There’s nothing quite like a fresh smoothie, especially when it’s one you’ve made yourself at home. Whether it’s full of leafy greens or your faithful fruit smoothie recipe, there’s something to enjoy for everyone.
However, using fresh ingredients does have a down side – it means that your smoothie might not last as long as ones that have been pasteurised or mass-produced. Are your superfoods still superfoods if all the good stuff has broken down?
This article will explain how long your homemade smoothies will last, usually, as well as the best ways to store your smoothies and make them last as long as possible, so you’ll have your own healthy fast food!
How Long Do Smoothies Last?
The short answer to this is an easy one = usually about 24 hours, provided it’s kept in the fridge.
If you make a big batch of smoothie in the morning at breakfast, then save the extra smoothie, it should still be fine to drink the next day.
Smoothies always taste best fresh, but keeping them in the fridge or the freezer does allow you to make them ahead of time, so you can enjoy them if you’re busy.
As with everything, use your best judgement when it comes to what you eat. If you take your smoothie out of the fridge and it doesn’t look right or doesn’t smell right, don’t drink it!
How Long Do Smoothies Last in the Fridge?
Like I said above, the general rule is 24 hours.
However, I have read about people who keep their smoothies in the fridge for several days, but there are specific things you need to do to keep your smoothie fresh that long.
If you’re keeping your smoothie in the fridge then you should keep it in an airtight container. There are some really cute mason jars out there that come with airtight lids. Glass mason jars – or any glass container with an airtight lid, check out my article on juice bottles for more – would be a great option for storing your smoothie, since the glass will keep it tasting fresh.
The reason for keeping your smoothie container airtight is to prevent the fresh fruit and veggies inside your smoothie from oxidising. As smoothie ingredients oxidise, the nutrients and vitamins inside them degrade. because they’re exposed to oxygen.
This is also when they start losing their colour and structure, so you’ll notice your smoothie going brown or off-colour and it might smell funny. If this happens, please don’t drink your smoothie! You won’t thank yourself for it.
One thing I will mention is that bananas don’t keep particularly well when they’re exposed to cold. I’ve read a lot of people venting because their banana smoothie went brown really quickly in the fridge. Unless you’re planning on drinking your smoothie straight away, I’d avoid using bananas.
How Long Do Smoothies Last in the Freezer?
Smoothies last a lot longer in the freezer than in the fridge, making it a fantastic option if you want to enjoy a healthy smoothie regularly but don’t have time to make them every day.
This can also be really useful if you meal plan, since you can stock up well in advance. Planning what you’re going to eat or drink in advance can also help with weight loss, if that’s one of your goals.
If you make a batch of green smoothie, for example, you can put it in ice cube trays, or popsicle molds, and it will stay fresh and safe for up to 3 months! Any longer than that and your smoothie will develop a weird taste.
You can use freezer-safe mason jars for this too, if you’re a fan, since they have wide mouths and the glass is thick enough to resist the cold.
No matter what you keep your smoothie in, make sure you leave a bit of room at the top of your container before freezing it. As your smoothie freezes, it will expand a little, so if there isn’t any room for it to move into, your lovely mason jar will shatter.
You should also make sure your container is airtight, since that will keep your smoothie safe from freezer burn.
When it comes to thawing your smoothie, leave it out and give it time. If it’s separated a little or the heavy ingredients have settled at the bottom, be sure to give your smoothie a big shake.
Once again, bananas are not an ideal candidate for smoothies you’re planning on freezing. Banana smoothies that have been frozen have a tendency to separate when you defrost them, making their texture pretty horrible. So again – no bananas!
How to Make Your Smoothies Last Longer
Whether you’re keeping your smoothie in the fridge or in the freezer, there is a way to make your smoothie last even longer.
Try adding either lemon juice or lime juice to your smoothie. The Vitamin C that you find in these fruits can prevent your healthy smoothie from oxidising – the process we mentioned above that breaks down the fruit and veggies in your smoothie. This means they’ll stay fresh and tasty.
Does Your Blender Make a Difference?
There are lots of different blenders out there – Nutribullets and Vitamixes to name a couple. Generally, the blender you use doesn’t really matter when it comes to how long your smoothie will last in the fridge or freezer. Regardless, the fruit and veggies are going to be exposed to the air, so will oxidise over time. So a Nutrilbullet smoothie will last as long as any other homemade fruit smoothie.
The only blender I’ve found that has the potential to keep your smoothie fresh for longer is the vacuum blender. Vacuum blenders suck out all the oxygen before blending up your ingredients, which will apparently prevent them from oxidising as quickly. If you are looking for a blender that will maximise the freshness of your healthy smoothies, then I would go for a vacuum blender.
Do Smoothies Last Longer Than Juices?
Blending and juicing are very similar but their products can taste and feel very different. Blending generally uses more whole foods that get mixed into a thicker smoothie. Juices are usually smoother and don’t have that thick texture.
Because juicing doesn’t break up the fruits and veggies in the same way, they don’t oxidise as much – which means juices last longer than smoothies. We’ve written an article all about how long juices last, which you can find here.
All in all, smoothies are better when they’re fresh. If you can, then drink your smoothies as soon as you’ve made them, so you can enjoy the best taste and the best nutrition.