Smoothies are an excellent way to introduce large amounts of micronutrients and other vitamins into your body without the time and hassle of cooking a full meal1. Owing to the ease and portability of making a smoothie, they are commonly enjoyed throughout the world as a drink available at any time of the day.
As the specific ingredients of which smoothies are made differ quite wildly between recipes, it is nearly impossible to tell the exact length of time smoothies will remain shelf-stable, though there are a few general guidelines and factors that may help.
Smoothies, when stored in the proper conditions and with the correct mix of ingredients, can last up to three months at temperatures of 32°F or lower. Once again, it is important to keep in mind that smoothies will only last as long as their fastest expiring ingredient, and as such this number is not entirely accurate.
How Long Do Smoothies Last at Room Temperature?
As smoothies usually consist of organic produce blended up with dairy products, they are incredibly attractive to fungal and bacterial lifeforms. Combining this perfect food source with an environment that is highly conductive to growth for microbes equates to the perfect storm for spoilage of your smoothies.
While smoothies do generally last longer than freshly squeezed juice, they will still expire very quickly at room temperature. At the absolute longest possible length of time, smoothies can last for up to twenty-four hours in a room temperature container.
In order to allow your smoothies to remain edible for as long as they can, it is best to store the smoothie in a dark and cool corner of your kitchen free of direct sources of heat and light.
Can Smoothies be Refrigerated?
Yes, smoothies keep best when placed in the refrigerator, though certain environmental factors must be kept an eye on in order to extend the edible shelf-life of the smoothie for as long as possible.
Prior to refrigerating, ensure that the smoothie is exposed to room temperature and high humidity as little as possible, as even if you place it in the refrigerator after microbiological activity may have already begun to spoil the smoothie.
How Long Will Smoothies Last in the Fridge
All that is needed to refrigerate your smoothie is an air-tight container made of a material that will not absorb the color or odor of your blended drink. Glass, metal, and certain kinds of treated plastic are excellent for this.
Simply pour the smoothie into the container directly from your blender receptacle, ensuring that there is as little air as possible present between the surface of the smoothie and the container’s cover.
Leave the container of smoothie within the darkest part of your refrigerator for up to two days.
Can Smoothies be Frozen?
If your need for preserving smoothies has far longer-term goals than simply a few days, only choosing to freeze your blended drink will allow its shelf-life to remain stable for an extended period of time.
It is important to consider the fact that freezing will both affect the texture and taste of your smoothie as well as cause separation if certain ingredients have been incorporated into it during blending.
In order to best avoid a loss of textural quality during freezing, ensure that there are no large chunks of vegetable or fruit in your smoothie and that all ingredients have been blended into particles as small as mechanically possible.
Separation may occur if any high-fat liquids have been added to the mix of ingredients in the smoothie, such as avocado oil or a specific few kinds of dairy product. Though this is unavoidable owing to the nature of molecules in freezing conditions, all that is needed to remedy this effect is to place the smoothie in your blender and to blitz it once more.
In order to freeze your smoothies, you will require several resealable plastic pouches capable of withstanding freezing temperatures as well as a freezer capable of reaching temperatures as low as 32°F, or the freezing point of water.
In the best possible conditions, smoothies will last for as long as three months in the freezer, though repeated thawing and refreezing it will significantly shorten this time.
How to Freeze Smoothies
First, thoroughly blend your smoothie until it is relatively homogenous and has no significant masses of organic produce present, as these will develop a slimy texture once frozen.
After blitzing your smoothie until smooth, prepare several plastic pouches sufficiently large enough for your desired serving size. We advise that you separate your smoothie batch into multiple patches as thawing the entire batch only to use a portion of it will both be time-consuming and significantly impact the length of time the smoothie will remain safe to eat in the freezer.
Carefully pour the smoothie into each individual bag, leaving a small amount of open space between the surface of the smoothie and the top of the pouch. This is to account for the eventual expansion of your smoothie once it has been subjected to freezing conditions, of which will rupture your bag if there is insufficient space present inside.
Now filled, place each individual bag in the deepest part of your freezer, ensuring that they do not accidentally open while still freezing solid. Keep these bags away from any moving sources of air such as a freezer vent or fan, as these will cause freezer burn.
How to Thaw Smoothies
To thaw your smoothies, simply remove your desired volume from the freezer and place in the refrigerator overnight or until semi-liquid again.
Return to your blender and blitz on low. Keep in mind that if the smoothie is not properly defrosted, the presence of ice crystals may damage the blades in your blender and as such is an inadvisable course of action.
What Ingredients Make Smoothies Expire Faster?
Like all foods kept in storage that incorporate multiple ingredients into its matrix, it is important to note that the particular shelf-life of a food will only last for the same length of time as the shelf-life of its fastest expiring ingredient.
This means that though the other ingredients in your smoothie may last for up to a week before beginning to spoil, if there is a single ingredient that expires within two days instead, the entire blended drink will only last for two days.
Ingredients such as most forms of liquid dairy, poultry products, fruits with low shelf-lives and products with active bacterial cultures such as yogurt will expire very quickly and compromise your smoothie in the same length of time.
1. Unknown author. “Smoothie”. Oxford Dictionary, Oxford University Press. 2018.
2. Unknown author. “Rethink Your Drink”. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services. 23 September 2015