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Green Smoothie Hack: Freeze Leafy Greens


Breakfast: the most important meal of the day.

We’ve all heard this from our moms, grandmoms, teachers, or friends. But do we agree? Kale yeah we do!

But that all depends on what you eat for breakfast. Try swapping a bagel and coffee for a green smoothie and you will feel supercharged and finally understand why breakfast is so important.

If you spend most mornings rushing just to make sure you’re dressed and on time for work (and getting the kids ready if you’ve got ‘em), walking out your door with a healthy breakfast in your hand ain’t easy. We are both busy moms ourselves, and ran into this problem in our early green smoothie blending days.

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In the past few years, however, we’ve figured out a fabulous #smoothiehack to help you get blending, and sipping that leafy green goodness no matter how hectic your morning. (That way, you can spend those extra minutes tucking a note in someone’s lunchbox, or making sure you remember your water bottle.)

Ready? Here’s our secret: we started freezing leafy greens.

We know, we know. It sounds so simple! But the payoff is major, people—for your health, and your wallet, because it helps you avoid wasting tasty veggies and greens.

We typically use fresh greens for a couple days right after we go grocery shopping. Then, we measure out two cups of greens into each freezer bag, and toss ‘em on in the freezer. Then, as we run around making sure little teeth are brushed and school clothes are on, all we have to do is grab a bag of frozen greens and dump them in the blender!

Yep, that means no more bleary-eyed battles with the measuring cups. Greens stay good in the freezer for a couple of months instead of a week in the fridge. Boom! We know you love saving time and money as much as we do, Rawkstar!

How to freeze leafy greens


Spinach, kale, and chard all freeze beautifully. And, if you freeze your greens in one big batch instead of 2 cup quantities, just make sure to note that 2 cups of fresh greens equals 1 ½ cups of frozen greens.

note: While frozen greens are fantastic for smoothies, don’t use them for your salads… you’ll be very disappointed! (Turns out, ice chunks aren’t as fun as croutons.)

Step 1 ::

Wash the greens well. To help remove any bugs, add a little white vinegar to the water and swish well. Shake to remove excess water, pat, or spin dry.

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Step 2 ::

Remove the leaves from the stems (if there are large stems present, like kale), and chop or tear leaves into pieces. To do this quickly, hold the stem in one hand and run the other one along the stem to rip the leaves away from the stalk. (Some blenders can handle the stems, but others can’t. Do what works best for you!)

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Step 3 ::

Label bags with the amount and type of green. Adding the date can be helpful if these will be stored for a while.

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Step 4 ::

Measure out greens into BPA-free, freezer-safe bags or containers. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal.

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Step 5 ::

Pop the bags into the freezer and store until ready to use.

Hint: if we’re feeling extra organized, we measure out the frozen fruit for each smoothie and add it to the bag of greens before we freeze. You can check out our make ahead smoothie prep tips here.)

We want to know:

Do you have a favorite smoothie hack? If you do, share it with us in the comments below. We always love hearing from you guys!

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  1. Jhiga

    October 14th, 2015 at 11:12 am

    I always thought we should blanch our veggies (and some fruit?) prior to freezing. It’s not necessary?

  2. SGS Rawkstar

    October 14th, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Hi Jhiga,

    We love freezing our veggies + fruit raw. It keeps them fresh (packed with nutrients) + perfect for blending!

    Cheers 🙂

  3. Charmaine

    November 29th, 2015 at 12:12 am

    Hi Simplegreen, love this website, it’s great for me as a beginner.
    I buy freshly washed bagged kale and spinach from the supermarket. Can I divide them into portions, bag them and freeze them straight away?

  4. SGS Rawkstar

    November 30th, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Hi Charmaine,

    We love freezing our leafy greens! When purchasing pre-washed greens, we still suggest giving them a quick wash at home prior to freezing.

    Hope this helps!

  5. Stephanie

    December 6th, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    yes,I hear that you can freeze veggie in ice cube so will that be ok to do.Just put the cube in the blender with your fruit and mix it .

  6. SGS Rawkstar

    December 7th, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Hi Stephanie,

    Stocking our freezers full of green smoothie cubes allows us to get quick and creative with our recipes and also saves our ingredients from spoiling. So it’s a win-win for us and hopefully for you, too. We don’t typically recommend adding ice to your smoothies because it dulls your blender blades and also causes the motor to work extra hard, but this leafy green ice cube recipe are the exception to the rule for us.

    Never run out of leafy greens with this tip! Blend 2 cups leafy greens with 1⁄2 cup liquid base and freeze in ice cube trays. Store in a freezer-proof container until ready to use.

    Hope this helps!!

  7. Dana

    December 9th, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    First of all, just let me say that I absolutely love your book! It is perfectly well illustrated. I was wondering, when it comes to freezing the greens with the fruit for your smoothies, do you need to thaw them before use? I know you mentioned in your book that it’s best to let the fruit thaw some before blending to get the most flavor and to also so it’s not so hard on the blade.
    Thanks!

  8. SGS Rawkstar

    December 9th, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Hi Dana,

    Thank you so much for sharing the leafy love! When prepping your green smoothies by making frozen smoothie packs we suggest allowing your packs to sit on the counter for a few minutes to thaw slightly. This will allow all of your ingredients to empty into your blender easily + allow everything to blend smoothly. Hope this helps answer your question!

    Cheers 🙂

  9. Alex

    December 23rd, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Hello,

    When using kale for smoothies I remove the stem as it is bitter. I am planning to do the same with chard. Am I missing out when I discard the stems? Thanks.

  10. SGS Rawkstar

    December 27th, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Hi Alex,

    You’re right! We suggest removing any hard, thick, or bitter stems prior to blending!

  11. Lavender

    January 3rd, 2016 at 1:44 am

    Hi,

    I’m doing the Jan 30-day smoothie challenge and decided to be really organised and prepare all my fruit and veg for a week and pop into freezers bags in the freezer so I only need to blitz up in the morning. I took out this mornings bag last night and popped in the fridge to thaw when I’ve gone to blitz this morning the spinach had a weird bitter smell which has tainted the smoothie. The previous day i tried taking out on the day and thawing for a few minutes but I ended up with a slushie and needed to add a lot more liquid. What can I do to avoid this?

  12. SGS Rawkstar

    January 3rd, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Hi Lavender,

    Thanks for reaching out. We suggest allowing your freezer packs to sit on the counter for a few minutes prior to blending. Because all of your ingredients are frozen, you may need to add additional liquid base to ensure everything blends smoothly.

    Hope this helps!

  13. Nan

    January 12th, 2016 at 5:56 am

    I saw someone else mention ice cubes. For my first smoothies I tried to use up some ingredients on hand. I had a huge can of pineapple juice. I used some for a couple of days then poured the rest in ice trays. Now I’m going to try with other juices.

  14. SGS Rawkstar

    January 12th, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Great idea, Nan!

  15. sally

    January 12th, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Hi Simplegreen team, can you please tell me whether you steam or boil your raw greens before eating/blending them? Research would suggest it is best to, what do you think?

    Many thanks from the UK, England,
    Sally

  16. SGS Rawkstar

    January 12th, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Hi Sally,

    Thanks for reaching out! We’re all about raw leafy greens! Concerned about oxalate buildup? Check out our post on the importance of rotating your leafy greens here…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/rotate-your-greens

  17. Pat

    January 18th, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Would like to thank both of you for this exceptionally well put together website along with the content which is second to none! I have just printed the recipe cards for the 30 day Green Smoothie Challenge and have also read your various suggestions regarding preparing and storing the greens. You have such practical, sensible ideas!! And these recipes are so doable!!! And the quantities are just right for those of us who live alone.
    There aren’t enough good things one can say about this website!!

    Luv luv the suggestion to freeze the fresh greens in packages for one week or two at a time. This allows me to buy the bigger organic fresh greens at Costco and use ‘all’ of the bag!

    Thank you for all which you do! I am looking forward for the first time in my life to consume the recommended daily greens in a manner which has tremendous appeal!!
    Thank you, SGS Rawkstar 🙂

  18. SGS Rawkstar

    January 18th, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Hi Pat,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out and share your green smoothie love! We are so lucky to have you as part of our SGS Tribe, keep us updated throughout your 30-Day Challenge!

    Cheers 🙂

  19. Jen

    January 31st, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Hi! I’ve read on other websites that blanching greens before freezing is a must, what are your thoughts on this? And how would you blanch kale anyhow?

  20. Janet S.

    January 31st, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    I think that blanching is only if you plan to cook the greens later. If using greens for a smoothie, you’re pureeing them anyway so it’s not necessary.

  21. SGS Rawkstar

    February 1st, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Hi Jen,

    Thanks for reaching out. We’re all about freezing our leafy greens raw. That way there’s no loss in nutritional benefits and they make a delicious chilly green smoothie.

    Cheers:)

  22. SGS Rawkstar

    February 26th, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Hi Jen,

    Thanks for reaching out! We prefer to enjoy our leafy greens raw, keeping them in their most natural state + packed with nutrients! 🙂

  23. Stephenie

    February 25th, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    love the site! it has only been 5 days for me on green smoothies and i can already feel the difference in my energy level, as well as seeing my blood sugar morning test is lower and through the day testing is more stable.
    question on spinning the greens dry, do you have any recommendations on salad spinners?
    i tried just patting dry, but 3 lbs of spinach did not dry well and began wilting/sliming within a day 🙁
    thank you!!!

  24. SGS Rawkstar

    February 26th, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Hi Stephanie,

    YAY! We’re so excited to have you blendin’ with us! Good Housekeeping put together a great review on their favorite salad spinners. Check it out here!

    http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/cooking-tools/salad-spinner-reviews/

  25. Angela Zeis

    March 3rd, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Do you pack the greens ? 2c packed or loose ?? 🙂

  26. SGS Rawkstar

    March 3rd, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Hi Angela,

    Thanks for reaching out! We definitely tightly pack our greens when measuring. Then again, we can never get enough! 🙂

  27. owen

    March 14th, 2016 at 9:53 am

    can you make a smoothie using raw beetroot spinach garlic ginger almonds fruit then freeze without losing any goodness

  28. SGS Rawkstar

    March 14th, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Hi Owen,

    Of course! You can definitely freeze your pre-blended green smoothie, they’ll keep for up to 2-3 months. Simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight when you’re ready to enjoy. And just a quick note: separation is completely natural, so give your smoothie a quick shake before enjoying!

    Cheers 🙂

  29. Helen

    April 17th, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Hi Owen,
    I recently had foot surgery on both my feet and knowing that I was going to be totally off my feet for nearly 2 weeks and dependent on my husband, knowing also that he wasn’t going to be able to make my smoothies I prepped 16 Smoothies & froze them, all I had to do was stir them. I chose my 4 favs and made 4 of each, labeled them and had them in rotation. Good luck

  30. June

    March 15th, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Can i also freeze my veggies this way for normal cooking?

  31. SGS Rawkstar

    March 15th, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Hi June,

    You can definitely freeze your veggies! When freezing veggies a great option is cutting up your veggies, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in the freezer. Once frozen place in a ziploc or freezer safe container. This will help prevent your veggies from freezing together. (This works for fruit too!!)

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers 🙂

  32. melissa

    April 6th, 2016 at 11:30 am

    how many grams of frozen spinach should I use per serving?

  33. SGS Rawkstar

    April 6th, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Hi Melissa,

    Thanks for reaching out! 2 cups of fresh greens equals 1 ½ cups of frozen greens, which is about 60 grams!

    Cheers!

  34. Rene

    April 24th, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Can you use broccoli in smoothies? I have lots of it frozen in the freezer and i don’t eat it raw.

  35. SGS Rawkstar

    April 25th, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Hi Rene,

    You definitely can!! We love blendin’ with broccoli, especially because it’s a calcium rawkstar! Do know that broccoli does have a stronger flavor, so it’s always a great idea to start small. We suggest substituting some of your leafy greens with broccoli’s green stalks, and adding more from there!

  36. Alex

    May 17th, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Can you make a green smoothie and freeze it in ice tray? Is there a danger of oxidation? How long can you keep them frozen? Thanks.

  37. SGS Rawkstar

    May 17th, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Hi Alex,

    You can definitely freeze your pre-blended green smoothies. We suggest storing them in an airtight-freezer safe container in your freezer for up 2-4 weeks. When you’re ready to enjoy simply thaw your smoothie in the refrigerator overnight. Do know that because our recipes are free of any yucky additives or stabilizers separation is completely natural, so give your smoothie a quick shake before enjoying.

    Hope this helps!

  38. Ann

    May 21st, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Hi, when freezing pre-make smoothies, do you freeze them in “canning jars”?

  39. SGS Rawkstar

    May 23rd, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Hi Ann,

    Freezing pre-blended green smoothies in mason jars is a great option! Just make sure the jars you are using are freezer safe!

    Cheers 🙂

  40. Yi

    June 6th, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Just wondering if its okay to freeze herbs. Such as cilantro or basil? If so, how? Also, what about arugula? Have you freeze them before or used them to make smoothie. Thank you!

  41. SGS Rawkstar

    June 7th, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Hi Yi!

    You can totally freeze herbs :). I, personally, like to blend mine with water and pour into ice cube trays.

  42. Yi

    June 7th, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    What is a good ratio to use for cilantro/basil to water if I want to try your method? Also, have you tried freezing arugula to be used later in a smoothie?

  43. SGS Rawkstar

    June 8th, 2016 at 11:16 am

    I use about 1/3 cup water or oil with 2 cups herbs. As for arugula, you can absolutely freeze it! That one I just freeze by itself, as opposed to freezing in ice cube trays :).

    Cheers!

  44. Joyce Armstrong

    July 11th, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Hi. Love ur Site. Learning a lot. Love green smoothies. Only making them about a month, but totally hooked.
    Just got back from vacation. I read ur Comments on freezing smoothies. Decided to make and freeze night before we left. I was so disappointed. Each day they tasted worse and worse! I even put lemon juice to keep from separating. We were only gone 4 days. So disappointed.
    Only thing I can figure, is some partially defrosted in ice chest. Then I put them in freezer anyway. Could that be why? I did have 3 tablespoons of hemp seed in each. And I have a cheap blender that’s great, but not so on seeds.
    Normally, when they’re like slushies, I can’t really taste any seeds.
    Any thoughts?

  45. SGS Rawkstar

    July 11th, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Hi Joyce!

    So sorry to hear about your smoothies! My guess is it could be do to the fact that they partially defrosted in the ice chest. Smoothies are on the list of foods you should never re-freeze :). This article may help!

    http://www.thekitchn.com/5-foods-you-should-never-refreeze-tips-from-the-kitchn-212039

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