Whether you are new to smoothies or have been a smoothie lover for years, you likely may have wondered how long a smoothie will last.
If you have been drinking smoothies for long, you will know that it doesn’t last very long, especially when it isn’t stored well. And even when you store it in a fridge, it isn’t going to last for weeks or even months.
So if you plan on making large batches of smoothies that you and your family will drink later, you must have a clear picture of how many hours it will last.
See, you don’t have to rack your brain trying to figure things out on your own. This article will satisfy your curiosity and give you some insight into how long a cup of smoothie is expected to last. This article also sheds light on things you should avoid if you want your smoothie to last for long hours.
So, How Long Does Smoothie Last?
Regardless of the type of smoothie you want to make, it will be difficult for you to tell how long it will last accurately. This is because everything from the ingredients you used to make the fruit or green smoothie, the area you stored it, and the Mason jar or glass container you used to store it can affect how long it will remain drinkable.
Below is an overview of how long your smoothie will last if you keep it in your refrigerator, kitchen counter, and freezer.
On the counter
While your kitchen counter isn’t the best place to store your smoothie, you may have no option but store it there if your fridge is broken or if you don’t have a freezer.
Even people who have a refrigerator in their home sometimes forget their green smoothies on their kitchen counter, especially when they are in a hurry.
As you likely know, a smoothie is like a meal. So, if you don’t store it properly, it is going to go bad pretty quickly. So don’t expect it to remain tasty and smell great after a long while.
On average, your smoothie is going to last for a few hours if you leave it on your kitchen counter. Note that its taste may not be amazing, and its nutrients may have reduced drastically if you leave it for a few hours.
So if you don’t have a fridge or it is faulty, and you are stuck with the kitchen counter, you should pour your smoothie into a glass and drink it as soon as possible.
In the fridge
Many people have the notion that the fridgeis the perfect place to store fruit or green smoothie. They think this way because a refrigerator can keep our meals, fruits, and vegetables fresh for days and even weeks.
Well, the sad truth is that the fridge isn’t that effective in preserving smoothies. Even if you store your smoothie in a glass jar, it will only last for 24 hours.
Note that storing your smoothie for long hours can cause the ingredients that make up the recipe to separate. You can fix this by stirring the smoothie with a spoon or straw.
You can increase the shelf life of a smoothie stored in a refrigerator if you use an airtight container or a jar with an air-tight lid.
The freezer is undoubtedly the best place to store a smoothie.
Regardless of the smoothie recipe you followed or the fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients you used, the freezer will keep it fresh and drinkable for 3 months.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to drink the smoothie straight from the freezer, as it is frozen. You may have to keep the smoothie in the fridge for a few hours to allow it to defrost.
How to Make Your Smoothies Last?
Making your smoothies last long isn’t difficult as you likely thought. Here are some easy things you can do to prevent your smoothie from going bad.
Store in a glass
Of course, you have the freedom to use any type of container to store your smoothie, especially if you are going to drink it immediately or in a couple of minutes. If you plan on saving it for the next day, it wise that you store it in a glass jar with an air-tight lid.
As you likely know, glass is a tough material that won’t allow air to get in.
Seal the jar tightly
Even if you put your smoothie in a sturdy glass jar, it will spoil if you don’t seal it tightly. If you use a lid that isn’t tight enough, air will get into the container. This is ultimately going to reduce the nutrients level of your smoothie over time.
Fill the container to the brim
Ensure that you make enough smoothies to fill your Mason jar or container to the brim. Ignore this, and the air trapped in the jar will oxidize the nutrients in the drink.
Add lemon juice
Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C, a nutrient that can help prevent oxidation. So adding a small amount of lemon juice to your smoothie will make it taste better and last longer. Remember that you have the option of pouring the juice into your ice cube trays and freezing it. When it is frozen, you can add one ice cube or two to your smoothie.
Doing this will go a long way to help you save time and keep your smoothie fresh.
Whether you are into frozen fruit smoothies or green smoothies, you can be confident that lemon juice will make your smoothies last.
Use a good blender
The smoothie blenders you use to blend the fruits and veggie in your recipe can slightly affect how long your smoothie will remain healthy to drink. At this point, you likely might be thinking that high-end blenders from top brands like Vitamix and Blendtec can make your smoothies last longer. But that is far from the truth, as smoothies made by a powerful blender will last just as long as a smoothie made by a regular blender.
The only blender that can keep your smoothie fresh a little longer is a vacuum blender. Vacuum blenders are designed to suck up oxygen from ingredients during the blending process. This, in turn, prevents oxidation from occurring.
5 Mistakes That Will Make Smoothies Go Bad?
Below are some avoidable mistakes that can make your smoothie go bad quickly.
Adding too much sweetener
Sweeteners can elevate the taste of your smoothie to the next level. This is likely why a lot of smoothie lovers add a good amount of it to their smoothie.
If your goal is to make your smoothies last longer, you shouldn’t add any sweetener to them. The reason for this is that sweeteners can cause the ingredients in your smoothie to degrade quicker.
Don’t add fruit juice
As you likely know, fruit juice isn’t as nutritious as whole fruit. They consist mainly of sugar and water. Besides being somewhat unhealthy, fruit juice can reduce the durability of your smoothie. Instead of adding fruit juice to your drink, add water or other healthy alternatives.
Whether you are using a budget-friendly blender or a high-end unit, you should learn to blend your ingredients correctly. A poorly blended smoothie won’t last as long as one that is blended properly.
This is pretty straightforward. If you plan on drinking your smoothie within 12 to 24 hours, you should pour it into a container and store it in your fridge. However, if you want to preserve your smoothie for weeks or months, you should store it in a freezer.
Don’t add too much fruit
Fruits offer a lot of health benefits, as they are rich in fiber and nutrients. But using too many of them may do more harm than good.
Remember that fruits are rich in sugar. So if you use a huge amount of them, the sugar content of your smoothie is going to be high. Note that the excess sugar can also make your smoothie go bad quicker.
FAQ on Smoothie Freshness
How do you know if a smoothie has gone bad?
You can tell if a smoothie is no longer fresh by its taste, smell, and color. Smoothies that have gone bad usually have a funny taste and smell. They might appear brown if you added bananas to them.
Do smoothies lose nutrients when frozen?
Yes, your smoothie will lose a little nutrient if you freeze it in a sturdy container. This should not bother you, as the nutrient lost is very small.
Do you put smoothies in the fridge or freezer?
It depends on how soon you want to drink the smoothie. For example, if you plan on drinking it within a few hours, you should put it in a fridge. However, if you plan on preserving it for a long time, let’s say a couple of weeks or months, you should keep it in a freezer.