Make-Ahead Strawberry Pecan Oatmeal Smoothie
My friend, Jill, over at GroO New York, recently shared a smoothie link that caught my attention. Although I have often seen smoothie recipes with oatmeal blended in, I have never before tried them, even though I am a huge oatmeal fan. Between the make-ahead concept and the promise of a thick smoothie–and, of course, the suggestion from a trusted source–this time, I was moved to action!
I ended up creating a smoothie centered around two ingredients that sounded good to me–strawberries and pecans. You could certainly substitute almond meal or almond butter, depending on what you have on hand. The primary reason these are great make-ahead smoothies is that the ground oats soak up the liquid and expand over time, creating a delightful thickness that is loaded with nutrients, too. Often, I rely on frozen fruit or ice as a thickener–which has its place–but doesn’t allow for advance preparation.
I have been experimenting a bit with these smoothies, as I really like this concept for a quick breakfast or a meal on the run. I also like the idea of turning them into a protein drink by adding vanilla protein powder. Storing them in Mason jars is functional and fun. You can freeze them–just leave a little room for expansion. If you decide you like this recipe, you can easily double or triple it and stock up.
My son and I split one of them and to make the half portion a bit more filling, I added a big dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt. Fabulous! This could become a very good habit.
Note: With regard to sweetening, this will depend on how sweet your fruit is to begin with, which type of milk and yogurt you use, as well as personal preference. Protein powder can be a source of sweetness, too. Adjust to your taste preference. Keep in mind the flavors will develop a bit as the smoothie sits in the refrigerator.
Follow THIS LINK for a make-ahead green smoothie recipe.
Make-Ahead Strawberry Pecan Oatmeal Smoothie:
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 teaspoons chia seeds
1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/4 cup low-fat yogurt (I used vanilla 2% Greek yogurt)
1 cup strawberries, sliced or chopped
1 tablespoon pecan meal (ground pecans–could substitute nut butter of your choice)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
a scoop of vanilla protein powder, optional
agave or honey, or to taste
Add oats and chia seeds to blender, and blend on high until you have the texture of a fine flour. Add the milk, yogurt, strawberries, and all remaining ingredients except the sweetener. At this point, I give everything a little stir so the dry ingredients don’t poof up all over the blender. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides and blending again, as necessary. It is helpful to stir down to the bottom to make sure the oat mixture is fully incorporated. Taste and sweeten to your liking. Blend again to distribute.
Transfer the smoothie to a 2-cup jar or container. Refrigerate overnight and shake before drinking. Will keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
If you want to freeze, first allow the mixture to soak for at least four hours in the refrigerator.