Smoothies can be a great way to start the day or supplement your diet. And they make great snacks. But what if you have some left over that you want to save for later? How long do smoothies last in the fridge? Here’s your answer.
I love a good, fresh, delicious smoothie. They’re so versatile and tasty. You can mix in all kinds of fresh fruit like in a Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie, different types of dairy like in Almond Milk Smoothies, extra proteins such as peanut butter and protein powder, and more.
In fact, we created our Super Green Smoothie with spinach and cucumbers as a way to get our kids to have more vegetables when they were younger. Now that they’re older, they still love it — and they even make it themselves.
We don’t usually have a lot of leftover smoothie, but every once in a while we make a bit too much. Through some trial and error, we determined just how long they’ll stay good in the fridge.
How long does a smoothie last in the fridge?
The shelf life of your smoothie will often depend on the smoothie ingredients. But how you store the smoothie also makes a difference.
Here are some tips to keep your smoothies tasting great for longer.
How long do homemade fruit smoothies or vegetable smoothies last in the fridge?
Whether your homemade smoothies are made with fruit or vegetables (or both) they will generally keep for 1-2 days in the fridge.
Some types of ingredients, like dairy, can shorten that time. Smoothies high in yogurt or milk can start to turn more quickly, so it’s best to drink them within a day of placing them in the fridge.
Store-bought smoothies will keep in the fridge until their best-by date
Regardless of whether it’s fruit or veggie-based, a smoothie from the grocery store will keep at least until its best-by or freshness date. And it may keep for a bit longer than that if unopened.
However, if it smells off when you do open it, chances are it’s started to turn, so it’s best to simply discard it. More on how to tell if your smoothie has gone bad is below.
How to store a smoothie in the fridge
A key factor in helping your smoothie last as long as possible in the fridge is how you store it. The main thing is preventing oxidation, or exposing your smoothie to oxygen in the air.
If you’ve ever cut up an apple or banana and witnessed it turning brown, that’s oxidation in action. The more air your smoothie is exposed to, the shorter its shelf life will be.
Here are some tips on how to properly store your smoothies in the fridge:
Step 1: If you plan to store some or all of your smoothie, start doing so as soon as possible after you make it; don’t leave it sitting out at room temperature on the counter for too much time.
Step 2: Get a glass mason jar with a resealable lid or another airtight container to store the smoothie in.
Step 3: Add the smoothie to the jar and fill it as close to the top as you can. You want as little room as possible between the top of the smoothie and the lid to limit oxidation.
Step 4: If you have some, squeeze a little lemon juice or lime juice over the top. The extra vitamin C helps slow down the oxidation process.
Step 5: Seal the jar and place it in the fridge.
Reasons not to store your homemade smoothie in the fridge
Fresh smoothies will always taste better than ones that have been in the fridge, even for just a few hours. The texture will be at its best and the ingredients you use will still be blended consistently throughout the drink.
So, it’s good to know what could happen to your smoothie if you decide to refrigerate it.
After several hours or a day in the fridge, the texture will change. What was once a creamy smoothie may become looser and less dense.
Some ingredients like pieces of fruit or leafy greens can settle at the bottom of your smoothie, and binding agents like yogurt can start to separate.
If it uses ice, the ice will start to melt and begin to make the smoothie watery.
All of this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t store your smoothie fridge. It just won’t have its maximum freshness.
If you find the texture of your smoothie has changed, remix it in your blender in order to regain some of the original consistency.
How to tell if your smoothie has gone bad
The longer your smoothie sits in the fridge (or out on a counter), the more oxidation occurs. That can slowly start to make the fruits and veggies discolor and may give your smoothie a brown tint.
That’s the first sign your smoothie has started to go bad.
Next, if it smells off or sour, that’s another telltale sign. If you used dairy products, this could be due to the diary starting to turn. A bitter taste could be due to fruits and vegetables beginning to rot.
So, if you notice a color change or a bad smell in your smoothie, the best thing to do is throw it out.
View it as an opportunity to make yourself another smoothie with fresh ingredients!
How to freeze smoothies
Sometimes you may want to make a smoothie ahead of time — or a batch of them so you can drink them later. In these cases, it’s best to freeze them. And the good news is that smoothies can keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Here are some effective ways to freeze your favorite smoothies.
Ice cube trays
Pouring fresh smoothies into ice cube trays is a great way to freeze them for later.
It’s best to use flexible trays like ones made out of silicone for easy removal, but any tray can work. It’s also a good idea to use a cover. That can help prevent freezer burn and odors from other foods in the freezer from seeping in.
Once you’re ready to use them, remove them from the freezer and let the smoothie ice cubes thaw for a few minutes. Then add them to your blender with some milk (or dairy/non-dairy milk product of choice) and create your ready-to-drink smoothie!
Just like if you were refrigerating them, you could also use freezer-safe mason jars to freeze smoothies. Use the same method as above and simply pop them in the freezer.
If you plan to store them for several weeks or more, you may want to label the jars with the date you froze them and what type of smoothies they are so you remember what you made!
The drawback to this method compared to ice cube trays is the time needed to thaw. With mason jars, you’ll want to thaw them well ahead of time. So if you know you want to drink one the next day, put the frozen smoothie in the fridge the night before so it can thaw out overnight.
To make smoothies at home, I use my trusty Vitamix blender. This professional grade appliance is super durable and has all of the functionality you need in a blender.
Depending on the number and texture of your ingredients, you’ll want to blend your smoothie for 1-2 minutes in order for everything to mix thoroughly. If you have more add-ins, the longer you’ll likely need to blend them to eliminate any chunks or lumps.
Usually, ice is added to smoothies to help make them cold and to give them a thick, frothy texture. But you can skip the ice if you’re using frozen fruit. Whether you opt for ice or frozen fruit, add it last to help the other ingredients sink toward the blades in the blender.
Fortunately, storing a smoothie in the fridge is really easy. And you don’t need super special equipment. Just remember to drink it within 1-2 days so you help prevent the risk of it going bad.
And if you find that the smoothie you made has started to separate or settle after that time, simply reblend it to regain some of that creamy consistency.
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