Are smoothies good a day later?

Smoothies make for a delicious and nutritious breakfast or snack. They’re fast and easy to make, providing a great way to pack in servings of fruits, vegetables, protein, fiber and other beneficial nutrients. But what if you make a big batch of smoothies and don’t finish them all at once? Are leftover smoothies safe to drink a day or two later?

How Long Do Smoothies Last?

In general, smoothies that contain dairy or protein ingredients like yogurt, milk or protein powder should be consumed within 24 hours when refrigerated. The dairy and protein can spoil quickly at room temperature but will stay fresh when kept chilled. For fruit and veggie smoothies without dairy or protein, it’s usually fine to drink them within 36-48 hours when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

The shelf life depends on what ingredients are used:

  • Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, kefir: 1 day
  • Leafy greens like spinach, kale: 1-2 days
  • Fresh fruit like bananas, berries, pineapple: 2 days
  • Vegetables like carrots, beets, celery: 2-3 days
  • Nut butters: 3-4 days
  • Dried fruit, chia seeds, flaxseeds: 4-5 days

Smoothies with fresh fruit and veggie ingredients will last longer than smoothies containing dairy, meat or protein powder. The more ingredients that are added, the shorter the smoothie shelf life. Prepared smoothies will also spoil faster than homemade since you don’t know exactly when they were made.

How to Tell if a Smoothie Has Gone Bad

Watch out for these signs that indicate your smoothie has spoiled and should be thrown out:

  • Change in color: Grays, browns, muddiness
  • Change in texture: Separation, curdling, sliminess
  • Mold growth
  • Strange odor: Sour, rotten, funky smell
  • Off or bitter taste

If you notice any of these changes in your leftover smoothie, it’s best to be safe and not drink it. The nutrients have likely diminished, and harmful bacteria may be present.

Tips to Extend the Life of Leftover Smoothies

Here are some tips to keep your smoothies fresher for longer:

  • Store in airtight containers or jars to prevent oxygen exposure.
  • Pour into ice cube trays and freeze for longer shelf life. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
  • Keep refrigerated at 40°F or below.
  • Avoid temperature fluctuations by refrigerating immediately after making.
  • Use fresh, ripe produce. Overripe fruits will spoil faster.
  • Wash produce well before use.
  • Add lemon juice for antioxidants and antibacterial properties.
  • Top with chia seeds, which act as a natural preservative.

Can You Freeze Leftover Smoothies?

Freezing is an excellent way to extend the shelf life of smoothies. It stops bacteria growth by slowing down food deterioration. To freeze leftover smoothies:

  1. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to freezer-safe containers or bags.
  2. Lay bags flat in the freezer so smoothies freeze into an easily stackable slab.
  3. For portion control, pour into ice cube trays or popsicle molds.
  4. Leave 1⁄2 inch of headspace for expansion.
  5. Secure lids tightly.
  6. Label and date the containers.
  7. Freeze for up to 3-6 months.

Thaw overnight in the fridge or for a few hours at room temperature before drinking. Give a good stir or shake once thawed. Frozen smoothies may be thicker but can be blended again to reincorporate separated ingredients.

How to Make Leftover Smoothies Taste Fresh

While it’s ideal to consume smoothies immediately after blending, you can revive leftover smoothies and make them taste fresher with a few easy tricks:

  • Add more liquid like milk or juice to thin it out.
  • Throw in a handful of ice cubes to chill and dilute.
  • Mix in fresh fruit like berries or banana to mask any off flavors.
  • Blend with new ingredients like avocado, spinach or nut butter.
  • Sweeten with honey, maple syrup or vanilla to overpower sourness.
  • Spike with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or cocoa powder.
  • Top with crunchy granola, chia seeds, roasted nuts or coconut.

A quick blend with new add-ins can make old smoothies taste fresh and delicious again.

Are Pre-Blended Store Bought Smoothies Safe After Expiration?

With pre-made smoothies from shops or grocery stores, it’s best to follow the use by date printed on the bottle. The date accounts for potential contamination and degradation during manufacturing, transport and storage. Bacteria like Listeria and Salmonella, which can grow in prepared smoothies, are extremely dangerous even when the drink doesn’t appear spoiled.

Drinking a store-bought smoothie past its expiration raises your risk of foodborne illness. Some tips for store-bought smoothies:

  • Check the use by or sell by date before purchasing.
  • Select bottles furthest from the front for longest freshness.
  • Refrigerate promptly and drink within 5 days of opening.
  • Don’t purchase or consume if expired.
  • Avoid if left unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.

For highest safety and quality, adhere to theexpiration date and refrigerate store-bought smoothies immediately after purchase.

Can You Refreeze a Thawed Smoothie?

Refreezing thawed smoothies is not recommended. When smoothies thaw and are left at unsafe temperatures above 40°F for too long, bacteria can multiply quickly. Refreezing won’t get rid of the bacteria. For food safety:

  • Only thaw the amount that will be consumed immediately.
  • Keep thawed smoothies refrigerated and drink within 24 hours.
  • Don’t refreeze thawed smoothies.
  • Refreezing can compromise texture and taste.
  • Refrozen smoothies may become icy, grainy or watery.
  • Discard smoothies left at room temperature for over 2 hours.

Refreezing previously frozen smoothies is risky from a food safety standpoint. Only refreeze if the smoothie contained no dairy, citrus or meat, and was kept chilled the entire time.


In summary:

  • Drink fresh fruit and veggie smoothies within 36-48 hours.
  • Drink dairy-based smoothies within 24 hours.
  • Discard if moldy, slimy, curdled, discolored or smells bad.
  • Freeze for longer shelf life up to 3-6 months.
  • Revive leftover smoothies with new ingredients.
  • Don’t drink store-bought smoothies past expiration.
  • Don’t refreeze thawed smoothies.

Being aware of food safety guidelines and proper storage allows you to enjoy smoothies safely even a day or two later. With a few tweaks, leftovers can taste just as fresh.

Smoothie Type Refrigerated Shelf Life Frozen Shelf Life
Fruit and veggie smoothie 36-48 hours 3-6 months
Smoothie with dairy 24 hours 3-6 months
Smoothie with meat or protein powder 24 hours 2-3 months

Following proper storage times and looking for signs of spoilage allows you to enjoy smoothies safely even when saving some for the next day.

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