Tips for a sorta weird breakfast commute. Make-ahead smoothie base?
August 15, 2011 7:19 PM   Subscribe

Two questions regarding an impending long, early morning commute and smoothies (in order of importance): have you found a "base smoothie mix" I can make in advance on Sundays (and possibly Wednesdays) for use later in the week that I can add frozen berries/granola to for a quick breakfast? And also, is there a badass (stainless steel, preferably) ~32 oz thermos/cup with a lock-tight sealing lid that you love?

Assume no dietary restrictions, but I'd like to keep things healthy (i.e. no unnecessary bad fats - any veggies or whatever I can add to the mix are preferred, assuming they won't turn after ~48-72 hours). My commute will involve ~25 minutes in the car followed by a quick dash to an hour-long bus ride. Ideally, I'd like to scoop some awesome make-ahead base-mix into my magic new container, add some thawed-frozen berries, drive down to my bus and then add my granola and eat my breakfast with a spoon when I'm no longer behind the wheel.

Container-wise, the thing I'm most worried about is spillage between the house and bus and the fact that I may not *always* have time to rinse it before I'm in class for 2.5 hours. Plus, I don't much care for plastics.
posted by Ufez Jones to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Not quite a base-smoothie mix - but I take one cup of plain greek yogurt and one scoop of flavored whey protein (currently banana cream) and mix them together a couple of days ahead in advance of consuming as a meal.

I use Athenos brand plain Greek yogurt because its cheap and available at my local grocery. It has no fat, though I would actually prefer it to have some fat. I use the original container for travel (it is recyclable) and sometimes tote a ramekin style cup with a lid.

Of course, with this "meal" you will need a spoon. But adding some frozen berries makes this a filling, high protein meal that tastes like a treat. (And has almost no carbs/sugar - aside from the berries.)
posted by cinemafiend at 7:33 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't mean to be flip, but isn't this what yogurt is for?

Specifically, I use Greek style non-fat because it has the highest protein content. I had hemp protein powder for the omega's and added protein. (Also, moringa powder for vitamins. It has a bit of a nasty taste, so I cover that up with fruit.)

I'm getting raw milk lately from these guys, and I plan to order kefir grains and culture some kefir (a type of yogurt drink) at home.
posted by jbenben at 7:34 PM on August 15, 2011

Perhaps I'm missing a point here but why do you need "a base" for making your smoothy? If you keep some basics in your freezer, you can whip up a smoothy whenever you would like. Freeze or buy some frozen fruit such as: strawberries, mango, peaches, pinapple and bananas (the ones that are on the verge of going off can be tossed into the freezer and saved for another meal rather than tossed into the compost). Keep some fresh juice in the fridge, or yogurt or milk or whatever liquid you like. If I have been really down on supplies I've resorted to using coconut milk and even juice boxes to get my juice component into my smoothy.

I can't recommend a specific brand of stainless cup but what I have come to see is that independent coffee shops tend to have higher quality product.

Also, when you say you'd like to eat your breakfast with a spoon it makes me think you may be more interested in having a yogart parfait. If this is the case I have a suggestion that will be extremely health, high in protein, low in fat and goes great with granola. Pick up a few containers of 0% greek yogart that is unsweetened. I am a huge fan of "Presidents Choice Greek Yogurt" which is found easily across Canada. Greek yogurt is Greek yogurt and has the characteristics of being thicker and higher in protein than other yogurt. I find it much creamier and less sour too. Add agave syrup or maple syrup to the yogurt to your desired sweetness, then drop in some berries and take a baggie of granola with you to sprinkle on top - voila. Tasty breakfast that will definitely carry you through until lunch time.

Both of these suggestions have the bonus of being a bit more friendly on your wallet than any sort of premix - all natural as well - it's a hard combination to beat - I'm going to make myself some right now!!
posted by YukonQuirm at 7:37 PM on August 15, 2011

Response by poster: Perhaps I'm missing a point here but why do you need "a base" for making your smoothy? If you keep some basics in your freezer, you can whip up a smoothy whenever you would like.

Mainly, my thought process is that I already have to get up shower, take care of my dog, make sure I have everything ready for class, and get my lunch packed up in my travel cooler before I leave the house at 6:20. And while I am (begrudgingly) used to getting up before 6 for work anyways, every damn minute before the sun comes up is one that fills me with hate and resentment (not really, but suffice to say I'm not a morning person by nature).

And sorry if the Greek Yogurt mix is the glaringly obvious answer here. I'm in the middle of a fortnight of working 110+ hours and a bit frazzled at the thought of starting a new commute and taking more advanced hard science classes and holy shit they start in less than a week. Plus, I'm a tried and true MeFite, and hence prone to over-thinking everything.

I appreciate the ideas so far though. I reckon I'll be backing up my wagon to a store on Sunday and loading up crates of the Greek Yogurt.
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:53 PM on August 15, 2011

You could freeze things (yogurt) into ice trays and then pop them into individual ziplock bags with the berries you like. Then in the mornings it's as simple as "ziplock of stuff + milk (cow, soy, hemp, w/e kind you like)" into the blender it goes and then you're done!

It might also be a little colder on that 25 minute drive for when you get to the bus. That might also make it thick enough that you can still eat it like a parfait.

If it turns out you are looking for parfaits, having things pre-measured really helps out a morning rush. (Ex. leave a measuring cup in the granola bag, have another for the berries and another for the yogurt. Plop, plop, plop and you're on your way.)
posted by raccoon409 at 8:39 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I dont know if you have slim fast shakes in the can where you are, but they make a high protein low carb version with vanilla or chocolate flavor. All I have to do is crack a can and add frozen strawberries or frozen banana, etc.
But I do think the healthiest option is to use soy/almond/rice milk as a base, add a scoop or two of greek or plain yogurt, some frozen fruit and a scoop of a good protein powder. Almost as simple as the slim fast can.
posted by Rapunzel1111 at 8:49 PM on August 15, 2011

So the night before put the whey powder in the blender, mix the fruit and the yogurt in a bowl the night before and store in the fridge, throw it all together with some water or milk, blend and drink. Frankly, you could blend it the night before and it would be fine, if less appealing.

Do all Meta-fites overthink this stuff? I thought we had the answers.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:58 PM on August 15, 2011

You could freeze things (yogurt) into ice trays

Dunno if this is universal, but my experience is that thawed yoghurt definitely is not like yoghurt that has never been frozen. It crystallises when it freezes, and when thawed, just not like yoghurt.

I have faced this exact dilemma. The closest you can get is Ideefixee's idea - putting everything bar milk + ice cubes in blender, blender in fridge the night before works okay. Still not as good, though.
posted by smoke at 9:23 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm not totally sure that I'm interpreting this question correctly, but I'm reading this as "I want a decent-tasting smoothie that'll keep in the fridge for a few days. In the morning, I want to add granola and berries and eat it with a spoon." Yes?

If this is correct, I may be able to help!

My basic smoothie mix is this: fill blender 3/4 full of leafy greens (whatever's cheap--I use spinach, usually) plus a few splashes of juice. (I like the fruity V8.) Blitz the hell out of it so you have a blenderful of smooth green juice. To this, add bananas, greek yoghurt, and a little vanilla. (I sometimes add sugar, depending on my mood.)

This is your base. You can change it up--add half an avocado, add some peaches with the bananas, whatever. It's a hideous shade of green, but it tastes like bananas, mostly. I like to add about 1/4c wheat germ to a blenderful of smoothie, and will often add flax seed, as well. (Wheat germ has the added bonus of thickening the smoothie slightly, too.)

I usually add berries before I stick it in the fridge, but I see no reason that they couldn't be sprinkled on top later.

It'll keep in the fridge for several days--probably not a week, but two or three days are no problem. You'll probably have to play with the banana-juice-greens-yoghurt ratios until you find a thickness that you like, but it should be too bad--to thick, add some more yoghurt and juice; too thin, add more bananas; too bitter, use sweeter or fewer greens.

I should warn you that it will discolor over the course of a few days--from Bright! Green! to sort of a dull, muddy green. You could probably alleviate this by adding a few tablespoons of lemon juice, but I'm not especially bothered by the color and so have never bothered.
posted by MeghanC at 10:37 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have purchased double walled stainless steel travel mugs from Starbucks. Love them. Like, turn them upside down and shake them like crazy and still nothing leaks out at all kind of a love affair. Single drawback: when that little nubbin that seals the drinking hole starts to wear out you may have to buy a new mug since, as I learned two weeks ago, they keep designing different mugs that don't use the same lid style. But leakproof? Awyeah.
posted by mcbeth at 10:52 PM on August 15, 2011

in my experience metal+juice (particularly acidic juices like orange) = yyyuck! ...not bad for you or anything,, licking a battery.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:34 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

i know you are anti-plastic... but tervis tumblers are pretty sturdy and i use mine every day.
posted by fozzie33 at 4:46 AM on August 16, 2011

I have these mugs and love them. Seal up amazingly, and I bought new lids for $5 each when the seal wore out. Will buy again.
posted by Four Flavors at 12:21 PM on August 16, 2011

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