Smoothies are considered an essential breakfast and workout meal for good reason. Nutritious, delicious, versatile, and easy to make, these mason jars of goodness pack a punch in terms of flavor and ingredients.
Does a hectic schedule force you to skip breakfast or lunch? Healthy smoothies keep the energy flowing and you going until the next proper meal. Smoothies are perfect for meal prep and snacking at the workplace. This begs the question.
How long do smoothies last in the fridge?
Freshly made smoothies without preservatives tend to last for 2 to 3 days in the fridge.
Commercial products last until their expiration date and have a longer shelf life of up to a week (unless these are as natural as homemade versions).
With this guide, you will know how long you can store homemade and store-bought smoothies. You will find tips to increase the shelf life and check whether your smoothie has gone bad in the fridge.
Should You Make Smoothies Ahead Of Time?
I am a big fan of eating fresh meals with as many wholesome ingredients as often as possible. I do my share of meal prepping which includes making soups and smoothies in advance to save time.
Cook or blending once and serving it multiple times is a perfect plan for those days when you’re low on energy and lack time.
Making a double or triple batch of a smoothie is better than having a croissant at work or letting the kids empty a pack of chips.
Why not, especially when you can save a freshly made smoothie or store-bought one for later with some simple steps?
How To Save Smoothies For Later?
If you’re planning to drink it up in the next couple of days, store it in the fridge.
To turn it into a weekend snack, freeze your smoothies. You can store it in the freezer for up to three months to enjoy it weekly and thaw it in the fridge as required.
Do smoothies go bad in the fridge?
How Long Do Homemade Smoothies Last in the Fridge?
Homemade smoothies remain fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days depending on the ingredients in them.
- Fruit smoothies last up to 3 days in the fridge.
- The ones with milk, yogurt, and kefir are best consumed within 48 hours. The longer dairy-based smoothies are stored, the greater the chances of them going bad.
- Vegetable smoothies are best for a day or two. Smoothies with green leafy vegetables last longer (2 days) as the chlorophyll or green pigment in them helps in preserving the freshness.
While you can preserve smoothies for later use, do they taste equally good the next day?
Whether you make smoothies in the evening and refrigerate them overnight or keep them for more days, they are good to drink and taste delicious.
What about the nutrients?
Neither blending fruits and veggies nor storing leftover beverages affect the nutritional content. A naturally sweetened and refrigerated healthy beverage can be a part of a balanced diet.
You can definitely drink a leftover smoothie provided it has been properly stored.
What About Unopened Smoothies?
If you have an unopened bottle or pack of smoothies, it is likely picked from the shelf of your grocery store. The beverage contains preservatives to enhance shelf life. It will last until the “expires by date”, which is usually a week.
Some small brands promote smoothies with natural preservatives and these are on par with homemade smoothies. These health drinks remain fresh in the fridge for a couple of days at the most, opened or sealed.
Can You Prolong the Shelf Life Of Your Favorite Smoothie?
You cannot use a preservative-free drink beyond 3 to 4 days. However, there are a few ways to make your favorite mango chia smoothie last longer in the fridge than 24 to 48 hours.
- Ensure you store homemade smoothies immediately in the fridge in mason jars or airtight containers.
- Fill the bottle to the top to prevent oxygen from oxidizing and ruining your drink.
- Open the bottle when you actually crave a smoothie.
- Freeze leftovers or make ahead smoothies in airtight containers separate freezer bags or as ice cubes. Thaw only the quantity you need.
How Do You Meal Prep Smoothies?
The crucial step to a nutrient-dense and fresh-tasting smoothie is to prevent oxidation.
Exposure to air can affect the nutrients in your fruits and vegetables and cause your smoothie to turn brown and spoil faster. Once this process kicks in, it does not matter whether you store it in the fridge or freezer.
How do I prevent this oxidation?
The best way is to ensure there is very little air or oxygen entering your container or bag when you fill it with your make-ahead smoothies.
- Ensure the container is airtight.
- Don’t fill the jar or bottle halfway and store it. Instead, fill it to the brim to minimize exposure to air.
- Add a few drops of lemon juice or Vitamin C tablets to prevent oxidation.
You have saved your smoothie from spoiling.
How do you ensure it remains cold once you take it out from the fridge?
Here is a simple trick.
Place a thermos or insulated container in the freezer overnight. Pour your refrigerated smoothie in it and pack it for school or work. The insulation acts like a freezing gel pack and keeps the creamy consistency of your smoothie for a few hours.
How Do You Know When Your Smoothie Has Spoiled?
Drinking a smoothie gone bad is a health risk as it will contain bacteria that can make you ill.
If your smoothie smells off or tastes weird, dump it in the sink. Milk-based smoothies will smell like spoilt or curdled milk. Fruit smoothies may taste bitter or sour instead of sweet.
Sometimes, your smoothie will take on a slimy or foamy appearance. These are not always reliable indicators compared to the sniff and taste tests.
Your smoothie can get slimy or gel-like with the use of chia seeds or get foamy when you make your smoothie in a food processor.
Is a smoothie turning gray a sign of a ruined drink?
Sometimes, blending fruit and vegetable causes the cell structure to collapse and this causes the gray discoloration.
This neither affects taste nor health benefits and nor is it a sign of spoiling.
Discover: How to Freeze potatoes Without Blanching
Low-sugar smoothies are tasty drinks that you can make and have any time of the day
But when you make it at home, this preservative-free and low-sugar drink doesn’t last long even when refrigerated.
Storing it in the fridge gives you 2-3 days to consume it, although it stores longer in the freezer. Preventing your beverage from oxidizing retains freshness and taste, and delays the “going bad “process.
Commercial ones (opened or sealed) last for almost a week or expire earlier depending on the use of preservatives.
Have you drunk a smoothie after its best-by date? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do you have more smoothie-related questions? I’ve tried to address some common queries.
Can you drink smoothies past their expiration date?
Homemade smoothies don’t come with an expiry date. They lose quality and turn bad after 3 to 4 days in the fridge.
Branded smoothies come with an expiration date and need to be consumed within that time frame.
Will homemade smoothies remain fresh in the fridge for five days?
Check for signs of spoiling after 3 days. If you have kept it in the fridge for 5 days or longer, avoid using it.
Can you drink a 7-day-old refrigerated smoothie that looks fine?
The longer you store in the fridge, the less fresh and nutritious your smoothie gets. A week-old smoothie is best discarded unless it is store-bought and contains preservatives.
Can I refreeze the smoothie kept in the fridge for thawing?
Refrigerated smoothies should be consumed within 2-3 days of thawing. If you haven’t used it yet, refreeze it immediately. But check for spoilage before you do.
- How Long Do Smoothies Last In The Fridge? [A Complete Guide with Q&A] - August 18, 2023