Apr. 22. 2016
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

Here are the top 10 Smoothie Hacks You Should Try Today to make your life easier when it comes to making smoothies and trying some new things.

I think we’ve all come to an agreement that smoothies (green smoothies in particular) are here to stay, so why not utilize and maximize this recipe to it’s fullest?

10 Smoothie Hacks You Should Try Today

Go frozen

Fresh is best, but frozen is just as great! Only have access to frozen strawberries in the dead of winter? No worries, frozen fruit is not only more accessible but oftentimes also more affordable and super convenient. PLUS they instantly make your smoothies cold.

TIP: Stock your freezer with a variety of frozen fruit including berries, tropical fruits, etc. Make sure all the ingredients are simply fruit and have nothing else like added sugar. Opt for organic when available. I use these glass containers or baggies.

No. 02

Have fresh raw greens in the fridge and running out of time to use them that week? Take your dark leafy greens or any other vegetable that you have in the fridge and wash, chop, and store in a large freezer safe bag or airtight glass container to make your own frozen vegetables. Kale is one that I will often freeze, and it’s an easy way to add more fiber and greens to any smoothie.

TIP: Find dark leafy greens that are on sale and bulk freeze these for later. I use these glass containers or baggies.

No. 03

Don’t waste it! Have a couple tablespoons of almond milk or coconut milk left over and don’t want to throw it away? Don’t! Pour it into an ice cube tray to use as a flavor booster and instant smoothie thickener. You can also do this with any liquid. I’ll typically have a tray for nut/seed milks like almond or coconut milk, then one for extra tea and one for extra coffee.

TIP: Use different ice cube trays for different liquids, I’ve had too many experiences trying to get out a tea one and a coffee ice cube popped up and the flavor was all…off. I use these silicon ice cube trays because they’re super easy to pop out!


No. 04

Plan ahead! Have an NS smoothie recipe you love and want to make sure you have it each morning while saving time? Just like the concept of meal prep, you can evenly divide all ingredients out for each day/each recipe into a Ziploc bag. Then all you do is literally grab the bag out of the freezer, put the contents in the blender, add liquid, and blend! Breakfast in less than 5 minutes.

TIP: Label each baggie with the smoothie name so you know which it is, or just make the same recipe for the entire week. You can also make extra in case you ever are in need of a “911” smoothie on the go.

No. 05

Have some about-to-turn produce? Blend it and pour it into ice cube trays for a quick ingredient add-in. For example: bananas! Puree the banana and pour it into an ice cube tray (label it so you know what fruit/vegetable it is for later). In the summer, my eyes are always bigger than my stomach when it comes to fresh berries, so this is perfect for those times. Also think outside of the box with vegetables like carrots, kale, spinach, etc.

TIP: Cook or steam beets, carrots, or sweet potatoes and blend them for added vegetables.

No. 06

Batch cook it…sans the cooking! Just like the Stripped Green Smoothie where the full recipe serves about 4, I’ll typically make this a couple times a week. Each time I do it lasts 3-4 days max. All you’ll need to do it quickly reblend it before drinking or give it a good shake in your mason jar.

No. 07

Think outside the box with liquids. Tired of just adding filtered water? Try coconut milk and almond milk for a natural thickener, or try green tea, rooibos tea or white tea for added antioxidants (I find teas go best with citrus based smoothies rather than chocolate/vanilla ones). Use tip No. 3 if you have leftover coffee! Try adding this as the liquid to any chocolate or vanilla smoothie for amazing flavor. Try this Mood Boosting Cocoa Smoothie.


No. 08

Boost it! Add protein and superfoods. First, if you need a primer on superfoods check out this post. Do you need to add protein powder to every smoothie? Nope, but it’s great for making a smoothie into a full meal, and the superfoods add even more nutrient density to the smoothie. For an end product you’ll have easier digestion, which equals easier absorption of these nutrients and more energy.

No. 09

Bored of drinking them? Make it a smoothie bowl by adding more ice, less liquid, and utilizing all frozen fruits and vegetables.

TIP: Just try it! I challenge you to try a smoothie bowl if you’ve never tried one before. They’re really fun to make and eat, especially when you top it with granola and extra crunchy superfoods like cacao nibs, bee pollen, and goji berries.

No. 10

Get the best blender for your use! I love the Vitamix for it’s power, ease of use, and it makes cleanup a breeze! All you have to do is add hot water and soap, blend for 30 seconds, and rinse with hot water and you’re done!


Let’s hear it!

What are your favorite tips for making smoothies? What’s the one tip you’ll try this week out of this list? Let me know what you think if you try one of my tips! I love seeing what you come up with so don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #nutritionstripped on Instagram for a chance to win something cool whenever I repost!