Sometimes I feel like I have so many awesome things I want to put into smoothies to make them extra healthy and extra amazing, that plain, boring ice cubes just seem like a waste of space. Making your ice cubes just a little bit fancy is a great (and easy!) way to pack extra nutrition into your smoothies.
1. Spinach Cubes
There is not much else I dislike more than wasting good spinach because I didn’t use it fast enough. I feel guilty for wasting it and disappointed that I didn’t use it like I promised myself I would when I reached for the giant bag at the grocery store, passing over the small ones because I’m healthy like that—at least to the strangers in the produce section. One day I finally remembered that I use to freeze spinach in ice cube trays for my kids when they were babies and that was my light bulb moment. Why not send my spinach for a quick blend and freeze it in cubes to save for my green smoothies! Genius. Not only does it save your spinach from being thrown out, it saves room in your blender so you can pack in more nutritious produce. Just puree your spinach—adding a handful at a time—and pour into your ice cube trays. I add a little bit of water to make blending easier.
If you like your smoothies really smooth, then you know to add yogurt. My favorite is plain Greek yogurt. Try freezing it in your trays for a chilly yet delicious (and nutritious!) way to mix up your summer-time smoothies.
3. Yogurt Plus Chia Seeds
Haven’t caught on to the chia trend yet? It’s time! Chia seeds (Ch-ch-ch-chia, yes, those ones) are high in Omega 3 and fiber. One blogger has a great, easy-to-follow post about the benefits of chia seeds and basically everything you need to know. Find her here For a twist on the yogurt cubes, mix in the seeds before dividing into the trays. I don’t really measure the amount, but 1 tablespoon per ½ cup of yogurt should do the trick!
4. Yogurt Plus Flax Seeds
I’ve been using flax seeds in smoothies for years and I’ve always heard about the health benefits of flax. Word on the street is that it’s better than chia, but some will argue that. I prefer to grind my flax before adding them but I know that some people will add whole flax seeds to their smoothies. If you are going to add them to yogurt, either way will work, it just depends on what texture you like.
5. Herbs, berries, cucumbers, oh my!
If you’re looking for gourmet ice cubes that you can use in something other than a smoothie than you should check out these ice cubes. You can add a nutritious boost to your beverage by adding berries, lemon, herbs or anything you wants. PLUS, the are also a work of art, so pretty! Perfect for your next BBQ with friends.
Really, the possibilities are endless. There are just a few of my favorite go-to ice cube ideas to mix things up.
What variations of you come up with on the average ice cube to make it gourmet?