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Even though a smoothie is best consumed fresh, storing smoothies also has its advantages:
- Saves time (grab and go)
- No need to make noise in the morning
- Lasts longer (freezer method)
Not to mention, these are also the reasons why you can make smoothies the night before.
As for the how, here are the 5 Easy Ways on How to Save Smoothies For Later.
#1 Ice cube tray method
This is by far my favorite way to store smoothies.
Simply blend your smoothies the night before (or even during the weekend). Then, pour it into your ice cube tray. And finally, freeze for a couple of hours or overnight.
Tip: It’s ideal to use a silicone ice cube tray for this since it’ll be easier to remove.
When serving, add the smoothie ice cubes into your cup (with lid) and thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes. Or, you can also thaw it in the fridge for 1 hour or so.
Afterward, you can shake it or blend it before drinking. However, if you’re going to blend it, that would mean it’s another cleanup which is counterproductive to the goal of the ice cube tray method.
You can also use popsicle molds for this. So, instead of having a smoothie, you have a smoothie popsicle as a break from traditional smoothie drink. Although, you can obviously thaw it in a cup if you want.
How long do smoothies last in the freezer?
Smoothies in the freezer can last up to 3 months. Even though it’s unlikely to stay there for that long, it’s still an excellent option to have when you don’t want to make smoothies frequently.
Note: This applies to all freezer methods (up to #3).
#2 Mason Jar (Freezer Method)
Before anything else, make sure your mason jar is freezer-safe. It’s also ideal to use the wide-mouth mason jar for this method.
Now, just like the first method, blend up your smoothie and pour the contents into the mason jar.
Important: Make sure to leave some space for the liquid to expand. If you’re using a mason jar with shoulders, there should be some space before the “shoulder.” There should also be something between the mason jars to prevent it from hitting another glass jar when retrieving it from the freezer.
You can learn more about safety from this article.
If your smoothie becomes hot (from friction), let it cool to room temperature before freezing.
When freezing, it’s ideal to not lock the mason jar right away to prevent pressure build-up. So, before tightening it, wait for at least an hour for the smoothie to freeze, and then you can secure it.
To thaw, take them out of the freezer and into the fridge the night before.
When the morning comes, you can enjoy your grab-n-go smoothie!
#3 Reusable silicone freezer bags
Just like the second method, you can pour your smoothie into silicone freezer bags. Compared to freezing mason jars, this will save up some space in your freezer. Not to mention, it’s as easy as placing it in the freezer with no cautions or whatnot.
Now, thaw it the night before by placing it in the fridge. After defrosting, you can pour the smoothie into your cup.
Here’s the kicker:
You can also use this method as a smoothie prep. Simply place your smoothie ingredients into the silicone bag (except for the liquid base), and freeze for up to 3 months.
When you need to make the smoothie, simply pour the contents of the silicone bag into the blender, plus the liquid base. And depending on the blender you’re using, you may not even have to thaw it.
With that said, prepping your ingredients this way will undoubtedly save you some time.
By the way, you can also use freezer-safe tupperware for this method.
#4 Mason Jar (Fridge Method)
After blending your smoothie, you can pour it into an airtight container such as a mason jar and place it in the fridge. This also works for leftovers.
Contrary to the freezer method, you should fill the container to its brim to remove any air and prevent further oxidation. Consequently, you can add lemon to your smoothie to hinder this process.
Oh, and you should also lock it right away.
However, there’s a caveat to this method…
How long do smoothies last in the fridge?
Sadly, smoothies in the fridge only last for 1-2 days. Not to mention, it depends on the ingredients you used. For instance, yogurt should be consumed in the next 24 hours when you use yogurt with probiotic cultures.
#5 Use an Immersion Blender
In a wide-mouth mason jar, place your ingredients (except the liquid base), and store them in the fridge or freezer. If you’re going to keep it in the refrigerator, make sure to use it before it goes bad.
On the day that you’ll drink the smoothie, bring it out. If it’s frozen, thaw it for at least an hour in the fridge.
Pro tip: If you’re using a powerful immersion blender, you may not have to thaw your ingredients, which definitely saves time.
Now, pour the liquid base into the container. Using your hand blender, blend the contents directly in the mason jar for about a minute.
This method will be quieter than full-sized and easier to clean since there’s only the blade shaft to wash.
Smoothie storage containers
As I mentioned a while ago, there’s the mason jar container. You can probably buy one at your local Walmart, or perhaps from a dollar store which would be cheaper.
Secondly, I highly recommend reusable silicone freezer bags. There’s also the one-time use Ziploc bags, yet I don’t advise that. Ziploc bags are more expensive in the long run, and it’s not environmentally-friendly.
Last but not least, personal or travel cups. If you store them in the freezer, make sure that it’s safe to do so. There should be some details in the manufacturer’s manual.
Here’s the kicker:
Depending on your blender, there may be some portable cups available from the brand. This allows your countertop blender to double as a personal blender. Essentially, you’ll be able to use the travel cup to blend directly and skip the washing of the full-sized jar.
One of my favorites is the Vitamix Cup. It’s double-insulated, so your drinks will stay cold longer. Other blender brands that offer personal cups are Blendtec Blender, Ninja Blenders, Nutribullet Blenders, and the Oster Pro 1200.
Suppose you don’t mind blending smoothies in the morning but still want to save time. In that case, you should definitely consider a portable blender. Another option is to invest in a Quiet Blender that won’t wake your roommates up.
Now, IMHO the freezer methods (first three) are better than the other two as they tend to last longer. This means less waste, and you can even prepare for the whole week, which saves time, as I have mentioned repeatedly.