Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Good Things and a Green Smoothie Tip



Good things today:

1) I found the perfume I have been wanting for $29 at TJ MAxx instead of $70!  I haven't bought new perfume in about 4 years so I am psyched. 

2) Fall is coming (at least in stores) and with that comes yummy pumpkin smelling Yankee candles--my fave.  I have one lit up in my office right now.

3) I started making FROZEN SPINACH CUBES for Green Smoothies!  I usually buy the HUGE bags of fresh spinach at Costco--but even with a green smoothie everyday there is bound to be some leaves that end up bad.  I was tired of waste so I decided to blend it up and freeze the spinach in ice cube trays.  Now I throw about 5-6 frozen spinach cubes in the blender with some fruit and water/almond milk and I'm set! *Bonus*-they take place of needing any ice if you like your smoothies super cold like I do.

Now, I recognize that there are probably a million people who already do this (I refuse to Google it for fear of seeing my un-orginality).  I betcha it was even on Martha Stewart as some brilliant tip years ago.  But if you're like me and need an "ah-ha!" moment to help make unused wilted spinach a thing of the past--here it is for you!

HOW TO:

Fill up your blender with fresh spinach leaves and add a bit of water to blend.


Pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze


 Take them out of the ice cube tray when frozen 
(I then store mine in a ziploc freezer bag in the freezer)


When it's smoothie making time--pop a few frozen spinach cubes into your blender


 Add some fruit and liquid


Enjoy!



Seriously folks.

It's Awesome.

92 comments:

likeschocolate said...

Such an awesome idea! No little pieces of little leaves.

Amy said...

OH MY GOSH!!! This is brilliant!!!!!

I love green smoothies and I absolutely hate it when the spinach goes bad! This is sheer genius, thank you so much for the tip! Totally doing it today.

Bridget said...

Do you ever use kale?

Carrie said...

Yep--I like using Kale, too. I usually can't use it straight on though--I have to mix with spinach.

Sue said...

Great idea on the frozen spinach cubes! I've been freezing my bananas, but never thought about ice cube spinach!!

=)

Christa said...

Great idea. I just freeze spinach - whole leaves - in pint size ziplock bags. When I'm ready to make it into a smoothie I break off a chunk of frozen spinach into my Vitamix with fruit and water. Works great and no one can ever tell!

JAMBROSE said...

Brilliant! This idea qualifies you as an official smoothie connieseur.

Miss Chelsea said...

Genius. Why didn't I think of this!?

Kelly said...

Genius! Love this idea!

Layla said...

I found this idea through Pinterest, and I LOVE this idea! Plus, your comment about it probably being done by Martha Stewart years ago made me giggle, what hasn't she done?? :o)

SouthernSoul said...

Ahhh this is something I totally fight... the spinach goes bad everytime! Thank you for figuring this out!

BeautybyJamieB84 said...

Do you not have to blanch spinach? I thought about doing this but someone told me you have to blanch it firtst beause the enzymes break down the spinach even when frozen.

Carrie said...

BeautybyJamie--I don't think blanching is necessary at all. My frozen spinach doesn't even stay in the freezer that long--it's simply a means to make sure no fresh spinach goes to waste. Considering a green smoothie is one of my daily routines, I would say that it's not in the freezer long enough for any concerns.

BeautybyJamieB84 said...

Sweet! good to know!

Bunch of Something said...

Thank you for the idea!! I hate when my spinach goes to waste for my smoothies!!!

Unknown said...

Love this idea! This will make mornings faster too as I will put chia and hemp in there when I freeze it. Thanks for the tip!!

Lynda Benson said...

This is the best idea ever! I am always adding spinach to my smoothies because that is the only way I will eat it ...going to try this and share (with your permission of course):)

Unknown said...

@BeautybyJamie -- The way to insure that you kill off all the enzymes is to blanch the spinach. Your food has to be raw if you want the full nutrient load.

Brittney said...

Best idea ever! I now buy the bulk raw spinach at Costco and freeze it all. So much easier and cheaper!

Jenni Funk said...

I will do this from now on. Yay...no more wasted spinach! Thanks for the tip.

Rosemary said...

Awesome idea!!! Thank you so much for sharing. I also hate wasting any food and the large containers from Costco are hard to get through before going bad. Wonderful!!

Wendy said...

My name is Wendy and chocolate is the best.

I love this idea. I buy large bags of kale at BJs and even though I make 6 smoothies and 4 large salads a week I often throw some out. Trying to live a low carb lifestyle and brakfast is usually a chocolate Atkins shake turned into a smoothie with either kale or blueberries, cinnamon, and cayanne pepper.

Andra J Mladinich said...

I thought about this a few months back but didn't try it. I will now! I make up smoothie bags with assorted frozen fruits & vegetables. I put one into my blender, add my protein powder & yogurt abd sway I go. Now I can add the spinach too. I will also try a half spinach half kale blend too.

Andra J Mladinich said...

Note to self - PROOF READ.

Anonymous said...

Can you freeze say , kale ,parsley ,cilantro etc . alsok

Carrie said...

I know you can do kale or any green leafy vegetable. Spices as well!

Jadah S. said...

I freeze my spinach and kale, so they don't go to waste. We are blendtec twins! May I share this photo (lovely photography)? Also let me know if you would be interested in using this as a guest post on our blog. Such a great tip!

Traci Tripp said...

do you freeze all your fruit or do you buy all frozen fruit?

Carrie said...

Traci-- I freeze my strawberries and bananas, but otherwise I buy the frozen fruit bags from Costco.

D.D. said...

I totally did this. I am crazy happy about it too...and will forever have cubed pureed spinach in my freezer!

My smoothie recipe for these cubes that makes 12oz in my hamilton beach personal blender:

3 cubes (used organic spinach)
1/2 organic banana (they last longer ...whichever works)
1 tablespoon of thawed orange frozen concentrate
3/4 cup (or to taste) sliced frozen strawberries
2 tbs of local honey.

I am in love. I am pregnant, and I need more veggies, and don't crave them. I do however crave fruit and smoothies, so I just cheated! The orange concentrate is loaded with sugar, but the orange helps neutralize the spinach flavour. You can use something else, but I prefer it.

Thanks for this btw. I'm in heaven. :)

Carrie said...

D.D-- I am so glad you love this idea and thanks so much for the recipe:)

Anonymous said...

You are brilliant!

Momma Melly said...

You are a genius!!!! Thank you sooo much for sharing :) I'm doing this today *hugs from NB, Canada*

tsirois1 said...

I was so happy to see this! I forgot that I used to make spinach and kale cubes for baby food many years back. now I can make it for my smoothies and sneak it once again into my kids food :)

Usman Shakil said...

Spinach Health Benefits

Anonymous said...

Hi- I was just wondering if this would be ok to do with all of my choosen fresh smoothie ingredients- as in apples, bannanas, straw/black/blue berries, and kale. I'm new to smoothies- like havent even opened my blender. lol Can I just blend the ingredients, freeze them then throw in the cubes all at once to make an everyday smoothie?

Carrie said...

Anon-- yep, you could do this with any ingredients that you normally throw into a smoothie. I would probably separate the greens/fruit into separate cubes to be able to control your amounts better or change up the flavors a bit. For instance, some days I might want kale and bananas while other days I might want more spinach and strawberries.

I still like the idea of using whole frozen instead of the cubes though, simply because the greens can condense more (shrink down) while if you put fruit into ice cubes, technically you might be getting less of them.

You should try it and see what works best for you!

ella said...

I think you're brilliant and also refuse to Google! lol ;)

Anderson Family said...

Just wanted to tell you I think this an amazing idea thanks for sharing! I am going to do this from now on.

Cody Davis said...

Great idea! This is how i froze my milk for my babies... and their pureed baby food..i wonder why i didnt think about it for me :) - Amber

jillian said...

ustronethis is brilliant...i have never seen that or thought of it either and makes the am shake so much easier

Anna Lynn said...

Just bought a 2.5 lb bag of spinach from costco yesterday and my boyfriend rolled his eyes because he knows what happened to the last bag. So... THANKS!

Anna K said...

Love this idea!!! Don't care if someone thought of it before....it's an original in my book!!!! :))

Jenifer Burns said...

Brilliant! Do you think I could do the same with avocado?

Carrie said...

Jenifer--I'm not sure about avocado--but worth a try:)

Roann Valbrum said...

should have seen this before an entire bag of spinach spoiled at the bottom of my refrigerator ..great idea a must do .:)

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, I mix avocados with a little orange, pineapple, lemon or lime juice and then freeze. Hate it when spinach and avocados go to waste!

Anonymous said...

I really love your idea of freezing the puréed spinach as it would save any from spoiling and be ready to try new recipes at a moments notice. I have actually made up lots of different green smoothies and frozen them in serving sized freezer containers. It works well because they are ready to use so I can grab one on my way or leave it in the fridge overnight to be ready when I need it. Thanks again for a great idea!

Jen T. said...

Great idea! I freeze shredded zucchini in ice cube trays to add to smoothies and used bagged frozen veggies like broccoli in smoothies but never thought of freezing my spinach before it goes bad. Thanks for the tip

Jamie Jo said...

I saw this on Pinterest, but I don't understand why you would go to the bother to blend the spinach and put in ice trays. Why not just shove the spinach in ziplock bags and freeze it whole? It works just fine in smoothies this way. I even make separate bags with the spinach, strawberries, and banana for individual mornings of the week. Then I just add some orange slices or pineapple, and voila! It still doesn't rot in the bottom of the fridge my way.

Carrie said...

Jamie Jo-

My reason for the ice cubes are many, but one in particular is that by blending it, I have already reduced the size and that saves me freezer room since the spinach gets so condensed.

I am glad that you have found your own method that works so great for you!

Anonymous said...

I love positive comments! Thanks for the surprise avocado freeze I saw in someone's comments, and will definitely freeze some of the veggies that get trashed on a regular basis!

Donna Costello said...

This is the best site I have been on to date with real life tips!!!!! Love the spinach idea and many of the ones others have shared!!!! kudos to all!

Lisa D said...

THANK YOU! This is awesome! I've been trying so hard to eat more fresh foods and definitely more veggies, but get so frustrated with the waste when it goes bad. This is brilliant!

Jessica Harris said...

What kind of blender do you have?

Carrie said...

Jessica-- I have a BlendTec. Vitamix are great, too.

Laurene Cormier said...

What incredible simplicity. Thanks for this most excellent tip!!!!!!!!

Jennifer V said...

AWESOME tip! I make smoothies all the time in my Vitamix, and I also buy the huge Costco spinach bags (and inevitably some goes bad.) I'm def. going to try this. Thanks! :)

Deanna said...

I skip the pre-blend step and just stuff the spinach into freezer bags.

Anonymous said...

I have just frozen my Spanish but I think I'm going to try you method that way I have both. Thanks for the tip.

Tobey said...

Great idea! I think using coconut water with it would be awesome, too!!!

Anonymous said...

So cool thanks doing it now :-)

Unknown said...

I saw this on Pintrest and couldn't wait to try it! I made these last night and am so excited to use them. I literally blended up a huge Sams club box worth of organic spinach and got 3 ice cube trays out of it. I figured out that 6 cubes equals the 2 handfuls I've been using in one smoothie. I've also become an obsessive fruit freezer! Mangos, strawberries, bananas, tangerines, avocado, pineapple. I love the idea of adding the hemp/ flax seeds to the mix as well. I'll do that next time.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Tried this method, we have a Nutri Bullet. The freezer method changed the consistency of my smoothie, to an frozen icee and I didn't like it as much.

Any tips? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I just had a "duh" moment! Thank you for this tip. You've saved me another "I told you, you wouldn't use up the bag of spinach in time again!"-look from my hubby!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. I think I may do this with my summer basil. I am getting a ton and I like to use it before it flowers out.

Carrie said...

Anonymous-- I don't have a magic bullet, so I'm not sure if maybe you are not getting as much power as a high intensity blender would to break it up better? Maybe you could add more liquid to smooth the texture out...

I wish I knew a better answer!

Anonymous said...

thank you so much this is just brilliant!

Anonymous said...

This is such a great idea. I'm at college and bought a bag of spinach and had no idea how on earth I was going to use it up before it went bad. No worries now. Thank you!!!

alissa said...

what does blanching mean?

Anonymous said...

I'm so guilty, I should be in jail. I was looking in my refrigerator while making a shopping list and said, "Yep, the bag of spinach is going bad, need a new bag". This is going to save me money on a lot of smoothie things "big time".

Anonymous said...

Blanching is slightly cooking a veggie then placing it cold water. Here's the definition:Blanching is a cooking process wherein the food substance, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocked) to halt the cooking process.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you could do the same with romaine lettuce? I have a lot of it and am going out of town and don't want it to go to waste.

Dr Floras said...

Implausible idea with immense conception! You are a great author… Like this post sounds remarkable… Keep offering!

Anne-Marie Brown said...

Thanks for the idea, I was wondering what I could do with my spinach before it went off, now I know.

Andrew Stefen said...

Great idea I love it...!! Melloicemachine is a leading manufacturer of flake ice making machine, tube ice making machine, ice cube machine and more for home and commercial use. The most important is that we provide the utmost competitive prices to all our producthether you are individual client or corporate.

Anonymous said...

So easy. Great idea!

Anonymous said...

I just use green food dye. It seems so much easier, and cheaper to boot!

Mandel Weller said...

Love it! I had some iced green tea that I mixed in with the spinach instead of just water.

jany Mils said...

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Van said...

Wow, you saved me money. I was wasting so much spinach. Awesome idea!

Anonymous said...

awson!! I also use ice trays for many uses such as gravy,chicken broth, spaghetti sauce, Alfredo sauce., and so on thanks.

Wendy chaves said...

Oh my gosh!! It doesn't matter to me if you are the initiator of spinach cubes, I has NEVER even thought of doing this! You have changed my breakfast and saved ME from wasting all that spinach! Thank you so much!

Angela Herr said...

Such a good tip!!!!!!!

Hookheath Webdesign said...

The blog is quite impressive; you just make it more remarkable by build the quality of the content. I’m looking forward to reading each of them!

Anonymous said...

"Proofread" is one word.

Meg Brookman said...

I live on a very small (I mean VERY small) budget, so finding this tip is a real lifesaver. Thank you so much.

Meg

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wclaire said...

This is such an awesome idea!

Lasercap said...

Thank you! I was seriously wondering for such a fresh and exciting post, and my search will end here. Very useful information and feedback from people to go with. Thanks for sharing

Smoothie Blender said...

3) I started making FROZEN SPINACH CUBES for Green Smoothies! ... 2smoothieblender.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

HI I Know you can freeze avacado... I used to for my daughter baby food it lasts about a week to a week n a half. anoth thing to do is to freeze the cubes and date them and then you know how long they last after opening and closing ove a week or month depending on the type of food. or mix frozen spinich flakes, my boss does this: she freezes kale and spinich then after its frozen she twists and crumbles it into flakes, then shakes a bit into her shakes each day.. it works I've tried both :) happy smothies :)

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