Fruit smoothies make for a refreshing and nutritious breakfast or snack. They’re quick and easy to make in a blender. But can you prepare fruit smoothies in advance and freeze them to enjoy later? Let’s take a look at how well fruit smoothies freeze and some tips for freezing smoothies successfully.
Can You Freeze Fruit Smoothies?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze blended fruit smoothies. The key is taking a few steps when making and freezing your smoothies to prevent separation of ingredients or ice crystals from forming.
Fruit smoothies contain fruit, juice, yogurt or milk, and sometimes protein powder or other mix-ins. Fruit and liquid components freeze well. Dairy products like yogurt and milk can separate or curdle slightly when thawed after freezing. With proper prep before freezing, you can minimize separation.
Tips for Freezing Fruit Smoothies
Follow these tips for tasty smoothies after freezing:
- Use ripe, fresh, or frozen fruit. Ripe fresh fruit has a better texture than overly ripe fruit once thawed.
- Peel and chop fruit into small pieces before blending to make for easier mixing.
- Use thicker bases like bananas, Greek yogurt, avocado, nut butters, or silken tofu.
- Avoid whey protein powder, as it can get grainy when frozen.
- Use milk or yogurt alternatives like coconut or almond milk that freeze well.
- Add a small amount of lemon juice, orange juice, or alcohol like vodka to the blender. Acids and alcohol help bind ingredients.
- Don’t add ice cubes before freezing, as this dilutes smoothies. Freeze them solid instead.
- Pour smoothies into freezer-safe, single-serve containers or bags. Smoothie pouches work great.
- Lay pouches flat in a single layer in your freezer to freeze solid faster.
- Leave about 1/2 inch at the top of containers or bags for expansion.
- Freeze smoothies for up to 3 months for best quality and taste.
Best Fruits to Use
All fruits can be used to make freezer-friendly smoothies but some hold up better than others. The fruits that freeze especially well include:
- Bananas – Thickens smoothies and prevents freezer burn.
- Berries – Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries freeze well.
- Mangoes – Freeze peeled cubes for tropical smoothies.
- Pineapple – Retains moisture for a creamy texture.
- Apples – Hold shape well and add fiber.
- Stone fruits – Peaches, nectarines, apricots. Pit and chop before freezing.
- Melons – Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew. Scoop out balls to freeze.
- Citrus – Oranges, grapefruit, lemons. Use just the juice.
Avoid kiwis, grapes, and unpeeled pears as they get mushy when frozen.
The liquid you blend with the fruit is also important for a good frozen smoothie. Some of the best options include:
- Non-dairy milk – Almond, soy, oat, coconut.
- 100% fruit juice – Orange, apple, grape, pineapple.
- Coconut water
- Greek yogurt
- Silken tofu
- Nut butter
Drinkable yogurts don’t freeze as well. And cows milk can separate when frozen.
Consider adding these smoothie boosts before freezing:
- Ground flax or chia seeds
- Oats or quick oats
- Nutrition supplements like wheat germ, cocoa powder, spirulina
- Spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla
Avoid whey protein powders since they clump up when frozen over time.
Blending Tips for Frozen Smoothies
Be sure your blender can crush ice and frozen ingredients smoothly. Blend frozen smoothie pouches for 45 seconds to 1 minute in a high powered blender until creamy and smooth.
For a thinner smoothie, defrost in the refrigerator overnight before blending or let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. You can also microwave for 15-30 seconds to soften.
Add water, milk, or juice for a thinner consistency. Top with ice cubes after blending if you like an icy smoothie.
Storing Frozen Smoothies
Follow these storage tips:
- Label smoothie pouches with contents and date.
- Lay pouches flat in a single layer to freeze solid faster.
- Once frozen, you can stack pouches or store upright.
- Store at 0°F or colder for up to 3 months.
- Avoid freezer burn by using airtight containers or bags.
- Defrost overnight in the fridge or for 10-15 minutes at room temperature before drinking.
Freezer Smoothie Recipes
Try these tasty freezer smoothie recipes for nourishing and convenient blended drinks:
Very Berry Smoothie
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 banana
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
- Add all ingredients to a blender.
- Blend until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
- Pour into a freezer bag or container and lay flat in freezer.
- Freeze for at least 8 hours before drinking.
Green Power Smoothie
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tsp matcha powder
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a freezer container, leaving room for expansion.
- Freeze for 12 hours or overnight before consuming.
Peaches and Cream Smoothie
- 1 cup frozen peach slices
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Pour into a freezer bag and lay flat to freeze completely.
- Store frozen up to 2 months.
- Thaw in refrigerator before drinking, if desired.
Smoothie Freezer Packs
For grab-and-go convenience, make up batches of pre-portioned smoothie packs to keep in the freezer. Here’s one recipe:
Superfood Smoothie Packs
For each smoothie pack:
- 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower rice
- 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
- 1/2 banana
- 2 tbsp almonds
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- Portion out ingredients for each smoothie pack in individual freezer bags.
- Squeeze out excess air, label, and seal bags.
- Lay flat and freeze until solid.
- To make smoothies: Empty 1 pack into a blender, add 1 cup milk of choice and blend until smooth.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do smoothies last in the freezer?
Properly frozen smoothies can last 2-3 months in the freezer before quality starts to decline. Label bags with the date so you know how long they’ve been frozen.
Can you freeze smoothies with protein powder?
It’s best to avoid whey protein powder in freezer smoothies when possible as it can get grainy in texture when frozen over time. Plant-based protein powders like pea protein work better.
Do smoothies separate when frozen?
Smoothies can separate a bit during freezing, leaving water crystals or ice on top. Be sure to shake or stir well after thawing and blend again before drinking for the best texture.
How do you thaw frozen smoothies?
Thaw smoothies overnight in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. You can also thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Microwave for 15 seconds at a time to soften before blending if needed.
Freezing your homemade fruit smoothies is a great way to make a batch to last for a few days or weeks. The secret is using the right ingredients and prep methods to prevent separation and iciness. Store smoothies in freezer bags or containers, allowing room for expansion. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature before enjoying a nutritional frozen smoothie.