Thursday, July 16, 2015

Eats: Make-Ahead Oatmeal Smoothies

Hello! Nine times out of ten I'll get up before my husband does. This isn't a problem except for when I want to whip up a smoothie for breakfast. Our Vitamix blender is powerful but loud. He says it doesn't wake him up, but I still feel bad about using such a noisy appliance while he's in bed. 

Then recently I came across a recipe for Make-Ahead Oatmeal Smoothies, courtesy of Monica Matheny's The Yummy Life blog. Not only can these smoothies be made the night before, Matheny says, but they can be frozen as well. 

Well, that sounded pretty good to me. Not only would the noise-in-the-morning problem be solved, but breakfast would be ready as soon as I was. Can't beat that for convenience! 

I know what you're thinking - couldn't any smoothie be made the night before? Sure, but I know from past experience that when I've put leftover smoothies in the refrigerator to drink later, they just don't seem as nice. 

So what's different about the Make-Ahead Oatmeal Smoothie recipe? Matheny says that the inclusion of chia seeds helps the smoothie stay thick well in advance of being drunk - in fact, the mixture needs to sit at least four hours ahead of time to soften the chia seeds and the oatmeal. 

Yes, oatmeal in a smoothie. It may seem like a weird ingredient for that beverage, but it's not as if you can taste it. I've occasionally added a scoopful of granola to a smoothie (a handy way to use up granola recipes that didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped), so the inclusion of oatmeal didn't faze me. 

Fresh or frozen fruit can be used. I've tried both and actually prefer frozen fruit. As it thaws in the smoothie, it makes the drink a bit thinner. Made with fresh fruit, I found the smoothie a bit too thick for my liking and I had to add more liquid to it. 

(Dried fruit can be substituted for fresh or frozen fruit. I haven't tried that option yet). 

Matheny mentions the thick/thin factor in her excellent post, which can be found HERE:

Not only does she give a very detailed breakdown of the ingredients, she also includes step-by-step directions with plenty of photos and storage tips. There's six smoothie flavors plus an "invent your own smoothie" master formula.

Speaking of photos, here's one of my own:

This is only a small portion of my blueberry smoothie. Doesn't look too exciting, I know, but I was excited to come across such a handy, make-ahead recipe!

Note: Matheny's direction call for blending the oatmeal and chia seeds together first. If you have a powerful blender, as I do, it's fine to skip this step and just mix everything together all at once. 

Have fun making your own make-ahead oatmeal smoothies!

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