How do you store a smoothie after making it?


Smoothies make for a refreshing and nutritious breakfast or snack. They are quick and easy to make, you can load them up with superfoods, and they are portable for on-the-go nutrition. However, proper storage is key to keep your smoothies fresh and prevent spoilage. Here are some tips on how to best store your smoothies after making them.

Store in An Airtight Container

The first step to storing your smoothie is to transfer it from the blender to an airtight container. Mason jars or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids work great. The airtight seal prevents oxygen from getting in, which can cause oxidation and spoilage. It also prevents moisture from evaporating out, keeping your smoothie from drying out in the fridge.

Here is a table comparing different airtight container options:

Container Pros Cons
Mason jars
  • Glass doesn’t absorb smells/flavors
  • Can be reused many times
  • Clear jars let you see contents
  • Heavier than plastic
  • Can break if dropped
Plastic containers
  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Variety of sizes
  • Can absorb smells and stains over time
  • Not as durable for reuse

As you can see, both mason jars and plastic containers have their tradeoffs. Choose the option that best suits your lifestyle and smoothie storage needs. The key is that it has an airtight seal.

Store in Refrigerator Promptly

Once your smoothie is in an airtight container, put it in the refrigerator immediately. The cool temperatures keep your smoothie fresh by slowing down spoilage. Some tips for fridge storage:

  • Store smoothies toward the back of the refrigerator, where temperatures are coldest.
  • Don’t store in the refrigerator door, as the temperatures fluctuate more here each time it’s opened.
  • Refrigerate within 1 hour of making the smoothie for best quality.

If you aren’t able to refrigerate your smoothie within an hour or two, consider adding ice cubes before storage to help keep it cold initially.

Freeze for Later

If you want to prep smoothies in advance, the freezer is your friend. Simply transfer your blended smoothie into an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and lay flat in your freezer. Here are some freezer storage tips:

  • Leave at least 1 inch of headspace in containers as smoothies expand when frozen.
  • Seal containers well and remove as much air as possible.
  • Label containers with contents and date.
  • Frozen smoothies can be stored up to 6 months for best quality.

To thaw, move frozen smoothie from freezer to refrigerator overnight. Give it a good stir or quick blend to recombine before enjoying. Adding a bit of milk or liquid may be needed if too thick.

How Long Do Smoothies Last?

How long a smoothie lasts depends on both its ingredients and how it is stored. Here is a table outlining approximate smoothie shelf life:

Storage Method Shelf Life
Room temperature 3-4 hours
Refrigerated 2-3 days
Frozen 6 months

Smoothies with dairy products like yogurt and milk will spoil faster than all-fruit smoothies. Also check ingredients like leafy greens for early signs of wilting.

When in doubt, remember this rule:

When stored properly in the refrigerator, most smoothies retain optimum quality for about 24-48 hours after being made. Freeze for longer storage.

How to Tell If a Smoothie Has Spoiled

Here are some signs that indicate your smoothie has spoiled and should be thrown out:

  • Change in color – Grays, browns, or separating liquid
  • Change in texture – Becomes very thick, slimy, or has odd lumps
  • Mold – Check for fuzzy spots or film on surface
  • Off smells – Sour, rotten, or yeasty odors
  • Off tastes – Bitter, vinegary, or acidic taste

If you notice any of these signs, err on the safe side and discard the smoothie. Don’t take risks with food poisoning. Prevention is key, so follow proper storage guidelines.

Tips to Make Smoothies Last Longer

Here are some helpful tips to extend the shelf life of your smoothies and keep them fresher longer:

  • Wash produce well before blending – removes bacteria
  • Start with chilled ingredients – keeps smoothies colder initially
  • Keep toppings separate – store nuts, seeds, or granola on the side to add later
  • Use pasteurized egg whites or eggs – reduces risk of salmonella
  • Replace dairy with plant-based milk – extends fridge life by a day or two
  • Add lemon juice – the acidity slows microbial growth
  • Use fewer leafy greens – wilt faster than fruits and veggies
  • Store at proper temperatures as outlined above

Following basic food safety practices when preparing and storing your smoothies will help them stay fresher longer.

Other Smoothie Storage Methods

In addition to refrigerating and freezing, here are a few other methods for storing smoothies:

Shelf-Stable Bottled Smoothies

Some pre-made smoothies undergo a pasteurization process that allows them to be stored at room temperature. This involves heating the smoothie enough to kill pathogens without compromising too much nutrition. Bottled smoothies can be stored in the pantry for 1-2 months. Always check the “best by” date on the bottle.

Canning Smoothies

Though not very common, you can safely can smoothies at home through high-heat pressure canning. This involves placing smoothies in special canning jars, processing at 240°F, and storing sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Only make what you’ll consume in a year, as quality declines over time. Follow proper canning instructions closely.

Freeze Drying Smoothies

A more novel approach is to freeze dry smoothies into a powder. This removes nearly all moisture, so smoothie powders can be stored at room temperature for years without spoiling. Simply reconstitute with water when ready to drink. Freeze drying requires special equipment, so this option is best suited for commercial production.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should smoothies be stored with or without the ice in them?

It’s best to store smoothies without ice if refrigerating or freezing them. The ice will melt during storage, diluting the smoothie. For fridge storage, you can add a few ice cubes right before serving to chill it back down if needed. For freezing, ice cubes take up space needed for expansion.

Can you store smoothie ingredients prepared in advance?

Chopped fruits, veggies, leafy greens, and nut milks can all be prepped in advance and stored properly until ready to blend. Wash and dry produce, store chopped ingredients in airtight containers in the fridge for 2-3 days max. Nut milks can be stored 4-5 days. Don’t prep fresh berries too far in advance.

Do frozen or fresh fruits and vegetables make the best smoothies?

Both work well! Frozen fruits and veggies last longer, so you can always have smoothie ingredients on hand. They make thick, icy smoothies. Fresh produce contains more nutrients and makes lighter, fresher tasting smoothies. Mixing some frozen and fresh produce gives a good balance.

Can you store smoothies at room temperature?

It’s not recommended. Bacteria grows rapidly at room temperature, so smoothies can spoil within 3-4 hours if left out. Refrigeration is best to slow bacterial growth and enzymatic activity that causes spoilage. Drink smoothies right after making or move to the fridge.


Storing your freshly made smoothies properly is key to enjoying their optimum taste and nutritional quality. Use airtight containers, refrigerate promptly, and freeze for longer storage. Watch for signs of spoilage like changes in color, texture, smell, or taste. Follow food safety practices when preparing smoothies and store at proper temperatures. With proper handling, you can safely store smoothies for 2-3 days in the fridge or up to 6 months in the freezer. Making smoothies in advance helps you enjoy healthy, homemade options on the go.

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