The Smoothie Staples I Always Stock Up on at Costco

published Jun 12, 2019
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Smoothies: I just can’t quit them! And I don’t need to! Because, when made at home, they can be super healthful, full of variety, and a nice summertime treat. There are two things you need to know about my homemade smoothies: I make them so thick and creamy that they have to be eaten with a spoon, and I stock up on all the necessary ingredients at Costco, of all places.

See, I prefer to buy mostly organic produce — and Costco has options aplenty in the fresh and frozen sections. Plus, the warehouse store carries my favorite almond milk and the prices are unbelievable. Here are the 15 must-have smoothie staples that I always stock up on at Costco — in the summer and beyond.

Credit: Heather McClees

1. Cascadian Farm Organic Wild Blueberries, $10 for five pounds

Wild blueberries are the gem of the berry world and here’s why: They contain double the antioxidants and fiber of regular blueberries and are naturally sweeter. Costco carries a few different options of wild blueberries, but I’ve been buying the Cascadian Farm brand lately and have no complaints.

Credit: Heather McClees

2. Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, $7 for three 64-ounce cartons

Unsweetened vanilla almond milk works great in smoothies and it’s a good source of calcium and vitamin E. Silk has been my longtime favorite brand, but I also love the Kirkland Signature organic shelf-stable unsweetened almond milk. Whether you’re looking for a dairy replacement or not, unsweetened vanilla almond milk is a great choice without a lot of calories, coming in at only 30 calories per cup!

Credit: Heather McClees

3. Pineapples, $3 each

Pineapple is a great way to add natural sweetness to any smoothie. It also contains lots of vitamin C and is a top source of an anti-inflammatory enzyme known as bromelain, which not only supports the breakdown of proteins during digestion but may also help relieve joint pain. Get a fresh pineapple or try Kirkland Signature’s frozen Golden Sweet Pineapple Chunks ($9 for four pounds), which always tastes super fresh.

Credit: Heather McClees

4. Bananas, $1.50 for three pounds

No smoothie shopping trip would be complete without bananas, and Costco has an excellent price on a three-pound bunch! Bananas add sweetness and an unrivaled creaminess to any smoothie. Plus, they contain as much fiber as a small bowl of oatmeal, coming in at 3 grams, and contain more than 400 milligrams of potassium for healthy blood pressure levels. They’re also high in magnesium, vitamin B6, and even contain calcium.

Tip: I like to keep a large baggie of peeled, frozen bananas on hand and then toss one or half of one into the blender when it’s time.

Credit: Heather McClees

5. Leafy Greens

Add greens to your smoothies to get more veggies into your day. Start with spinach, baby kale, and mixed spring greens, which have a milder flavor than some others, then you can work your way up to heartier flavored greens as you get used to using them regularly.

Costco carries a wide variety of organic leafy greens that come in at half the price (per serving) compared to other stores. I like to keep a few choices on hand and just stick the entire container in the freezer as soon as I get home.

Credit: Heather McClees

6. Mucci Seedless Cucumbers, $4 for three

A lot of people think it’s strange to add cucumbers to smoothies, but I promise it’s a great idea! Cucumbers are a good source of potassium, vitamin K, and are high in water to help prevent dehydration. They also cut back on the need for ice, which can water down smoothies.

I like to chop seedless cucumbers up into thirds, slice them up and put them in baggies, and freeze them when I get home from the store. I’ll add a bag of frozen chopped cucumbers to some pineapple chunks, blueberries, yogurt, leafy greens, and strawberries for a refreshing blend.

Credit: Heather McClees

7. Fage Unsweetened Greek Yogurt, $6 for 48 ounces

If you eat dairy, unsweetened yogurt is a no-brainer. I love that Costco carries Fage’s large containers of unsweetened nonfat Greek yogurt. Yogurt adds probiotics for gut health, immune system health, and skin health, and Greek yogurt is particularly rich in protein, calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. I’d love to see Costco offer some non-dairy yogurt options someday too!

Credit: Heather McClees

8. Kirkland Signature Frozen Organic Strawberries, $10 for four pounds

To say I have a mild obsession with frozen strawberries is an understatement. I’ve tried almost every single brand of frozen strawberries on the market, and I have to say Costco’s Kirkland Signature organic brand is my favorite. They’re so sweet, always taste fresh, and contain nothing more than organic strawberries. This is one Costco bargain you’ll never see me pass up!

Credit: Heather McClees

9. Vega One Chocolate Plant-Based Nutritional Shake, $24 for two pounds

I love to add plant-based protein to my smoothies and smoothie bowls (especially after a workout), and this is my favorite. In addition to the protein, it also has fiber, vitamins, minerals, and more. I love that it has a great chocolate flavor from real cocoa without any artificial ingredients, sugar alcohols, or added sugar. Try it with almond milk, frozen berries, and a frozen banana for a refreshing blend that’s healthy and delicious.

Credit: Heather McClees

10. Premium Gold Organic Flaxseed, $8 for four pounds

Flaxseeds go great in smoothies and add a tasty, nutty flavor. Costco sells this huge four-pound bag and it’s one of the freshest brands I’ve ever had. You can sprinkle a couple tablespoons of ground flax on top of smoothies or blend them right in. Either way, this addition is a great way to keep the skin, digestive system, and heart in tip-top shape!

Tip: Be sure to store the bag in the fridge or freezer, as the healthy fats can go rancid quickly at room temperature. I fill a small container with enough to last me all week and keep that in the fridge; the rest of the big bag goes into the freezer.

Credit: Heather McClees

11. Sun Date California Medjool Dates, $10 for two pounds

Medjool dates are rich in potassium, fiber, iron, B vitamins, and more. They are also delicious in smoothies due to their natural sugars. Costco’s Medjool dates are always so fresh and plump, and are nearly half the price of other stores. Look for these gems in the produce department (not with the dried fruits!). Just be sure to keep them in the fridge to keep them nice and fresh. For what it’s worth, I like to put mine in Mason jars, so they don’t dry out too quickly. Also, don’t forget to remove the pits before you toss them into the blender!

Credit: Heather McClees

12. Happy Village Organic Dark Sweet Cherries, $10 for 4 pounds

Dark sweet cherries are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds and contain fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. They’re one of my favorite frozen fruits to add to smoothies, even though I’m not a fan of the flavor of fresh red cherries. I’ve found that these things blend wonderfully with cocoa, blueberries, strawberries, and leafy greens.

Credit: Heather McClees

13. Kiwis, $6 for three pounds

Kiwis deserve some more love! These tiny, fuzzy green (and sometimes yellow) fruits are rich in potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. In fact, two kiwis contain more vitamin C than an orange, more potassium than a banana, and more fiber than a bowl of oatmeal. They’re also one of the lowest-sugar fruits you can eat, and to beat all that, one of the must budget-friendly!

Wait until your kiwis get ripe and squishy, then wash, chop, and add them — peel and all! — to any smoothie you choose. They blend wonderfully with tropical fruits (like papaya and pineapple), leafy greens, cucumbers, green grapes, and yogurt.

Credit: Heather McClees

14. Cascadian Farm Frozen Organic Berry Blend, $10 for four pounds

Berries add a natural sweetness, fiber, vitamin C, and a large variety of antioxidants to any smoothie. My local Costco carries a few options, but this one — with blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries — is a current fave.

Credit: Heather McClees

15. Nature’s Touch Frozen Organic Mangolicious Blend, $7 for three pounds

While I’m not a fan of fresh mango, the creaminess and sweetness of frozen mango in a smoothie is absolutely delicious. If you don’t love bananas, you can swap them out for mango slices to get that same texture.

Mangos are high in vitamin C and rich in beta-carotene, which is great for skin health and the immune system. I swear my skin glows a little extra if I add 1/4 cup into my daily smoothie.

What are your favorite smoothie staples to buy from Costco?