How do you preserve a smoothie without separating it?

Smoothies are a delicious and nutritious blended drink made from fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and other ingredients. However, one common problem with smoothies is that the ingredients can separate over time, with the denser ingredients like fruit sinking to the bottom and the liquid rising to the top. This can make smoothies less appetizing and decreases the nutritional value, as you no longer have all the ingredients incorporated together.

Luckily, there are some simple tricks you can use to prevent your smoothies from separating and keep them mixed together, delicious, and nutritious. In this article, we will go over the main causes of smoothie separation and the best methods for preventing it. Read on to learn how to preserve smoothies without separation for maximum enjoyment!

What Causes Smoothies to Separate?

There are a few key factors that lead to the separation of smoothies:

Differences in Density

The ingredients that go into smoothies have different densities. Fruits and vegetables contain more fiber and are denser and heavier than the liquid ingredients like juice, milk, or yogurt. Over time, gravity pulls the denser ingredients down to the bottom of the smoothie while the lighter liquids float to the top.

Lack of Emulsifiers

Emulsifiers are ingredients that help bind together liquids and fats that would normally separate. Some common emulsifiers found in smoothies include bananas, avocados, milk, Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and protein powders. If your smoothie lacks enough of these emulsifying ingredients, separation is more likely.

Blending Method

Your blending technique can also contribute to separation. Blending too little or too much can prevent the ingredients from properly emulsifying together into a uniform texture, allowing separation to occur more readily.

Storage Time

The longer your smoothie sits, the more time the ingredients have to separate out based on their densities. Separation will happen faster if a smoothie sits for multiple hours or days compared to if it is consumed shortly after blending.

Tips to Prevent Separation in Smoothies

Luckily, smoothie separation can easily be prevented using a few simple tricks:

Use Emulsifying Ingredients

Including emulsifiers like bananas, avocados, Greek yogurt, milk, nut butters, and protein powder will help bind all the ingredients together. Bananas in particular are great to add a creamy texture and prevent separation.

Blend Thoroughly

It is important to blend your smoothie properly to fully incorporate and emulsify all the ingredients. Blend for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute after all ingredients are added to achieve a uniform consistency. If needed, stop and stir or shake the smoothie, then continue blending.

Add Thickeners

Thicker ingredients like oats, chia seeds, flaxseeds, ice, xanthan gum, or guar gum will help add viscosity to your smoothie and prevent the separation of liquids.

Avoid Overfilling

Don’t overfill your blender. The blender needs room to fully blend the ingredients together. Fill your blender jar no more than 2/3 full for best results.

Store in an Airtight Container

Pour your smoothie into an airtight container or bottle with a tight sealing lid right after blending. This prevents air from oxidizing and separating the ingredients.

Store Upright

Store smoothies upright instead of on their side to prevent the ingredients from separating due to gravity.

Avoid Separation During Drinking

When drinking your smoothie, avoid separation by tilting the glass and drinking from one side. You can also use a spoon or straw to stir and re-incorporate any ingredients that settle while drinking.

Refrigerate Properly

Store smoothies in the refrigerator, not left out at room temperature. The cold from refrigeration will help ingredients stay emulsified.

Don’t Refrigerate Too Long

While refrigeration prevents separation in the short term, don’t leave smoothies in the fridge for longer than 24-48 hours. Separation can still happen over time.

Add Ice or Freeze

For longer storage, add ice cubes or freeze your smoothie into popsicles. Ice crystals help stabilize the emulsification. Frozen smoothies can last for months without separating.

Pre-blend Wet Ingredients

For the smoothest texture, blend any wet ingredients like milk or yogurt first before adding produce. This pre-emulsifies the liquids.

Re-blend Before Drinking

If you notice separation after storage, simply re-blend or shake the smoothie to reincorporate the ingredients right before drinking.

What Are the Best Smoothie Ingredients to Prevent Separation?

Certain smoothie ingredients are particularly good to use for their ability to act as emulsifiers and thickeners:


Bananas are the perfect smoothie ingredient to prevent separation thanks to their thickening starches and soluble fiber that helps bind liquids.


Like bananas, avocados contain thickening agents and soluble fiber to stabilize smoothies. They also add healthy fats.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is strained to remove the whey, making it much thicker. It adds protein and thickening power.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is another protein-rich dairy ingredient that adds thickness to smoothies. Use low-fat or fat-free.

Silken Tofu

Silken tofu is yet another thick, creamy ingredient to blend into smoothies for emulsifying properties.


Dry oats and oat flour contain soluble fiber to absorb liquid and add thickness.

Chia Seeds

When soaked in liquid, chia seeds form a gel that stabilizes smoothies.


Like chia seeds, flax seeds thicken smoothies when blended after being soaked in water.

Nut Butters

Nut butters like almond butter, peanut butter, or cashew butter all add healthy fats and thickness.


Ice helps thicken and emulsify smoothie ingredients through chilling.

Xanthan or Guar Gum

These commercial thickeners and stabilizers prevent separation when used sparingly.

Smoothie Recipes with Ingredients That Prevent Separation

Here are some of our favorite anti-separation smoothie recipes packed with ingredients to keep them emulsified:

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

– 1 cup milk of choice
– 1 banana
– 1 cup frozen strawberries
– 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
– 2 tbsp protein powder

Blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. The banana, Greek yogurt, and protein powder all help stabilize this smoothie.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

– 1 banana
– 2 tbsp peanut butter
– 1 tbsp cocoa powder
– 1 cup milk of choice
– 1/4 cup oats
– 2 tbsp chia seeds
– 1 cup ice

Blend all ingredients together until thick and creamy. Peanut butter, oats, and chia seeds prevent separation.

Green Smoothie with Avocado

– 1 cup spinach
– 1/2 avocado
– 1 banana
– 1 cup pineapple chunks
– 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
– 1/2 cup water

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Avocado and Greek yogurt give this green smoothie stability.

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie

– 1 cup frozen blueberries
– 1 banana
– 1/4 cup oats
– 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
– 1/2 cup almond milk
– 1 tbsp honey

The banana, oats, and coconut milk prevent separation in this antioxidant-rich smoothie.

Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

– 1 avocado
– 1 banana
– 1/4 cup cocoa powder
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1 cup almond milk
– 2 tbsp peanut butter

Blend until creamy. Avocado and peanut butter bind this decadent chocolatey smoothie.

Storing Smoothies to Avoid Separation

To get the most out of your smoothies and avoid separation, use these storage tips:

Short Term Storage

For enjoying smoothies within 24 hours, store them refrigerated in an airtight container. Glass jars or bottles with tight lids work great. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace.

Long Term Storage

For longer storage, freeze smoothies in individual portions in freezer-safe containers or popsicle molds. Frozen smoothies can last 2-3 months without separating.

What To Avoid

Avoid storing smoothies at room temperature or in containers with lots of headspace. Don’t store them on their sides. All of these increase the chance of separation occurring.

Signs of Separation

Check smoothies for a layer of liquid at the top or fruit and fiber settled at the bottom. Give them a stir or shake before drinking if separation has happened.

When To Toss

Discard separated smoothies that have been stored for over 48 hours in the fridge or if any ingredients have visible mold. Otherwise, they are safe to re-blend and enjoy!

How to Re-Mix Separated Smoothies

If your smoothie does separate, don’t worry! You can bring it back together with some simple re-mixing methods:


For smoothies stored in bottles or containers with lids, simply shake vigorously until uniform. The shaking motion will re-disperse settled solids.


Use a spoon or straw to stir smoothies in a glass or bowl, mixing up any separated liquid and fruit layers.


Pour back into your blender and blend on high speed for 30 seconds up to 1 minute to fully reincorporate.

Adding Emulsifiers

You can also blend in a small banana, spoonful of yogurt, or ice cubes to help re-emulsify and stabilize.

Diluting If Too Thick

If separation has led to an overly thick smoothie, stir in a splash of milk or water to thin it out.

FAQs About Preventing Separation in Smoothies

Why do my smoothies separate so quickly?

Smoothies separates quickly if they lack emulsifiers like bananas or yogurt or thickeners like oats or chia seeds. Not blending enough, improper storage, and gravity also cause faster separation.

Can I remix a separated smoothie?

Yes, simply shake, stir, or re-blend a separated smoothie to mix the ingredients back together. You can also add a frozen banana or ice to help.

How long do smoothies last before separating?

In the refrigerator, properly made smoothies last 1-2 days before separation happens. You can also freeze smoothies for 2-3 months without separation.

Is it safe to drink a separated smoothie?

Separation alone does not make a smoothie unsafe. Separated smoothies stored properly in the refrigerator are still safe to consume within 2 days of making them.

What happens if I don’t mix a separated smoothie?

Drinking an unmixed separated smoothie means you are no longer getting equal amounts of all the nutritional ingredients. Shaking or blending them back together ensures you get the full benefits.


While smoothie separation is a common issue, there are many simple ways to prevent it through proper ingredient selection, blending methods, and storage techniques. Bananas, avocados, yogurt, nut butters, and oats can all help keep your smoothies emulsified, as does blending thoroughly and refrigerating in airtight containers. If separation does occur, a quick shake, stir, or re-blending will have your smoothie looking delicious and mixed again. With these tips, you can enjoy smoothies that maintain their mouthwatering flavor, texture, and nutrition for days.

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