It is always best to consume your smoothies immediately after making them so as to attain its full nutritional value. However, from time to time we may have left over smoothies or we may need to prepare smoothies ahead of time because of our busy lifestyle to save time. In such cases, it is essential to know how to store smoothies so that you can still reap all the nutritional benefits. Not properly storing smoothies significantly reduce its nutritional content and may give off an unusual and unappetizing odor and taste. If your smoothies have an unpleasant smell hours after making it, do throw it away, it is not good. When you properly store smoothies, you’ll still be able to obtain its nutritional value even up to 3 months after, depending on the method you use. If you have excess smoothies and not sure how to properly store them, follow the steps below to learn how to do that and ensure that your smoothies does not lose nutrients.
Store Smoothies in Refrigerator
You can briefly store your fresh smoothies in the refrigerator to consume at a later time. Fresh smoothies can be stored in your refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Drinking smoothies stored in your refrigerator for such time is safe. However, if consumed after such time, your smoothies can start to go bad. The taste, smell and texture may be affected. If your smoothies aren’t properly stored in your refrigerator then you may notice an unpleasant smell once you’re ready to consume them. You may even see molds on your smoothies, as bacteria quickly grows on liquid where preservatives aren’t used. In such case, simply dispose of it.
How to do this:
- Add small amounts of lemon or lime juice in your blender when making your smoothies. This will help to keep your smoothies fresh for a longer period. If you forgot to add lemon or lime juice to your smoothies then you may add the juice to the bottom of your storage container and on top of your smoothies.
- Store your smoothies in proper containers. Airtight sealed containers. Using airtight containers will help to keep air out of your smoothies. When your smoothies are exposed to air it causes oxidation, which causes your smoothies to be discolored and breaks down nutrients. Exposure to air causes your smoothies to go bad very quickly. You may use a mason jar with a lid or any airtight food grade containers. The material of the containers can be glass, metal or BPA-free plastic. Preferably use opaque or dark containers to keep out excess light. Storing smoothies in dark containers is optional. Do ensure that the container/s you use has a fitted lid and doesn’t allow air to enter.
- When pouring smoothies into your airtight container/s, ensure that you fill the container all the way to the top to reduce air space.
- After placing smoothies in airtight container/s, tightly seal container/s and immediately place in refrigerator.
- Keep your contained smoothies away from heat and light to preserve as much freshness as possible. Place your smoothies at a spot in your refrigerator where there is not a light bulb. Most nutrients are sensitive to heat and light. When smoothies are exposed to heat and/or light when stored, the nutrients in your smoothies will be lost or quickly deteriorate.
Once you’re ready to consume your smoothies shake well before drinking. You can even re-blend it if you choose. It is normal for ingredients to be separated after a few hours of settling, so shake or stir your smoothies until desired consistency is reached before pouring it into a glass and drinking it. If you cannot consume your smoothies within 48 hours then use the next method by storing smoothies in your freezer.
Store Smoothies in Freezer
You can also store your smoothies in your freezer. You’ll significantly extend the shelf life of smoothies by freezing it. Once the proper container is used the shelf life of your smoothies can be extended by weeks to even months. Fresh smoothies, properly packaged can be stored in your freezer and is safe for consumption for up to 3 months after making it. Plus, you’ll still be able to reap its nutritional benefits. The sooner you consume your smoothies after making it, the better. After such time, your smoothies may experience freezer burn and may have loss its nutritional value. I’d advise you to throw away your smoothies at this point.
How to do this:
- Store smoothies in proper airtight freezer safe containers. If your smoothies aren’t placed in airtight freezer containers then it will cause oxidation; where your smoothies will become discolored, nutrients will be broken down and your frozen smoothies will get freezer burn. This factor will also determine the shelf life of your smoothies. You may use airtight freezer bags, airtight freezer containers or freezer safe mason jars. The airtight freezer containers should be BPA-free plastic, glass or metal.
- If you choose to freeze your smoothies using airtight freezer containers or freezer safe mason jars, then do not fill the container all the way to the top with smoothie. Leave some space as your smoothies will expand and will need that extra room. Tightly seal container/s and immediately place in freezer.
- If you choose to freeze your smoothies using ice cube tray/s or muffin tin/s, don’t fill each compartment all the way to the top. While pouring smoothies into ice cube tray/s or muffin tin/s fill each section about three quarters of the way, this will give your smoothies space to expand. Immediately place in freezer.
- Once smoothie is frozen into cubes, store smoothie cubes in airtight freezer bag/s or airtight freezer container/s. Label the airtight freezer bag/s or airtight freezer container/s with the name of the smoothie and the date it was frozen. Immediately re-place in freezer.
- If you’re storing frozen smoothie cubes into airtight freezer bag/s, ensure that all the air is squeezed out. As previously stated, air helps to determine the shelf life of your smoothies. If air is not properly expelled, it will cause oxidation. You can use a vacuum food bag sealer or a straw to suck the air from your airtight freezer bag/s. If you decide to use a straw, first place straw to one side of the airtight freezer bag. Seal freezer bag up to the point where the straw is placed and suck all the air from the bag. Once all the air is removed, quickly remove straw, seal the airtight freezer bag and immediately place in freezer.
Once you’re ready to consume your smoothies, remove frozen smoothies from your freezer and leave it out to defrost. You may place frozen smoothies in your refrigerator to defrost overnight, if your plan on making smoothies in the morning. Or, you may remove frozen smoothies from your freezer and leave out for an hour or two before its needed. If you choose to re-blend smoothie, add a tad of water or a liquid of your choice to the bottom of the blender before adding your defrost or frozen smoothie for blending. If you choose to simply drink the melted smoothie, please do note that there may be a difference in consistency and taste when compared to the time it was freshly made. Ingredient separation may also occur. So thoroughly stir melted smoothie to regain its consistency before pouring it into a glass and drinking it.
Making smoothies in large batches or simply storing excess smoothies for later use, may not only save you time but may also save you money. Keeping your smoothies fresh will ensure that the nutritional value of your smoothies does not quickly decrease after preparation. You can now start to enjoy the benefits and taste of your smoothies hours to months after preparation by following the above steps. So you no longer have to lose money by having to throw away your smoothies because they’re spoiled or having to chug your prepared smoothies in one go.
How do you store your smoothies? Please do share in the comment field below, you may also share your thoughts or ask any questions.