Awhile back, I wrote a post about Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal that has been very popular with Yummy readers. (Thanks for all of the enthusiastic feedback!) Since then I've been experimenting with a smoothie version of that recipe. In today's post, I'm sharing my 6 favorite flavor varieties along with a formula you can follow for inventing your own smoothie flavor combos. They're easy, can be stored in the fridge for several days; and they can be frozen!
Breakfast before school or work, or on the way. Like the refrigerator oatmeal, these smoothies are easy to grab for a quick breakfast on the go to take along in the car, to work, or anywhere. Smoothies have the added convenience of one-handed drinking--no spoon required--so you can sip on them while you drive or walk. Carry them in a thermos or thermal beverage cup, and they'll stay chilled for hours. They're also very filling; have one for breakfast and they will help you fight the hungries all morning.
If you have kids and have a hard time getting a healthy breakfast in them before school, let them choose or create a favorite flavor and help you make them ahead of time. Some of these taste like dessert, yet they are so good for you. There is a lot of hidden nutrition that is masked by the sweet flavor of fruit.
Great boost before or after exercise. King-Man has been enjoying sampling the variations of smoothies in this post. He's an exercise nut (really pretty nutty fun, in general), and these smoothies are a perfect post-workout nutrition boost for him. They're also great for him to have on hand at work.
Make ahead convenience. Freezable, too! This may be my favorite feature of these smoothies. Like my Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal, you can make these smoothies a day (or two or three) ahead, refrigerate them, and have a healthy breakfast or snack ready to go. Better yet, these freeze well, too. I've been making up a variety of flavors at once, putting some in the fridge and some in the freezer. LOVE having a smoothie ready to drink whenever I want one--no time, hassle, or mess.
A complete meal in a glass. The combination of oatmeal, chia seeds, yogurt, and fruit makes these well rounded nutrition. Every smoothie will differ some in nutrition according to the exact ingredients used. Here is the nutritional breakdown for one 2-cup serving of my Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Smoothie. The other 5 recipes should be in this ballpark, too.
I honestly can't drink a whole 2-cup serving at one time. I've been drinking half of a smoothie for breakfast and having the other half for a mid-morning snack. It keeps me full all morning.
Chia seeds are power food (and a perfect smoothie thickener). If you are unfamiliar with the health benefits of these amazing little seeds, you can read about them in my Refrigerator Oatmeal post. In these smoothies, they have the added benefit of serving as a thickener, since they absorb 10 times their weight in water and become gel-like. Smoothies often use ice cubes or frozen fruit to thicken them, but that means they have to be eaten right away before their ingredients melt. Using the chia seeds as a thickener allows these smoothies to be made far in advance and still have a perfectly thickened consistency whenever you drink one.
How to make 6 flavor varieties of Oatmeal Smoothies
(or invent your own flavor combo)
I used the same procedure for making all 6 smoothies. I'll share those specific recipes and give you my formula so you can create your own if you like.
Step 1. Assemble these ingredients and supplies.
Specific amounts of each ingredient are listed with the recipes of each flavored smoothie; they are further down in this post. Click on the big teal bar below each flavor and that links to the recipe with detailed ingredients and instructions. There's also a printable recipe of the general formula to follow for creating your own flavor combinations.
Step 2. Add oats and chia seeds to blender container. Blend on high until you have the consistency of a flour. (It only takes a few seconds in my blender, but blender power varies so much that I can't tell you exactly how long it will take.) This helps the oats and chias blend into the smoothie without a chucky texture. The finer your grind them, the smoother your smoothie will be!
The photos below illustrate mixing the ingredients for a Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Smoothie.
Step 3. Add the liquids (milk/juice) to the blender container. It helps to use a long spoon or spatula to mix in the ground oats/chias from the bottom; otherwise they can get stuck and blend in poorly.
Step 4. Add the yogurt, fruit, and any spices or additional flavors.
Step 5. Blend until ingredients are pulverized and smoothie has a consistency you like. I like mine with some texture; but you can keep blending it until it's smooth if you prefer it that way.
Step 6. Put the lid on the individual blender jar container (if your blender has one) or transfer smoothie to a 2 cup container. Refrigerate. Pint size mason jars are the perfect serving size for a full recipe. If you prefer a smaller, snack-size serving, half-pint mason jars work well. I like to use white plastic jar lids sized to fit canning jars--they last longer than the metal tops and rims that come with the jars, and they are easier to screw on and off. Plastic freezer jars are another option, if you prefer not to transport glass jars for on-the-go smoothies. (Various mason jar supplies are available at Walmart, grocery stores, & Amazon)
Step 7. Put the jars or containers of smoothies in the fridge overnight or a minimum of 4 hours. They need this soak time so the oats, chias, & dried fruit (if using) can soften and expand. This gives the smoothie a thicker texture, too.
TO FREEZE your smoothies, first put them in the fridge for their soak time (minimum 4 hours); then transfer to the freezer. Frozen smoothies can be moved to the fridge a day ahead so they can gradually thaw for drinking the next day. Or, place them in a bowl of cold water on the counter to thaw them the same day; it will take 1-2 hours to thaw this way.
TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS. Making smoothies is not an exact science. They can vary in texture and consistency depending on the ingredients you use and the power of your blender. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Once you've figured out "your way" of making the perfect oatmeal smoothie, you can make these regularly with ease. King-Man and I are pretty hooked on them. Here are the recipes that have worked for us.
Six flavor recipes for Oatmeal Smoothies
(plus an invent-your-own recipe)
Apricot Orange Oatmeal Smoothie
Made with dried apricots, orange juice, and unsweetened almond milk.
Apple, Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Oatmeal Smoothie
Made with applesauce, cinnamon, and PB2 (or peanut butter).
Cherry, Vanilla Bean Oatmeal Smoothie
Made with dried cherries, cherry juice, and vanilla bean paste (or you can use vanilla extract). This one tastes like dessert, and cherries are loaded with antioxidants!
Pineapple Coconut Oatmeal Smoothie
Made with pineapple and unsweetened coconut milk. Tastes like a pina colada!
Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Smoothie
Made with fresh strawberries, bananas and orange juice. King-Man's favorite.
Pomegranate Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie
Made with pomegranate juice and frozen (or fresh) blueberries. This is loaded with antioxidants.
It's always hard to choose a favorite. I think I like the cherry vanilla bean smoothie the best. Today anyway.
Get creative and combine your own favorite ingredients for a recipe you can call your own. It's fun and easy when you follow my simple formula.
I love the convenience of having these in my fridge and freezer. If you freeze them, be sure to leave at least 1/2" of head space to allow for expansion from freezing.
Since you can make these ahead, they're great to serve guests in the morning or take to a breakfast/brunch potluck. You can jazz them up with toppings to help identify their flavor.
Hurray for food that looks as inviting as it tastes.
And, good for you, too!
I'd love for you to leave a comment and share your favorite flavor combo. Choose from one of mine or invent your own. Do you eat vegan? gluten free? lactose free? Please share your adaptations. Your tips are helpful to me and the entire Yummy community.
Make it a yummy day!
You might also like these frozen treats made with similar ingredients as the smoothies:
Healthy FroYo Pops
Check out these popular overnight oatmeal recipes: