Last Friday, I said goodbye the colorful trees and chilly weather in NY and made the long drive down to Orlando, FL. For those of you who didn’t know, I live in Orlando for part of the year… So yes, I guess I am a 30-year-old snowbird.
Trips like this kind of stress me out. I have to pack up all of my stuff (clothes, shoes, kitchen appliances and gadgets, books, office stuff, more books, and food), and make sure that it can all fit in my 4-door Jetta, along with the pup. It can be quite a challenge.
As you might have guessed, there aren’t many restaurants that I look forward to visiting off Interstate-95, so on top of getting all of my “stuff” in the car, I need to plan and pack the necessary snacks and meals to accompany me on this journey.
I usually reach for the basics; fresh fruits and veggies, pretzels, trail mix, cashew milk (for those Starbucks coffees), grain salad, pb&j, and smoothies. In the past, I have blended up smoothies for the drive, but usually try and finish them all in the first day to enjoy them at their freshest. On this trip, I decided to do things a little differently.
The day before I was leaving, I filled up 2 mason jars with vibrant green goodness and placed them in the freezer. The next morning, I stuck them in the cooler next to my cucumbers and nut milk so they could serve as ice packs as well as retain all of their nutritional value.
You see, smoothies start to oxidize (go bad) as they sit. A great example of this is an apple. Have you ever seen a half an apple that has been sitting out on the counter for a day or so? The white part of the apple turns brown, and that is because the air oxidizes the flesh. Of course, this happens over time to any fruit or vegetable, but when you blend them up and increase their surface area, they oxidize much quicker then in their whole form. Now, a smoothie that has been in the fridge for 10 hours is still great to drink, so I don’t want to get you all crazy and obsessive over this, but during a 2 day drive, I wanted to keep these drinks as fresh as I could.
So, about halfway through my drive on day 1 (probably somewhere in Virginia) I took out one of the smoothies and let it thaw. An hour or 2 later, it was ready to drink. It tasted great and offered me the perfect energizing snack.
When we got to Pinehurst in North Carolina (where we spent the night) I placed the still frozen smoothie in the fridge so it would be ready to enjoy in the morning. Just as expected, it thawed over night in the fridge and was ready to be gulped down as breakfast before leaving.
Not only does this freezing/thawing trick work while you are on the road, but it can be a great solution for people who are too busy to make smoothies every morning. I always tell my clients to spend 1 day a week prepping all of their foods/meals for the work week, and if this includes smoothies, they can section them out in 5 different jars, stick them all in the freezer, and then place one in the fridge the night before so it is ready to drink in the morning. Or, if they have a long commute to work, they can grab it frozen and let it thaw along their ride. So easy, right!?
In celebration of a safe trip down to Orlando, I wanted to share some of my favorite green smoothie recipes with you:
(all smoothie recipes make about 16-20 ounces)
Hydrate and Energize
2 handfuls leafy greens (kale, spinach, romaine, or a mix)
1 stalk celery
¼ – ½ cup frozen pineapple (determines sweetness)
1 cup coconut water
blend until smooth
2 handfuls of kale (green or lacinato)
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
½ an apple
½ cup frozen peaches
1 cup cashew milk
sprinkle of cinnamon
a few ice cubes
blend until smooth
o-MEGA Green Smoothie
(this smoothie gets its name from the abundance of beneficial omega-3’s that are in hemp seeds and flax seeds)
2 big handfuls of leafy greens (kale, spinach, romaine, or a mix)
½ cup frozen strawberries
½ cup frozen mango
1 tablespoon raw hemp seeds
1 tablespoon whole flax seeds
1 cup cashew milk (or nut milk of your choice)
blend until smooth
If you have any recipes that you love to make, I would love to hear about them! Pleas share them in the comments below!
with love and greens,