Using frozen vegetables is a fantastic way to save time when you're in the kitchen.
And we aren't talking about store bought, pre-packaged frozen vegetables either today (although we do here).
When you have some extra time on your hands, you can chop and cook vegetables, separate them into smoothie sized portions and then freeze them.
Then, when you’re short on time (or simply don’t feel like spending a lot of effort in your kitchen), just pop the vegetable portions into your blender with your favourite smoothie cubes and/or your other favourite ingredients.
Then blend, pour and drink!
If you're looking for some ideas on which vegetables you can freeze for your next smoothie, scroll through these below and see if any of these are suitable.
Apart from being a great way to paint your chopping board and favourite clothes red, beetroots are an excellent addition to any smoothie.
There's 2 words to explain it (and 1 abbreviation) – Nitric Oxide (NO)
Beetroot contains nitrates, which our body uses to help manufacture NO.
What does NO do?
We’ve explained Nitric Oxide in detail already for you in a past blog post.
But the short and sweet of NO is that it helps to dilate blood vessels, assists with improving blood flow which may lead to these below;
- Better exercise performance
- Quicker recovery
- Reduced inflammation
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved memory
- Some extra possible adult benefits from the improved blood flow as well ;)
If you don’t have any fresh beetroot on hand or if it’s not in season where you live, there are plenty of health food shops selling beetroot powder to add some more convenience to your busy life.
Get your creamy on
You can do this with vegetables.
Well, foods like pumpkin, sweet potato and cauliflower can all give your smoothie a thick creamy texture, without needing to add any cream (think about your pumpkin soup).
Bursting with colour, pumpkin and sweet potato not only add creaminess to your smoothie, but they can also add;
- Vitamin A
- Most of the B vitamins
- Vitamin C
Cauliflower is another vegetable that most wouldn’t necessarily think to add to a smoothie, yet it is certainly one to have in your arsenal (or kitchen).
Cauliflowers are from the cruciferous family, the sit alongside broccoli, cabbage and the soon-to-be-mentioned kale.
Like it’s cousin, kale, it contains a range of vitamins and minerals, to supercharge your health.
Eat your greens
There are a plethora of greens available that you can add into your smoothies to transform them into healthy green smoothies..
While they share a lot of benefits (such as decent amounts of magnesium and calcium), they each have their own little nuances.
Kale for instance, has a plethora of vitamins and minerals, a fantastic ratio of omega 6- omega 3 which can have benefits such as reducing inflammation and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
It also has the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, which can reduce the occurrence of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Spinach is another fantastic green vegetable to add to your freezer packs and your smoothies.
It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, albeit in smaller amounts than kale.
Where spinach shines is its folate and iron content (Popeye anyone?), which have many uses in the body such as helping to manufacture our red blood cells!
You can even buy frozen spinach in boxes in the the freezer at most supermarkets if you wanted to save more time.
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Adding raw green vegetables
There is one point to consider if you choose to freeze and use uncooked green vegetables.
Raw greens contain oxalates and goitrogens, which can impair kidney and thyroid health respectively with sustained use.
Having one smoothie with raw greens probably won’t do anything noticeable though!
So it's probably better boiling or steaming these greens before freezing (and blending), as this helps to remedy the above.
In fact, cooking any of the vegetables in this article before freezing and using them in your smoothie can improve their digestibility for you as well.
Here's a list of vegetables for you
We've run through many different vegetables for you to prepare and freeze above.
Here's a list of them for you so it's easy for you to add them into your shopping trolley next time you're out.
- Sweet potato
We know there are plenty more to choose from than these above, but they are a great starting point for you.
Especially if you're new to creating your own frozen smoothie vegetable packs!
Start with a couple of variations first and build your own smoothie recipes from there.
How long will veggies last in the freezer?
This is a question that gets asked often and is often overlooked by many.
Have a think now.
How long has that bag of frozen peas and corn been in your freezer?
Weeks? Months? Years?
It might be time for you to have a clean out!
What about the vegetables you have just cut up, how long will they last?
Our expert nutritionists say to use your cut up frozen vegetable cubes within 3 months or less just to be safe.
If you have a sealed bag or container that you haven't opened at all, you might be able to get a bit more time out of them if needed.
Also, how long your vegetables may last in the freezer may be determined by the temperature your freezer runs at according to research that has been done.
With the above in mind, make sure you remember to use your frozen vegetables before they spoil.
Blending it all together
As you can see, we’re not just restricted to green leafy vegetables in our smoothies.
You can freeze almost any vegetable you want to reap the benefits of saving time and the potential health benefits too.
So a good mix of frozen veggies and frozen fruit can completely make over your dull, boring and lifeless smoothies.
And, if you’re creative enough, only time will tell what you'd up throwing in your blender!
We can only hope that you start your smoothie recipes using a Super Cubes product as your base.
If you already do use extra frozen vegetables in your smoothies, what’s your favourite?
Conventional or exotic?