SO HEALTHY” satisfaction, but they’re smooth and don’t taste like vegetables…at all. It’s really incredible, and SO fast.

If you’re wondering what to put in your juice, we included the following: 1 bunch of kale, 1 bunch (heads and stalks) broccoli, 1 bunch of spinach, 2 cucumbers, 1 bunch celery, 1-inch piece ginger, 1 lemon, 1 pear, 1 apple, 3 cups strawberries…so you can really put anything you want in there, and it’ll be fine. Do it.

Nutrient-Packed Smoothie + Using Your Juicer Efficiently
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A creamy, fruity smoothie that's perfect for breakfast, and packed with frozen vegetable juice for an added nutritional punch!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, Drink
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 4 frozen juice cubes, aka "vita-cubes"
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (I used Chobani Nonfat Plain)
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup natural applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ cup milk (I used 1%, but soy or almond would work well too)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Add more or less milk until it reaches your preferred consistency.

 

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Smoothie with Juice Ice Cubes

To summarize the lessons above, 1) freeze your juice in large batches, and 2) apparently the Beast and I are old, cranky, suckers, and annoying. Can we still be friends?

Nutrition Information (Serving: whole recipe, not including “vita-cubes” because those will vary greatly depending on what you use): Calories: 331, Total Fat: 11.1g, Saturated Fat: 2.3g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 161mg, Total Carbohydrates: 39.1g, Dietary Fiber:7.4g, Sugars: 28.3g, Protein: 20.6g

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Comments

  1. says

    This is the best idea EVER!!!! I bought a juicer a couple of months ago and like you and the Beast, juiced my heart away for a couple of weeks. Then I stopped because it’s so. much. work. I make smoothies every morning though so this is the perfect solution. Genius!

    • Veggie says

      I’m glad you had a similar experience! Juicing is a great idea in theory, but it takes soooo long. Let me know what you think if you try to juice ice cube trick!

  2. Anna says

    Such a good idea! You’ve inspired me to load up on smoothie produce for the weekend! Boom. Nutrients.

  3. says

    I am too poor to buy a juicer so I have been using my blender with a mesh strainer to juice with and works okay but like you said, not a lot of bang for your buck, er, time. This is really a fantastic idea and your smoothie looks delicious. Usually spinach or kale doesn’t alter the flavor of a smoothie too much, do you find that to be the same with these cubes? Can you taste the celery/lemon, etc?

    • Veggie says

      The lemon neutralizes the vegetable taste really well, so I surprisingly can’t taste anything different in these smoothies. When you drink a whole glass of straight juice it can be a bit funky (especially if you add beets), but nothing you can’t drink down in the name of health. Although it’s good to drink a whole glass of the stuff from time to time, these smoothies are a really good way to hide your veggies in something that tastes good.

      Also, we didn’t buy a really expensive juicer – we actually just purchased the fruit and vegetable strainer attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer, and it was only about $70. If you have a mixer you should definitely get the attachment!

  4. Tina says

    I’m just getting into juicing for health reasons, and really like the ice cube idea. One question though: are all of the juices combined before freezing or is each variety frozen separately?

    • Katie says

      Making and freezing big batches makes it much easier to juice. I just combined all the juices in the ice cube trays.

  5. Tina says

    I just started juicing for health/medical reasons, and started right away with the vita-cubes. My first smoothie I only used 2 cubes because I was a little leary. It was horrendous! I could not get past the taste. So I added some ginger (too much lol), but it certainly helped. I must say I had experimented with my own smoothie recipe, not yours. Maybe that’s where I went wrong. If at first you don’t succeed…

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