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Can I make a smoothie and leave it overnight?

Smoothies make for a delicious and nutritious breakfast or snack. They are quick and easy to make, packed with fruits, vegetables, protein, fiber and other beneficial nutrients. Many health-conscious people like to whip up a big batch of smoothies and keep them in the refrigerator to enjoy over the next couple of days. But is it safe to store smoothies overnight? Will they retain their flavor, texture and nutritional value? Here is a comprehensive look at how long smoothies last in the fridge and whether you can make them ahead of time.

How Long Do Smoothies Last in the Fridge?

The shelf life of smoothies depends on a few factors:

  • Ingredients used – Fruits and vegetables with higher water content will dilute preservatives and allow spoilage to happen faster.
  • Acidity level – Smoothies containing citrus juices and berries will last longer due to their acidic pH.
  • Additions – Dairy, protein powders, chia seeds and nut butters can spoil more quickly.
  • Storage – An airtight container and cold fridge temperatures will extend freshness.

Most smoothies stored in the refrigerator should last for:

Smoothie Type Shelf Life in Fridge
Fruit and veggie smoothies without dairy 2-3 days
Fruit smoothies with dairy 1-2 days
Green smoothies with dairy 1-2 days
Smoothies with chia seeds or nut butters 3-4 days
Smoothies with protein powder 3-4 days

For best quality and food safety, most experts recommend drinking refrigerated smoothies within 24-48 hours. But there are some exceptions.

Does Adding Yogurt Help Smoothies Last Longer?

Yogurt is a fermented dairy product teeming with beneficial probiotics. Its low pH makes it inhospitable to the growth of harmful bacteria. When added to smoothies, yogurt not only provides protein and calcium but can also prolong freshness.

The lactic acid in yogurt inhibits spoilage, allowing fruit-based smoothies to last up to 2 days when refrigerated. For thicker, creamier smoothies, choose plain whole milk yogurt. Non-dairy yogurts made from coconut or almond milk also work well. Always check the expiration date and choose fresh yogurt.

Do Frozen Fruit Smoothies Last Longer?

Using frozen fruits like mangos, bananas, berries, pineapple and peaches allows you to make smoothies with a thicker, frostier texture. But surprisingly, frozen ingredients may not lead to longer-lasting smoothies.

Once blended, the frozen fruits thaw and liquefy, diluting any natural juices. This gives more opportunities for spoilage organisms to grow. For best results, consume frozen fruit smoothies within 24 hours of making them.

However, you can safely freeze pre-made smoothies for longer storage. Make a big batch of smoothies and pour into freezer-safe containers. Leave 1⁄2 to 1 inch of headspace to allow for expansion during freezing. Frozen smoothies should keep for 2-3 months if stored at 0°F or below.

What About Smoothies With Leafy Greens?

Bright green smoothies packed with spinach, kale, chard, parsley or other greens are all the rage for their nutritional content. But the high water composition of leafy produce means they spoil more rapidly.

For food safety, it’s best to drink green smoothies with dairy or greens within 24 hours. To extend the shelf life by another day, add lemon juice. Its acidity helps inhibit bacterial growth.

When using hardy greens like kale or chard, remove any fibrous stems before blending. Soft herbs like cilantro and parsley can be used entirely. Just be sure to pick out any wilted or slimy spots first.

Tips to Make Smoothies That Keep Longer

Here are some tips to maximize the freshness of smoothies stored in the refrigerator:

  • Start with fresh ingredients – Ripe, in-season produce contains more nutrients and natural preservatives.
  • Wash produce beforehand – Clean fruits and veggies resist spoilage better.
  • Use acidic fruits – Citrus, pineapple, berries help smoothies keep longer.
  • Add yogurt or milk powder – Fermented dairy inhibits bacterial growth.
  • Include chia or flax – These seeds add thickness and fiber for prolonged freshness.
  • Sweeten with honey – Its anti-microbial properties prevent spoilage.
  • Store in airtight containers – Prevent air exposure to keep smoothies fresher longer.
  • Refrigerate promptly – Cold temps slow down spoilage.
  • Use within 2 days – For food safety, consume refrigerated smoothies within 48 hours.

What Happens If You Drink Spoiled Smoothies?

How can you tell if a refrigerated smoothie has gone bad and may not be safe to drink? Look for these signs of spoilage:

  • Changes in texture – Becomes very runny or forms clumps.
  • Strange odor – Smells sour, fermented or unpleasant.
  • Mold growth – Fuzzy patches or spots appear.
  • Off tastes – Smoothie tastes bitter, spoiled or rotten.
  • Discoloration – Unnatural colors like black, blue or green.

Consuming spoiled smoothies can cause foodborne illness, with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever or chills. To avoid getting sick, examine smoothies carefully before drinking and discard any that seem “off”.

As a general guideline, if you wouldn’t feel comfortable eating certain produce on its own due to freshness, don’t include it in smoothies. Stay vigilant for signs of spoilage in stored smoothies.

Can You Prep Smoothies in Advance?

For busy people on the go, pre-making smoothies can be a convenient time-saver. But to avoid spoilage and food safety issues, there are some guidelines to follow:

  • Prep individual portions instead of full blender batches.
  • Store prepared ingredients like chopped fruits and greens separately.
  • Don’t add ice or liquid until ready to blend.
  • Assemble and blend smoothies just before drinking.
  • Consume within 24 hours.

Pre-chopped fruits and vegetables can be kept in airtight containers in the fridge for 1-2 days max. But avoid blending everything together until you plan to drink the smoothie.

Can You Make Smoothies Ahead and Freeze Them?

Freezing is an excellent way to prepare smoothies in advance. simply follow these steps:

  1. Make a large batch of smoothies and let chill for 1-2 hours.
  2. Pour into ice cube trays, mason jars or other freezer-safe containers.
  3. Cover tightly and freeze for at least 12 hours.
  4. Pop out frozen smoothie cubes and transfer to sturdier containers.
  5. Store frozen smoothies for 2-3 months.
  6. To serve, blend 2-4 frozen cubes with 1/2 cup liquid or milk.

Almost any combination of fruits, veggies, greens, seeds, yogurt, juice and milk can be frozen into ready-to-blend smoothie cubes. It’s a handy method for whipping up a nutritious breakfast or snack in seconds.

Should You Add Ice to Stored Smoothies?

Most smoothie recipes call for adding a cup or two of ice just before blending. But for smoothies you plan to store, skip the ice until ready to drink.

As ice melts over time, it separates and dilutes the other ingredients. This speeds up spoilage. Only add ice within the 24 hours before consuming for best quality and freshness.


Enjoying smoothies that have been refrigerated overnight or longer does carry some risk of foodborne illness. For optimal safety and quality, drink smoothies within 24-48 hours of making them.

The best approach is to either make single servings to order or prepare larger batches to freeze for later use. Follow the storage guidelines provided to extend the shelf life of refrigerator and frozen smoothies as long as possible.

With a little planning and proper handling, you can safely whip up smoothies in advance while retaining their delicious taste and nutritional content over time.